Thank goodness for Google Maps, especially their satellite view! It makes looking around for interesting places to cycle quite easy. Also, it’s fun to check out recreation Web sites such as BLM.gov and then look around on Google Maps to see if you can get an idea of where a campground or trail system is located. The BLM Pocatello Field Office page is a good resource for those looking for a place near Pocatello to do a cycle camp or trail ride.
So as I was looking around the Pocatello area on Google Maps for interesting places to ride my bike, I noticed a collection of trails just east of Idaho State University. A few days later I hopped on my mountain bike to go have a look. Between Alvin Ricken Drive and American Road are a few interconnected trails that stretch about 1.25 miles. Kind of a nice place to go to practice your mountain biking skills without going very far out of town. These trails are used quite a bit by walkers and runners, so don’t get too crazy.
As you can see on the map to the left, there are three paths that go east off of American Road. The north trail is a nice, wide trail that goes up to the top of Chinese Peak. The middle path is a private road, according to the sign I saw while cruising along American Road on my bike. And the road on the south end of American Road is Barton Road which is paved all the way to the main trail head of Chinese Peak. I’ve been using Barton Road to get to Chinese Peak for years now, so I’m glad I found the trail on the north end of American Road. Actually, I remember hiking this trail many years ago, but I’ve never biked it. I’m going to give it a shot in the spring! I actually road a bit up this trail and took a few photos. The lure of a trail head is a powerful thing. :-)