Nestled in Hailey, Idaho, the Imperial Gulch Trail stands as a perfect example of a challenging yet rewarding mountain biking experience. The trail spans a distance of 10 miles and boasts a difficult rating, which translates into exhilarating climbs, breathtaking descents, and a variety of terrains that will keep any rider's pulse pounding.
- Distance: 10 miles
- Level: Difficult
- Route Type: Loop
- Location: Hailey, Idaho
Navigational Nuances and Trail Features
Trail Route and Directions
- Start by driving south on Highway 75 to the East Fork stoplight (5.5 mi).
- Turn right onto Greenhorn Gulch Road and follow it to the large parking lot with restrooms (3.7 mi).
Must-Knows for a Thrilling Ride
- Counter-Clockwise Direction: Highly recommended for an optimized descent with fantastic flow.
- Trail Surface: Ranges from deeply rutted, narrow pathways to steady, single-track climbs.
- Shared Trail: Cyclists need to be aware that the trail is also popular among hikers and motos.
The Riding Experience
- Daunting Climbs: The initial segment of the trail features a series of rock gardens that challenge even the most experienced cyclists.
- Varied Terrain: From forested areas to open terrains with stunning views of the Pioneer Mountains, the trail offers a multitude of scenic backdrops.
- Wildflower Season: Early summer offers an additional treat with the blooming of spectacular wildflowers.
Cyclist Feedback and Recommendations
- "Don't pay attention to the bad reviews. This is a great trail with beautiful views."
- "The trails are very popular with dog walkers, so stay alert."
- "Motorcycles may be encountered, and although respectful, their presence can be surprising."
- The trail features steep and deeply rutted sections, necessitating vigilant riding.
- The last 2 miles near the parking lot require careful navigation due to horse droppings.
Imperial Gulch Trail is not for the faint-hearted. The trail demands endurance for its challenging ascents and skilled navigation through its narrow, rutted paths. But those who brave its 10-mile loop are rewarded with exceptional views, a variety of terrains, and the sort of downhill segments that mountain biking dreams are made of.