Wolftone Creek Road #102: The Wolftone Road leads 3 miles to its end at a turn-around area with room to park a few vehicles. This is an old mining road that is often combined with Wolftone-Curran Trail #160, and the lowest couple miles of the Deer Creek Trail #158, to make a clockwise loop. More info on the loop can be found a little further down in this description.
Be mindful that portions of your route will be through areas that burned in the 2013 Beaver Creek Fire. Watch for hazards. 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 Ketchum Ranger District Trail Crew, and area volunteers with the Wood River Trails Coalition, some trees may be down along your intended route.
The trails in Deer Creek are more rugged and removed than some other offerings in the valley, and accessing them takes some effort. Deer Creek Road starts out pretty nice, but depending on when it was last graded, and the time of the year, it can get pretty rough. As you get deeper in, the road narrows, and there are blind corners that you need to approach slowly. It takes a while to get in and out, but if it isn't hunting season, the area can be relatively quiet, and somewhat less traveled.
The Wolftone Road #102 is often used as part of a roughly 18-mile long mountain bike ride formed by combining the Wolftone-Curran Trail #160 and the lowest two miles of the Deer Creek Trail #158. Many prefer to do the loop as a clockwise trip, but the other way ain't bad either. If you are driving to access the ride, you can park near the bottom of Wolftone Road, to allow for a downhill ending, no matter which way you roll. There is room to park a couple of vehicles roadside near the intersection of Deer Creek Road and Wolftone Road, or you can drive up Wolftone Road and find other wide areas that will accommodate roadside parking. As always, don't block a road or a gate with your parked vehicle, and try to make room for others looking for a parking place or turn-around.
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 highway 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 and proceed out the drainage. The road changes to a rough gravel surface after about 3 miles.
From the highway it's 8.1 miles out Deer Creek Road to its intersection with the Wolftone Road #102 on the left/south. If you want to explore from here there is room to park one or two vehicles at this intersection, or you can drive up Wolftone Road to find other roadside parking. The road ends about 3 miles up at a round-about arrangement. There is room to park several vehicles. Do not block the road, or pull-through area, as those with trailers will need to drive all the way around the small, tight road-ending loop.
*For additional descriptions, 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.