Yesterday was opening day at Bogus Basin for lift assisted mountain biking. This is a HUGE step forward for Bogus. I’ve raced DH there in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and have wandered why they haven’t done this for over 20 years now.
There is obviously a big demand for this and so Bogus running a lift for us truly is great news. They had the lower lodge open with food and drink, 10 Barrel Brewing was there selling beer, and there was live music too. They really did a lot to bring people in for this and quite a lot of people came. I’d say it was a success in general. My wife hung out watching the show with the music and all while I rode all day. I got in 15 runs and had a great day for sure.
Bogus ran chair 1 and this is good because it gives the best access to Deer Point and Shindig trails along with giving people a good access to hitting the Ridge Road to ride Hard Guy or Dry Creek back down to Boise at the end of the day.
There are really 2 easily accessible trails in the ski area to ride from chair 1, and a 3rd that you have to take the Brewers Byway trail across to the upper lodge to hit and this does involve some climbing in a longer traverse.
Deer Point trail is the easiest trail to ride, but had just so much uphill traffic that it’s not a good choice to be riding down. I’ll probably not go down it again for this very reason. There needs to be a separation of up and down hill trails for the lift assisted riding to really work. It’s the same as in the winter, they do not put the XC ski trails in the DH ski area because accidents will happen that way and it really takes away from the experience for both groups. This is a place where Bogus can and probably will improve.
Shindig was just as easy to access and because it is steeper and harder to go up, it had far less uphill traffic and foot traffic making it a better choice to ride down. It was much shorter and still had it’s share of uphill and foot traffic making it hard to get in good DH runs. It is a good and fun trail, but just far too short to want to spend an entire day riding down. One would get bored of that very fast.
From there, if a person was to traverse across to the upper lodge by route of Brewers Byway and hit the Morningstar Trail, it was even less populated and very fun to ride. A definite beginners flowy trail. It was long enough to be worth the chair ride and really a great place to get started in the world of DH, but not nearly hard enough to keep an advanced riders interest or to justify the traverse across from chair 1 more than about twice.
I’m told by several people that there is a non-sanctioned DH trail somewhere off of the Sunshine cat track, but since it’s non-sanctioned, they couldn’t/wouldn’t tell me exactly where is. To access that, you get 2 choices, take Shindig to the bottom and go up Sunshine to find it, or traverse across Brewers Byway and then double back across Sunshine to find it. Either way, since we are buying a lift ticket, we should not have to traverse all the way across the mountain with climbing involved or have to climb up from the bottom to ride a suitable DH course that we evidently are not supposed to be riding in the first place.
All in all this was a great way to spend the day and was well worth the $25 lift ticket. This is a great first step in the right direction for Bogus Basin and I’d like to personally thank them for offering lift assisted mountain biking. This is a great addition for our local mountain biking community. Now to make this a great destination to bring riders in would be the addition of downhill only bike trails for various skill levels. 3 trails would be a great start, 1 beginner, 1 intermediate, and 1 expert. From there, adding a couple trails a year would be a reasonable request until we have a good local mountain bike park with lift assistance. This would keep me and I’m certain most other riders coming back for years to come and it would also offer better competition to Tamarack for the DH riders business. Running chair 3 or chair 2 along with chair 1 would open up a lot more of the mountain. This would also take care of the over crowding on the trails and help make a better experience for all who ride up here. Chair 2 with chair 1 would certainly open up the rest of the front side of the mountain, or chair 3 with chair 1 would open up the entire mountain including the back side.
To ride back down to Boise from Bogus you have a few options.
Eastside trail down from the lower parking lot to Sweet Connie Trail is very popular. That comes out on Bogus Basin road just above where Dry Creek comes out. It also gives the option of turning off of Sweet Connie onto Chuckar Butte Trail to come out at Hidden Springs or on Peggy’s Trail to come out at Polecat Gulch and Hill Road.
From the top of chair 1, it’s a direct line down the Ridge road to Dry Creek or Hardguy with the option of hitting Muhalo trail on the way to one of these.