The trail up Eureka Gulch is one of the better wildflower hikes in the Sawtooths. The north-facing canyon tends to have a slower and longer snowmelt combined with sunny slopes that result in ideal conditions for wildflowers. The openings high up the canyon can be a riot of color.
The trail follows an old mining road that was used to access the Ruby Mine on the west face of Peak 10,129 (Eureka Peak). The mine was operating on a small scale into the 1950s and 1960s, and there are several old tunnels (both caved and open), tailings piles, and abandoned mining equipment at the end of the road. While this history is fun to explore, walking into an open mine tunnel can be extremely dangerous. Explore at your own risk and respect the private property around the mine.
The old Eureka town site was located somewhere on the flats near the mouth of the gulch. A trail along the south shore of Alturas Lake climbed over the ridge to Beaver Creek and connected Eureka with Sawtooth City during the mining boom of the late 1800s.
The Alturas Trailhead was reconfigured in the early 2000s, and both the Alturas Lake Creek and Eureka Gulch roads were closed and rehabilitated into trails. Both routes are still open to motorcycle and mountain bike users. The road/trail is quite eroded and rocky in places, so it does not make for a quality ride. Accessing the canyon on a mountain bike, however, can speed up both the approach and descent for an off-trail scramble of Peak 10,129.
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.