Jackass Gulch

Development Route / by Captain ‘O’

Note: This is a Development Route, meaning that it is a work in progress and currently does not meet the Dirty Freehub 5 Star standard for great routes.

“Mountain climbs, beautiful river views, and a gravel KOM” is the way this route was promoted when put on as a Gran Fondo in 2019. Even though the route then was mostly paved road, it appears the difficulty of the gravel was undersold. The event has not been put on as a Gran Fondo since.

However, with a gravel bike sporting 40 mm tires and a few route modifications (which we made!), we think this route has potential. We recommend you give it a go in the spring when the dirt / gravel is firm, the washboard is less, and the days are not brutally hot.

Note, we recentlyupdated (January 2021) the route to remove a significant stretch of highway riding. This changed the start location and the distance / elevation gain. Also, the route may now ride better in the opposite direction from that we have mapped.

We have not ridden this route, thus the Development Route designation. However, we would appreciate your feedback if you give it a go. Leave us a comment below.

Adventure / Gravel Route

– Loop: 44 miles / 3800 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 75% gravel, 25% paved
eBike Friendly:: Yes
– Location: ~ Boise, Idaho
– Published: April 2019 (update January 2021)

Technical Difficulty & Risk[what this means]

Moderate (Overall)

  • Riding skills required: moderate
  • Navigation challenge: low
  • Remote risk: moderate

The Start

3 Horse Ranch Vineyards. Please check with the vineyard before parking for the day. And … at the end of the day grab a bite to eat and a few bottles of wine to go!
Lat / Long: 43.832139, -116.407570

For help with GPS files, the RideWithGPs mapping app and to learn how to download our routes for free, see the “Using Our Rides” page.


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road

  • Kevin / Co-Founder @ Dirty Freehub says:

    We have updated the route to remove the highway section. Note, this also changed the starting location. Thanks for all the great feedback!!

  • Christopher A. James says:

    I’ve ridden parts of this with a Boise friend. Agree that spring would be better. We did the big climb in September, me on gravel bike w/ 40 mm tires, friend in full suspension MTB. I wished I’d had the MTB as it was really loose up and down. Also agree re: avoiding the major highway. People fly on that road.

  • ddave says:

    If you wanted to avoid the downhill on 55, I think I would just come back down pearl road to willowcreek…

    • Kevin / Co-Founder @ Dirty Freehub says:

      Great idea! We have just reached out to the winery to use that as a start / finish. May also change the direction. Keep the comments coming!

  • Lauren says:

    Did this ride in mid September, on a weekday. Overall, great ride with recently graded gravel in some sections! The rolling sections along the Payette River are lovely and there is a campground for water at mile 32 and a great stop for pie and produce at mile 40 in the town of Horseshoe Bend. The final climb is along a seldom travelled road; however, the descent down Horseshoe Bend Highway is pretty hectic. It is a 2 lane highway (in each direction), with speeds of 65 mph. While there is a decent shoulder, there was a lot of debris on the roadway and it wasn’t super comfortable to avoid all the trash with cars/campers/semis whizzing by. We think the ride has a ton of potential with a different final descent.

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