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How Traveling to the Mountains Can Improve Your Well-Being

Any form of travel can improve your well-being by lowering your stress levels, giving you a break from the regular grind of work and home, and exposing you to new ideas, cultures, and foods. While some people think that setting their sights on a beach is the best way to relax, others are learning that heading to the mountains is one of the best choices for finding serenity.

It’s all about the mountain air

The phrase “mountain fresh” isn’t just something manufacturers put on scented products. The cool, crisp air you will find in the mountains of the United States is like no other. The fresh mountain air will invigorate your senses, give you energy, and make you want to hike or walk trails longer than ever before. No matter which North American mountains you choose to visit, you’ll come across huge, beautiful trees that release all of the oxygen you need to feel alive and improve your overall health and well-being by getting fresh oxygen to your lungs, muscles, and brain.

Soak in Vitamin D from the sun

When you’re out and about in the mountains and soaking up nature, your skin soaks up natural vitamin D from the sun. Of course, wearing sunblock is important if you will be out during the most intense rays between 10 am and 4 pm, but getting the right amount of sunlight also boosts your mood because sunlight increases the brain’s levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps us feel calm and focused, and low levels of serotonin lead to seasonal affective disorder.

Get some exercise

When you visit the mountains, you are more likely to exercise while on vacation. North America is full of hiking trails and scenic nature trails that give you a chance to view beautiful views, see powerful waterfalls, listen to babbling brooks, and watch wildlife and birds. Of course, you can choose the degree of difficulty of the hikes and decide if you’d rather take a brisk stroll through the woods or push yourself to take a strenuous hike that leads to vistas and peaks for the best views America has to offer.

Play in the valleys

One of the best parts of traveling to the mountains is visiting the valleys between them. One such valley that you definitely want to include in your travel itinerary is Garden Valley, Idaho. Garden Valley offers mountain peaks 7,000 feet above the horizon, tranquil meadows stretching across the valley, and the exciting South Fork of the Payette River. The valley has a rich history of gold mining, countless hot springs, exceptional wildlife viewing.

Rafters and kayakers especially enjoy visiting Garden Valley, ID, because the South Fork of the Payette River is wild and turbulent as it runs through deep canyons. The Payette River system has whitewater classifications of I-Iv, and visitors can choose to go on partial-day, full-day, and overnight trips spring through autumn. Spending time in Garden Valley, Idaho, gives travelers a sense of wonder and excitement as they explore all that the valley has to offer.

Indulge your desire for adventure

Some people like to get their adrenaline pumping and re-energize themselves by finding adventure and thrills in the mountains of North America. Adventure-seekers flock to the mountains for everything from hiking and ziplining to skiing and whitewater rafting. Some of the most adventurous travelers choose to hike and whitewater raft in the Grand Canyon, while others hike, bike, and horseback ride in Yosemite National Park. Rock climbers especially love to trek to Anchorage, Alaska, to tackle the cliffs of Chugach State Park. Hikers, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers also choose to visit this part of Alaska, and families can enjoy easier hiking in Alaska by choosing to follow the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.

No matter how you choose to spend your time in North America’s mountains, you’re sure to benefit from the fresh, crisp air, sunlight, and adventures that await you in nature.

Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route Maps

Adventure Cycling Releases Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route Maps

BackCover_IDHSMBR_1New 518-mile off-pavement cycling route provides access to 50+ hot springs and beautiful wildlands

MISSOULA, MONTANA, February 25, 2014 — Maps are now available for Adventure Cycling Association’s Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route (IHSMBR). The brand-new two-map set guides cyclists through the breathtaking landscape of central Idaho along a spectacular 518-mile off-pavement route, offering four substantial singletrack options, and featuring access to more than 50 hot springs in the Gem State.

 

“Adventure Cycling has always been on the cutting edge of long-distance bicycle routing in North America,” said Cartographer Casey Greene. “The Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route continues this trend by incorporating backcountry singletrack options into a route, which is a first for us. It’s also something that our members have been asking for, and with the innovative new bikepacking gear and techniques that have surfaced over the past 10 years, it seemed like the perfect time to develop this kind of route.”

Based on the growth of bikepacking and the popularity of its Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, which traces the spine of the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Mexico, Adventure Cycling anticipates that cyclists touring the new Idaho route could represent a robust tourism niche for the communities along its corridor: the major city of Boise, as well as the smaller towns of Idaho City, Stanley, McCall, Cascade, Atlanta, Crouch, Garden Valley, Lowman, and Placerville. This region also offers all the key ingredients of a popular bike-touring destination, including quiet roads and some of the most spectacular country the West has to offer, from blue-ribbon trout streams to big sub-alpine terrain, and cozy mountain towns; not to mention, the hot springs.

