Mahoney Butte (#821)
: This loop experiences both extremes from the Castle Rock Fire as it climbs from lower riparian zones up to a high ridge. The Greenhorn drainage was spared any significant burning, while the Mahoney drainage is some of the most intensely burned. The views of the Pioneer Mountains from the top are outstanding and users are rewarded with some beautiful lupine meadows at the top (mid-July).
The Greenhorn Gulch drainage, which includes Cow Creek, Lodgepole Gulch, Mahoney Gulch, Greenhorn Creek, and Imperial Gulch has the highest concentration of multi-use trails in the valley. Much of the northern half of the drainage was burned quite severely during the Castle Rock Fire in 2007. The trails pass through a wide variety of terrain from dense forest to open grass and flower-covered slopes, meandering ridgelines and, more recently, burned and limbless forests recovering from the fire. The interconnected nature of the Greenhorn trails allows for a wide variety of loops as all of the drainages are linked along the western divide. For hikers, many of the loops are longer than they may want to travel in a single day. There are several shorter options between the Cow Creek and Mahoney Gulch trails. Out-and-back hikes are also a great option on both the Greenhorn and Imperial Gulch trails. The motorcycle community was instrumental in the funding, improvement, and connection of the Greenhorn, Deer Creek, and Warm Springs Creek trail networks. Funds from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation paid for a lot of motorized specific trail development in the late â€˜70s and early â€˜80s. As a result, all of the trails in Greenhorn Gulch are multi-use and open to motorcycles. Please respect ALL user groups you encounter. Everyone has a right to enjoy this wonderful network of trails.
Directions: Drive south on Highway 75 to the East Fork stoplight (5.5 mi). Turn right onto Greenhorn Gulch Road and follow it to the parking lot (3.7 mi).
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.