Taylor and I often wish we could be paid to do the things we love like our fly-fishing guide friends and significant others. While our skills would likely include “drinking wine, reading and yoga,” hiking would undoubtedly be at the top of that list.
While we don’t have any “customers,” the only motivation we need is each other and the great outdoors of Idaho. We never struggle to find another area to explore, and the summit never disappoints.
One challenging combination to find in Idaho is a hike that lasts longer than your post-work grind hike, offers a unique view, won’t result in an ATV rescue, and features water for the smash sisters throughout the trail. Enter Summit Creek (the excellent recommendation of Charlotta Harris, mother of dear friends and die-hard brass blossom supporter).
To access Summit Creek, you drive about 30 miles east of Ketchum to the summit of Trail Creek Pass (a curvy dirt road not meant for the faint of heart or thin-tired vehicles). Park in the first grassy lot on the right side, and head down the only trail in sight.
What follows is a moderate 7-mile hike (there and back) that meanders through meadows, over a creek countless times, across a couple bogs, through an “elephant graveyard” (an avalanche drainage from years ago that makes for an impressive view), and eventually up a grueling .75 mile saddle — trust us, it’s worth it.
The finale is nothing short of majestic. Devil’s Bedstead and the Northern peaks of the Pioneers are all of a sudden directly in front of you, making you feel at once accomplished, intimidated, inspired, and insignificant. Bring a sweater and lots of water for the top. It gets chilly, and you probably haven’t hydrated enough!
We highly recommend this hike. It would make for a great backpacking trail, mountain bike ride (although TBD if mountain bikes are allowed access), and hike with middle school aged kids, as evidenced by Stacey’s notes in Taylor’s hiking book.
The entire trip took us about 4 hours including driving, but Taylor and I feel confident that we could bust this sucker out in about 2 hours (at least the hiking part)…We’ll have to prove that to ourselves at some point.
The adventure ended with two entirely wiped out black dogs (they probably made the hike into a 15-mile hike with their shadowing shenanigans and river otter antics) and the best burger, possibly ever, at Grumpy’s — complete with a gluten free bun and a schooner full of hard cider.
It was a quintessential Ketchum Saturday… Thanks to our dear friend, Cody, and our new friend, Lisa, for accompanying us!