Portneuf Mountains, Idaho
Mountains, Forest, Wildlife
37 Mile Loop
Many streams along the way if you want to purify water
50 inch maximum dirt two track
At Big Springs Campground
Beach Hollow Trail Head:42.66029 N, 112.04673 W
Pebble Creek Trail Head:42.78071 N, 112.16347 W
Big Springs Trail Head:42.76621 N, 112.09373 W
The Boundary Trail is a great 37 mile loop that circles around the majority of the Portneuf Range near Pocatello. This trail is open to Mountain Bikes, Motorcycles, and ATV’s. There is a 50 inch limit so no side by sides. There are several gates to limit to the 50 inches so please respect these regulations. There are other areas in the area side by sides can ride on. While this loop is only 37 miles it is a fairly technical trail and will take a minimum of 4 hours. I would not recommend this trail to beginners. There are several rocky steep climbs, exposed areas, and tire eating roots and rocks throughout. If you enjoy tight trails where 4×4 is necessary then this is an awesome day trip. There are 3 trail heads you can access the trail from. You can park at the lower parking lot of Pebble Creek Ski Resort. There is access at the Big Springs Campground. The last is the Beach Hollow Trailhead. This one is about 10 minutes from Lava Hot Springs. This is where we chose to start because we spend a fair amount of time tubing at Lava. Any of the trails are easily accessed from I-15. For the most part this trail is very well signed as the Boundary Trail. Where the named signs are missing this trail is always either route 244 or 272. I found it very easy to follow if you keep those two numbers in mind. I expected deserty mountains like the ones right in town at Lava Hot Springs. Boy was I wrong. This trail has a great variety and was very green and pretty in early summer. I will definitely be back. The Big Springs area would also be a great place to spend some time camping. At Beach Hollow there is a parking area big enough for 4 or 5 trucks. We didn’t see anyone else on a saturday so the use isn’t crazy.
The trail immediately gets into the forest. There was a great variety of pine and aspen forest in this area. Everything was VERY green.
You will soon pop out on a ridge with views down toward Lava Hot Springs which is just out of this picture on the left.
I don’t know if this is true year round but in early summer there are several spots where the creek is part of the trail. I thought it was fun.
The forest service was smart and put several 50 inch width bridges to keep off those who are not allowed. There are several of these with no other way around so don’t get too many ideas of trying it anyways. Just after the bridge pictured first is the Big Springs Campground and trail head.
Again, I couldn’t believe the variety on this trail from forest, streams, meadows, and broad open views.
You will climb a ridge with great views of Bonneville Peak. At 9,271 feet it is the highest point in the Portneuf Range. It isn’t crazy high but is very prominent with a long broad ridge.
There are some areas where you are just rock banging for miles at a time. These make it a fairly strenuous ride and keep the speeds down.
As you get closer to Bonneville Peak you will see a steep side trail that goes up towards the peak. This is worth taking if you dare. It doesn’t go to the top but it does give great views.
The view down into Inkom was very pretty.
You will then head down to the west side of the range where the terrain is more dry but still very pretty.
Pebble Creek Ski Resort will come into view.
The trail literally goes right underneath one of the lifts.
After the resort as the trail starts to climb to the east again there are several obstacles. This was a very pretty area and challenging.
The views toward Malad were great as we neared the end of the loop.
Since this is a loop you will pop out back at whichever trail head you began with.
This trail ended up being much more fun than I had expected and was one of my favorite rides of 2015. It was very pretty and had some challenges that made it very fun. I will definitely be back in the future.