Are you ready to hike through five of Idaho’s mountain ranges?
If yes, get ready to visit Sun Valley, Idaho—one of my favorite places in Idaho. This hot spot transforms from a captivating skiing and snowboarding hub in winter into a lush valley in Spring.
The valley is filled with blooming and colorful wildflowers that fill its pristine hiking trails. There is truly a hike for everyone, rated for easy to expert. Keep reading to learn all about the 14 best hikes in and around Sun Valley, Idaho!
My parents live in Sun Valley, and I lived here for the winter season. It truly is one of the best places to visit and hike in all of Idaho.
Looking for more things to do in Sun Valley? Here are some guides;
While we’re at it, let’s be friends on Instagram and Tiktok!
14 Best Hikes in Sun Valley Idaho
1. Baker Lake
Length: 3.6 miles
Sun Valley, Idaho, has so many tranquil lakes for you to hike to, Baker Lake being one of them. Nestled in the Sawtooth National Forest, this moderate hike is 3.6 miles long with an elevation gain of 872 feet. It is an out-and-back with switchbacks and no steep cliffs. You will be hiking uphill for the first part of the hike but from there, it will level out at the lake.
All of the efforts will be worth it once you make it to the lake. Marvel at the beauty and take a dip during the summer months.
2. Fox Creek Trail
Length: 5.3 miles
Enjoy the 5.3-mile loop trail known as Fox Creek. This trail is rated as moderate, with an elevation gain of 797 ft. It will bring you through a lush forest until it then opens up to a vast green field. This hike is a popular area for mountain bikers, so I recommend going clockwise. That way, you will be able to see a biker coming down the trail.
Enjoy this breathtaking trail as you follow the Big Wood River. Take in the views while also listening to the sounds of the flowing water.
3. Adams Gulch
Length: 6.1 miles
This trail is iconic in Sun Valley! It is also known as the Griffin Butte Loop. The full loop is 6.1 miles with an elevation gain of 780 feet. The trail is moderate and was part of the 2007 Castle Rock Fire, which burned through portions of the forest. There are still some remains of the burnt sections, but this hike is still rated as one of the prettiest in Sun Valley.
You can expect a little bit of everything when hiking here—from mountain views, flowing streams, and even blooming wildflowers during springtime.
4. Proctor Mountain
Length: 4.2 miles
Get ready to take on the scenic Proctor Mountain loop trail, which is 4.2 miles long. This hike does have a moderate elevation gain of 1,066 feet. You will be able to enjoy the views of the Sun Valley Ski Area right from the trail. You can even view the historic remains of the old chairlift, which was built in 1938. The Ruud chairlift operated until 1960. It is also home to the first operating chairlift in the entire world!
Hikers recommend starting this trail counterclockwise for less of a challenge. If you are looking for a relatively consistent uphill hike, then go clockwise. If you are lucky enough to do this hike in the fall, I definitely recommend it. The golden aspens will take your breath away!
5. White Cloud 9
Length: 4 miles
Take the 4.0-mile loop trail of White Cloud 9. This local favorite is rated as moderate and has an elevation gain of 456 ft. You will take in some exquisite views along this trail, including Ketchum and the Sun Valley area. You will also be able to marvel at Baldy and Dollar Mountain in the distance. The hike will start with an incline until it eventually levels out.
The trail is filled with vibrant greenery in addition to the views of the mountains. This is a popular casual hike, so I do recommend going in the morning. The trail will be quieter, and the air will be cooler, all while the crowds are less. There are normally mountain bikers on the trail, as well as trail runners, so always be aware of your surroundings.
6. Kane Lake
Length: 8.5 miles
Kane Lake is an Alpine Lake that is in the Pioneer Mountain Range. You can access the lake by taking on this 8.5-mile hard hike that has an elevation gain of 1,732 ft. This hike is not easy, but the payoff is worth it!
The first few miles are steady until it turns into more steep and rocky terrain, which will eventually bring you up to the high-elevation lake that sits about 1,600 feet. Once you do, relax for a while as you enjoy a much-earned lunch. You can even give your feet a rest as you soak them in the refreshingly cold lake.
The road to the trailhead is pretty rough, so it is recommended to have a 4WD vehicle to reach it.
7. Pioneer Cabin Trail
Length: 8 miles
Do you want to conquer one of Sun Valley’s most-popular hikes? You totally can by hiking the Pioneer Cabin Trail. This bucket list adventure is 8 miles long with a hard elevation gain of 2,572 feet. The trail will bring you to the quaint Pioneer Cabin.
The famous cabin was built to be similar to the alpine huts in Europe back in 1938. The Sun Valley Company wanted to make skiing more accessible for the Ski School in the area. If you are lucky and brave enough, you can sleep in the cabin overnight. Please note that it is first come, first serve.
