Horseshoe Bend – Bad Roads for RVs is located on Idaho Highway 55 north of Boise and goes through Horseshoe Bend. This road is steep. This section of ID-55 is the primary route from Boise to McCall and is busy especially on weekends.
Departing Eagle northbound, the road climbs to Spring Valley Summit and then descends to Horseshoe Bend.
We have traveled this section of Idaho Highway 55 multiple times including during our trip to the Total Solar Eclipse in 2017, at this link to our blog post. 2017 Total Solar Eclipse
This is a link to the Idaho Department of Transportation interactive map. Idaho 511
Elevation: 4240 feet at Spring Valley Summit
Length: 6 miles
Terrain: The northbound climb is 6% for 6 miles leading to Spring Valley Summit. Then the northbound descent is up to 7% descent for five miles, which ends in the town of Horseshoe Bend. Northbound the maximum truck speed is 35 miles per hour.
Turns: Generally the road in this area is straight tight turns are not the problem.
Rest Stops & Turnouts: Northbound, one turnout on the west side just north of North Fork Willow Creek. One turn out for northbound traffic on the east side for uphill traffic. Road crossing and turn out at Pearl Road/Spring Valley Summit. North of Pearl Road there is another road crossing at Summit Ridge road with a turnout on the west side. Bread Rock overlook is on the west side about 1/3 the way down the descent between the first and second runaway truck ramps.
Lanes: Generally the road is two lanes wide, with additional slow lanes for climbing and descending near Spring Valley Summit.
Runaway truck ramps: Four runaway truck ramps on the northbound descent into Horseshoe bend. The first of the three truck- ramps are uphill ramps and the fourth is a gravel pit ramp at the entrance into town.
Starting at Spring Valley Summit, southbound the road descends for nearly six miles at a grade of 5-6% no runaway truck ramps on this section.
Starting at Spring Valley Summit, northbound, the descent is 7% for five miles. All four runaway truck ramps on this section.
Horseshoe Bend – Bad Roads for RVs — Our experience
We have crossed Horseshoe Bend to and from Cascade Lake on our trip to the solar eclipse. We have traveled this road both in summer and winter in our car.
Additionally, you should note that the section of Idaho 55 north of Banks is in a canyon next to the Payette River and has constant turns on a narrow road with only a few turnouts.
This road would be a good one to avoid in the winter and respect the rest of the year.
Here is our link to our interactive map. Bad Roads for RVs