Sun Valley, ID: Pioneer Cabin Hike

Tremendous hike in Sun Valley. Rewarding views, great workout, super cool cabin.

Distance: 8.5 miles                  Rating:  Difficult            Elevation gain: ~2,550 ft

Took the steady climbing Pioneer Cabin trail #122 up and descended the loop via the Long Gulch trail #123. Minus the snow and ice on the top and down the backside that we encountered, this would be a fantastic trail run. The terrain on 123 is pine needle smooth as you traverse 23 switchbacks through an old growth forest with glimpses of the Pioneer, Smoky, and Sawtooth Mountains through the trees. As you continue up into high alpine meadow, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views .

 

But you’re not quite there yet. Just one more push and a panorama of peaks opens up and a rustic cabin welcomes you.

Pioneer Cabin was built by Sun Valley Company in the 1930’s to encourage Alpine skiing. (If I’d known the cabin was open, I would have made it an overnighter.) Underneath the snow, emblazoned on the roof greeting all those who ascend to its heights is its signature quote “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get.”

 

Unlike  trail#122, 123 is a bit tortuous, very rocky the last 2 miles or so.  Not to mention all the snow we encountered on that trail, but it was all so worth it! This hike makes most people’s list for the top ten in Sun Valley. It’s certainly tops with me.

 

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