Just 16 miles above Boise and miles away from the heat-pounded Foothills, the Shafer Butte trails stand out for two reasons. One, they're cool. Actual trees line the route of this killer trail network, and when you're above 5,000 feet for most of the route, you're pedaling in dramatically cooler air than if you were grinding it up the Kestrel Trail down by Hull's Gulch. Second, these trails are lovingly built and maintained by local riders. These people don gloves and work clothes on days when the rest of us are pedaling along without a care in the world, and put in some serious sweat equity to make these trails happen, legally and properly. It doesn't hurt that the riding is just plain fun up there, too: There's rolling tight singletrack, interspersed with little surprise obstacles and sweet downhills. In all, what's not to love? Think you're a tough rider? Then do what some nutjobs do, and ride up Bogus Basin Road from town to the trailhead, then drop in. Yeah, you've earned your suds then.
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