One Big Ride: Greenhorn Gulch Adventure in Sun Valley
Sun Valley is a Mecca of big rides… everywhere you look around town, there’s another TH and a spider web of trails you can connect to really put yourself “out there”. Less than 10 minutes south of town lies Greenhorn Gulch, a trail head that has a number of close-in trails that lend themselves to putting together rides that will push you to your limits, and yet you likely haven’t even touched the surface of that’s available.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak earlier this spring, we were unfortunately forced to postpone our early June trip to Sun Valley – so instead, we took the opportunity to meet up with a few folks, scout new trails, and link together rides that we’ll surely integrate into future itineraries. This is definitely one of them!
Greenhorn Gulch Adventure: 23 miles, 4400 feet of climbing (and descending)
Two big climbs, one beautiful traverse, and three mind-blowing descents; that’s what you’ll get on this ride that is typical Sun Valley riding. The trail never gets too technical, yet there are plenty of challenging sections. The climbs never get too steep, yet you’ll be pushed to your physical limits. And the views never disappoint; Sun Valley is wide open in a way that other mountain destinations can’t be. The views seem to be 360 degrees every time you top out on a climb. It’s oh-so-worth-it.
After departing the TH, you’re treated with an absolutely beautiful, as-mellow-as-it-gets climb on the Mahoney Butte trail. Meandering above a creek bed for most of the first half, it’s the perfect warmup. As you hit a junction and turn left, the trails pitches up a bit to get the heart racing, but it’s never all that bad. You get a quick glimpse of the fantastic descent as you hit the Mahoney Loop trail, but don’t get too excited- there’s still one steep section left before you get the goods.
After a relatively short (for Sun Valley, at least) 2-3 mile rippin’ descent, we get another quick climb and traverse with views over the entire valley. As we turn downhill and enjoy another 3 miles of sweet singletrack, the past climbs become a distant memory.
Once we hit the valley floor, it’s time to refuel: the Greenhorn climb lies ahead, which is 5 miles of steady grade. It’s never too steep, but it doesn’t let up until you hit the saddle high above on the Imperial Trail. Trust us, the effort is worth it, as the Imperial downhill is one of the best anywhere: 5 miles of super fast, flowy singletrack with views that you’ll remember forever.