Snowshoeing the trails of the Galena Lodge is truly a privilege for winter enthusiasts. Normally it can be tough to find a safe place to enjoy long treks with such a wide variety of terrain, and that is what makes this place so special. You won't need to drag the family out into the middle of nowhere to finally get some solitude and some serious miles underfoot. Whether you are cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, staying overnight in their yurts, or simply enjoying a great meal in a beautiful mountain setting, Galena won't disapppoint you. With over 16 miles (27 kilometers) of hikeable terrain, it's one place you won't get to see all in one day. Locals and tourists come back again and again to recreate in the dry Idaho snow surrounded by several iconic peaks.
Located about 30 minutes north of Ketchum, it's just far enough from town to give you a true sense of isolation without forcing you to spend too much time on the road. An on-site rental shop ensures you will not be forced to acquire your gear in town before making the journey up, and it is great if you happen to leave a critical piece of gear at home. There are hikes for all skill levels so nobody is left out of the fun, and you can even bring your dogs on all 12 of the snowshoe trails. Plan ahead and reserve one of the four yurts to take your trip to the next level and take the time to really soak up the natural beauty and solitude. There is even a sauna for the yurt guests to warm their chilled bones after a long hike. This place is honestly amazing.
Starting out from the lodge is the Rip and Tear Trail, which takes you along three of the Yurts. The hike is fairly steep right from the beginning, but it levels out and provides some of the best views from anywhere in Galena. It also gives you great access to several other trails including Lodge Loop and Tilt-A-Whirl. If you are looking for flat terrain, consider the Valley Trail and the Cowboy Cabin Loop, which are located across Highway 75 to the west of the lodge. If you want more steep and challenging terrain, look no further than the Psycho Adventure and Northwood Trail. The variety here is remarkable, and the size of the overall system is almost daunting; there is plenty of terrain here to keep you busy for several return trips. As part of the greater Blaine County Recreation District (BCRD), you can purchase an annual pass online or get a day pass at the lodge. The larger trail system extends from the Galena Pass all the way down through Ketchum to the town of Hailey, offering literally a lifetime of winter adventure on your snowshoes, fat bikes or cross-country skis.
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.