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Bear Gulch Trail #121
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Details
Status: Open
Difficulty: Advanced
Uses: Mt Biking & Hiking & Equestrian & Motorcycle
Length: 3.5 miles
Start: 6,643'
End: 8,612'
Min: 6,635'
Max: 8,612'
Gain: 2,016'
Loss: -47'
Popular Tracks:
Pioneer Cabin/Johnstone/Bear/Parker »
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Description / Access Information

Bear Gulch Trail #121: Fording creek is no problem and the trail was free of downed trees in late July, 2017. High grasses are obscuring areas of the trail, making it a bit of a challenge for two-wheeled traffic in spots. Sapling aspens are bent over the trail in some areas.


From either side, this is a steep (13% grade) single-track trail that climbs to the SW saddle of Johnstone Peak. It is one of the few trails open to motorized use in the Pioneer Mountains. The Bear to Parker bicycle ride is a low gear grinder; one of the steepest and most consistent climbs in the valley. 


Bear Gulch:  Bear Gulch follows an old road up a narrow and sparsely-forested creek bottom to a steep single-track trail that climbs to the saddle separating the Bear and Parker sides of the #121 Trail.


It is possible to form a massive mountain bike loop linking Corral Creek to Pio Cabin to Johnstone Creek to Bear to Parker Gulch. This is a leg-burning 30-mile ride that climbs 5,660 feet (add 2.2 miles and 629 feet if you take the optional out-and-back side trip to Pio Cabin).


Hiking the Bear Gulch Trail as an out-and-back will allow for a nice walk through a shady creek bottom while providing a good workout on a relatively short trail. From the saddle, it is an easy Class 2 scramble up the SW ridge of Johnstone Peak (1,325 feet) for the most amazing panoramic view of the Pioneer Mountains.


Directions: Take Hwy 75 south from Ketchum (5.5 mi) or north from Hailey (6.3 mi) to the stoplight at the East Fork Road. Turn east onto East Fork Road and continue 6 miles on pavement and 1.3 miles on dirt to the Hyndman Creek junction (7.3 mi). Turn left and climb up the big rocky curve and proceed northeast on Hyndman Creek Road for 2.8 miles. The road crosses private land so please respect the property. Follow Hyndman Cr. Rd #203 past two private homes, down to the creek bottom and bear left to the Bear Gulch trailhead. 


*For more detailed descriptions, topo maps, and information on the history, geology, and wildflowers of the Wood River Valley pick up a copy of Exploring Sun Valley online or find it at one of several local shops.

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