Hike Proctor Mountain Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

Storied Trail

Hike Proctor Mountain Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

Hiker on Proctor Mountain Loop 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).

The Hemingway Memorial in Sun Valley Idaho

Hiker among wildflowers at Proctor Mountain Trail in Sun Valley

Two hikers looking out at mountain scenery on the Proctor Mountain Loop Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

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!

Hiker on ridge at Proctor Mountain Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

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.

Hemingway Memorial sign in Sun Valley Idaho

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.

Person looking out to Bald Mountain from the Proctor Mountain Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

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.

Doorway to Grumpys restaurant in Sun Valley Idaho

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.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Drive-In Whale Watching

    Just north of Point Reyes, Bodega Head sits high on the tip of a curving, thumb-like peninsula and offers excellent whale watching in winter.

  2. Sponsored

    Top Dog Destination

    Redding is a pawsitively ideal destination for you and your four-legged pal. Surrounded by Shasta and Lassen and mountainous Whiskeytown, with year-round sunny days and the gleaming Sacramento River running right through it, Redding is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.

  3. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

  4. Stay at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park

    Stay in a modern yet rustic lodge with vaulted wood-beam ceilings, grand stone fireplaces, panoramic windows overlooking a snow-filled forest, and jagged mountain peaks all around. Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park has adventure trails leaving right from its lobby.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Point Dume Bloom!

    On this 2-mile loop hike in Mailibu's Point Dume Natural Preserve, you can find yourself walking through fields of brilliant yellow specimens—some of them chest high and taller—but also dip down to pristine beaches and tide pools, possibly crowning your visit with a gray-whale sighting.

  2. woman hiking Stornetta Public Lands

    Strolling Stornetta

    Big Sur has some competition. Located along the rugged Mendocino County coastline, the 1,665-acre Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands is a spectacular place to meander for miles along bluffs overlooking small coves, sea caves, dunes, and clusters of offshore islands.

  3. man snowshoeing Calaveras Big Trees

    Big Foot in the Big Trees

    When dinosaurs roamed the earth they shared space with giant sequoias, the biggest trees in the world. Get up close to these bold beauties on a docent-led snowshoe trek in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

  4. Urban Hike in LA County

    LA Discovery Walk

    Wide-open spaces, hidden art, local cuisine, unique wildlife: Take a cultural walk through the San Gabriel Valley on a 3-mile park-to-park discovery route, then go get some delicious craft beers.