FATMAP difficulty grade
This loop is one of Sun Valley’s best for a summertime jaunt in the hills.
It combines the leafy Big Wood River with sunny mountain vistas.
One half of the loop climbs onto the valley slopes, while the other meanders by the river and along a creek. On this hike, you'll enjoy a variety of habitats and rewarding panoramas.
Beside the water are cottonwood groves and willow thickets.
Sagebrush meadows stretch to the base of the hills, and the slopes are dotted with glades of conifer and aspen.
There are some burned areas as well, where the forest is growing anew.
Among this natural tapestry, the trail climbs to elevated viewpoints of the valley and surrounding peaks.
Keep an eye out for deer, elk, and even moose along the way.
These trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians alike, so trail etiquette is important for sharing with all users.
Bikers are only allowed to ride one direction on the hilly part of the loop, however.
Therefore it might be best for hikers to go clockwise, as mapped here, in order to face oncoming bike traffic.
Conditions are best for hiking in late spring and early summer, once the trails have had a chance to dry out, then again in fall, when temperatures drop and the leaves turn.