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Bernard Peak Loop Professional Review and Guide
"Beautiful loop ride within site of Lake Pend Oreille. Located near Bayview. Tread: 4.4 miles of gravel road, 8.9 miles of doubletrack, 5.2 miles of singletrack."
--Stephen Stuebner, Mountain Biking Idaho (Falcon Guides).
This trail is in terrible condition. The long ride up was good for conditioning, but the promised sweet singletrack was inundated with fallen trees for the first 3.5 miles. It was literally only 20-50 yards between tree-falls, and some were so large that you had to carry your bike under, through and over multiple trees and branches. Not fun. You will be off your bike more than you are on. Until the trail gets cleared, avoid this one.
The trailhead is in Farragut State Park which in and of itself is better than this trail. The trail and locator signage in this park is VERY POOR. If you're lucky enough to have a map, you can see that "location 67" is this way, but nowhere is there any reference to what location point you're looking at on the map.
We took this trail in search of the High Point Lookout. Well, this trail is not a high point and there's little to look out at. The trail dead ends into a rock slide and vertical face that is not passable by a hiker.
By foot we were only able to complete maybe 80% of this trail. If you take a bike, plan on carrying it in several places up steep and unstable tread.
There's 50 miles of road - much of it inaccessible by auto - in Farragut Park. That, combined with its rich history as a naval base in WWII would make a MUCH MORE pleseant trip on foot or bike than this trail.
Also in Farragut State Park you will find year round camping. Some spots, like the Gilmore Campground, have paved roads, water and power at the camp sites, and nice public restrooms and showers.
Even on park literature, use of this trail seems to be discouraged - and for good reason.
If you don't like riding dirt roads up hill for 10 long miles, then don't do this ride!!! It is a very long gruling uphill, by the time you get to the top your exhausted. The down hill singletrack was in good shape except for several downed trees you had to lift your bike over(4-5). The first 3 miles are all on paved road which was no fun. there are some nice veiws at the top if your not to tired to bush wack to the views.
This thing rules! Go do it now!
A good option is to just ride the singletrack up from the trailhead at the end of Twete Rd.
Oustanding ride. Directions are great. Since the writing of the ride, Good Hope road has been paved where it intersects with Hwy 54. Also, due to increased ATV activity, after the split on FR2707 & 2708, there is another split: Follow the trail to the right to continue onto the East Facing slope of the mountain. The first mile or so of downhill after reaching the top of Bernard Peak is pretty technical, but after that opens up into some awesome single-track. If you don't ride this area often, allow for some extra time for Kodak moments, there's plenty of opportunities for some great shots on the way up & back down.
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