The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Idaho

Bald Mountain Trail
Sawtooth National Forest • Ketchum

In 1935 Austrian Count Felix Schaff-gotsch was hired by the Union Pacific Railroad to scout the American Westfor the best site to build a European Alps-like ski resort. Schaffgotsch rejected Aspen, Jackson Hole, Yosemite - everywhere. He was prepared to report his failure when a railroad representative from Idaho asked him to check out Ketchum. Within three days, the Count reported: “Among the many attractive spots I have visited, this combines more delightful features of any place I have seen in the United States, Switzerland, or Austria for a winter sports resort.” Eleven months later Sun Valley opened to international acclaim.

Ketchum features 40 miles of trails located within a 5-mile radius of town. The marquee canine hike is the 5-mile Bald Mountain Trail that crosses numerous ski trails on its way to the 9,151-foot summit. The packed dirt trail spends its lower elevations in wildflower-filled meadows along the Big Wood River before the switchbacks begin.

After gaining 3,400 feet in elevation Seaman will understand why Sun Valley is cherished for its long ski runs. The views of the Sawtooth Mountains become frequent until the treeline clears and the magnificent views become constant. Not only are dogs allowed here, but halfway up the mountain, in a glade of giant fir trees, is a fountain with a perpetually-filled dog drinking bowl built right into the trail. About the only place dogs are not allowed is on the ski lifts where tired human hikers hitch rides down.

HIKING TIME: 5-6 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


Hiking With Your Dog In Idaho