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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.

Length 8.8 mi Elevation gain 3,018 ft Route type Loop
Dog friendly Hiking Running Forest Views Wildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

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.

Drive NE from Ketchum on Trail Creek Rd. to Corral Creek Rd. #137 (5 mi). Turn right and stay on the main dirt road to the trailhead (3.9 mi).

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (81)
Photos (264)
Recordings (47)
Completed (159)
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Kate Elizabeth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 9, 2020
Hiking

Tough little hike, but worth it for those views! I did this clockwise, which is absolutely the right call. Lots of loose scree on the mile up Long Gulch before the cabin. Tolerable on the way up, but would’ve been miserable on the way down. Took me just under five hours to do the loop. Three up and two down, going at a decent pace with limited breaks. Both my phone and my Garmin put this at around 10 miles.

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Bruce Burger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 7, 2020
Hiking
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munzer Q.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 2, 2020
WalkingGreat!Rocky

Beautiful day to do the hike to the cabin. We took the pioneer cabin hike counterclockwise about 4 miles up and back. You climb to 9450 feet so it’s steep on the way up. On the way back it’s all downhill. The views up there are just amazing. One of my top hikes in our area. Enjoy!

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Jim Kupersmith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

Great hike. Went in on the Long Gulch side. The climb is pretty gradual through mile 2.5 and then a slow decent. Mile 3.5-4.5 is an aggressive climb with loose rock; if you’re doing the loop you’d rather climb up this section than come down from the opposite way. Great views once you get to Pioneer Cabin. Well worth the climb.

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Julian Radford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2020
Hiking

Been wanting to do this iconic SV hike for about 10 years. Well worth it and glad I did the Long Gulch route as very scenic. Will do it again for sure.

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Jakub Galczynski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
Running

3 stars only because I believe Pioneer Trail has better views, the switchbacks make in more interesting, and general trail quality is maintained... as opposed to Long Gulch. Otherwise yes the view up top is incredible.

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Billy Andrulevich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
HikingGreat!

Went the opposite way and it was a bit treacherous going down the trail in certain spots. Otherwise it was very beautiful and a good challenge.

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Emily Coutu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

Such a gorgeous trail! Got there around 8:00am on Saturday 8/8/20 and the parking lot was maybe only half full. Only passed maybe 6 ppl on trail. Took pioneer cabin up and gulch down. I can definitely see the gnarly tricky spots going down the gulch trail... I had one butt buster on the gravely/rocky part because those dang pikkas are so gosh darn distracting! Loved the creek crossings coming back to dunk my hat and bandanna cause it’s pretty sunny on the gulch trail back. Looking back I can see why going up gulch and down pioneer cabin could be a tad more enjoyable but either way I would def do the loop instead of the out n back cause you get such a gorgeous variety of views!

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Lisa Sweeney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

We took Long Gulch up and Pioneer back down. Next time, we'll do it in reverse. The Long Gulch trail offers better views and way more flowers - it is worth the extra distance of the loop to got completely different views! However, Long Gulch is longer and has more climbing as you go up about 2.25 miles, then flat/down for a mile, before a very long and very steep uphill. Giving up that 500 feet of vertical in the middle, to have to climb it again was a killer! I agree with other reviewers that coming down Long Gulch would be tricky in a few parts - hiking poles would help. Our Garmin showed the full loop was 9.6 miles, not 8.8. Took us 2 hrs, 45 minutes up and only 90 minutes down the Pioneer trail (with a mother and baby moose. With a nice break up near cabin, it was about 5 hours round trip.

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Seth Pratt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2020
Hiking

Quite a few other hikers, but of course all very friendly. Took a few minutes to sweep the cabin while it snowed lightly, hiked out in the sunshine. Took 5hours with a slow/medium pace.

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Adventure Architects
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Made it to the cabin in 1 1/2 hours but I was huffing and puffing (aiming to get some solid excercise in). objective achieved! there were quite a lot of people on the trail (Saturday, June 27th) and parking was backed up to the side of the dirt road leading up to the parking lot. stunning views at the top. I did decide to do the loop (taking the gulch trail from the cabin). The gulch part is much less maintained and quite steep in sections for a downhill (I slipped on some loose rock here and there) + some creek crossings that require some hopping skills or wet feet. The Gulch portion did win in the wildflower category (fields and fields, compared to mostly one section on pioneer). If I was to make a recommendation, I'd say, go up the gulch trail and come down the pioneer trail. The cabin was open and I peeked in. pretty sweet set up with bunk beds, a stove and fire fueled heater. the views are good overall, then stunning at the cabin. no issues with bugs today. perhaps thanks to a gentle breeze all day. total time: 3 1/2 hours (not counting lunch stop at top)

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Tatiana Greener
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 25, 2020
HikingBlowdownNo shadeRocky

Did this section back to the car. This trail is very steep in sections. Loose gravel, rocks and scree make it hazardous in areas. It took longer going down as I spend time trying not to fall or slide of which I did not succeed. It does have a nice section that had wildflowers in bloom. I would not recommend this trail for either direction. Use trail 122 Pioneer Cabin as an out and back.

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Josh Haun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 27, 2020
MuddySnow

counterclockwise its great for the first half. Alot of snow after the cabin, but will probably not be bad in a week or two.

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munzer Q.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 13, 2019
Hiking

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.

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Jonathan Weaver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2019
Hiking

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

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Julie Vida
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2019

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.

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Shennen Marschner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2019
HikingBugs

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.

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Serena Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2019
Hiking

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

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Diana Leavitt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2019
Hiking

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.

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Nancy Condron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2019
HikingSnow

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.

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Glen Peak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 19, 2019
Hiking

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.

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Kristylee Ricketts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 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!!!!!

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Mark Shenker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Scott Schlegel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2018
Hiking

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.

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David B Snow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 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!!

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Dustin Alloway
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2018

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

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