China Basin Road

Sawtooth Mountains

Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

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China Basin Road


  • Road sign at the junction of the Queens River Road (205) and the China Basin Road (206).- China Basin Road
  • Looking across the Queens River Valley to the summit of Nahneke Mountain.- China Basin Road
  • Redtail Hawk flying overhead near the top of the China Basin Road.- China Basin Road
  • The China Basin Road offers access to some amazing views into the Middle Fork of the Boise/Atlanta basin. This photo is of Greylock Mountain (left) and the rugged entrance to the upper Middle Fork of the Boise River Canyon.- China Basin Road
  • Looking down onto the community of Atlanta from Peak 7,436.- China Basin Road
  • Another view of the entrance to the upper Middle Fork of the Boise River Canyon.- China Basin Road
  • Looking down the unofficial two-track trail that leads from the China Basin road to the summit of Peak 7,436.- China Basin Road
  • "Downtown" Atlanta.- China Basin Road
Overview + Weather
View of Atlanta area. Easy road ride. Nice loop along Middle Fork of the Boise River.
Typically requires a shuttle. In trees most of route. Road riding.
Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, ID
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,588.00 ft (484.02 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Total Distance: 
16.00 mi (25.75 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,210.00 ft (1,588.01 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description


The China Basin Road connects Queens River to the Atlanta valley. The bench above Queens River was named after Chinese miners who worked the tertiary gravel deposit high above the valley floor. The Pioneer hard rock mine located on the China Fork produced less than 50 ounces of gold between 1937 and 1942. The trail and road first shows up on the 1932 Sawtooth Forest map.

The road is in much better shape on the Queens River side. In 2011 the Sawmill Creek side was badly rutted in places and seemed impassable to anything but an ATV or motorcycle. The road makes a nice mountain bike ride that can be ridden in either direction, though the climb up Sawmill Creek is a bit steeper. There are great wildflowers along the ridge to Peak 7,436, where riders enjoy a great view across the Atlanta valley. It is 8.7 miles from the Queens River Trailhead to Riverside Campground and 16 miles if you make a loop along the Middle Fork of the Boise River.

Check out the Atlanta Overview for a more detailed overview of the recreation and camping opportunities in the Atlanta region.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(72 within a 30 mile radius)

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Published in collaboration with Idaho River Publications

Our mission is to inspire adventure with beautiful, comprehensive and waterproof map-based guidebooks.  Owner, publisher, and photographer Matt Leidecker, grew up exploring and guiding on the rivers in central Idaho.  His award winning Middle Fork of the Salmon River – A Comprehensive Guide is the standard by which other river guidebooks are measured.  Printed on virtually indestructible YUPO paper, IRP guides are truly unique all-in-one resources for adventure.  Each book is loaded with full-color maps, stunning photographs, and information on the history, geology, and wildflowers.  Visit Idaho River Publications to explore our guidebooks to the Rogue River in Oregon and the mountains of Central Idaho.

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