Sun Valley Trails, Hikes

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Trailheads Near Town

From short trails to multiple day trips, many trailheads are within easy access of Sun Valley. Read More

  • Fall Creek Trail can be either a relatively easy day hike depending on the distance you travel or a two- or three-day rugged trip to the seldom-visited head of Fall Creek Canyon.
  • Although the Forest Service has stopped to maintain the East Fork of the Big Wood River trail, the 4.6 mile trail is easy to follow and not very steep.

Overview

From the start of any of these trailheads, you can hike, bike, cross-country ski, or snowshoe your way into some of the most magnificent mountain ranges found anywhere in the United States. Within those mountain ranges, you will enjoy lush green forests, colorful, fragrant fields of wildflowers, and meandering mountain streams. Further up on the mountains, you can visit alpine lakes and encounter a variety of wildlife.
Each trailhead offers opportunities for fishing, photography, wildlife and wildflower viewing. Check at local equipment shops to find out more information.

The local Chamber of Commerce also has pamphlets and brochures which detail the various trailheads including the location, level of difficulty, and length of each trail.

Baker Lake 
It’s a fairly easy hike to the lake. The trail is obvious all the way as it climbs, quite steeply, through flower-filled meadows to the lake. Trailhead: Drive 15 miles north of Ketchum to Baker Lake road, turn left and drive an additional 9.5 miles on the improved road to the trail head.

  • Length: 2.5 total miles
  • Elevation Gain: 916 feet
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back
  • Skill Level: Moderately easy
  • Duration: Day hike
  • Season: Best July through September

East Fork of the Big Wood River 
The Forest Service seems to have stopped maintaining this trail. There are no signs, but the trail is obvious, not very steep, and easy to follow most of the time. Trailhead: Travel 5.5 miles north on Highway 75 and turn into the East Fork Road. Travel 6 miles up the road and keep to the right at the junction. At the next Y in the road stay to the left. Stay to the left for another 5 miles until you reach the trailhead.

  • Length: 4.6 total miles
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back
  • Skill Level: Moderately easy, but very difficult to Johnstone Pass
  • Duration: Day hike
  • Season: Best July to mid-September

East Pass Creek
A hike to a large waterfall, good views, and many elk located on the lesser known east side of the Boulder Mountains. Trailhead: From Ketchum, drive to the top of Trail Creek Summit and then 8 miles beyond that to Summit Creek. Turn off the main road onto Forest Road 444. Turn again at Forest Road 477 and continue on to the trailhead.

  • Length: 19 total miles
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back
  • Skill Level: Moderate for the out-and-back; strenuous for the near loop into Herd Creek and back to the North Fork of the Big Lost River
  • Duration: Multiday backpack
  • Season: Best July

Fall Creek 
A relatively easy day hike to the edge or a two- or three-day rugged trip to the seldom-visited head of Fall Creek Canyon. Trailhead: Take Highway 75  to Sun Valley Road. Turn northeast onto the Sun Valley Road. This road turns into Trail Creek Road (closed in winter). Follow this road to the Copper Basin Road. Turn right on the Copper Basin Road. Follow this road 2 miles to the Wildhorse Creek Road. Stay to the right on the Wildhorse Creek Road. Follow the Wildhorse Creek Road 3.5 miles to the Fall Creek Road. Turn left on the Fall Creek Road and follow it 1.5 miles to the trailhead.

  • Length: 8 total miles
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back
  • Skill Level: Moderately easy to the Left Fork; difficult to the head of Fall Creek
  • Duration: Either a day hike or overnight
  • Season: Best mid-June to mid-July to Left Fork; August to mid-September to head of canyon.

Fall Creek to Surprise Valley
Glaciated mountain scenery with several small lakes. Trailhead: Take Highway 75 (main street) to Sun Valley Road. Turn northeast onto the Sun Valley Road. This road turns into Trail Creek Road (closed in winter). Follow this road to the Copper Basin Road. Turn right on the Copper Basin Road. Follow this road 2 miles to the Wildhorse Creek Road. Stay to the right on the Wildhorse Creek Road. Follow the Wildhorse Creek Road 3.5 miles to the Fall Creek Road. Turn left on the Fall Creek Road and follow it 1.5 miles to the trailhead.

  • Length: 6 total miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,048 feet
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back
  • Skill Level: Moderately difficult due to the steep climb
  • Duration: Overnighter
  • Season: Best July to mid-September

High Ridge Trail
Provides great views of the Pioneer Mountains, the Boulder Mountains, and Trail Creek Gorge. Trailhead: From Ketchum, drive to the top of Trail Creek Summit and on to Park Creek Road. Turn left onto Park Creek Road to the Cold Canyon Road. The trailhead is located near the entrance to Cold Canyon.

  • Length: 6.4 total miles
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back
  • Skill Level: Moderately strenuous because of the climb
  • Duration: Day hike
  • Season: Best early July to Rock Roll Point. The trail to Basin Gulch is accessible as soon as you can ford Trail Creek. Late September is the end of the season.

Hyndman Creek
You’ll be surrounded by wildflowers early in the year with tremendous views at all times. Trailhead: Turn east onto the East Fork Wood River Road from Highway 75. The turnoff is about 5.5 miles south of the town of Ketchum. Reset your odometer. You will reach the small village of Triumph at 5.8 miles, just keep heading east on the road. Shortly after Triumph the road becomes dirt. Continue east on the road when you see the turn-off for the Hyndman Creek trailhead at 7.2 miles. Take a left onto Forest Service road 203 at the fork. Follow 203 until it meets up with the confluence of the North Fork Hyndman Creek and Hyndman Creek and the trailhead.

  • Length: 8 total miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,560 feet
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back
  • Skill Level: Moderately easy to the base of Cobb Peak. The last 2 miles to the base of Hyndman Peak are strenuous.
  • Duration: Long day hike or overnight
  • Season: Best July to mid-September

North Fork of the Big Wood River 
Numerous wildflowers, springs, cascades, and avalanche runs, which open the forest for views of the rugged scenery. Trailhead: North on Highway 75 from Ketchum to the SNRA headquarters. Take the road 5 miles up North Fork Canyon to the trailhead.

  • Length: 8 total miles
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back
  • Skill Level: Easy to the bend in the canyon (two miles). Moderate above the bend due to an increasingly faint trail and steeper grade; strenuous from the head of the canyon to Ibex Pass due to elevation gain.
  • Duration: Either a day hike or overnight
  • Season: Best late June through September to the head of the canyon; mid- to late summer to Ibex Pass, depending on snowline

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