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  • Cheryl Concannon M.A., SRS, Realtor

6 Best Hikes to Catch the Blooming Wildflowers in Sun Valley

1. Croy Canyon Area

Several miles west of Hailey is one of the first trail networks to erupt with wildflower colors. This area offers an array of trails to ride bikes or hike on. The smooth, flowing singletrack becomes euphoric when surrounded by the sweet smells and sights of freshly bloomed flowers. Croy Creek is known for abundant lupine and arrowleaf balsamroot.

2. Taylor Canyon

A more lightly used area, Taylor Canyon trail is a loop with abundant Arrowleaf Balsamroot flowers and stunning views of the surrounding Pioneer, Boulder, and Smoky mountain ranges. The 3.8-mile loop is an intermediate challenge for hikers, bikers, or equestrians gaining up to 1,489 feet. Drive 3.4 miles north of Ketchum, turn right onto Lake Creek Road, and follow the signs to Taylor Canyon Trailhead.

3. Bald Mountain

Expansive wildflower blooms cover the open spaces of Bald Mountain. There are several trail options weaving between the flowers. The most common trek starts at River Run Plaza along the Big Wood River before switchbacking up the heavily wooded hillside. The wooden overlook platform is a prime midway break before continuing through the aspens and mature evergreens to the Roundhouse Connector trail. Keep an eye out for the Louis Stur memorial and water fountain near the junction. The summit is reached at the top of the Challenger ski lift with jaw-dropping 360-degree views. The chairlift runs in the summer, so you could opt for a lift ride down or vice versa.

4. Greenhorn and Cow Creek Area

Sweeping trails through a regenerative forest and open fields provide options for various out-and-back hikes or loop connections. Several trail options will be open until you reach the few unmelted snow patches. Later in the spring, the fireweed flower is prominent through the burned forest areas with bright purple blossoms that move up the stem as the season progresses. This flower is nicknamed “Summer’s Time Keeper.”

5. White Clouds

A trial fit for every fitness level with very quick access from downtown Ketchum. The best parking is at Sun Valley Lodge then simply cross the road to the path which loops around the White Clouds Golf Course. This trail has very little elevation gain and can be taken as a four-mile loop or out-and-backs in whichever direction. The south-facing slopes are engulfed by lupine, arrowhead balsamroot, and several other beautiful wildflowers. The optimal time to hike this trail is morning or evening because there is no shade. Bald Mountain is the highlight of the view paired with a site of the jagged Pioneer Mountains and valley views sprinkled with colorful blooms.

6. Camas Prairie Wildflowers

The purple camas lily bloom peaks about mid-June with Camas Creek filled bank to bank. This Centennial Marsh Wildlife Management Area is a slightly longer drive south of Sun Valley close to Fairfield but is an incredible sight to see. Alongside the abundant lily, the bloom is an array of thousands of waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds. Expansive fields of purple, red, and green will leave you speechless. While the marsh is too wet for walking access through the fields, there are tables for a mid-day picnic.

Spring and early summer is a special time in Sun Valley


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