Long Gulch to Pioneer Cabin Loop

HARD 53 reviews
#7 of 29 trails in

Long Gulch to Pioneer Cabin Loop is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Sun Valley, Idaho that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking and trail running. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 8.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,018 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

running

forest

views

wildlife

Pioneer Cabin to Long Gulch Loop (#122 to #170): The trail to the Pioneer Cabin is one of the areas most popular hikes. It climbs through more than 23 switchbacks up a forested ridge and across a flower-decorated plateau to one of the best vistas in the valley. The cabin, situated at the brink of a steep drop into the North Fork of Hyndman basin, was modeled after alpine huts in Europe. It was built by the Sun Valley Company in 1938 to make skiing in the Pioneer Mountains more accessible for the Alpine Touring branch of the Ski School. Several of the dramatic peaks viewed from the cabin were named by the members of the Alpine Touring program for colleagues who were killed while serving in the 10th Mountain Division during World War II.

hiking
1 day ago

On a November day where the weather was in the 50s we hiked up to the cabin and returned down long gulch and it was something. We experienced heavy snow rocks for a good 30-45 minutes and then it was smooth sailing for the last 90 minutes. It was an adventure and looking forward to a summer hike. The cabin and the views from the top were breathtaking.

hiking
1 month ago

3.8 miles up Long Gulch was turned around by ankle deep snow. Trail hard to follow.

3 months ago

We love loop hikes.. so went up Long Gulch and down Pioneer trail. It was just really steep the last mile before the cabin (after last river crossing ). Was very glad not to be going down that although that mile before cabin was aerobically challenging for me. Which way you do the loop depends if you prefer to save your knees and go down more gently (which is up Long Gulch and down Pioneer) or prefer not as aerobically challenging (which would be other way). Views everywhere were magnificent but best views were at the cabin. Still some wildflowers around. Really not many bugs but did it on cooler, breezy day which probably helped. The descent down Pioneer trail was rather gradual and we were back to car before we knew it. Epic, gorgeous hike and highly recommend it!!!!! FYI Our Gaia GPS measured 8.8 miles and about 3000 feet as Alltrails states. Took us 5 hrs 40 minutes total time.

Great Hike. The wildflowers were unbelievable ... but so were the black flies. They were brutal... making both blood and profanities flow freely. I did the hike clockwise, but I think counterclockwise would be the better option. It took me over 5 1/2 hours to complete, but I take a ton of photos.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Went up Gulch side to cabin. Wildflowers were incredible. Quick trip down after a bite to eat at cabin. Fun day!

hiking
4 months ago

A lot of bang for the buck on this one. Highly recommend going clockwise up long gulch and down Pioneer. Some snow to cross but not too hard to find the trail. Views from the cabin are amazing.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

We did this trail clockwise on 5/19/19, meaning we started on the Long Gulch side. It was beautiful until the snow made it difficult to find the trail. We struggled for a long time through the snow periodically locating a small portion of the trail. Finding our way only because of this app. Fortunately we spotted some people up on a ridge who had ventured past the cabin to see if they could do the return trip the way we came up. We climbed up the snow to them and they helped us find the cabin. They wisely decided not to continue in the direction we had come.

hiking
5 months ago

5/19/2019 snow 3-4ft above tree line. Weather was snowing. Visibility got low so wife and I turned around at 9,280 ft elevation. Even though we didn’t make it to the cabin (think we were close) it was an awesome hike. Took us 7 hours. We’re not fast hikers and the snow did slow us down.

Thu Jul 19 2018

Mark S. (Post before mine) took the words out of my mouth. We also did it counter clockwise (up pioneer and down long gulch), and would recommend doing it the other way, especially if you have a bum knee like me. I’m still very very glad we did the full loop instead of just the out and back on pioneer like we had planned tho, but coming down in some spots on long gulch were kind of intimidating with all the loose/sliding rocks and how steep it was, and it would have been slightly easier to climb up instead. My Fitbit tracked right at 10 miles, and it ended up taking 5 hours- a good bit longer than we had allotted/expected. (But honestly a solid 30 mins of that was solely because I kept having to take a second pause to take pictures haha) I just moved from Alaska (land of beautiful scenery), and the 360 views and changes in scenery absolutely blew my mind! I definitely would recommend it, you won’t be disappointed!!!!!

hiking
Wed Jul 18 2018

We chose the counter-clockwise direction. Steep ascent the first four miles through woods and open fields. When out of the forest there were great views. Briefly inspected the smelly cabin, abuzz with flies. The descent was long and varied from challenging (scree or loose dirt) to gradual along a rocky path. It ended up being 9.1 miles based on the AllTrails app and, alternatively, 11.1 miles based on phone GPS. Not sure why such a discrepancy. The great: incredible views; tons of wildflowers; very varied scenery and surroundings; constantly changing; great workout; very quiet. (All that was missing was a lake.) Just a stunning trail. The good: some trail marking (but don’t try without map or app) The not so great or good: ranger station claimed descent (in counter-clockwise) direction was gradual. There were definitely a few challenging portions. Which direction is better to hike is a subject I am sure hikers could argue for days. FLIES, FLIES, FLIES. Big, aggressive ones that bite. Bring tons of bug repellent, sunscreen (lots of unshaded sections), and lots of water. Took us much longer than we anticipated.

hiking
Fri Jul 06 2018

We did this as an out and back via #122. Great views and beautiful flowers in the high meadow. The cabin is pretty neat too.

