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The Best Mountain Bike Rides in Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley and the surrounding Wood River Valley are home to over 400 miles of bike-accessible singletrack, making it a great destination for avid mountain bikers or just those looking to try something new!

Whether you’re into steep, technical rides or something a little more beginner-friendly, there’s a bounty of every type of trail for every experience of rider. You certainly won’t be able to tackle it all in one vacation—or even one lifetime—so we’ve assembled a list of the best mountain bike rides in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Beginner Mountain Bikes Rides in Sun Valley

What’s considered “beginner” in Sun Valley may be more intermediate in other areas, but these are certainly the easiest mountain bike rides on offer. Newbies can’t go wrong starting at the White Clouds. Located in the Sun Valley Resort proper, the White Clouds area offers three looping varieties on one trail, with the shortest being just under a mile and the longest 2.7 miles.

If White Clouds is feeling a little too easy, the next step up is Corral Creek, a great ride for riders of all levels. Corral Creek starts at the Trail Creek Trailhead and is 2.7 miles each way for an out-and-back ride that winds through open sage and traverses dense trees. 

The Adam’s Gulch area is located just north of town and accesses numerous trails, the easiest being Shadyside as an out-and-back ride. If you begin in the parking lot (rather than connecting to Adam’s through Wanderer’s Way or Lake Creek), the ride is just 1.6 miles each way, with limited climbing and great shade for hot days. 

Intermediate Mountain Bike Rides

For those bikers who want to stay in town, the 32 miles of lift-accessed mountain bike trails on Bald Mountain are a great option. In summer 2023, a day lift pass for children (3–12) and seniors (65+) started at $35, while adult passes (13–64) started at $50. There are nine trail options once off the lift, all of which demand excellent control while speeding downhill—hence the “intermediate” rating. A pass is good all day, so if doing downhill laps is your thing, gear up! Try Mindbender, a 3.5-mile freeride trail with jumps and berms.

If pure downhill isn’t your game, there are lots of other options for the intermediate rider. North of Ketchum, try Fox Creek, a 6.8-mile (roundtrip) local favorite that offers beautiful views, pretty wildflowers, and a riverside section that follows the edge of the Big Wood River. Be aware, for mountain bikers, this ride is one-way, counter-clockwise. 

Head mid-Valley (between Ketchum and Hailey) to Greenhorn Gulch to Cow Creek (4.1 miles roundtrip). Don’t be fooled by the short mileage: this rocky trail is one of the lesser-used trails in the area due to its rocky nature. Mountain bikers should be adept at handling rocky, technical terrain before riding this one. This trail is also great to combine with many others in the Greenhorn area to make for longer rides. 

Head south to Hailey’s Croy Creek trail system, home to eleven trails, including the Two Dog loop (7.3 miles roundtrip). This fun and flowy trail gives great views of the Pioneer Mountains and can easily be combined with other trails into a longer loop. 

Advanced Mountain Bike Rides

In Sun Valley, there’s advanced mountain bikers and then there’s ADVANCED mountain bikers. Harper’s Trail is for those who fall in the former category. There are numerous ways to link up to this trail, but the simplest is to park at the Lake Creek trailhead and ride it as an out-and-back. Though it’s only 2.9 miles each way, the trail is entirely uphill and gains just over 1,000 feet of elevation. 

Head north to the Oregon Gulch Trailhead, roughly eight miles north of Ketchum, to ride the Oregon Gulch Trail (6.2 miles each way). With 2,763 feet of elevation gain, this one’s a leg-burner! The first three miles of the trail are fairly mellow, while the second half of the ride is rockier and more challenging. 

Imperial Gulch is accessed mid-Valley from Greenhorn Gulch and gains 2,199 feet of elevation over six miles, climbing steadily through rolling terrain along the north side of the Deer Creek divide and offering beautiful views of the Pioneer Mountains. There are a few moments in the trail’s climb that offer brief breaks—very brief—but this ride isn’t for the faint of heart.

For more information, including trail maps, trail ratings, directions, and more, visit the Blaine County Recreation District’s online trail map here.

Hayden Seder

Hayden Seder is a freelance writer based in her hometown of Ketchum, Idaho. In the 10+ years she’s been a writer, her work has been published in publications including Backpacker, Climbing, Sun Valley Magazine, Boise Weekly, Idaho Press, and more. When not putting pen to paper, Hayden loves rock climbing, mountain biking, reading, and camping with her rescue pitbull Otis.

READ MORE FROM HAYDEN HERE.

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