TRAIL ALERTS
Note: Scroll down on this page to find a wide variety of reports and information about our area trails and related topics.


Fish and Game warns of mountain lion, bear, coyote concerns

May 19, 2022 Fish and Game press release regarding recommended best-practices regarding sharing the landscape with predators:
Bears are out of their dens and mountain lions continue to be seen throughout the Wood River Valley

April 18, 2022 F&G News Release concerning continued sightings of mountain lion in Hailey: Mountain lion continues to be seen in Hailey

Reporter Emily Jones with the Idaho Mountain Express wrote and article about a recent lion sighting in Hailey. The article includes useful information about recognized best practices regarding what to do should you have an encounter with a mountain lion. Here is a link to that article:

Fish & Game urges vigilance after mountain lion sighted in Hailey city limit

More Wildlife Information can be found below - scroll down to find more wildlife info.

Early Springtime Conditions/Dealing with Mud Season
It's springtime (a.k.a. mud season), so please stick to paved paths or the dirt routes indicated as green/open or yellow/partially-open on this site's maps. Muddy roads and trails are easily damaged by passing traffic, so stay off muddy routes. On partially-open routes, turn around when you reach muddy conditions.

Red routes = Closed (muddy or otherwise not ready for traffic).
Yellow = Partially open (start of the trail or road is dry and open for out-and-back trips - use good judgement and turn around where conditions deteriorate).
Green = Open (dry and ready for traffic).

On partially-open/yellow routes please turn around when you get to muddy conditions. On partially-open routes you may reach short patches of snow or mud where longer sections of dry trail conditions are evident beyond the short areas that are wet or muddy. It is okay to pass beyond a short patch of snow or mud to explore dry terrain, but turn around where conditions deteriorate. If passing beyond short sections of snow or mud on partially-open trails, stay on the trail. Stay right in the middle to pass through short areas of snow or mud on partially open trails. Doing so protects trailside plants and helps keep our nice narrow trails from turning into wide highways (or braided tangles of tread).


Travels on Gravel Bike Map Brochure
The City of Hailey and partners have developed a map and brochure that describes many miles of local gravel roads that are open to recreational travel. A pdf version is available below, and paper copies are available at area sporting goods stores and bike shops.
 
The map was created by Hailey cartographer Evelyn Philips. It is an excellent document for helping people find new experiences on old roads. Reporter Emily Jones, with The Idaho Mountain Express, wrote an article that describes how the partnership to build this tool came together. Here is a link to that article: Hailey Plants a Flag For Gravel Travel



Agency Contact Info

Blaine County Road and Bridge
208-788-5580

Bureau of Land Management Information
Shoshone Field Office: 208-732-7200

Sawtooth National Forest Information
For immediate assistance phone the Sawtooth National Forest Supervisors Office: 208-423-7500
or phone these ranger stations:
Fairfield Ranger District: 208-764-3202
Ketchum Ranger District: 208-622-0090
Minidoka Ranger District: 208-678-0430
Sawtooth National Recreation Area Headquarters: 208-727-5000
The Sawtooth NRA Headquarters/Visitor Center is open to the public (to come inside) 9-4:30. However, the visitor center is closed for lunch from 12-1.
Stanley Ranger Station: 208-774-3000

The website of the Sawtooth National Forest was upgraded in 2021 with links to maps, alerts, publications, and social media tools. It also includes news about current fire restrictions and bear food-storage requirements, among other important information that the public needs to be aware of. Here is a link to their web site:



Wildlife Considerations

Mountain Lions

Wildlife managers agree that if a person is in close proximity to a lion, meaning they see it, they should:

  • NEVER run away from a mountain lion. The lion’s instinct is to chase and ultimately catch what they perceive as a potential prey.
  • NEVER turn your back on a lion. Always face them while making yourself look as large as you can. Yell loudly, but don’t scream. A high-pitched scream may mimic the sound of a wounded animal.
  • SLOWLY back away while maintaining eye contact with the lion. 
  • Safety equipment you may choose to carry could include bear spray, a noise device, like an air-horn, and if you walk in the dark, a very bright flashlight.
  • If you are attacked, fight back!
For additional information see the info at the top of this page about recent mountain lion sightings and recommended best practices for those who encounter lions.
Rattlesnake Common Sense
We sometimes see rattlesnakes in some valley locations. Here is a June 2021 Idaho Mountain Express article by Emily Jones about the topic:

Here is a link to a blog post that discusses recommended best practices for staying safe while traveling in areas that may include venomous snakes: Rattlesnake Common Sense

Here is an earlier Idaho Mountain Express news article about rattlesnakes by Emily Jones: Rattlesnake encounters are possible in south valley.

