Explore the most popular trails near Sun Valley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Sun Valley, Idaho Map
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I made several trips up this trail in September, looking for evidence of the world's first chairlift. I've uploaded photos of what I found. About a mile up the south branch of the trail, the concrete base of the lift can be seen in an open field. The mechanism for this tow is very similar to the preserved Ruud Mountain chairlift. The tower carrying the drive and cable bull wheel rolled in a track, tensioned by a counterweight in a stationary tower behind the rolling tower. The track is what is seen in the first photo. Behind the track there are pieces of the cable that attached to the counterweight, and the bolt-down footings for the stationary tower. What appears to be the old counterweight - a pyramidal piece of black rock - sits next to the trail nearby.

If one stands in the center of the track and uses it as a sight line, you can see where the tow went. This is the view in the second photo. In the foreground there is now a forest, which in 1936 had been blazed through for the low-riding chairs to pass headed up the mountain (third B&W photo). Cut-off remains of the old creosoted tow support posts can be seen in the woods. In the background a rocky knob can be seen up on Proctor Mountain. The tow terminated on a open snowfield in front of the knob.

After WWII, the UP removed the underutilized tow and relocated it to the rapidly expanding Baldy ski runs. It's a shame. Proctor Mountain was not just a downhill run. It was also a starting point for 3-5 mile alpine ski touring trips, down to Trail Creek or over to Elkhorn. That is probably more what Schaffgotsch and Proctor had in mind when they designed this now-abandoned ski area.

Beautiful hike. I took the right turn to go counterclockwise, and it seem to go up for a long long time. The views from the top were nice

Beautiful trail but my god, do they pay dogs to crap on it? DONT HAVE A DOG IF YOU DONT CLEAN UP AFTER IT!!!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views along the way though recent development of some of the land takes away from the hike.

This trail was beautiful! I took the advice of others and took the loop counter clockwise. It worked out perfectly, as it was 85* at 5:30pm when I started. By the time I got to the second half of the trail with no shade, it had cooled down quite a bit.

The sunset views are incredible. It was difficult not to stop every 5 minutes and take a photo!

hiking
2 months ago

5 stars for the view. My wife says 4 stars cause no lake at the end. A real challenge but trail is good condition. There is water 90% of the trail for dogs. By the way this hike is moderate - steep climb to the 9500 foot summit.

Beautiful trail, great views of Sun Valley and Ketchum.

hiking
3 months ago

Quiet trail along a meandering stream. Beautiful wildflowers. First 100-200 yards included stream crossing on fallen logs, followed by a steep slope incline. The rest of the hike is very easy.

Great beginners trail. Nice 3.5 mike loop with stunning views! Dog friendly.

This was a pleasant surprise! There are lots of wildflowers and fantastic views from the top. It has a good mix of aspen forest and open meadows with sagebrush and flowers. We went right at the fork for shade on the way up, and the way down was stunning -- views the whole way. The trail is a little steep and slippery in a few spots, but quite do-able; I was fine without, but it might be a good idea to bring a stick if you're unsure.

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
4 months ago

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
4 months ago

Pretty nice trail! I was traveling for work and only had some time during the hottest time of the day to get outside. Went around 3PM in July... bad choice. At the trailhead I took the right trail per everyone’s suggestion. There was some decent shade along the way. I went about 1.8 miles and turned around didn’t do the loop because it was about 90 degrees. Pretty nice views from about 2 miles up still!

Lots of bugs - bring bug spray!

hiking
4 months ago

Very busy trail, particularly at weekends with dog walkers. Great views over Sun Valley and also back to Ketchum and up the Trail Creek Valley. Nice leg stretch.

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.

hiking
4 months ago

Couple of options on this trail, light traffic in July, beautiful flowers and nice views. Would rate easy for hikers, gentle hills and well maintained path.

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!!

4 months ago

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

trail running
4 months ago

This trail was decent, views were nice. I take my pup trail running and half of the trail was shale and rough on her feet. Nice, short jaunt. However there are so many incredible trails around here that had I known the composition, I definitely would have driven some extra miles to find a better-suited trail for my dog.

light rain and hail made for dramatic vistas

Awesome hike with breathtaking views.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with beautiful views!!!!!

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!

Nice quick trek. perfect if you have about 2hrs

hiking
10 months ago

Nice moderate single track with views of Baldy and Dollar Mountain; optional stop offs at the Sun Valley Club and/or Sun Valley Lodge.

hiking
11 months ago

A great hike and you can do it all year—even in the dead of winter. Stay to the right of the fork in the summer for shade on the climb up.

trail running
Wednesday, October 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
Friday, September 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
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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