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Alden Gulch Trail #144
Details (5/26/2024)
Status: Closed
Difficulty: Advanced
Uses: Mt Biking & Hiking & Equestrian
Length: 5 miles
Start: 8,761'
End: 6,979'
Min: 6,979'
Max: 8,761'
Gain: 1,782'
Loss: -100'
Elevation Profile
// track pieces: 4456, // elevation pieces: 3860
Trailhead Forecast (5/26/2024)
Description / Access Information
Alden Gulch #144: A newly rerouted trail; re-built by the Ketchum Ranger District in 2018.

This non-motorized trail provides a connection between Baker Creek Road and the Osberg Ridgeline Trail. The drainage burned very hot during the 2013 Beaver Creek Fire, and subsequent storm events damaged the existing trail; washing it out completely for much of its length. This route required a major reconstruction.

Historically, Alden Gulch did not see a lot of traffic. On a 1915 map of the Sawtooth National Forest, the trail is shown linking over Warm Springs Ridge down Thompson Creek, and is highlighted as an “Area of Scenic Interest.” The previously thickly-wooded, north-facing drainage offered a cool hike in the heat of mid-summer. The old trail was right in the bottom of the drainage for most of its length; very direct and steep. It was around three-miles long.

The new trail is about 5 miles long and it is more gradually graded than the old trail, but it's still a rather steep trail. It is a good hike or horseback ride and it is very popular with mountain bikers, who appreciate descending on the trail. It features big berm-turns and optional drops and jumps that advanced to expert riders take advantage of as they enjoy the trail's fun character. The forest is now a burned and blackened landscape, but it is coming back to life with great vigor. The hillsides are covered with lush new growth and the views of the Boulder Mountains and other distant ridges and ranges are awe-inspiring.

Deftly designed by Justin Blackstead at the Sawtooth National Forest Ketchum Ranger District, the trail takes trail-users through, and too, some beautiful spots. Built by local trail contractor, Titus  Trails (formerly Red Elephant Trails) with assistance from the KRDnTrail Crew and youth crews from the Idaho Youth Corps. Local volunteers with the Wood River Trails Coalition also helped with the build. The trail is a testament to the power of team-work and the value of partnerships.

Many organizations helped with the funding of the re-construction of the trail, including the Wood River Trails Coalition, 5B Restoration Coalition, National Forest Foundation, and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, among others.

Directions: Drive north on Highway 75 to Baker Creek Road (15.4 mi). Turn left and follow the main dirt road for 3.2 miles to the low end of the trail on the left/south side of the road. There is room to park a couple of vehicles near to the start of the ride, but parlking is limited. There is room to park a few cars back at the intersection of Baker Creek Road and the East Fork Baker Creek Road. Also nearby is the Baker Creek Road Campground, which is basically an open area with several loosely defined campsites. The campground is popular with those driving or pulling larger RVs. There is a vault toilet there and room to park.

*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.