Recent Fish and Game News Release and other wildlife safety info
Wildlife Safety in the Wood River Valley
We share this place with wildlife. Protect yourself, your family, your pets, and help wildlife survive and thrive in the valley. Here is a press release from IF&G's Terry Thompson about staying safe and sharing the outdoors with wildlife in the Wood River Valley: 

Emily Jones, reporter with the Idaho Mountain Express, recently wrote a piece about mountain lion activity in the valley with recommended protocols for co-existing with wildlife. Here is that article: F&G reports major uptick in north valley mountain lion activity

Here is a recent article (June, 2021) by E. Jones about bear activity in the Warm Springs region of Ketchum: Close-encounters of the furred-kind

Here is a link to useful safety information and tips about wildlife from the City of Ketchum:

Be Moose Aware
Idaho Department of Fish and Game reported that a moose charged a family in Adams Gulch on September 4, 2020. Here is an article about the event with information from Fish and Game about recognized best-practices when moose are encountered:

Moose may seem gentle, but they can be very aggressive and dangerous when agitated. They consider dogs to be their mortal enemy, so keep your pets leashed. Never try to approach moose. Give them plenty of space and move away from them. Here is a link to some tips on how to avoid getting into a bad spot with moose:

SNRA Bear-proof storage
The SNRA has implemented a regulation for areas outside of the three designated wilderness areas whereby all unattended food and garbage must now be stored in hard-sided vehicles or approved bear-proof containers.
For information specific to the regulation and what will be required please follow the following link to a press release from the SNRA about it:

For more information about getting along with bears read this brochure from the US Forest Service. It contains informative useful to those looking to stay safe while enjoying travel in bear country. Here is the link:

Other Wildlife Considerations
Black bears and other animals are active and you may encounter them near area trails. Here is an article by Idaho Mt. Express reporter Emily Jones. It has some recommendations from Idaho Fish and Game about best practices when encountering wildlife. Article: Lions, Moose and Bears

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reports that a mountain lion killed a pastured mare in the vicinity of Red Elephant Canyon on August 23, 2020. Traps have been set in an attempt to try and find the cat responsible for the attack. Department officials remind the public to be vigilant for wildlife, such as mountain lions. While not a typical prey source, livestock is sometimes opportunistically taken by mountain lions.

The following is a link to a news release from the IDF&G about the incident. It includes info about maintaining personal safety in lion country.

Wood River Wolf Project
The Wood River Wolf Project promotes the coexistence of livestock and wolves by supporting the use of non-lethal measures to prevent depredation.

Logan Miller, program manager for the WRWP, works with ranchers who are interested in receiving help with keeping wolves away from their flocks. He also supports the herders by assisting them in the field with equipment and supplies that help them keep predators away.

Sheep Info

Latest Sheep Report from Ketchum Ranger District, Sawtooth National Forest:

September 22, 2021, KRS Sheep Report


Bands of sheep typically begin entering the region in early June of each year. The US Forest Service and the BLM provide information about the anticipated locations and movements of bands of sheep. The US Forest Service provides a weekly written summary of the locations and anticipated movements of bands of sheep throughout the grazing season. Links to the reports are provided at this location within the Trails Alerts section of the BCRD Summer TraiLink site. Those reports, and other provided info, is used by the BCRD Wood River Valley Trail Coordinator to help him populate the BCRD Summer TraiLink site with timely info about where bands of sheep may be encountered.


Bands of sheep are in the region from spring through fall of each year. They are accompanied by herders with working guard dogs who help protect their flocks from predators. In certain situations guard dogs can be antagonistic toward recreationalists and their pets. Here is some advice for people who encounter sheep bands and guard dogs:

- Put pets on a least
- Speak in a calm tone to let the dogs know that you are not a threat.
- Bicyclists should dismount, as doing so will usually signal to the dogs that the rider is not a threat. Walk your bike through the herd.  

