Hike Proctor Mountain Trail in Sun Valley Idaho
If ever there was a fairy trail, this 6.8-mile lollipop loop on Sun Valley’s Proctor Mountain is it. The Proctor Mountain Trail is a storied route in more ways than one, starting with its tranquil oasis memorial for a famous writer, Ernest Hemingway (who is buried at the Ketchum Cemetery).
Summer features sea-foam-colored hills flowing in alpine wildflowers, especially the yellow vibrance of the black-eyed Susan. Monarch butterflies flit across your path, and aspens and evergreens bring whimsy (and much-needed shade on hot days!). It’s the glorious mountain-to-valley scenery that really soars here, though you’ve gotta work for the panoramic payoff!
This hike is a challenge, especially if you’re not acclimated yet to the altitude (we say this from experience!). In other words, you may be huffing and puffing too much to belt out a beautiful song while you twirl in ecstasy … but the panorama of mountains is breathtaking on its own. The trail starts at the Ernest Hemingway Memorial and slips alongside matcha-colored slopes festooned in florals, up to features like a small old cabin and the site of the world’s first chairlift.
We recommend doing this loop counterclockwise, which means you’ll have to climb, steeply in some parts, but then enjoy a gentler descent and, in our view, better panoramas on the ridge, easily the highlight (you’ll know it when you walk it). Solid golden.
BONUS EATS: Post-hike we pretty much guarantee you’re going to be hungry, and you might start feeling grumpy if you don’t eat. Beeline for Grumpy’s, a favorite for locals and visitors alike. This isn’t just any Grumpy’s, it’s the original—unassumingly, and unabashedly, tucked in Ketchum. Head into the small roadside-style bar and restaurant to find the cure for all that “ales” you (fresh, cold beer!) and satisfy your appetite too (hamburgers, chili cheese fries, and their popular corndog). Grab a picnic table on their enclosed outdoor patio and devour your tasty meal.
Get more trip ideas and inspiration for visiting Sun Valley, Idaho!
Park at the Hemingway Memorial lot on Sun Valley Rd. We recommend hiking counterclockwise. Bring a map. Be sure to be acclimated to the elevation before doing this hike. Dog-friendly.
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