Mon Jul 02 2018

Very awesome trail! Started the loop at the Long Gulch trailhead (#123) and ending at the Pioneer Cabin trailhead (#122). In total, my GPS showed that it is longer than 8.8 miles...more closer to 10 miles. The path was well marked, and we had no problems staying on it. The only but slightly confusion was when we reached the cabin, we weren’t sure which path to use that would continue to end at the Pioneer Cabin trailhead. It was the one that went up a slope behind the cabin. Just making mention of that. The scenery was stunning with the mountains all around us, and June 29 when we did the hike, wild flowers were in full bloom. The smells of the nature cannot be beaten. Will do it again the next time we come thru Sun Valley area!!

Sun Jun 24 2018

rough for my first hike. but I made it! so beautiful up there

hiking
Thu Jun 14 2018

Awesome hike with breathtaking views.

hiking
Wed May 02 2018

This hike was one of my favorites! However I would suggest doing it late summer. We went up in May and there was so much snow we couldn't find the trail half way up and ended up turning around before we got lost. We came back in June and there was still snow but ended up finding the cabin. Beautiful views!

running
Wed Oct 04 2017

Amazing loop! My wife and I ran this loop on 10/3/17. The snow was pretty troublesome and the creek crossings were high, but the views were unbeatable.

hiking
Fri Sep 15 2017

This was my first big day hike and whooped me big time! I didn't count how many switchbacks were there but it was challenging and constant uphill climb. However, it was such a rewarding view that I know I am going back to do this with better stamina and physical condition. So this October, with more experience gained, I'm going back and see its beauty once again!

hiking
Tue Sep 12 2017

hiking
Tue Jul 18 2017

Wildflowers galore and gorgeous views! 4 hrs of switchbacks up to Pioneer Cabin. Then Long Gulch Loop 3.5 hrs down across scree then up to ridge then slow descent across ridge back to parking lot. Over 3000 foot change in elevation. Recommend 3.0+ liters water per person (we ran out).

hiking
Mon Jul 10 2017

The ultimate classic hike in the Sun Valley area. The views at pioneer cabin are amazing. Many people take this as an up and back hike, but I would suggest you do the full loop.

Sat Jul 08 2017

This trail is gorgeous. The hike up is pretty brutal but definitely worth it. if you intend on doing the loop, go down past the cabin and go to your left. You'll walk through a meadow and then the trail goes through very steep shale and rock fall. Just don't be a moron and go straight down. If you can't find the second half of the loop, just go back the way you came. If you want to, you can go down a different trail that will drop you out Hyndman creek which is all the way at the end of East Fork Road

hiking
Tue Jul 04 2017

Great workout, rewarding views and great wildflowers in early July ... a little late so I'm told because of the big winter. Great loop.

hiking
Sun Jul 02 2017

I am alive! Seriously. STAY ON TRAIL if your doing the loop. My friends decided to bushwack down because they didn't see the trail as we left the cabin lots of quarry bits with an infant in a baby pack and 2 little girls. I followed the group against my own common sense ended up all cut and freezing at nightfall with the rangers rescuing us. YESH! The cabin is awesome. I wish I had taken Jane Fonda offer of extra sandwiches (we were hiking up and she was coming down) beginning of day because we were hungry. Gorgeous hike. My tips bring water, food, rain clothing, warm clothes and go early and stay on trail! If your friends decide to bushwack because they are not sure of that TRAIL STAY ON TRAIL! Its horrible thorns and burrs if you go off the trail. We did hear wolves at night down by the creek. Really scary experience but I learned to never follow people who stray off the trail

Sun Sep 04 2016

Out and back to pioneer cabin - 8 miles - 3:45 with plenty of stops.

hiking
Fri Jul 15 2016

This is a great but difficult hike. Take hiking poles. Also check to see if there are sheep grazing along the trail. U might have to alter the hike to avoid dealing with the dogs guarding the sheep. If u are going to do the loop, I prefer going up Long Gulch and coming down the Pioneer Cabin trail. It is a longer climb but I think it is more difficult to come down in many places. Whatever ur means of getting to the cabin u will b rewarded by the beautiful views. The cabin itself has a story that I would recommend checking out.

hiking
Sun May 29 2016

Wear thick socks, good shoes (cover your ankles or the ice will make them bleed if you're going in May), and wear sunscreen because you will get burned. & Most beautiful view EVER

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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