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Harriman Trail
Details (6/23/2024)
Status: Open
Difficulty: Beginner
Uses: Mt Biking & Hiking & Equestrian
Length: 18.99 miles
Start: 7,293'
End: 6,240'
Min: 6,236'
Max: 7,303'
Gain: 1,117'
Loss: -2,167'
Elevation Profile
// track pieces: 1819, // elevation pieces: 1819
Trailhead Forecast (6/23/2024)
Description / Access Information

Harriman Trail: 

The Harriman Trail begins eight miles north of Ketchum at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area Headquarters, and gains a gentle 1200 ft. in elevation as it winds its way north and west to Galena Lodge. It follows the course of the Big Wood River, alternating through spacious meadows, aspen stands and lodgepole forests, always with the majestic Boulder Mountain Range as a scenic backdrop.  Activities include hiking, mountain biking, fishing, observing birds and wildlife, and horseback riding from Murphy Bridge north.  In winter, the trail is groomed for Nordic skiing, serving as a vital link in the BCRD Nordic Trails system.  The trail is non-motorized.

Named in honor of W. Averell Harriman, the founder of Sun Valley, the trail began with a pledge from the Mary W. Harriman Foundation in 1991. This initial gift was magnified by partners in both the public and private sectors to begin construction in 1996.

In the winter the Harriman Trail is a cross country ski trail that is closed to all other modes of travel.

Prairie Creek to Galena Lodge
Features impressive rock formations, several hills and a winding trail in the trees for the most part. Highlights of this section of trail include the Hare Bench, a little grotto built into the rock with a carved out dog water bowl, and the Mountain Goat interpretive site, featuring a spotting scope to view the elusive animals as they bound up the rocks on the slopes of the Boulders. The Community Bridge is another highlight.

Open Uses: Mountain Biking, Hiking, Equestrian
Length:  6 miles/9 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Getting there: 16 miles north of the Sawtooth NRA Headquarters turn onto Prairie Creek Rd. Park at trailhead 1/2 mile up road. North and south trail accesses from parking area. From Galena Lodge, cross Hwy. 75 and the Big Wood River to reach the trailhead.

Baker Creek to Prairie Creek
Features lodgepole forests, open meadows, fishing access, and the closest views of the Boulder Mountains.  Highlights include the Mountain Skyline and the Russian John interpretive sites, with the spectacular view of the Boulder Mountains dominating the northern landscape.

Open Uses:  Mountain Biking, Hiking, Equestrian
Length: 4.9 miles/8 km
Difficulty: Easy
Getting there: Parking and easy access to the trail is available at Baker Creek 8 miles from the Sawtooth NRA Headquarters on Hwy. 75.

North Fork to Baker Creek
Features fishing access, interpretive sites, campgrounds,
picnic areas, Easley Hot Springs. The
most interpretive sites in the smallest distance
are found right after you start on this section of
the trail. Information on trees, the Big Wood River
and nearby Durrance Mountain are found at the
beginning; the geology interpretive site features
the artwork of Florian Haemmerle.

Open Uses:  Biking, Hiking
Length:  8.7 miles/14 km
Difficulty: Easy
Getting there:  Park at the Sawtooth NRA Headquarters and cross Hwy. 75 to the trailhead.  Trail begins on west side of Hwy. 75.  Gentle grade.

Please note that the Harriman Trail is non-motorized and dogs must be leashed through campgrounds.

Interpretive Sites

The following numbered interpretive sites can be located on the map above by zooming into the map in a particular area and scrolling your mouse over the "i" or blue Information tabs.
  1. km 1 Cottonwoods Site features information about the most common tree species found along the Big Wood River.
  2. km 2 Big Wood River Fishery Site features information about conservationist Jack Hemingway and resident fish of the Big Wood.
  3. km 2.5 Durrance Mountain Site features information about the legendary skier and the mountain named after him.
  4. km 3.5 Forest Conifers Site features information about the different kinds of evergreens in the Boulder and Smoky ranges.
  5. km 8 Boulder Mountain Range Site features apainting by Florian Haemmerle and information about geology of this area.
  6. km 10 Wetlands Site features information about the riparian life along the Big Wood River.
  7. km 14 Pamela Harriman Site features history about this unique woman who made this trail a reality.
  8. km 14.2 Mountain Skyline The spectacular panorama of the Boulder Mountains is best seen from this site.
  9. km 19 Russian John The history of the original roadhouse and staff is explained here.
  10. km 24 Mountain Goats Site features a permanent spotting scope for viewing these elusive animals on the Boulder Mountains to the Northeast.
  11. * km 27 Sculpin and Wetlands Site features information about the Wood River Sculpin and its importance to the riparian values of the Big Wood.
  12. * km 30 Mining The colorful history of Galena’s boom and bust period in the late 1800s is outlined at this site.
*Signs 11 and 12 are available for sponsorship. Not installed.  For a full pdf version of the official Harriman Trail map published by the BCRD. please click here.  The map includes more detailed information on parking, trailhead info, restroom access, and campground locations within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

Working partners of the Harriman project include the Sawtooth National Forest, the Mary W. Harriman Foundation, the Idaho Transportation Department and Federal Highway Administration, and the Blaine County Recreation District.