2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
Just up the road from Ketchum is this somewhat hidden gem of a trail, on the edge of the national forest.
The length and distance make it perfect for an aerobic morning or evening jaunt.
With quick elevation gain, it’s quite the workout and the views are tremendous.
The loop includes a steep canyon with sparse forest, then a rolling ridge walk in sage grassland, overlooking the valley and mountains beyond.
It’s especially scenic in June, when wildflowers paint the slopes, or in October when the leaves change. This hike is best for cooler days because it's quite exposed.
If it's warm, you’ll want to go counterclockwise, beginning with the ascent of the main canyon.
It can still be sunny, but gives more shade than the rest of the trail.
A gradual incline makes the first mile, then a steep set of switchbacks gain the ridge.
Luckily, the switchbacks are shaded in a side canyon by a patch of pines. Once on the ridge, you’ll find the panorama you anticipated, and it just gets better as the trail meanders downhill.
Ketchum and the Big Wood River lie in the valley below, with Bald Mountain’s ski runs as a backdrop, plus countless other mountains forming the horizon.
Enjoy the views and take it slow, because the final descent to the trailhead is rather steep and rocky.
The trail is reached by a dirt road just beyond the Lake Creek subdivision.
The road is fine for most cars, but the parking area is small and rough in places.
If you can’t find a suitable spot there, you may find a pullout elsewhere along the road and walk to the trailhead. Sources: https://www.visitsunvalley.com/summer/hiking-in-sun-valley-idaho-a-summer-guide/ https://summertrailink.bcrd.org/taylorcanyontrail324.php