Bike the Wood River Trail to the Sawtooth Botanical Garden in Sun Valley Idaho

Two Wheels to Zen

Bike the Wood River Trail to the Sawtooth Botanical Garden in Sun Valley Idaho

Two bikers on the Wood River Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

If you ask a Sun Valley local where to go for a car-free and beautiful bike ride, you’re likely to be told “the bike path.” Of course! That path has a more formal name—Wood River Trail—and sure enough, it’s a sweet valley roll. The family-friendly Wood River Trail goes for miles across the valley, over a historic bridge, past art sculptures and ranch-roaming horses, all amid sprawling green valley and a mountainous backdrop.

Two bikers on the Wood River Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

Biker on Wood River Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

Cyclist saying hi to a horse on the Wood River Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

Roll out from the Tuesday Farmers Market at River Run Lodge and pedal the 8-mile (round-trip) ride to Sun Valley’s Sawtooth Botanical Garden. Set at the base of Bald Mountain, the farmers market has everything from homemade potato chips and ice cream, to a modern lemonade stand and fresh produce staples. There’s also artisan clothing, jewelry and … bar soap: get your suds from Sun Valley.

River Run Lodge Farmers Market in Sun Valley Idaho

From here ride south on the path, crossing the historic Cold Springs Bridge, and alongside pastureland where photogenic and friendly horses saunter over to say hello.

Cyclist crossing a bridge on the Wood River Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

Your turnaround point is the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. Stop in for a visit and a little nurture in this nature haven. It’s just $5 per person on an honor system, and it’s worth every penny for the care and attention the garden has been given. Grab a map and take a walk through tranquility punctuated by impressive art sculptures. A zen highlight is the Serenity Pond and the Garden of Infinite Compassion, created to honor the Dalai Lama, who visited the Wood River Valley in 2005. Be sure to gently spin the beautiful prayer wheel.

Cyclist at Sawtooth Botanical Garden

Person in garden looking at sculpture in Sawtooth Botanical Garden in Sun Valley Idaho

Person in peace garden looking at peace wheel in Sun Valley Idaho

There’s a sweet garden in memory of dogs who have passed. Enter through an arch gate fashioned to read Dog Bless This Garden. Plaques on tall wooden platforms, dedicated to dogs who are over the rainbow bridge (“Scruffy brought us comfort and joy”), remind us of the special bond between dogs and humans. On the return route, check out the Spur Sculpture, commissioned to John Grade in 2016 by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts with strong support from Ketchum.

Cyclist on the Wood River Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

TIP: There are a number of ways to do the multi-use Wood River Trail, including creating your own route from Ketchum and pedaling up and down the bike path to explore; or focusing on the Hemingway Memorial to Sun Valley Village … it’s really up to you whether you work your way up or down the path exploring highlights along the way.

Get more trip ideas and inspiration for visiting Sun Valley, Idaho!

Here is the route map recommended in this story. The Wood River Trail Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Bikers checking out the view of the reservoir from a bench in El Sereno Open Space Preserve on the Bay Area Ridge Trail

    Serenity in El Sereno

    This one’s for solitude seekers. The El Sereno Open Space Preserve leg of the Bay Area Ridge Trail is a new 7-mile (out-and-back) adventure for hikers and cyclists, winding through the chaparral with 1,000 feet of elevation gain and gorgeous views as payoff.

    View
  2. Eat, Sleep, Beach, Repeat

    If you’re looking for one of those ultra-relaxing getaways where you can sit back and soak in some nature and nurture, head to Mendocino and follow this eat, beach, sleep, repeat itinerary ...

    View
  3. Going Deep

    Mesmerized, educated, and inspired are just a few of things you can’t help but feel while visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its spellbinding new exhibition, Into the Deep.

    View
  4. woman riding a bike in North Lake Tahoe
    Sponsored

    Just in Time for Tahoe!

    Shorter days, cooler nights, and plenty of room to roam: Fall is amazing in North Lake Tahoe! You’re just in time to enjoy North Lake Tahoe’s autumn splendor among trails less crowded.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Historic Hidden Gem

    Smack in the middle of Monterey, and featuring a phenomenal view of the bay and the harbor, Lower Presidio Historic Park is truly an undiscovered gem. In fact, some historians have called it “the most historically significant site on the West Coast of America.”

    View
  2. Two people walking towards Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point Orange County

    Getting Salty

    Long walks on the beach are great, but what about long walks to the beach? This 7.7-mile (round-trip) to the beautiful Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point is one of the best in Orange County.

    View
  3. Beauty and the Beach

    Sweeping, romantic, and vast, Garrapata State Park has all the stuff of swoon-worthy scenery. There’s a magical beach backed by hulking cliffs with a hiking trail we like best in the later afternoon, when the beach can be blissfully deserted.

    View
  4. Pointing It Out

    Wanna hike where the locals do? Visit the new Palo Corona Regional Park in Carmel for a 4.5-mile (round-trip) journey through a beautiful oak forest and up to Inspiration Point for beautiful coastal vistas.

    View