Ridge Crest and Central Ridge Loop

A go-to quick lap with a sporty downhill at Military Reserve.

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
3.9 km
Ascent
118 m
Descent
118 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
849 m
High Point
965 m
Gradient
Ridge Crest and Central Ridge Loop Map

This is a short but somewhat challenging loop at Military Reserve, perfect for a quick spin before the sun sets. It’s one of those go-to rides that never gets old, thanks to the quality trail and nice views.

Description

Park at the lower trailhead at Military Reserve, and start by riding Toll Road. This is a wide trail that makes an easy warmup. You’ll look at red sandstone cliffs on one side and a foliated creek valley on the other. Then you’ll turn onto Ridge Crest trail for the climb, and it’s a steep one. A smooth bench cut twists its way up a hillside, with the track doubling over in some scenic switchbacks. In springtime, this section really shows off with a burst of yellow flowers.

Grunt your way up and you’ll eventually pop out on Central Ridge. There’s a bit more climbing to the top, but big views over downtown Boise and the foothills are enough to distract from the work, and next comes the downhill reward. Central Ridge turns and tips straight down, in a series of water bars and rollovers that can grant some air time. This trail is popular with walkers and also uphill riders, however, so you might not be able to hold all the speed you want. It could be worth waiting for a gap in traffic to really let it rip. After that, you’ll finish the ride with any of the spur trails that make the final drop to the trailhead.

Difficulty

Moderate

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Jumps

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area