Once the dogs settle down, move along. Do not try to befriend the dogs in any way. For additional information on this subject watch this video from the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission:

Reporter Tony Evans wrote and article that covers the subject of how best to interact with sheep guard dogs. That article appeared in the May 1, 2021 edition of the paper. Here is a link to it:

Tony covered the topic of the annual migration of the sheep in an earlier Idaho Mountain Express article. It appeared in 2020. It covers other aspects of the movements and management of the sheep. Here is a link to that article: Sheep bands start northern migrations

For additional info about how best to interact with bands of sheep and their guard dogs, click on the following link. It will take you to the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission's web page and another video about the subject. Share and Care - Getting Along With Sheep Guard Dogs


Trail Etiquette
Here is a link to a website page from the Sawtooth Society that contains timely advice for wisely using the places we love: WELCOME NEW VISITORS

Note from the BCRD Trail Coordinator, Chris Leman:
We have a wonderful trail system to share, and in the past, we have shared it well. Lately, some people, who are new to our trails, have been making some bad moves out there. That's a concern to the locals who have worked to develop a culture of shared trail-use here. Bad behavior is becoming more commonplace; some people are startling others, people can be seen riding or striding off trail to pass others, some are just being boorish.

The solution to these problems is really pretty simple. Everyone needs to slow down, be patient and be friendly. Be courteous toward others, as doing so will help everyone have the type of outing they are looking for, and it will go a long way toward keeping the trails in good shape.

Here are a couple of key "rules of the trail" to keep in mind on your trail trips:
  • When you come upon others, slow down and stop to facilitate a passing. Don't stride or ride on by. Traveling off the trail, to pass others, tramples plants and causes trail widening and braided trail conditions.
  • Generally speaking, out on the trails, people climbing uphill have the right of way. This is an important consideration, as it means that anyone who is descending is responsible for staying in control and managing their speed. It means that descending riders and runners are responsible for slowing down and not startling anyone, or causing a wreck. It says that people need to slow down as they approach blind corners, or any place where they have limited lines of sight, or are otherwise limited in their ability to know if someone is approaching from around the next bend. This is how two-way, multi-use trails work. Charging downhill without regard for others does not cut it.
Here is a neat video by our friends in Oregon, COTA (Central Oregon Trail Alliance) about these very subjects:

TRAIL LOVE (click on the link)

Three Tips 4 Better Trails
This blog post is about taking care of the trails and watching out for each other while we are out there: 3 Tips For Better Trails


2021 SNRA Rules Update
Increased visitation at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in 2020 has prompted the agency to implement new rules regarding camping and the use of SNRA facilities. Here is link to the SNRA issued rule order:

The Idaho Mountain Express ran a story by Emily Jones about the new rules package. Here is a link to that article:


BLM Expanding Recreation Opportunities in Wood River Valley
In 2021 the BLM released a decision that will expand opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, camping and other types of outdoor recreation in Blaine County.

The Decision Record for the Wood River Valley Recreation and Access Environmental Assessment authorizes construction of approximately 81 miles of new trails as well as seven new trailheads. Also to be built are 21 new designated dispersed campsites primarily in the Kelly and Quigley Gulches and Cove Creek.

Additionally, the decision modifies existing seasonal off-highway vehicle (OHV) use restriction areas. The OHV restrictions would be implemented annually from Jan. 1 to April 30 and are expanded to include more of the urban interface areas and important wildlife corridors throughout the Wood River Valley.

This decision also allows the BLM to implement restrictions to protect wintering wildlife only when conditions warrant and only in areas where animals are congregating. This may include any human activity impacting deer and elk during times when they are most vulnerable, between January and April.

The BLM will construct the new trails, trailheads and dispersed campsites over the next several years as funding and other resources allow.

The Decision Record, EA, maps and supporting documents, titled DOI-BLM-ID-T030-2020-0015-EA, can be viewed on the BLM NEPA Register website:

BLM NEPA Register website

At the website, to find the correct documents, enter:

DOI-BLM-ID-T030-2020-0015-EA

into the area provided for "Enter a NEPA # or project name.  


Trail Etiquette (a bit more on the topic)
The local trails and trailheads are getting busier all the time. Please take it easy so that everyone can enjoy the trails in a manner that suits them. Be patient with other trails users, and be courteous to each other. Some people are not as mobile or spry as others, so give each other a break and don't be in a great rush all of the time. Breath.

