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(Courtesy photo)

We spent last few days backpacking in Little Wood River area in southern Pioneers. Distressed to see motorcycle track and skid marks on the entire “non-motorized use” trail system. Some marks maybe from last year before snow fall but looked like biker(s) had a July 4 field day somehow accessing the Little Wood River Trail and also riding up toward P K Pass on Iron Creek Trail. Not sure how they got in there, perhaps from Fisher Creek (a designated motorcycle trail) because Little Wood River crossings still too high.

Bikes have worn new path on ridge above Fisher. They had saw to cut logs in some places but also forged new routes around obstacles, tore up boggy areas and rendered descents slidy and unsafe from skidding around the switchbacks. I realize some bikers love to test their mettle on a tough trail but non-motorized trails are not maintained for the heavy wear from motorcycles.

The Sawtooth National Forest has dozens of miles of trails specifically designed for motorcycles, and many old mining and logging roads open for motor vehicles, some steep and gnarly. There’s plenty to go around but I can see a lot more road and trail closures if people don’t play fair. The Sun Valley Idaho Trail Map and the Sawtooth National Forest Travel Map clearly show motorcycle, bicycle and hiking only routes. Please stick to the routes designed for you and don’t ruin the backcountry for other users.

Cindy Chojnacky

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