Blaine County Rec District
  • Community Campus
  • Sportscape
  • Galena & Trails
community campus sportsscape trails
Donate to Blaine County Rec District
Parker Gulch
Ketchum / Sun Valley
Sun Valley Region
Status: Closed
Region: Ketchum / Sun Valley
Difficulty: Advanced
Uses: Mt Biking, Hiking, Equestrian, Motorcycle
Length: 3.2 miles
Start: 8,611'
End: 6,393'
Min: 6,393'
Max: 8,611'
Popular Tracks:
Pioneer Cabin/Johnstone/Bear/Parker »

selected trails
all area trails
Wood River Trail Reconstruction
Galena Summer Trails Project
North of Ketchum
Ketchum / Sun Valley
Mid Valley
Trails Index
Popular Rides
fly your trail in 3D

Google Earth KML file
Download KML file above, open in Google Earth to see this trail in 3D!
don't get lost
GPX file (right click to download)
Download GPX file above, upload the track to your GPS and you'll always know where you are!!
user comments

Elevation Profile
Description / Access Information

Parker-Bear Gulch (#122): 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 Parker to Bear mountain bike ride is a granny gear grind, one of the steepest and most consistent climbs in the valley.  Information for the Parker Gulch trailhead is given below:

Parker Gulch: Parker Gulch was one of the epicenters of mining in the 1880s and many old roads crisscross the steep hillsides between tailings piles.  Isaac Lewis, who also founded the town of Ketchum, owned the Elkhorn Mine at the mouth of Keystone Gulch.  Other notable claims up Parker Gulch were the Amicus, Parker, and Montgomery Mines.  The road passes through several parcels of private property so please respect the landowners.  The Parker Gulch trail climbs to the SW saddle of Johnstone Peak and connects to Bear Gulch.  The drainage faces west and tends to be hotter, drier, and dustier than Bear Gulch, but the Parker trailhead is closer to town and more convenient to access.  About half of the trail crosses open sage and grass and the other half crosses through shady forest.  It is a straight forward climb through four long switchbacks to the saddle so a detailed description is not included.  Mountain bikers will find Parker to be a grueling 13% grade with a steeper crux to the saddle.  The trail tends to be somewhat looser than the Bear Gulch side.  From the saddle at pt. 8620 it is a straight forward off-trail scramble to the summit of Johnstone Peak (1,325 feet) with stunning panoramic views of the high peaks of the Pioneer Crest. The trail is open to motorcycle use. 

Directions: Drive south on Hwy 75 from Ketchum to the Elkhorn Road stoplight (1.4 mi).  Turn left and follow Elkhorn to Morningstar Road (2 mi).  Turn right and follow Morningstar to Parker Gulch Road (.7 mi).  Drive out Parker Gulch on dirt to the trailhead (2.2 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.


other links:
About BCRD:   Contact Information   |   Privacy Policy   |   Employment
Follow us: Facebook Twitter YouTube

Trail Selector
Use the choices in this bar to filter what you want to appear on the map (Open or Closed, general part of the valley, uses etc.), then click the button to filter your results.

Want to see all the trails again? Click the button.
Map Legend
Open Paved Road or Path Partially Open CLOSED!
PLEASE STAY OFF CLOSED TRAILS! Click any trail to see trail name, length and a brief description, along with a link to a more detailed page for that trail.
Trailhead Closure Obstacle / Hazard
Information Location Specific Photo Sheep in Area
Hover your mouse over any marker for more information.
The title bar shows what (if any) filters you have applied to your search. Click the X next to a filter to remove it.
Map Legend
Open Paved Road or Path Partially Open CLOSED! Nearby Trails
PLEASE STAY OFF CLOSED TRAILS! Click currently selected trail to see elevation and latitude / longitude at that specific point; click any of the nearby trails to see the trail name, a brief description, and a link to that trail's main page.
Trailhead Closure Obstacle / Hazard Information Location Specific Photo
Hover your mouse over any marker for more information.
Hover your mouse over the elevation profile to have that location marked on the trail.
Trails List
Click the name of a region to see a list of trails in that region and (when on the Trails Home page) have the map zoomed to that general area.

Green trails are OPEN.
Yellow trails are PARTIALLY OPEN or being worked on.
Red trails are CLOSED! Please don't use closed trails!

Click the circle icon next to any trail to zoom into it on the map, click the trail name itself to go to that's trail's detailed page.
Trail Elevation Profile
Profile shows elevation from start to finish of the trail.

Hover your mouse over a portion of the profile to see the corresponding location marked on the trail map. Click the profile to see exact elevation at that location.
Helpful Tips
  • Take your time to become familiar with the map.
  • "Mouse over" the question marks in the upper right corners of some modules for a legend of what you'll see in that module.
  • Zoom in/out of the map.  You'll notice that after you zoom in a bit, you'll see 'pins' indicating photos, information, trail closures, etc.
  • Use the trail 'query' feature above the map to see how you can sort through the trails in our valley.  When you want to remove the filters that you input, just click 'reset'.
Photo & Video Galleries
Click on any image or video thumbnail to see larger versions in slideshow form.
Trail Updates
Trail updates are listed here; changes to trail status (Open, Closed, Partially Open), addition of markers (warnings, information, sheep, photos) or removal of those markers will be noted here.

Click a marker to view it on the associated trail.