Sun Valley Singletrack
Sun Valley, Idaho remains one of the best kept secrets in the mountain biking world.
Smooth trails of decomposed granite and a mountain biker friendly forest service have combined to create some of the best riding we have found anywhere on the planet.
We're not kidding. The Pioneer, the Sawtooth and the White Cloud mountains are visible from every peak and ridge. The climbing switchbacks are all quite ridable and the descents zoom through turn after turn seemingly forever. This riding experience will bring smiles, and might even leave you speechless.
Altitudes on this trip are below 10,000 feet. We average about 20 miles per day, but we have to climb to get the views, and singletrack experience is a must. This trip is seriously fun. Call us at 800-845-2453. We'll tell you everything you need to know about this great guided mountain biking trip.
This morning we’ll ride right from the bike shop to the base of the Sun Valley Ski Area. The resort has designed some trails that are pure fun and offer stunning views of Ketchum’s Big Wood River Valley. We’ll pick up our lift tickets so we can take the chairlift to the top of Bald Mountain where we’ll enjoy the 360 degree panorama of Idaho’s majestic mountains. Our first ride, the Cold Springs Trail, descends 3,000 feet, delivering us to our lunch spot. After eating, we’ll hop on the River Run chairlift again for a ride back to the summit. Then clip in and hold on for a 10 mile world class singletrack descent. The Warm Springs Trail was built a few years ago with mountain biking in mind, a beautifully laid out trail that contours around the mountain and is filled with fast corners, jumps and great views. From the bottom it is 11 miles up an easy dirt road to our camp for the night on the banks of Warm Springs Creek. Frenchman’s Hot Springs is just down the road from camp so we’ll be able to return to this spring for a relaxing soak. TOTAL MILEAGE: 31 miles
Today, we’ll enjoy a fantastic lollipop loop from camp, the Red Warrior Trail. We begin with a short warm-up ride on a dirt road before we enter the singletrack. Our ride takes us up Red Warrior drainage, crossing the creek uncountable times. We reach the divide between Red Warrior and Lodgepole Gulch. This saddle is a perfect place to enjoy a trailside lunch and views of the Pioneer, Smoky and Boulder mountains. Atop the mountain, singletracks head off in all directions through lovely stands of aspen and Douglas Fir, open meadows and toward hidden drainages. We’ll loop down Lodgepole Gulch, swooping through towering stands of pine, to Mahoney Creek where we’ll traverse lupine filled meadows back up to the saddle. From here, Red Warrior will feel like a new trail, descending fun switchbacks, twisty sections and lots of rollers. At the end of the ride, it’s a perfect time to hop in the hot springs; then we’ll head back to camp. TOTAL MILEAGE: 18 miles
From camp it is a nice six mile cruise up the Warm Springs Road to our trailhead at the South Fork of Warm Springs. Here, we enter the backcountry on a beautiful trail that climbs up through the forest to Poison Flats. From this beautiful meadow there are incredible views of the surrounding mountains. The last bit of the climb up to the flats is a fairly brutal pitch. Although it’s not technical, it is aerobically demanding as the pitches are steep and long. But here’s the good news: from the top, it is mostly downhill to our camp at Deer Creek. Once we begin our descent from Poison Flats, the trail becomes more technical as it follows the banks of Deer Creek. Several challenging, rocky sections gradually give way to a long, smooth section that will bring us to our support vehicle and camp. Camp is in a secluded forest area on the banks of the creek. TOTAL MILEAGE: 17 miles
For today’s ride, we’ll leave from camp and head down the road to Wolftone Creek to begin a gradual ascent on an old doubletrack road before hitting the singletrack. The trail parallels the creek alternating between lush forest and wildflower meadows before climbing up onto the ridge. From the apex of our ride, the views are awesome. To the south lies the prairie country of Southern Idaho and to the north lies the rugged backcountry of the Sawtooth and Boulder mountains. To the east are the jagged peaks of the Pioneers and to the west are Buttercup Mountain and the high peaks of the Smoky Dome area. From lunch we follow the south side of the ridge before turning north and beginning a fantastic descent along Curran Creek. This trail winds through meadows before plunging into the forest and alongside the creek bed, and then deposits us onto the Deer Creek Trail. This is a world class descent. We’ll end up back at our camp where we’ll spend a second night. TOTAL MILEAGE: 18 miles
Our last day in this mountain paradise begins with a climb up the north fork of Deer Creek to a fun switchback climb up Howard’s Trail to a ridge overlooking Greenhorn Gulch. Once again the views are fantastic. The descent from the top down to the trailhead just might be the finest yet. This trail has fun, smooth singletrack, gentle grades, lots of rollers and nicely banked turns. From here, it’s an easy 12 mile cruise along dirt roads and a paved bike path back into Ketchum for lunch and the journey’s end. TOTAL MILEAGE: 18 miles
This tour contains some very difficult riding on narrow, steep mountain trails. A high level of skill and fitness is required to enjoyably navigate much of the route. We will be without vehicle support during all of the singletrack sections of the ride and medical help is far away. If you do not consider yourself to be an expert rider and doubt your ability to complete this tour, please call us and we can help you determine whether this trip is appropriate for you. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.
Riding Surface: Singletrack trails on coarse granitic soil, pine duff and some clay.
Overall Rating: Advanced
Technical Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, many obstacles and tricky sections.
Physical Difficulty: Difficult, high elevations, steep climbs, long unsupported sections.
Altitude: 6,000 - 9,000 feet
For travel logistics and a packing list, please download the complete trip itinerary.