“There are few things I’ve found that go together as well as a day of backcountry bicycling followed by a relaxing soak in one of nature’s own hot tubs,” Greene said. “Those who’ve never experienced it are in for a real treat.” A handful of the hot springs accessible from the IHSMBR are commercial, including Burgdorf, Goldfork, and Twin Springs; the majority, however, are primitive and undeveloped. The route’s location is also ideal for integrating myriad other recreational activities such as fly-fishing and white-water rafting into any itinerary.

“Central Idaho contains some of the largest wilderness areas in the Lower 48,” said Michael McCoy, route researcher for the Great Divide route and a 19-year resident of the Gem State. “If you’re set up for it gear-wise, it would be easy to stash your bike in the woods and take a backpacking trip into the alpine lake-abundant Sawtooth Wilderness, or in the spectacular Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.”

 

Another option, McCoy noted, is a commercial float on the Salmon River, the storied River of No Return. “When you’re at the northernmost tip of the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route’s Secesh singletrack option, as the crow flies you’re only about ten miles from the Salmon. It’s a bit farther to ride or drive there, but still doable. From McCall, located on the main route, it’s less than 50 miles to Riggins, a popular put-in spot for day trips on the river.”

 

The Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route is offered as a two-map set. The first map section features the main, off-pavement route — a loop route that primarily follows dirt roads for 518 miles, with a few stretches of pavement in the mix. Cyclists planning a trip on the main route need only to have a basic understanding of mountain-bike riding technique. However, cyclists attempting any of the four singletrack options, featured on the second, supplementary map section, should know their own ability and prepare for challenging conditions. Some sections of the singletrack are expert-only riding (or hike-a-biking for those who aren’t experts).

 

Out-of-state cyclists can access the IHSMBR via a 33-mile spur from the Boise airport, which is shown on the main route map. Flying into the Sun Valley-area airport is another option. From Friedman Memorial Airport, located in Hailey, cyclists can connect with the route in Ketchum, 14 miles north, by way of the Wood River Bike Trail, though this connection is not represented on the Adventure Cycling maps. Once they reach the route, riders will enjoy its rural nature with relatively little traffic and resupply points strategically located along the way.

When planning their tour, cyclists should time their itinerary with the seasonal sweet spot for Northern Rockies backcountry travel: after the snow has melted up high, but before wildfire season starts — sometime between late June and late July. Autumn can be another good time for a trip, with its cooler nighttime air temperatures, which make the route’s numerous hot springs all the more inviting. For an autumn excursion, cyclists should shoot for early September to mid-October.

For more information about the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route and to purchase maps, visit www.adventurecycling.org/idahohotsprings.

IMAGES & INTERVIEWS

Download web-ready photos (ZIP/22 MB). Download a web-ready overview map (JPG/248KB). For high-res images, or to arrange an interview with the route’s cartographer, please contact Alison Riley.

 

CONTACT
Alison Riley, Digital Media Coordinator
ariley@adventurecycling.org
Direct: (406) 532-2772 / Twitter: @advcyclingassoc

 

# # #

Adventure Cycling Association inspires and empowers people to travel by bicycle. It is the premier bicycle-travel organization in North America with more than 46,700 members. Adventure Cycling produces cycling routes and maps for North America, organizes more than 80 tours annually, and publishes the best bicycle-travel information anywhere, including Adventure Cyclist magazine. With 42,180 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike-travel adventures. Contact the office at (800) 755-BIKE (2453), info@adventurecycling.org, or visit www.adventurecycling.org.

 

 

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Online version: http://bit.ly/idahohotsprings

Tweet: New 518-mile off-pavement cycling route provides access to 50+ hot springs and beautiful wildlands: http://bit.ly/idahohotsprings

Facebook/Newsletter: Maps are now available for Adventure Cycling Association’s Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route. The brand-new two-map set guides cyclists through the breathtaking landscape of central Idaho along a spectacular 518-mile off-pavement route, offering four substantial singletrack options, and featuring access to more than 50 hot springs in the Gem State. http://bit.ly/idahohotsprings

 

The Northfork Championship

northforkchampOn the horizon this Summer in Garden Valley, June 6th, 7th, and 8thThe Northfork Championship!

This event is the Inaugural Whitewater Festival in Crouch, Idaho; not to be missed! Highlights will include a world-class kayak competition on some of North America’s most impressive whitewater –
The North Fork Payette!

Extreme competition will showcase the best big water paddlers, and establish placement in the highest level of this awesome sport! Join your friends down by the river for this two-day competition where skills will be tested to determine who will hold the highest honor of  “King of the North Fork Championship”!

Find Out More on The Northfork Championship website!

2013 Events List

Starlight Mt. Theatre Monday-Saturday nights, May 31st –August 24th  contact Starlight at 462-5523 or http://www.starlightmt.org for information on shows, times and to purchase tickets.

