Idaho’s Electric Bike Scene

Add some power to your pedal adventure

By Sara Sheehy

In the last five years, electric bikes, or “e-bikes,” have grown exponentially in popularity in Idaho and worldwide. Learn more about e-bike trails, tours, and why they are such a great way to explore the Gem State.

E-Bike 101

If you like being in the open air, exploring a park or city with the wind on your face, but don’t love getting sweaty and tired, then an e-bike may be for you. E-bikes are bicycles equipped with an electric motor to help you pedal longer and faster with less effort than a traditional bike. It’s no wonder e-bikes are gaining popularity, especially in Idaho.

Are e-bikes allowed in Idaho?

In short: yes! According to the nonprofit PeopleForBikes, Idaho has “model legislation” for e-bikes, which means it has adopted the widely used framework of e-bike classification and that e-bike riders have similar rights and responsibilities to traditional cyclists.

A bike leans against a stone sign for the City of Rocks National Reserve.
City of Rocks National Reserve, Almo. Photo credit: Sara Sheehy.

A group of people takes a break from e-biking at a vista overlooking a lake.
E-bike tours at Schweitzer. Photo credit: Schweitzer.

That doesn’t mean that e-bikes in Idaho can go everywhere traditional bicycles can, though. The meteoric rise in e-bikers has many towns, cities, counties and public land agencies working to understand how and where e-bikes fit into their transportation and recreation plans.

E-bikes are generally allowed anywhere motorized vehicles are, including on natural trails open to motorized and non-motorized uses. This includes the thousands of miles of motorized dirt trails and roads throughout Idaho.

In some cases, e-bikes are also allowed in places where motorized vehicles are not, like rail-to-trail paths and other recreational areas. For now, it’s always best to call ahead and ask if e-bikes are allowed. For many places, the answer will be yes.

Where to Ride Your Electric Bike in Idaho

If you own an e-bike or are interested in renting one for a self-guided adventure, try exploring one of these e-bike-friendly destinations in Idaho.

Popular E-Bike Tours in Idaho

Looking for an all-inclusive e-bike experience? Look no further than these hosted activities that combine the fun of e-bikes with the ease of a preplanned tour.

Whether you’re a biking aficionado or new to the scene, remember to be prepared for your adventure. Wear sun protection, bring plenty of water and snacks and check the weather before heading out. And, as always, watch out for wildlife.

Sara Sheehy is a writer and photographer who travels the world seeking wild places and great stories. When she’s not on the road, Sara spends her time exploring the mountains.​​​​​​​

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