With over 400 miles of trails spread across the Wood River Valley, from Bellevue all the way up north to Galena Lodge, it’s hard to know where to start. The area’s extensive, multi-use trails are fit for all kinds of recreation—biking, hiking, trail running, and horseback riding. Whether you’re new to the area or just new to the trails, there are some great starter trails in Hailey, mid-valley, and Ketchum. We talked to Sara Gress, the Executive Director of the Wood River Trails Coalition which works to create, maintain, and sustain the Valley’s network of trails to get her take on the best spots to try first.
Sara: You have to ride Croy because it’s super fun for biking. The Two Dog Loop [6.7 miles] is fun and flowy, and you get some good views of the Pios, but it’s not butt-puckering. And it’s still enjoyable enough that if you’re an advanced rider, it’s still a really good ride. It’s a good place to hone your skills. I ride out there because it’s enjoyable and it’s not scary. People hike and trail run the trails out Croy and even ride horses sometimes too.
Also try: Quigley Trails Park which is mostly home to short, easy trails less than a mile. Perfect for dog walking or warming up for the season!
Sara: Greenhorn is an obvious choice because it’s all multi-use so you can do anything…hike, bike, horseback ride, dirt-bike out there. The only thing is that it gets pretty hot in the summer so make sure you’re prepared. The Fire Department actually fetched quite a few people out of there last summer who were exposed and didn’t bring water. You can do some smaller loops like the Cow Creek [Cow Creek Loop, 4.1 miles] area which is really fun early in the season because it’s green and beautiful!
Sara: In town, anything off Adam’s Gulch is super easy. You can even ride, run, or hike all the way from downtown which is awesome. What’s great about Adam’s Gulch is there’s tons of short loops where you can do 3-mile, 5-mile, 6-mile loops out there walking, running, mountain biking, or horseback riding. There are quite a few people out there though, so if your horse is not comfortable around humans, I would skip this area. Little known fact, the main trail down the center, Old Adam’s Road, is actually motorized so you may catch an e-bike or dirt bike out there every once in a while connecting to Eve’s.
Try: Sunnyside-Lane’s Trail [2.2 miles] which ends at a picnic table and beautiful views.
Also try: For those who want to stay right in town, check out the White Clouds trails next to the Sun Valley Resort. The full White Clouds Loop is an easy 2.7 miles.
North of Ketchum
Sara: Fox Creek Loop (6.8 miles) or Chocolate Gulch (3.8 miles) are both great hikes or bikes. And then Pioneer Cabin Trail (3.6 miles), for hiking obviously… I wouldn’t ride my bike up there.
Also try: Head north up to Galena Lodge for the day! With roughly 20 trails ranging in difficulty, there’s something for everyone and you can enjoy lunch and a beer at the lodge afterward!
Sara’s Trail Etiquette Tips:
- Be prepared
- Know where you’re going
- Have a physical map, cell phones die or go out of service
- Be courteous to other users and be aware—no one appreciates the person with headphones in and is crushing around at high speeds and not paying attention to what’s going on. Don’t be that person.
- If you’re on a bike, let someone know you’re coming up behind them
- Mountain bikers must yield to all other users and downhill bikers yield to uphill traffic
- All downhill traffic yields to uphill traffic
- For an interactive map of the area’s trails, visit the Blaine County Recreation Center’s trailink.
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