Best beginner/Intermediate rides in Sun Valley area- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best beginner/Intermediate rides in Sun Valley area

    Hey folks - we will be up in Sun Valley for Labor Day weekend. What are your favorite trails to hit for good beginner/intermediate XC? We were thinking Coral Creek would be good for a quick ride and for a long ride, riding up Cold Springs and taking Warm Springs over to Bald Mountain descent. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I was in Sun Valley for the first time about a month ago. Had a great time! We didnít ride Cold Springs-Warm Springs-Bald Mountain, so I canít comment on that. We did some significantly longer and more difficult rides than what youíre looking for, but we also did some shorter/easier rides that I can comment on.

    I think Corral Creek would be a good choice for a quick easy ride. Itís a super flowy trail. Basic out-and-back. We extended the ride by taking the bike path down to Earlís trailhead and doing the White Clouds Loop counter-clockwise (Elk-Sellgrenís-Valley View-Sunrise Loop). Itís simple to follow Ė just use your phone to take a snapshot of the map at the trailhead for reference, although you probably wonít need it. Youíll come out at Carolís trailhead, and you can take the bike path back to where you started. This route (Corral Creek & White Clouds Loop) is about 14.5 miles with 1,500 feet of climbing.

    Fox Creek-Chocolate Gulch is a really fun combination that many folks might recommend. However, I would say itís a bit beyond beginner/intermediate, due to some exposed rocky outcroppings and a couple grunt climbs.

    Although it will probably be crazy crowded with hikers and bikers on a holiday weekend, the Adamís Gulch area is hard to beat for beginner/intermediate XC. We did a fun route that was about 13 miles with 2,400 feet of climbing. It went like this: Shadyside-Adamís Gulch-Eveís Gulch-Serpent-Forbidden Fruit-Adamís Gulch-Griffin Butte-Citizenís Trail-Laneís Trail-Sunnyside. You can continue up Eveís Gulch as far as you want before turning around and descending back to the turnoff for Serpent. Itís a pleasant climb, so we continued about two miles before turning around. Serpent and Forbidden Fruit are flow trails, which are marked as black diamond on the map, but theyíre really not technical at all if you keep your tires on the ground. Trails are well signed and easy to follow.

    The trail system up at Galena Lodge is worth checking out, as well. The Spring Creek Trail is awesome and a great way to start. Then you can do various short loops close to the lodge, which has great food and a full bar. Free maps available at the main trail kiosk. Well worth the easy 20ish mile drive out of town.

    Have a fun trip!

  3. #3
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    Here's an update on Sun Valley's air quality:

    Best beginner/Intermediate rides in Sun Valley area-air_quality-copy.jpg

    Current conditions are in the red zone. I've been in the high yellow zone before, and visibility was less than a mile. In my opinion, anything above the high green zone must be dangerous to your health, and high green is probably unhealthy, so you should stay indoors. The coal industry must have set the air quality standards.

    The locals in Sun Valley and Stanley say that the Forest Service is just letting the Pioneer fire burn, and it won't be until the first snows that it is put out.

  4. #4
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    Check out this link for trail info in Sun Valley

    Quote Originally Posted by MHCBH View Post
    Hey folks - we will be up in Sun Valley for Labor Day weekend. What are your favorite trails to hit for good beginner/intermediate XC? We were thinking Coral Creek would be good for a quick ride and for a long ride, riding up Cold Springs and taking Warm Springs over to Bald Mountain descent. Any thoughts?
    I will be in SV as well for the holiday weekend.

    Check out this link for trail info in Sun Valley: http://summertrailink.bcrd.org/

    Cold Springs is a good intermediate climb. its a little steep on the lower road section, but ridable.

    One of my favorite rides is the Saddle Trail/Chocolate Gulch/Fox Creek/Adams Gulch/Forbidden Fruit rides. All of these trails link together.

  5. #5
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    And this evening things have improved to 14 in the green zone:

    Best beginner/Intermediate rides in Sun Valley area-air_quality2-copy.jpg

    That's quite a swing.

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    That's looking much better! Thanks for all the input everyone!

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    I think Corral Creek would be a good choice for a quick easy ride.
    I did this ride at 7:30pm last night. I also think it would be good for a beginner and an intermediate rider. There's a five minute climb near the start to get up to a plateau, then you encounter small uphills followed by small downhills. At about the 30 minute mark, the trail goes right up a drainage, which is a steady climb with some short steep sections. Along the way, there's a couple of roots that an intermediate rider can aim for to practice step ups and a beginner can ride around. It's an out and back trail, so turn around when you've had enough. Don't forget that it's not all downhill on the way back. I road 45-50 minutes out, and it took me 30 minutes to get back.

    I did not have a map, and route finding was easy. To get to the trailhead, you go east on Sun Valley Road. Sun Valley Road goes through the middle of downtown, and it intersects 75/Main St. Sun Valley Road turns into Trail Creek Road, then just look for the Trail Creek Trailhead sign on the right, which is next to an RV campground, and park at the trailhead. Follow the obvious trail out of the parking lot(you'll be going away from the RV campground, and you'll pass some picnic tables next to a creek), then signs will direct you to the Corral Creek trail.

  8. #8
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    The weather today in Ketchum, ID was gorgeous: breezy and 75 degrees with billowing white clouds sliding across a blue sky.

    I rode the Fox Creek Loop along with the Chocolate Gulch loop: the Fox-Chocolate loop. I rode it as the Chocolate-Fox loop. I think Fox Creek is a good beginner/intermediate ride--although by itself it will be a bit short. A beginner may have to walk a few spots near the river where going off the narrow trail would cause them to tumble down the steep shale slope, and land in the river. There are beautiful views, and riding next to a mountain river is always spectacular.

    The Chocolate Gulch trail is an intermediate trail. It starts with a short, brutal steep section topped off with a gnarly root step up, so make sure you warm up before hitting the trail. The trail follows the river north, then turns away from the river and the steady climbing begins. There are some short, steep sections with imbedded rocks, but traction is good. After topping out on the climb, which took me around 30 minutes, you get a rocky descent down to the Fox Creek loop. Turn right at the intersection. Everything is well signed, so you don't need a map.

    The Fox Creek climb is much more reasonable, and it took me less than 30 minutes. That's followed by a swooping descent(one way only for mtb's) down to the river. Then you ride along the river back to the trailhead. There's a swimming hole along the way.

    To get to the trailhead, go north on 75 for about 5 miles (from where I don't know--I think it's about 4 miles from 75 and Saddle Rd.), and look for a sign on the right that says Fox Creek Trailhead with an arrow pointing to the left, and you'll turn left onto a dirt road. Continue on to the trailhead and park.

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