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Sun Valley Spring Hiking Trails

Spring in Sun Valley is simply spectacular. Sun Valley Ski Resort stays open for some of the best spring skiing in the Rocky Mountains, and the mountain scenery swiftly shifts coming alive with an alpine splendor of rugged snow-capped peaks, brilliant blue alpine lakes, and fields of vibrant wildflowers.

The Sun Valley area boasts over 30 miles of paved trails and 400 miles of hiking & biking trails that will spark all your senses and serve up spring adventures like no other. Here’s our top pick of awe-inspiring Sun Valley spring hikes with something for every age and fitness level – from family friendly trails through the hills and intermediate day adventures, to challenging yet satisfying hiking experiences in the peaks of the Pioneer Mountains.



White Clouds

Distance: 4 miles
Elevation gain: 456 ft
Route type: Loop

White Clouds is a full sunshine, popular family-friendly Sun Valley hiking trail next to Sun Valley Resort and easily accessible on the free shuttle route. After a short hill climb the trail levels out looping around Sun Valley’s hilltop golf course, offering a unique perspective of Ketchum and demanding views of Bald Mountain and the Boulder Mountains. White Clouds is known for a widespread variety of wildflowers with many view spots and benches to stop, rest and soak up the Sun Valley views.


Prospect Hill Loop

Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation gain: 711 ft
Route type: Loop

The Prospect Hill loop is a spring lovers paradise tucked away in the hills of the Elkhorn neighborhood. The trail is lightly trafficked, full sunshine and accessible by bus via the blue route to Horseshoe Road. Follow the trail looping around Prospect Hill or take a right at the fork and keep your eyes open for the off trail to the left that will take you to the hilltop with exquisite views of Dollar Mountain, Sun Peak and its majestic neighbouring mountains. This trail welcomes you with the peaceful sounds of nature and waterfalls of wildflowers as far as your eye can see, from Lupin of all colours to fields of blooming balsamroot with every step you take.


Titus Lake

Distance: 3.6 miles return
Elevation gain: 649 ft
Route type: Out and Back

Spend the day picnicking and fishing at an alpine lake! The Titus Lake trail is a well maintained, heavily trafficked and well-shaded wildflower trail for all skill levels with a gentle incline weaving through the hills of the Smoky Mountains. The trail head is a 30-minute drive from Sun Valley Resort on Galena Pass and boasts wonderous views with valleys, treetops, deep granite basins and tranquil Titus Lake.



Proctor Mountain Trail

Distance: 4.2 mile
Elevation gain: 1,066 ft
Route type: Loop

The Proctor Mountain Trail starts at the Hemmingway Memorial near Sun Valley Resort. The trail is well-maintained, moderately trafficked and exceptionally scenic in spring. The trail weaves through a valley of trees and descends down a ridgeline offering majestic views of Bald Mountain, Trail Creek and the world’s first chairlift located on Proctor Mountain.


Chocolate Gulch Trail

Distance: 5.3 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 869 ft
Route type: Loop

Chocolate Gulch trail is a popular trail but you’ll have many moments where you feel you are the only person for miles. It is a slice of Sun Valley heaven and a personal favourite with wildflowers, rock formations, and lush greenery. Traveling counterclockwise, the trail begins with a gentle elevation gain through a forest of aspens, unveiling scenic views of the snow-capped Boulder Peaks and White Clouds, and ending along a tranquil river trail. Be sure to follow the trail signs and if the parking is full you can start your hike at Fox Creek Trailhead.


Carbonate Mountain Trail

Distance: 3.7 miles roundtrip
Elevation gain: 1,351 ft
Route type: Loop / Out and Back

Change up the scenery and head south to absorb the flourishing colours, luminous spring greens of downtown Hailey, and picturesque panoramic views from Carbonate Peak. Carbonate Peak offers 2 separate trails – head straight up the rocky ridge for a challenge or take the longer yet easier switchbacks along the hillside amongst the wildflowers.


Norton Lakes

Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation gain: 1,476 ft
Route type: Out and Back

Norton Lakes are one of Sun Valley’s hidden gems, a short drive north of Sun Valley in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The trail begins with a steep incline and flattens out weaving through lush forests, fields of flowers, towering granite rocks, and onto a stocked alpine lake nestled at the base of Norton Peak. If you continue up the trail to the right of the lake for only a short 5 minutes, you’ll find yourself at yet another glistening lake, lined with pink flowers and bordered with rocky mountain peaks.



Greenhorn Gulch and Imperial Gulch Loop

Distance: 11.1 miles
Elevation gain: 1,988 ft
Route type: Loop

Greenhorn Gulch is nestled in the valley behind Bald Mountain and offers some of the most captivating greenery and spring colours in the Sun Valley area. The trail is well maintained and marked and offers diversity with hills overflowing with wildflowers and spectacular views of the White Clouds Mountain Range. You’re mostly in the sun, so be sure to wear sun cream and keep an eye out for bikers and horses!


Pioneer Cabin Trail

Distance: 8 miles roundtrip
Elevation gain: 2,572 ft
Route type: Out and Back

Trailhead: Head north down Trail creek road, take the first right after Hemingway Memorial onto 137, the parking lot is located at the very end of this road.
The famous Sun Valley Pioneer Cabin Trail is a difficult uphill trail, yet well worth it and fully rewarding for those more experienced. It is well-marked and offers a decent amount of shade, with switchbacks through forestry for majority of the hike and some of Sun Valley’s most notable and exquisite wildflower viewings. The trail leads up to the well know Pioneer Cabin perched on a cliff, filled with memories of previous travellers, from guitars to diaries and offers radical and glorious up-close views of the Pioneer Peaks.

Start planning your Sun Valley spring vacation today with Michael’s Vacation Rentals!