The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get. 9,440 feet to be exact.
Nestled at the base of the Pioneer Mountains sits an old ski lodge. The cabin was built in 1937 for skiers who were accessing the bowls of the Pioneers. The cabin is occasionally maintained by the Ketchum Ranger District, but mostly relies on the locals to keep it in shape. There are 3 sets of bunk beds inside the cabin and a wood burning stove. The message "Leave more than you take" is painted on the inside walls, encouraging all it's users to help keep the cabin looking good and functional for years to come.
The hike itself is one of the most popular in Sun Valley. Although the guide books consider it a moderate to difficult hike, the view is worth the effort. My friend Emily and I have been wanting to make the hike for years and we finally got the chance this October.
There are a few different routes to get to the cabin and we chose the easier trail from Corral Creek trailhead. At 7.5 miles roundtrip, with an elevation gain of 2,440 feet, we knew we were going to get our lungs working. My grandma (77 years old) had completed the hike earlier this fall, so we weren't going to let her show us up.
The hike up took us about an hour and 45 minutes to make it to the cabin. The trail takes you through a wooded forest before pushing you out into an open sage meadow where you get stunning views of all the surrounding mountain ranges.
From there you continue climbing through some rockier areas until you get to a saddle. The cabin is just on the other side of the saddle, nestled into the base of the giants of the Pioneer Mountains - Handwerk, Hyndman, and Cobb peaks.
We toured the cabin, ate some snacks, and had an epic selfie session before heading back down to the trailhead. Our trip down took about an hour and a half.
This hike was wonderful. The weather couldn't have been better, the hike up was the perfect amount of challenge, and the views of the Pioneers were stunning. I'd recommend it for anyone looking for a hike with big pay offs and a chance to get you breathing hard.