FATMAP by Strava

Sidewinder, Freestone Ridge, and Shane's Loop

A showcase combo of stellar trails, starting from Military Reserve near downtown Boise.

Mountain Biking Difficult

17 km
524 m
524 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
871 m
High Point
1.2 km
Sidewinder, Freestone Ridge, and Shane's Loop Map

This loop combines a lot of the best trails near Military Reserve in the lower foothills. As mapped here, it begins from Freestone Creek trailhead, but you could just as well start from another parking along this road. To start out, use the road or Mountain Cove trail to get to Military Reserve connector. This is a steep and somewhat sandy climb that puts you on Crestline. Then it’s a much easier and more scenic uphill to Sidewinder.


On Sidewinder you’ll really feel like you’re getting up there in the foothills. It twists along a panoramic ridgeline with views into the creek valleys on either side. This smooth trail makes a good downhill as well, but is more commonly used for climbing.

You’ll lose some of that vertical on a quick and fun descent on Motorcycle Trail, then hop onto Fat Tire Traverse for a real treat. This benchcut singletrack dips through gullies and curves around hillsides that are so steep, some of the turns feel like there’s air underneath them. It’s easy riding, but you’ll want to be sure to stay in control!

Next comes Freestone Ridge, which is a fast and very scenic descent. It’s not as smooth as it could be, due to washboarding and ruts, but it’s still a good time. At the bottom you have several options for finishing the loop. The route mapped here adds some more action with Shane’s Loop and Central Ridge. To get there, turn and go up Three Bears, which is a dirt road that turns into narrower trail. This becomes a pretty steep climb, but for a short distance, before tipping downhill and meeting Shane’s.

Shane’s Loop is smooth singletrack that curves around a hill, through idyllic grassland and with great views toward Table Rock. It then takes a sharp descent with some rocks, and meets the big trail junction at the top of Central Ridge.

Central Ridge is a super fun downhill, with a steep section pointing directly at a vista of downtown Boise. It’s very popular with walkers and also uphill riders though, so you might not be able to hold all the speed you want. A good alternative is to take Bucktail, an easy flow trail, to go downhill instead and return to the start.



Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between March and December


  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Jumps
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area