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North Fork of the Big Wood River

MODERATE 11 reviews
#44 of 74 trails in

North Fork of the Big Wood River is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ketchum, Idaho that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,643 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


nature trips


bird watching



wild flowers


no shade
over grown
1 month ago

3 months ago

June 28, 2019. We had great expectations for this hike, but couldn’t get across the river to begin it! There is a log spanning the river that the adventurous and agile should have no trouble with, it simply wasn’t a good idea for my 75-year-old mother to attempt it. The drive to this trailhead is best suited for 4 wheel drive vehicles with ground clearance. It’s a long, dusty and slow ride over gravel and some big-rock areas as well as deep dips in the dirt. There is also a spring-crossing right now. After 30 minutes looking for other places to cross, we decided to go to the East Fork trail which is down the road. Total bust due to significant blowdown. It just wasn’t our day! We’re sad we couldn’t do this hike because the area is gorgeous and the river was bright and vocal. My rating is based on what I’ve read about the trail and the small part I saw. Someday we will return for another attempt but perhaps not any earlier than July.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

This is a lovely hike! We did it in late-July and there were still loads of wildflowers blooming. There are many birds by the river, offering great birding opportunities. The trail is easy, with just some rolling steeps at the beginning; well maintained! I'd suggest leaving to hike early in the morning during the summer months as it can get hot in the alpine sun. The drive in is long and bumpy requiring a medium, to high-clearance vehicle due to large rocks embedded in the road. There are numerous beautiful camping spots on the way in, no need to pay at the early campgrounds. From the main trail you can access numerous big mountain ascents, so plan to backpack in and day pack up!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

You need a four wheel drive to get to the trailhead.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This was a great moderate hike with fantastic scenery and a well maintained trail!

2 months ago

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Saturday, August 02, 2014

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