Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski

Sun Valley

Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

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Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski


  • In an attempt to keep the course as clean as possible, no dogs, snowshoes or fat bikes are allowed.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • Preparing to cross-country ski the Riverside Trail.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • The coolest part of the course is a tricky bridge crossing over the Big Wood River right at the beginning.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • Many people walk the bridge because of the tight spaces and frequent traffic. - Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • A few rolling hills on the way to the start of the trails.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • Runs at the Sun Valley Ski Resort are visible in the distance.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • The area is mostly wide open terrain. The Riverside Trail hugs the water, and the more difficult blue trails are higher up.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • Skiing the Riverside Trail.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • There are some gorgeous small mountains just above the course. - Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • There are some real pros out on this course. - Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • All of the trails and junctions are well marked.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • Herringbone Hill is quite steep for a green trail.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • The wide open terrain above Herringbone Hill.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • The view southwest toward Bald Mountain of Sun Valley Ski Resort. - Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • Beautiful winter views from the Riverside Trail.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • There are a total of nearly 10 miles (15.5 kilometers) of trails in the Lake Creek system. Riverside is the only trail rated green, or easy, and its a tough green at that.  - Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • There are some great views of the river near the end of the trail. If you return via a loop you will end up on a blue trail; you'll have to retrace your route if you want to remain on a green trail. - Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • Great views of the river near the end of the Riverside Trail.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
  • The Lake Creek Trailhead. Cross-country skiing is the only winter recreation allowed in this area.- Riverside Trail Cross-country Ski
Overview + Weather
Beautiful scenery. Challenging terrain. Close to town.
No other activities allowed.
Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, ID
Pets allowed: 
Groomed trail: 
Highest point: 
6,021.00 ft (1,835.20 m)
Parking Pass: 
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Total Distance: 
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
Total elevation gain: 
40.00 ft (12.19 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,981.00 ft (1,823.01 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

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.

Backcountry Safety

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.

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(8 within a 30 mile radius)

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(44 within a 30 mile radius)

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