Nestled 6 miles south of Ketchum, Idaho, the Greenhorn-Imperial loop stands out as a quintessential ride in a network of multiuse trails. Boasting a distance of 5 miles, it offers intermediate riders a taste of traditional cross-country trails with a mix of climbing challenges and rewarding downhills.
To reach this rider's paradise, drive 6 miles south of Ketchum on HWY 75. Turn right onto Greenhorn Gulch Rd and proceed for 4 miles to reach the ample parking area at the trailhead. Facilities include restrooms, adding a convenient touch to your adventure.
What's in the Ride
- Distance: 5 mi
- Level: Intermediate
- Route Type: Network
- City: Ketchum, Idaho
- Good flow downhill and moderate uphill sections.
- Scenic views throughout, especially near the Imperial Gulch intersection.
- An extensive network with around a dozen trails in the Greenhorn Gulch area.
Trail Reviews & Comments
- Versatility: This loop is part of a diverse network that includes about a dozen trails, offering options for different loops and experiences.
- Crowd Factor: These trails see a variety of users, including hikers and dog walkers, so be mindful of other trail-goers.
- Condition: Though the area suffered from fire damage, popular trails like this are open and in good riding condition. Check local websites for updates.
- Terrain: The Greenhorn trail features a fairly steady climb, but once you hit the Imperial/Greenhorn intersection, prepare for a grinding ascent. The Imperial Gulch trail is generally more downhill-oriented.
- Views: While the trails offer nice scenic vistas, don't expect them to steal your breath—the uphill climb on Greenhorn might do that instead.
- Motorcycles: Though their presence may be surprising, they are generally respectful to other trail users.
- Trail Loops: For riders looking to extend their outing, there are multiple loop options ranging from 10 to 15 miles.
- Trailheads: Starting from the Greenhorn trailhead is recommended. Following the well-maintained path over log bridges and smooth singletrack makes for an enjoyable ride.
If you're in the Ketchum area and itching for some authentic cross-country riding, missing the Greenhorn-Imperial loop would be a mistake. While some may argue that the trails could be more technical, the natural beauty and uphill challenges offer a robust experience. It's easy to see why this loop stands as one of the most ridden trails in the area—easy to access, achievable, and thoroughly rewarding.