Why Ketchum, Idaho Should be on your Hiking/Biking Bucket List
With over 400-hundred miles of pristine Idaho singletrack here in Ketchum/Sun Valley, it’s easy to feel like you have the trail all to yourself. No crowds, no distractions, just you and mother nature the way it was intended to be. You could literally hike, bike or trail run for weeks before repeating the same route. Once you hit the trail once, we promise you’ll forever have the memory of an epic Idaho adventure, complete with expansive scenic vistas, fixed into your dreams.
But with so many options, how do you know where to begin? Here are a few of our favorite trails, ranging from beginner to advanced, to get you started.
Named for its open, sunny qualities, Sunnyside Trail takes riders through sage-covered gullies before opening to breathtaking views and the perfect picnic table to rest your legs at. In the spring, this trail is absolutely aglow with lupine. At 2.2 miles, Sunnyside Trail can be enjoyed as a simple out-and-back ride, or as a longer, more intermediate ride when connected to other trails like Shady Side.
If you’re looking for more of a backcountry ride, then Greenhorn Trail is for you. Located just south of Ketchum, this trail makes a great out-and-back, featuring aspen groves, dense pine and fir forests, spectacular views, and flower-covered slopes. This nearly 9-mile trail can get very demanding and passes through a wide variety of terrain, including some areas of forest still recovering from fire damage, so be sure to check the weather before you head out for a ride.
Not for the faint of heart, Boundary Loop is a steep climb with blazing descents. Open and sun exposed as you get towards the top, it’s best to climb this trail early in the morning when temperatures are cooler. If you need to get off your bike every once in a while, to catch your breath, you’ll be treated to unbeatable views of the Sawtooth Mountains and the Casino Lakes. Once you make your way to the top, be ready for a thrilling descent along alpine lakes down to Warm Springs Meadow.
The White Clouds Loop is family-friendly, close to town, and perfect for a nice mellow spring or early summer hike. Made up of three dirt trails and the paved Trail Creek Path, the White Clouds Loop is the perfect way to get in a quick trail fix without breaking too much of a sweat. The trails, built in 2008, feature scenic views of the White Cloud Golf Course, Bald Mountain, the Sun Valley Lodge, and downtown Ketchum.
The Proctor Mountain Loop Trail is the perfect lunchtime hike for the moderate hiker. Approximately three miles long this trail features a heart pounding 1,133-foot gain in elevation, bird’s-eye-views of Sun Valley and Bald Mountain and a passes by a cool mountain stream, perfect for cooling down your favorite four legged hiking buddy on a hot summer day. While enjoying this loop, be sure to take time to visit the world’s first chairlift!
A day hike to the Pioneer Cabin, makes its way on to the to-do-list of many a Sun Valley visitor, and with good reason. This 8.5-mile roundtrip hike meanders through shady forests across a plateau full of wildflowers to high alpine vistas offering spectacular views of both the Hyndman and Cobb Peaks, and of course, the historic Pioneer Cabin, built in 1938. The cabin, modeled after the alpine huts of Europe, was originally built to make skiing in the Pioneer Mountains more accessible for the Alpine Touring branch of the Ski School. In fact, several of the peaks that are visible from the cabin were named by members of the Alpine Touring program for colleagues who were killed while serving in the 10th Mountain Division during World War II.