Black Canyon to Big Burns is a 12.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Idaho Falls, Idaho that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, horses, and backpacking and is best used from June until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
If you want solitude, this is a good trail. The unimproved road that leads to the trail head is long. It took me 50 min to reach the TH. You have to ford the same stream 7 or 8 times in the first 3 miles. Water was sometimes calf-high. At the begging of the moderate climb, around 3.5 miles into the trail, the path becomes narrow and you have to walk in vegetation that is 5-6 ft tall. The view becomes nice after that point. I didn't complete the loop because of the weather. I suspect the trail continues are a mix of tall vegetation and nice open areas with views. Since it is also a motorcycle trail, some areas are damaged and it is a bit harder to have a secure footing, especially after some rain.
This is a beautiful scenery. We did it early in the season and on a Sunday morning. There was not many traffic on the trail. We saw only two motorbikes and no other hikers. When we returned there was a lot more coming to trailhead.
Beautiful scenery! I did these 10.5 miles in two days (camped about 2.5 miles in burns creek canyon along the river) The water was quite high and it's still considered early in the season, so we trekked through snow and forded the river 19!!! times. Yes, I actually counted. 19 times! Solitude 10/10 because we saw no one the ENTIRE time. The only down side was the trail maintenance was poor (fallen trees, washouts, etc.).
Pro Tip: Instead of hiking along the 2 mile stretch or road, try hiking along the ranger trail. It's about 1.6 miles and goes up the hillside above warm springs area. Beautiful views and clean trail.
the trails in this area are built and maintained by offroad motorcycle sticker funds, with the 100s of miles of trails it is probably the best offroad trail system in the states, it is a great area with room for all so expect motorcycles weekends will have the most use, little during the week, I have been hiking and riding these trails for over 50 yrs and have found nothing comparable anywhere else
The trail itself is used by motorcycles. At some points it is very narrow. It crosses a few creeks several times. If the water is low, it is doable in hiking shoes using rocks and logs, but at some points you will have to ford it, so bring your fording shoes, it will make it easier. I went on Friday and met about 5 motorcycles within 5 hours. No hikers. So solitude rating for me was 9/10. Saw a moose and a few birds and squirrels.