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Trail Creek Summit

This seems to be a popular ride in the Sun Valley area, and the mountain scenery is a big reason for this. A large part of both approaches are paved. But a substantial part over the top is not. Still - I saw several road bikers on the unpaved section, and more cyclists on the paved section than in the entire remainder of Idaho (or so it seemed).

This is a classic crossing of a fault block mountain range, with the steep slope on the strike side of the range, where the fault line is, and the gradual dip slope on the east side.

1.(00.0m,5840ft) START-END WEST: jct Main Street - Trail Creek Rd, Ketchum
2.(12.4m,7880ft)TOP: Trail Creek Summit
3.(22.5m,6970ft)jct with FR135 Wild Horse Creek Rd on right
4.(29.9m,6680ft)jct with Bartlett Rd on right
5.(41.0m,6280ft)START-END EAST: stream crossing, immediately before jct US93 - Trail Creek Rd

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From South.
The profile starts in Ketchum and turns up in direction of the Sun Valley Resort. The first few kms are on a paved bike path, passing huge parking lots and buildings that look like ski motels, rather than ski hotels.

The ski circus soon ends and so does the bike path. A single long straight away leads to a single long traverse up the strike slope. It aims straight for gap in the range. The pavement lasts for about 2/3 up this traverse. Approaching the summit the road enters the forested gap. The only sign at the top informs that this is the border between Sawtooth and Challis National Forests

From North. (also described upwards) The west side of the Lost River Range is one of largest escarpments in the Rocky Mountains, and the lower part of this approach makes a perfect vantage point on this huge fault line mountain range to the east.

Heading for Trail Creek Summit, two approaches meet at the entrance to the hills on the dip slope, one making a short cut from the north. The other named Bartlett Road, forms a short cut to points south. The profile follows the northern option. This paved road is peaceful way to enjoy the majestic Idaho vistas. The pavement lasts till just before the National Forest boundary.

The road climbs very gradually on this side and stays at the bottom of wide flat valley with a wild stream meandering through the sagebrush. Mountains are isolated small triangular faces, that appear as backdrop to this sagebrush scene. The surface is first a hard compressed dirt but becomes gravel closer to the top.

The road seems to head straight for a rock wall at the end of a shoe carton. But things are not like they appear, sometimes. Even thought the road becomes a little steeper and enters forest, it heads for a wide hidden gap, that surprisingly opens up the descend at an abrupt fault line.

Dayride with this point a highest summit:


( < Galena Summit | Galena Old Toll Road Summit )

Trail Creek Summit x2: Ketchum <> Sun Valley ski area <> Trail Creek Summit <> turnaround point on other side at jct with Bartlett Point Rd: 62.2miles with 3620ft of climbing in 5:37hrs (garmin etrex30 m5:17.6.24)