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Summit Canyon ATV Trails – Malad Pass, Idaho
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Overview
Location

Near Downey and Malad, Idaho

Sights

Mountains, Forest

Distance

Variable

Parking Lot Elevation

6,000

Summit Elevation

8,000+

Time Required

Half day to full day of riding

Pets

Yes

Fees

No

Water Info

Pack your own

Best Season

Late Spring, Summer, Fall

Trail Condition

4x4 ATV trail with most 50 inch width restriction. There is a lot more single track trail that we have not tried.

Restrooms

At Campground

Visitor Center

No

Camping

Yes at Summit Campground

Food

In Malad

Family Friendly?

The camping is great for families but it is not a trail for beginner or young riders. If they ride on the back then its a great family place.

GPS Coordinates:

Trail Head:42.35145 N, 112.25951 W

Driving Directions


The Trail:

This was a surprising place for me. I found the trails on a forest service motor vehicle use map which you will want to download before going so you can see the well labeled trail numbers. Here is a map of the area. The red pin marks the entrance to the campground.

The area has a whole lot of 50 inch and single track trails. This isn’t the place for side by sides because there is very little riding they can do. Please obey all width laws. The trail ended up being lots of fun and was extremely green even in the beginning of August. The trail really isn’t far from my home in Cache Valley and I was glad we made the day trip. The area is good for a half day to a full day of riding. You could easily make a couple days if you ride Oxford Peak on the other side of the highway. See our Trek for Oxford Peak. The Boundary Trail is also nearby and worth a visit. The entire day we didn’t see a single person which was awesome. The trail begins at the Summit Campground that is located on the west side of the Malad Pass on I-15. The trail head is only about 5 minutes off the freeway and the campground would be a great place to spend a night or two.

The trail starts out very pretty in the trees of trail 333.

There are rocks to block out the larger vehicles.

You will come to a small dam with a pond and a natural spring coming out of the rocks to form the pond.

Soon the trail will start to resemble the usual 50 inch two track that I love to ride.

The trail can get steep and quite rocky in spots. Its not difficult for experienced riders but probably isn’t the best trail to start young kids or beginners.

You climb steadily and eventually take trail 336 where you can get great views off toward Elkhorn Peak which is one of the tallest in the Bannock Range.

There are great views in every direction.

Did I mention how green and pretty it was? (I think the fact we had the place to ourselves made it even prettier.)

Near an unnamed summit you will find some old mining equipment. (I’m pretty sure that’s what it was used for. I can’t think of any other reason for the equipment.) I never did see an actual mine. If someone knows the history of the area I would love to hear about it. One of the old machines still had oil in the tank and on the dipstick!

Next you will take trail 330 towards Wakley Peak and will eventually take you back to the trail head. There were a lot of cows in this area. The cow crap all over was my only downside to this ride. It probably wouldn’t be fun on a sport quad because you will get poo splattered on your face. There really wasn’t a way to avoid it all.

Soon you will reach the high point of the trail on a ridge near the summit of Wakley Peak. The views to the valleys on the East are really pretty.

Soon the summit of Wakley Peak will be in view.

The Return:

Trail 330 will pop you back out near the campground. Trail 377 starts on the south side of the campground and is short loop worth the ride. This one has rougher spots than the large loop so keep that in mind. All in all we spent about 4 hours exploring the area. On dirt bike you could spend a whole lot more as trails loop around Elkhorn Peak.

Personal Thoughts:

This was a fun spot within an hour of my house with only 50 inch trails and no people. Its a beautiful area hidden in plain sight right off the highway and is worth the stop.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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User Rating
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Difficulty
5.0
Technicality
6.5
Enjoyment
6.5
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

6.5
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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