EVERY WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT SR. CENTER DINNER EVERYONE IS WELCOME STARTS AT 5 P.M. WITH THE SALAD BAR, MAIN MEAL SERVED AT 5:30 P.M. COST IS $5.00 DONATION FROM THOSE OVER 60 AND $6.00 FOR THOSE UNDER 60.

EVERY THURSDAY MORNING 9AM BREAKFAST AT THE SR. CENTER STARTS AT 0900, COST IS $4.00

EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT; POOL AND POKER AT THE LONGHORN, CALL 462-3108 FOR MORE INFO.

MAY 25TH -27TH MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

SUMMER RODEO EVENTS

June 22nd Jr. Rodeo-Youren Arena, Crouch

June 28-30th Chappel Kids Event, Youren Arena, Crouch

July 13th Barrels-Youren Arena, Crouch

July 20th Jr. Rodeo-Youren Arena, Crouch

August 10th Jr. Rodeo-Youren Arena, Crouch

August 17-18th PWRA Reunion-Youren Arena, Crouch

August 24th Duke Days-Youren Arena, Crouch

August 31st Cattleman’s Association Rodeo-Youren Arena, Crouch

September 14th Jr. Rodeo Finals-Youren Arena, Crouch

JUNE 1ST MOTORCYCLE SPRING FLING-LONNIE WILLIS (MORE INFO COMING)

JUNE 7 & 8TH NORTHFORK CHAMPIONSHIPSWWW.NORTHFORKCHAMPIONSHIPS.COM

JUNE 13TH GGVCC MEETING 6PM AT THE CROUCH COMMUNITY HALL, DINNER SERVED.

JUNE 22ND & 23RD TERRACE LAKES ART & WINE FESTIVAL, CONTACT TERRACE LAKES AT 462-3250 FOR MORE INFO

JULY 4TH INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION-DOWNTOWN CROUCH ALL DAY! CONTACT THE GGVCC FOR MORE INFO.

JULY NO GGVCC MEETING THIS MONTH BECAUSE OF 4TH OF JULY

AUGUST ? MUSIC IN THE MOUNTAINS FESTIVAL-WEILMUNSTER PARK SPONSORED BY THE GVAA, MARY WILSON, POC 462-3538

AUGUST 8TH GGVCC MEETING 6PM AT THE CROUCH COMMUNITY HALL, DINNER SERVED.

AUGUST ? ROD RUN-DOWNTOWN CROUCH, SPONSORED BY THE RED ROOSTER, CONTACT MARYANN STEIN FOR MORE INFO. 462-2616

AUGUST 22-25, Thurs – Sunday Mountain Man Rendezvous

AUGUST 31ST–SEPTEMBER 2ND FRIENDSHIP RIDE, MOTORCYCLE RALLY POC LARRY “STIX” PLATT 573-4191

AUGUST 31ST-SEPTEMBER 2ND CATTLEMAN’S ASSOCIATION RODEO, YOUREN’S RODEO GROUNDS POC

SEPT. 14TH FROM 10AM-4PM YOGI’S RODS, RATS AND RIDES, CALL YOGI MCDONALD FOR MORE INFO 462-3978

SEPTEMBER 12TH 6PM GGVCC MEETING AT THE CROUCH COMMUNITY HALL, DINNER SERVED.

EVERY SATURDAY & SUNDAY IN OCTOBER-A COUNTRY AFFAIR, FAMILY FRIENDLY GAMES, PETTING ZOO, WAGON RIDES AND MORE. YOUREN’S RODEO GROUNDS POC DARL ALLRED 462-3416

OCTOBER 10TH 6PM GGVCC MEETING AT THE CROUCH COMMUNITY HALL, DINNER SERVED.

OCTOBER 26TH TRUNK OR TREAT-DOWNTOWN CROUCH, STARTS AT 6PM, SPONSORED BY THE GGVCC, 462-5003 OR INFO@GVCHAMBER.ORG

NOVEMBER 14TH 6PM GGVCC MEETING 6PM AT THE CROUCH COMMUNITY HALL, DINNER SERVED

NOVEMBER 28TH-DECEMBER 31ST GV HOLIDAYS IN THE MOUNTAINS, SPONSORED BY THE GGVCC, 462-5003 OR INFO@GVCHAMBER.ORG

DECEMBER 12TH 6PM GGVCC MEETING VENUE TBD ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY.

DECEMBER 31ST NYE, TAIL GAITING PARTY WITH THE LANTERN LIGHTING AND SEND OFF AT 6PM-WEILMUNSTER PARK SPONSORED BY THE GGVCC, 462-5003 ORINFO@GVCHAMBER.ORG