idaho adventures – pioneer cabin

pioneer cabin | "the higher you get, the higher you get"

pioneer cabin | “the higher you get, the higher you get”

To take full advantage of the Indian Summer we are currently enjoying, Krista and I decided to embark on another Idaho Adventure this weekend. Along with our friend Rachel, we gathered our hiking shoes, backpacks, dogs and a picnic and set off to hike to Pioneer Cabin.

Pioneer Cabin is an iconic image and hike of Sun Valley, Idaho. Think like the Eiffel Tower of Paris. The cabin was originally built in 1937 by the Sun Valley Company and resides at a mere 9,500 feet. The cabin is nestled into the Pioneer Mountain Range and views of the surrounding basin are breathtaking. The quizzical words written across the roof of the cabin add to the daunting views and the surrounding basins that seem to engulf you.

The reiteration of, “The higher you get, the higher you get” is written on the roof of the cabin. To the best of my knowledge and internet research browsing, I am unable to determine or even speculate where the saying originally came from. But perhaps this is the point. It adds to the self reflection that inevitably occurs when surrounded by such a vast and spectacular setting. It allows each interpreter and visitor to “take” what they deem necessary from the cabin, the views and the hike that leads so such a breathtaking elevation (literally and physically).

Here is a look at our adventure!

trail head - we took the pioneer cabin trail up and down

trail head – we took the pioneer cabin trail up and down

the one and only bridge crossing

the one and only bridge crossing – make sure to bring water for any doggie companions, as the only water is at the very beginning

make sure to sign your party in!

make sure to sign your party in!

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krista venturing towards pioneer cabin

krista venturing towards pioneer cabin

panoramic view of the high mountain landscape

panoramic view of the high mountain landscape

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almost there!

almost there!

the pups couldn't wait to reach the cabin!

the pups couldn’t wait to reach the cabin!

upon arriving at the spectacular cabin

upon arriving at the spectacular, pioneer cabin

To be honest, this isn’t a hike for the weary. The hike leading to the cabin consists of only 3.5 miles of nicely maintained trail but you gain 2500 feet of elevation in those 3.5 miles. The hike literally goes straight up and then straight down. One of those hikes that your quads, hamstrings, calves, feet and lower back inevitably feel regardless of how great of shape you are in…but it is well worth the burn and soreness the next day!

picnic view looking out towards the pioneer mountains

picnic view looking out towards the pioneer mountains

picnic lunch - nothing tastes better than goat cheese at 9500 feet

classy picnic lunch – nothing tastes better than goat cheese at 9500 feet

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just a bit cold at the top - make sure to bring an extra sweater for the top!

just a bit cold at the top – make sure to bring an extra sweater for the top!

the cabin door...

the cabin door…

rachel & taylor venturing in for a peek

rachel & taylor venturing in for a peek

taylor & the boy signed the cabin many years ago

taylor & the boy signed one of the rafters of the cabin many years ago – always fun to find again!

the cabin is full of signatures and quotes

the cabin is full of signatures and quotes (note the sketchy teddy bear?)

rachel & krista surprised me with an early birthday cupcake at the top!

rachel & krista surprised me with an early birthday cupcake at the top!

candid shots

candid shot

the brass blossom does pioneer cabin

the brass blossom does pioneer cabin

enjoying the beautiful drive out plus being in a seated position

enjoying the beautiful drive out plus being in a seated position

All in all we scurried up to the cabin in about one hour and forty minutes and then skipped down in about an hour. Despite the elevation gain and the overwhelming desire to maintain a horizontal position for hours after the hike, this hike is one of those hikes that is a must do each year. The view topping over the mountain when the cabin and the Pioneer Mountain Range first become visible never gets old. The saying “the higher you get, the higher you get” is just as profoundly quizzical each time viewing the cabin, drawing us back year after year.

krista and taylor

brass blossom

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