Pioneer Cabin Trail Loop – Sun Valley, ID

July 8, 2016

“The higher you get, the higher you get”

This hike turned out to be harder than I thought! We were told by multiple people that this is one of the hikes you “MUST” do in Sun Valley.  It’s strenuous, but the views and the cabin are worth the effort. We were staying at Boundary Campground so it was just up the road. A short 15 minute drive to the parking lot.

You can do this hike multiple ways. Go to the right (Pioneer Cabin Trail) and it’s steep up and down in the shade or go to the left (Long Gulch Loop) and it’s longer but its a more gradual up and down in the sun.  We decided to make it a loop, so we started on Pioneer Cabin Trail and picked up Long Gulch Loop trail on the way down (a total of 9 miles).  So at the parking lot go right for the steep hike up.

This hike is dog friendly, but there isn’t a lot of water so bring tons for both and a snack!


The path was perfectly shaded by these massive pine tress.


The hike is a strenuous 4 miles with 3,350′ of elevation gain and it felt like it would never end (The 23+ switchbacks throughout don’t help), but then you peak and you can see the cabin!


It was beautiful with the mountain back drop.

The cabin was built in the 30’s as a stop for skiers and is still used today.  We appreciated the history and a spot to stop and enjoy a quick lunch.


The hike back was entertaining. You hike through different terrain the entire way.  We met some hikers that said it is a little difficult going down so don’t forget to stop and take in the view. You start in the forest again, navigating past fallen trees and rocks.


There is one river crossing and small waterfalls, this is the second spot for water for dogs.


Then you reach the rock, this was a bit tricky, but fun having different terrain.


Then the meadows, we got a little confused at this point because it started going up again, but it takes you along the ridge line and it’s an amazing view hiking back.  Ramey loved the meadows and the flowers were beautiful.


And we stopped to look at the view…


Here are some of the interesting flowers we saw along the way!


Towards the end there was a plaque for someone, it was moving and made us appreciate what we were doing even more.  This hike was in our top five of the trip so far.


“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that GOING TO THE MOUNTAINS IS GOING HOME; that wilderness is a necessity.” – John Muir


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