China Basin to Joe Daley Creek

Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

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China Basin to Joe Daley Creek


  • An ancient and long dead ponderosa pine tree along the Queens River Trail.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • Stream crossing beneath a towering ponderosa pine along the Queens River Trail.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • Looking up the Queens River to the flanks of Nahneke Mountains from a meadow along the Queens River Trail.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • The China Basin Trail is not heavily used, so hikers often have to look for the cut logs cleared from the trail after a forest fire in 2000.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • Western spirea (Spirea douglasii).- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • Hikers up China Basin will get some glimpses looking up the Queens River Canyon.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • Looking down the China Basin and across the Queens River Valley.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • The view south across the Atlanta valley.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • There are some nice views of the main portal at the mouth of the Middle Fork of the Boise River from the top of the China Basin climb.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • The south facing Joe Daley Trail can support more wildflowers than the shady China Basin side.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
  • The primitive trailhead at Joe Daley Creek.- China Basin to Joe Daley Creek
Overview + Weather
Easy day hike. Solitude. Old burn hiking. Wildflowers.
Faint trail. Limited views. Requires a shuttle.
Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, ID
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,825.00 ft (556.26 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
6.10 mi (9.82 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,210.00 ft (1,588.01 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description


The trail connecting Joe Daley Creek to Queens River is not heavily used, but it is one of the few “day hikes” in the area. It is a nice out-and-back from the south, or hikers can be dropped at the Queens River Trailhead and spend the day climbing over the divide and down to the Atlanta valley.           

On the north side, the trail junction is easy to miss, and the crossing of Queens River can be challenging. The trail is quite overgrown and difficult to follow in places. The headwaters of China Basin burned in 2000, so it is helpful to look for the many cut logs that were cleared after the fire. On the Joe Daley side the trail is easier to follow and hosts a beautiful display of early summer wildflowers on the open south-facing slopes.

Off-Trail Hiking

The saddle at the top of the Joe Daley Trail provides the best access to the west ridge of Greylock Mountain, probably the easiest route to the summit. For a shorter adventure, climb the Greylock ridge for 1,000 feet and then turn west to Point 7832.  The view from the top of the spires on the south side of the Queens River portal is spectacular!

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Updates, Tips + Comments

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Field Guide

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(11 within a 30 mile radius)

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(71 within a 30 mile radius)

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Published in collaboration with Idaho River Publications

Our mission is to inspire adventure with beautiful, comprehensive and waterproof map-based guidebooks.  Owner, publisher, and photographer Matt Leidecker, grew up exploring and guiding on the rivers in central Idaho.  His award winning Middle Fork of the Salmon River – A Comprehensive Guide is the standard by which other river guidebooks are measured.  Printed on virtually indestructible YUPO paper, IRP guides are truly unique all-in-one resources for adventure.  Each book is loaded with full-color maps, stunning photographs, and information on the history, geology, and wildflowers.  Visit Idaho River Publications to explore our guidebooks to the Rogue River in Oregon and the mountains of Central Idaho.

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