After spending 4 days at close to (or exceeding) 5000 feet elevation, I have a better understanding for why professional athletes train at higher elevations. Not only are the views spectacular, but the physical demands placed on the body at these higher altitudes is amazing!!
Unfortunately we did not get to bike much as we wanted...it rained for 3 of the 4 days we were at the higher elevation. We felt that the amount of rain we received did not make riding on such steep slopes safe. There were some AMAZING ascents (or descents depending on the direction you went), where you climbed (or descended) for over 10 miles and the last 6 miles (or first 6 miles if you were descending) were at a 6% grade. I definitely wanted to give them a try, but Mother Nature had other plans for us.
Lizzy, the Lodge at Lolo Hot Spring's resident dog, went with us on our hike. We were gone for over an hour and were on some pretty steep slopes with amazing views!! When we got to the top of the "peak" we were staying by, we could look out over the world!! Climbing to this point, I was very winded!! I quickly realized why professional athletes train at these higher altitudes.