Appreciate the area of the Pioneer Mountains during your eight-mile journey. The hike itself has over 23 switchbacks and is very steep. You will go up a forested ridge before crossing a plateau filled with wildflowers.
8. Mill Lake
Length: 4.4 miles
Hike to the sub-alpine lake located in Idaho’s Smoky Mountains, which is just a few miles north of Ketchum. The hike is 4.4 miles long with an elevation gain of 1,145 feet, making it an excellent day hike.
The hike will have you follow a creek until you reach the steep section that brings you to the lake. Once you pass through the elevation gain section, you will make your way up. Here you can unwind for a while before making your way back down to the trailhead. Many pack a lunch to enjoy at the lake. Mill Lake is the perfect place to spend your day de-stressing.
9. Silver Lake
Length: 3.5 miles
If you are looking for a challenging hike with minimal mileage, head to the Silver Lake Trail. The hike is 3.5 miles with an elevation gain of 1,410. Due to its steepness, it is rated as difficult despite its shorter mileage.
If you are up for the challenge, you will not be disappointed. The lake is surrounded by trees that reflect off of the blue water. This hike showcases Aspens in the fall and bright, colorful flowers in the Spring. You cannot go wrong attempting it in either season.
You do need a 4X4 car to get to this trailhead due to the rough road.
10. Galena Creek Snowshoe Trail
Length: 3.4 miles
Many of the trails mentioned are recommended for hiking from spring to fall, so what about Winter? Sun Valley has plenty of winter options close to town and also in the mountains. This is why I chose the Galena Creek Snowshoe trail to be a part of the list.
This 3.4-mile loop trail has an elevation gain of 604 feet. It is rated as easy and is great for snowshoeing. The best months to visit the trail are from November to May. This area has over 21 trails for you to choose from, all connecting from Galena Creek.
The Psycho Ridge Loop is a crowd favorite and recommended add-on if you are looking for mileage. Enjoy the snow falling around you on this real-life winter wonderland hiking trail.
11. Titus Lake
Length: 3.6 miles
Titus Lake is located off the highway near the top of Galena Pass. It is a 3.6-mile trail that will bring you to the high alpine lake. The elevation on this moderate hike is 649 feet.
The Titus Lake hike is relatively steep when you start until it declines back down to the lake. For its short distance and quick incline, it is rated moderate, yet it can be an intense cardio workout. Some areas have partial shade; otherwise, plan on being in the sun for most of it.
When you are done, stop by the Galena Lodge for lunch. They serve up some delicious food that you can pair with a cold beverage.
12. Scenic Overlook via Bald Mountain Trail
Length: 3.5 miles
Get a birds-eye view of the Sun Valley area by hiking to the Scenic Overlook via Bald Mountain Trail. This out-and-back trail is 3.5 miles long with an elevation gain of 951 feet. For the first part, you will go through the dense forest, where you will be nestled in nature. From there, the trees open up to views of the valley and the town of Ketchum.
There are steep drop-offs towards the end of this trail, so it is not recommended for those scared of heights. It is important to pay extra close attention to your footing here. Once you do reach the top, spend some time taking in the views of the gorgeous state of Idaho.
13. Taylor Canyon Trail
Length: 4 miles
If you are looking for a hike close to town, try the Taylor Canyon Trail. This 4-mile adventure has an elevation gain of 1,263 ft. The trail was built in 1986 for horseback riding, and today it can be used by hikers.
You will start your hike on Lake Creek Road, which is a dirt road. From here, take the very steep climb that will get your heart pumping. There will be visibility of the Boulder Mountains and, of course, Bald Mountain. If you are visiting in the springtime, stop and admire all of the vibrant flowers.
14. Summit Creek to Devil’s Bedstead West
This hike is rated as extremely hard thanks to its 13 miles and 4,500 feet of elevation gain. Simply put, this trail is recommended for experts. The first couple of miles will bring you through a forest. Then around mile five, you will start climbing up the mountain and even bouldering. Once you do reach the top, you will have views of everything! Including mountain ranges covered in a green forest that spans for miles and miles.
If you are lucky enough and hike on a clear day, you can even see Bald Mountain way in the distance. This hike is no joke, and if you plan on taking it be sure to be prepared. Pack plenty of water, food, and an emergency kit. Always tell someone where you are hiking and try to go in groups. Even though it is intense, it is one hundred percent worth it when you see the panoramic views from the summit.
I know I didn’t cover all of the wonderful hikes in Sun Valley, Idaho! So please let me know in the comments what your favorites are. I want to hear!
Looking for more fun in the Sun Valley area? Check out these blogs!
Leave A Comment