Help!!!Once again, it turns out that I've always been more concerned with riding than taking pictures! If you have any pictures of this area, please attach them to this page and I will incorporate them in! Otherwise, I'll get some pictures next summer.
OverviewLocated in the Sawtooth National Recreation area, the Prarie Lake to Miner Lake lollipop loop is a great singletrack that has some challenging but rideable climbing with a very steep and rocky decent coming down from Miner Lake.
If you don't want to end up walking your bike, you need to do the lollipop counter-clockwise. Going south from Miner lake, the trail has some very steep sections with some loose rock that wouldn't be rideable (uphill).
Trail DescriptionThe trail starts out at about 7,300 ft. in a parking area at the end of Prarie Creek Road. The first 25 meters of the ride is on a bed of granite rocks...don't worry, its just this section. You'll cross Prarie Creek and the trail turns into a great well defined and well beaten singltrack trail.
As you ride, you will you will criss cross and then keep Prarie Creek on your left for the remainder of the ride. There are several springs that run across the trail along the way that act as a great cool off along your ride.
Single track along the creek offers a wide variety of technical levels although there is nothing that isn't rideable even to a relatively new rider (if they are strong and in shape!). There are many little short steeps that provide a challenge due to the embedded rocks and tree roots.
At about mile 2.3, you come across the branch to Miner Lake. Stay right and continue on the remaining 2.5 miles to Prarie Lake. Once you get to Prarie Lake take a rest and take in the great scenery of the rocky bowl that you've ridden into. At the register at the trailhead, people have reported seeing mountain goats in this area.
Be sure to watch for the sign nailed to a tree for the trail to Miner Lake. The first 30 ft. of this trail is a little obscure. If you have your head down, you might miss it...specially if you've riden right to the water's edge and are now backtracking.
According to the map that I have of this area, it claims that there is a very technical area between Prarie Lake and Miner Lake. Either it has gotten eroded and easer or I'm a better biker than I thought I was becaause I thought the section between the lakes was very manageable. There was one short steep loose section, but nothing crazy.
When you hit Miner Lake, pause and take in the scenery again...also lower your seat if you prefer because its all downhill from here. About .5 miles down the trail, watch to your right for a large waterfall. Don't go too fast and ride over the edge!
Coming down a awesome...the trail seems to give you enough space to open it up through a meadow and then it closes down and forces you to do some riding over the embedded boulders in the trail. It wouldn't be that tough to end up over the handlebars if you're not careful and looking far enough in front of you!
When you finally splash through the larger Prarie Creek again, you'll come back out onto the Prarie Creek Trail. Be sure to watch for hikers and horseback riders for the rest of the way down.
Getting ThereFrom Interstate 84, exit at Twin Falls and go north on Highway 93. Follow this highway north until you reach the town of Shoshone. Here, you'll cross the railroad tracks and keep heading north on Highway 75. Continue north through Hailey, ID. Further north on Highway 75 is Ketchum and the Sun Valley Resort.
From Ketchum, continue right through town on Highway 75 for about 19.5 miles. On your left will be Prarie Creek Road. Follow this road all the way to the end (about 2.5) miles and you will find the trailhead.
When to BikeEarly summer to fall. As with any mountainous region, spring and fall can bring in a wide variety of weather from snow to rain or heat. The areas highest level of precipitation is in the middle of winter, but during the riding season, May and June are by far the wettest months.
Temperature highs will vary from an average of about 63F in May to about 81F in July and back down to 59F in October. Lows for each of these months average about 32F, 43F, and 25F respectively.
If you're going for an evening ride, you'll want to leave early enough as to not get stuck in the dark! Sunsets are as follows: