Mountain Bike to the Petroglyphs at Wees Bar

Mountain Bike to the Petroglyphs at Wees Bar

Swan Falls Dam Parking Lot

Distance

12.2 Miles

Elevation Gain

1000 Feet

Activities

Camping, Fishing, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Mountain bike through the Snake River Canyon to a secluded field full of petroglyphs. 

At Wees Bar, a remote area accessible only by bike or foot, explore hundreds of petroglyphs carved into glacial boulders by Native Americans 12,000 years ago.

Begin at the Swan Falls Dam parking lot. Bring a fat bike in late summer and fall to glide over the dry, loose dirt that forms as the canyon bakes in the summer sun.

Ride across the dam, keeping an eye out for pedestrians. This is a unique experience: how often is it you get to ride across a hydroelectric dam?

Follow the trail briefly upstream before a sharp right switchback climbs over a knobby hillside. 

There is no marked trail to Wees Bar, but the directions are simple: stick to the river. The first half of the ride is on criss-crossed double track. Take the track that seems the most solid, but continue along the river. There are a few times when a road or double track will lead up and out of the canyon - do not take those.

Cross over a wire fence that narrows the path from two track to single track. Keep an eye out across the river (to the north) for a metal pipe snaking down the cliff wall of the canyon. Wees Bar is roughly across from that landmark.

Wees Bar is a wide open field covered in dark boulders. Everywhere you look there are more etchings, beckoning you further into the field.

Return via the same route. Free camping is available at one of Idaho Power’s campsites along the river. 

Watch for rattlesnakes during the warm months! 

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Good Short Ride/Terrible Long ride

The trail was good for the first 6-8 miles then it became overgrown and then vanished. I found myself carrying my mountain bike over boulders to even get over to Celebration Park. There are better rides than this elsewhere or just stick to a shorter 12-16 mile out and back.

Distance

12.2 Miles

Elevation Gain

1000 Feet

Activities

Camping, Fishing, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Explore Kuna Caves, Idaho

Adventure

Hike or Bike Table Rock Quarry Trail

Adventure

Hike the Oolite Interpretive Trail

Adventure

Scramble up Cervidae Peak

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

skiing

An Introduction To Ski Touring

Enjoy the peace and quiet of the backcountry and untracked powder.

backpacking

Marmot 4-season Thor 3p Tent Review

Marmot recently gave me the opportunity to test out their 4-season tent during my latest travel t...

More Stories