This relatively gentle loop takes in the lower foothillls of south-central Idaho’s lovely Smoky Mountains. This mountain range is immediately west of the famed Sun Valley Resort community. More gentle than their counterparts to the east and north–the Boulder, Sawtooth and White Cloud mountain ranges–the Smokies are clothed in a vast coniferous forest with many lovely meadows in between.
From the popular Fox Creek Trailhead, the hike heads up the lower end of this lovely creek before making its only real climb to the scenic ridgeline that separates Fox Creek from Chocolate Gulch. The downhill portion of the hike into Chocolate Gulch passes through a cool forest of lodgepole pine, a tree not as common in this area. The end of the hike wraps around and parallels the Big Wood River.
Hikers can expect lovely displays of wildflowers early in the summer and the possibility of spotting elk, deer or any other of the many species of wildlife that call these hills home. This hike makes for a grand morning or evening stroll when the light is right.
To Trailhead: From Ketchum, drive north on Highway 75 for about 4 miles until you spot roadside signs for the Fox Creek Trailhead. Turn left off the highway and drive about a third of a mile on the single-lane gravel road to the large parking lot. The hike begins at the sturdy metal bridge over the river.