3 Best Ways to Maximize Hiking in Sun Valley

With hundreds of miles of trail within easy reach of downtown, Ketchum and Sun Valley are a hiker’s paradise. The Wood River Valley is fenced in by the Smoky, Boulder and Pioneer Mountains and within an hour drive lies the Sawtooth, White Cloud and Lost River mountain ranges, each boasting their own unique hiking experiences. Views will have you channeling your inner Ansel Adams, with wildlife sightings virtually guaranteed. The best ways to maximize your hiking experience is to check out some local guide experiences, read up on some of our blogs, and educate yourself on trail etiquette.

Norton Lake

Guide Services

Guides are the best way to take all the leg work out of deciding where to hike and puts the leg work on the trails. There are plenty of guides across the valley with decades of local knowledge and all the best spots to go at any time of year! Beyond just dodging the crowds, Guides are also a vital resource for trail stewardship and etiquette. With more and more visitors venturing to the outdoors to take advantage of the trails, they may feel busier than normal. Guided hiking trips and shuttles to your favorite trailheads are available for any length trip and for any ability.

Sawtooth Lake


Hiking Etiquette

Hiking Group

The Sun Valley area is fortunate to have an incredible array of mixed use trails. Using proper trail etiquette ensures an enjoyable experience for all.  Please abide by the following rules while out on the trails.

  • Walk or run single file, rather than abreast of each other. Walking or running side by side kills trailside vegetation and turns our trails into double tracks.
  • If you come across muddy trails, please turn around and head back the way you came. Staying off of muddy trails will keep them from further and permanent damage. In the spring season, early mornings can be better when the ground is still frozen.
  • When yielding, step toward the side, stop, and wait for the other user to pass. Continuing to run off-trail leads to trail braiding and widening.
  • When other users yield to you, stay on the trail. Don’t walk or run off-trail to get around them.
  • If you encounter horses, sheep or cattle on a road or trail, make them aware of your presence and move slowly by without startling them.
  • If you use ear phones, please turn the volume low enough so that you can hear other trail users.
  • Group Run Etiquette – hike or run in groups no larger than 10 or 12. If you have a large number in your group, please consider splitting your group and either leaving at different times or using different trails.
  • Leave no trace. Consider other options when the trail is wet and muddy. Respect trail and road closures.
  • Abide by trail leash regulations. They will fluctuate from trail to trail.

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