- COL Index: 88.5
- Median Home Price: $127,800
- Population: 55,000
- Miles of Singletrack: 200+
“It’s the most under-rated bike destination in the world,” said Ty Nelson, Owner/Operator of East Fork Bikes in Pocatello. While I can’t verify that it’s the most underrated, I can tell you that Pocatello is one of the most affordable towns with legit mountain biking in the nation–which is why it made this list.
Exactly how many miles of mountain bike trails are there in Pocatello? Even Ty can’t say with certainty. “I’d say 200 to 500 miles. That’s a tricky question because everything is connected, so you can ride a 10-mile loop or a 75-mile loop, or a different 10-mile loop every day for a month.”
Ty recommends the City Creek Trail as the go-to ride. It’s the closest to town and the best-marked, so it’s impossible to get lost. More adventurous mountain bikers will enjoy the East Fork-Crestline ride. “The Crestline Trail offers high-altitude scenery from ledgy mountainside singletrack, descending the east side of Scout Mountain,” says Chris Daniels.
While again, being a mountain town in the Rockies cranks up the COL index a few points higher than some other places on this list, a median home price of $127,800 with access to hundreds of miles of trails is impressive. Similar to Butte, the market in Pocatello isn’t inflating all that quickly–the median price of homes listed for sale is still just $149,900.
One factor that could be keeping the cost of living in towns like Pocatello and Butte affordable is that neither of these towns is a true ski resort town. The closest ski resort to Butte is the relatively-small Discovery Ski Area located 46 miles away. Pebble Creek Ski Area is even smaller and is located about 20 miles from Pocatello.