Below is a blog about what is expected of you and others when sharing the trails. Another link is provided as a stand-alone list of guidelines. The later is in a .pdf file format, which can be printed out for posting at retail locations or elsewhere.
Stand alone guidelines - Trail Etiquette Guidelines .pdf file


Motor Vehicle Use Maps
SNRA MVUM
The link below is to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area Motor Vehicle use map for use in determining use designation for roads on the SNRA. It can also be used to find out where dispersed camping is allowed on the SNRA. Look in the legend for the symbol indicating where such camping is allowed. You will need to zoom in to the map to see the symbols displayed in areas of interest. A paper version of the mao is available at the SNRA Headquarters/Visitors Center, 8-miles north of Ketchum on Highway 75. 

Other Sawtooth NF Motor Vehicle Use Maps
The MVUM displays National Forest System routes (roads and trails) or areas designated as open to motorized travel. The MVUM also displays allowed uses by vehicle class (ex. highway-legal vehicles, vehicles 50 inches in width or less and motorcycles), seasonal allowances, distance allowances, and provides information on other travel rules and regulations.

The MVUM is a black and white map with no topographic features. It is a map for legal designations of where you can travel with various motorized vehicles, but for additional reference it is best used in conjunction with a Forest Visitor Map or other detailed map.


Click this link for the maps:



Trails Around Town
Quigley Map Studio has developed an updated brochure for the Ketchum Ranger District that describes close-to-town rides and hikes in the Ketchum/Sun Valley area.

The new map/brochure is a labor of love by cartographer Evelyn Philips who spearheaded the development of the original brochure, which came out in the 1980's. It was used for years as a handout at the Ketchum Ranger Station and elsewhere around town; a handy, simple guide to some of the more popular and close-in hikes. The new version brings the publication up to date with current descriptions about nearby outings and what uses the trails are open to. Below you will find some links to pdf files of the brochure.

Black and white version (front and back 8.5x14):

Color - map only - (8.5x11):


In an effort to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak Idaho's Governor Little has issued a state-wide isolation order. Stay put and do not travel here from outside of the county for recreational purposes. For those living here and who are sheltering in place, do not leave Blaine County for non-essential reasons and please consider these recommendations for outdoor recreation:

Regarding the use of trails and trails facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak, in places where there are no restrictions on the use of local parks, trails and open spaces, we encourage all users to follow these recommendations:
- Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
- Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails.
- Prepare for limited access to public restrooms or other facilities.
- While on trails, warn other users of your presence, and as you pass. Step aside to let others pass.
- Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space.
Let's all do our part to use our open-spaces in a way that respects each other and public health guidance.

-----Here are a few thoughts on taking care of the trails while we practice social distancing (plagiarized from a recent Instagram post by Sara Gress at the Wood River Trail Coalition [@wrtrailscoalition]:

When you are stepping off the trail to let someone pass, please simply stop, move aside and let your fellow trail user move by. Please do not continue to ride or walk off-trail through the sagebrush (yes, we are talking about Croy) while you let someone by. This leads to trail braiding, more erosion and smashing vegetation. While it is AWESOME that we are all giving each other space, please do it in a manner that doesn't negatively impact our sagebrush friends. Let's keep our singletrack single.


Here is a news release from Gov. Little's office dated 4/16/20. It is about responsible recreation during the coronavirus outbreak:



Flash Floods and Debris Flows
Many area trails pass through fire-impacted regions of the forest. Use extra caution when planning your outings.

Storms can created flash floods, debris flows, and falling timber. Check the weather and keep your eye on the skies when you are headed out for a hike or ride. In areas burned in recent fires things are especially unstable. Travel in those areas is not recommended when threatening weather conditions exist. Burned, standing trees can come down in any weather, but when windy conditions develop the situation becomes especially dangerous. When in doubt, stay out.

Many area trails have been heavily impacted by recent wildfires. Use extra caution in your travels and anticipate that the trail ahead may be in rough shape. Look out for areas where soils and rock have come across the trail from above, or where drop-offs have developed in the trail tread itself.
We strive to keep this site updated, but due to the dynamic conditions found in the region, especially in the areas impacted by our recent fires, you may come across conditions or closures not yet reported on this site.


News and information about area trails:

Get on the BCRD Wood River Valley trail coordinator's email list and get updates emailed to you. To get on the list send an email to the BCRD WRVTC, Chris Leman at: cleman@bcrd.org and with the subject line "add", or use the body of the email to tell Leman that you wish to be added to the list.
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