The Riverside Trail is part of the Lake Creek Trail System, which is located just a few miles north of Ketchum, Idaho. This area is a designated Olympic Training Site a main location for Sun Valley Nordic team workouts, so in spite of the trail's easy rating, this route involves some fairly large hills and a tight bridge crossing. Those who are new to cross-country skiing may find this a more challenging trail than other green or easy routes in the area. If you are up for the challenge, the scenery makes this trail a great choice. The beautiful Big Wood River runs most of the length of the trail, and several mountain peaks sit above the meadows to the west. You can see up Highway 75 toward Galena or down to Bald Mountain at Sun Valley Ski Resort. There are great views throughout, but stay focused here because the trails in this area are popular with trainers and avid amatures looking for some intense exercise. The trail system does not allow any activities other than Nordic skiing, which means no dogs, no snowshoes, and no fat bikes.
Everything here is well-marked, as is the case with all of the trails in the Blaine County Recreation District. You will need a BCRD day or annual pass to ski this course. There is a track cut into the trail for traditional Nordic cross-country skiing, but the trail is mainly used by skate skiers. There are a ton of alternatives for anyone who might not be up for the challenges of this course; the North Fork and Durrance Loop, located just a few miles north of the Lake Creek Trailhead, is a great example.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.