Distance: 5.9 km (one-way)
Time: 1 – 2 hrs
Elevation Gain: 871 m
Elevation Loss: 373 m
Technical Rating: Intermediate
Physical Rating: Moderate – Hard
Season: May – September
Permit Required: No
The H-Road trail may be ridden in either direction or combined with trails in the area to form a loop. This is an intermediate trail with an easy climb or descent. It follows and old roadbed as it contours and switchbacks up the mountainside. Even though the surrounding forest is slowly encroaching on the trail, most sections are easy to ride and the trail itself is nicely shaded for your climb up, or quick rip down. The only challenging section of trail is the one closest to the Queen Bess Spur where the trail was logged several years ago. Here H-Road use to continue on in a leisurely way across the backside of Idaho Peak; however, it now climbs severely up to the Queen Bess. The climb is built into a small section of a deactivated logging road and it’s a lung-buster. As a descent it’s not bad, although some might find the trail a little bit on the narrow side. It’s best to take care when ascending or descending this section only because of the slash lying around on the downhill side of the trail. Partway up H-Road you’ll find the remains of the Viola Gray Mine and a magnificent view of Payne Mountain. It’s fun to climb up and explore what’s left of the building, just make sure you’ve kept up your tetanus shots and you’re very, very careful about where you step.
The ratings below are based on riding H-Road from the western trailhead to the east trailhead; ascending the trail.
TRAILHEAD | N50 00.624 W117 17.078 (WEST)
West access: If you’re looking to climb up the H-Road, the trailhead is an intersection with the Galena Trail not far from Three Forks. By car from New Denver you drive east on 31A to Sandon Rd. Turn right on Sandon Rd. and the parking is on your right at the Galena trail parking lot. Ride up the Galena, the trailhead is the left fork in the trail.
East access: The eastern trailhead is on the downhill side of the Queen Bess Spur not far from the main road. Drive east on 31A to Sandon Rd. Exit on Sandon Rd. and drive to Idaho Peak Road. Take Idaho Peak Road up to the Queen Bess Spur in the middle of the large cutblock and the trailhead is on your right.
N50 00.644 W117 16.865 (Three Forks)
N50 00.624 W117 17.078 (West TH)
N49 59.409 W117 15.737 (East TH)
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls
The H-Road connects a lot of trails on Idaho Peak. It can be ridden from the Galena or Old Sandon Road up to the access road and eventually the Wakefield trail and a long ride back around to New Denver (this loop is about 50 km with 1,500 m of climbing). It also intersects Choices and Dazed (and Confused which are two trails that thread through one another) both end near the top of the H-Road. The trail can also be descended from it’s trailhead on the Queen Bess Spur but there’s so much more to ride further up the mountain so this isn’t a popular ride. A good shuttle is up to the top of Dazed (and Confused) and then down to the H-Road.