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Deer Creek Trail #158
Details (5/25/2024)
Status: Open
Difficulty: Advanced
Uses: Mt Biking & Hiking & Equestrian & Motorcycle & eBikes
Length: 5.7 miles
Start: 7,042'
End: 6,040'
Min: 6,040'
Max: 7,042'
Gain: 612'
Loss: -1,614'
Elevation Profile
// track pieces: 1069, // elevation pieces: 1069
Trailhead Forecast (5/25/2024)
Description / Access Information
Deer Creek Trail #158:
Demanding and fun trail. Trails in the Deer Creek region are more rugged and removed than some other offerings in the valley, and accessing them takes a good deal of effort. 

Be mindful that portions of your route will be through burned areas. Beware of falling trees and limbs, rolling rocks and flash floods. Watch the weather and stay out if the forecast is for stormy weather or high winds. Trees come down all the time in a burned forest, winds or not, and despite the best efforts of the FS Trail Crew, and area volunteers, some trees may be down along your intended route.

Thank you motorcyclist volunteers with the Wood River Trails Coalition. These authorized volunteers are responsible for cutting out many downed trees each year along our local trails. They are our first line of attack each spring, and they continue to work throughout each season to help keep your trails open and free of downed wood. They can't be everywhere, all of the time, but without them we would be going nowhere.

The Deer Creek Trail climbs through light-forest and areas of the burn. Down low, it largely stays along the riparian creek bottom, gaining elevation more abruptly to get above stream-side bank failures, or to get around other natural obstacles. Climbing up the drainage the trail becomes more tight and technical with sharp climbs, rock outcroppings, and places where a wrong move could mean a little tumble into the creek.

The trail is demanding as a climb. Descending on the trail is not easy either. The rocky, technical sections may be relatively easy for those on foot, but they form challenges for two-wheeled travel, or for hoofed-travel.

Linking the Deer Creek Trail #158 to the North Fork Deer Creek Trail #157 creates a loop of about 11 miles. Many mountain bikers prefer to do the loop counter-clockwise, but some cyclists like to do it the other way. They like the very demanding, technical character of the climb up the main Deer Creek. It all depends on what you're looking for.

During the 2013 Beaver Creek fire, over 70 percent of the Deer Creek drainage burned. This was followed by torrential storms and flooding in the spring of 2014. The resulting damage to the natural and man-made components of the drainage was stunning. The area was ravaged and required a multi-year, significant rebuilding effort by the Forest Service and the local community.   From 2015 to 2018, the Ketchum Ranger District rehabilitated the floodplain, restored wildlife habitat, rebuilt 20 dispersed campsites, installed trailhead facilities at two locations, and relocated 3,500 feet of forest road. They planted over 20,000 native plants and are treating the area for noxious weeds. They also rebuilt 28 miles of single-track trails in Deer Creek. These rebuilt trails form important connections to the vast system of trails found to the north of the drainage.

In total, Deer Creek restoration costs neared $1.6 million. Funding for this massive effort was largely mobilized by the 5B Restoration Coalition, a grassroots community alliance of diverse interests that strives to bring the Wood River community together to restore and enhance our lands and natural assets.  Blaine County’s Land, Water and Wildlife Program, a tax-payer levy program, contributed $496,000 to the Deer Creek restoration efforts. This significant contribution provided leverage for additional funding including $188,000 from the National Forest Foundation, who is also the facilitator of the 5B Restoration Group. For more information about the 5BRC visit this web site: 5B Restoration Coalition

At the intersection of Hwy. 75 and Deer Creek Road, take the paved Deer Creek Road west. (This intersection is about 2 miles north of Hailey, and about 9 miles south of Ketchum). Travel safely and slowly through the neighborhood to cross the bridge over the Big Wood River. The road turns to gravel after about 3 miles.

From the highway it's about 10.3 miles to the end of the DeerCreek Road at the FS Deer Creek Trailhead. At this trailhead there is a vault toilet and an area map/info kiosk.  (FYI -  On this site's Google base-map layer, the trailhead is incorrectly identified as "Deer CreekCampground." It should be labeled as the Deer Creek Trailhead.)

*For additional descriptions, maps, and information on thehistory, geology, and wildflowers of the Wood River Valley pick up a copyof Exploring Sun Valley online orfind it at one of several local shops.