Sun Valley is one of the country’s premier mountain biking destinations!
The MTB trails in Sun Valley have it all, incredible views, challenging climbs and epic descents. Here is a list of some of the local’s favorite rides most of which can be done right from town.
Be sure to stop by Sturtevants Bike Shop in Ketchum if you need more information about the incredible mountain biking in and around the Wood River Valley.
This is a great ride whenever you only have about an hour. From the Adam’s Gulch trail head it’s about a 3 mile loop. There is a nice picnic table at the high point. Most people will ride to the trail head from town, or ride over Heidelberg Hill and combine with Shady Side.
Another one of the Adam’s Gulch trails. Adam’s Loop is about 7 miles if done from the Adam’s Gulch trail head. Again, this is usually done from town and approached either by Lane’s Trail or Shady Side. Done either direction, this is a great ride. The section of trail from the Adam’s Gulch trail head to where Harper’s intersects is called Pork Chop; it’s steep and twisty and better as a climb than descent. You can bypass Pork Chop by combining Adam’s Loop with Harper’s and Adam’s – Lake Creek Connector to make about a 12 mile ride.
This is probably the least hilly of the rides near town. Head out Sun Valley road about 4 miles to a parking lot. Head East on the trail for about 100 yards, then cross a bridge and gain a plateau. The trail is across the plateau and heads East. Corral Creek is a 6 mile out and back ride and goes through varied terrain. Like Lane’s Trail, it’s a good quick ride.
Fox Creek Loop
This is a great after work ride. It’s a 7 mile loop with about 800 feet of climbing, that is to be ridden counter-clockwise. There are one or two switch backs of really steep riding followed by a quick climb to the top. From town you head out the bike path to Hulen Meadows. From Hulen Meadows follow the double track until you see the sign for Fox Creek Loop. The descent is fun and fast.
Chocolate Gulch to Fox Creek
This ride simply adds Chocolate Gulch Loop to the Fox Creek ride and creates a ride with about 1,500 feet of climbing. There are two entrances to Chocolate from Fox Creek–North Fork trail or Life Preserver. North Fork is a nice consistent climb, while Life Preserver hugs the bank of the Big Wood River. Both are about the same distance to where they meet up. Chocolate Gulch takes about 1.5 hours when done from town.
Oregon Gulch & Saddle Trail
Oregon Gulch can be tacked on to Chocolate-Fox to make a 24 mile day, or done alone. Saddle Trail is another one of the fun twisty descents the Sun Valley area is known for. The views of the Boulder Mountains are not to be missed.
Bald Mountain Traverse
Ascend either the River Run or Warm Springs trail, follow a cat track across Baldy and descend the other side. This ride usually takes about 1.5 hours from town. If you climb the River Run side, you get a great fast descent down the Warm Springs side. Starting on the Warm Springs side, you’re rewarded with a roller-coaster descent of the River Run trail.
Bald Mountain Trail
The Bald Mountain Trail is uphill only. This first 1/2 mile or so is steep and technical, while the rest of the ride is a small ring grind with little technical difficulty (other than climbing to 9,000 feet). From River Run, find the trail to the right of the chair lift. You can bail out about halfway up and hook up with the Bald Mountain Traverse for a shorter ride. If you climb to the top, you’re treated with great views and a fast ride down either the Cold Springs or Warm Springs trail.
Lodgepole to Mahoney
This is about a 12 mile round trip from the Greenhorn trailhead (6 miles south of town). It’s a good long climb up Lodgepole to a nice open meadow. Then down a quick moderately technical descent to Mahoney. The Mahoney descent is amazing. It’s superfast and really fun.
Greenhorn to Imperial Gulch
Also about 12 miles round trip. It’s a long grunt up, but when you gain the ridge the view is worth every ounce of energy you put in. Looking to the North you can see Seattle Ridge Lodge and amazing reds and greens of the hills. Some of the climbs are on loose dirt so you may end up pushing your bike on a couple sections. The downhill is great, but watch out for the sharp rocks, they like to puncture your tires.
Prairie Creek Loop
This ride is about 17 miles north of town and gained via the Prairie Creek trailhead. Head out about 2 miles to a fork and stay right. At 4.5 miles or so you get to Prairie Lake, then traverse 2 miles over to Miner Like. From Miner Lake it’s about 4.5 miles back to the car. The descent from Miner Lake is extremely steep and rocky, which makes many people shy away from this ride. Full suspension and disk-brakes are highly recommended for this ride. This is one of the more technical rides in the area and the scenery is incredible. Taking a dip in one of the lakes would be the icing on the cake for this ride. The high point on the ride is around 9,000 feet.