Pioneer Cabin, ID

One last day in Sun Valley and time for one more hike. Kim and I hiked up to the cabin two years ago. It was a hot September day. This day was looking to be excellent. Cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. High peaks showed new snow from Thursday's short storm. I hoped to get up high and see the peaks with a fresh coat of white.

I left at 8:10 am after scraping off a coat of ice on my car. It was 29 degrees. Cold but already sunny without a cloud in the sky. The speed limit never exceeded 35 mph for my 11 mile drive to the trailhead. By 8:40 I was on the trail wearing a jacket and gloves. Those came off after a mile or so. The trail climbs easily then begins a long series of switchbacks in forest. The trailhead is at about 7000' and the cabin sits just beyond and below the ridge top at an elevation of 9440'.

At 8300' I saw my first fresh snow since spring. Just a little alongside the trail. The forest thins and views begin. The north side of nearby peaks had just enough snow to highlight the dark brown rock. Forest finally gave way to open meadows of sage. Now the views really improved. The Boulder Mountains to the north had more fresh snow.

I had seen two cars in the lot and a shepherd with horses and half a dozen border collies passed me coming down. Several were pups and they tried their best to herd me. Other than that I saw nobody all the way up. Thanks to being over 9150' four of the previous five days, the high elevation did not seem to bother me much. I was a little out of breath when I tried to go extra fast but at my normal pace I was fine.

Soon the sage and brown grass had a thin coating of bright white snow. The narrow trail itself stayed bare all the way up. I soon recognized the switchbacks that take you up the last 250' to the pass. As I neared the saddle the tops of the Pioneer Mountains came into view. As I had hoped, the peaks were wearing a thin white coat of fresh snow. Much more photogenic than the bare rock on my earlier visit.

The cabin sits below the saddle and I continued on and down. Nobody else was there. I went inside and signed the guest book. Some fresh 4x4s in the foundation show that the cabin is still being maintained. It is in good shape for a 73 year old structure that is partly buried by snow much of the year. The view was simply spectacular. It was still cold but the sun made it quite bearable without a jacket. I took 1:42 to ascend. It was only 10:20. The morning light was very good. I may not be back for some time so I made sure to take a lot of photos.

I spent about 45 minutes on top and then headed down. On the way I passed 10 groups coming up. Not really that many for such a beautiful day. I was back at the car by 12:30, ready for that long 11 mile drive home. On the way back I did see some aspen that are just beginning to change color. I wish I could return at their peak.

This is an easy 8 or so mile hike with 2600' of gain to a great viewpoint. Closer than Tiger Mountain is for me but a whole world more impressive hike. All that's left of my vacation now is a 10 1/2 hour drive home tomorrow. The hiking made the driving well worth it.

First Views
Snowy Peaks
Grass & Peaks
Close Look At Fresh Snow
Peaks Over Ridge
Brown & White
Grass, Sage, & Sunshine
Snow Alongside Trail
Not My Usual Terrain
More Snowy Peaks
First Snow Of Season
Trail Across Snow
Pioneer Mountains
Cobb Peak
Cabin & Peaks
Inside Cabin
More Snowy Summits
Old Hyndman
Trees & Peaks
Highlighted By Snow
Cobb & Trees
Front Of Cabin
Looking Back
Snow & Grass
Snow & Bare
Line In The Grass
Open Meadows
Leaves Turning Color
Big Puffball
Aspen Turning
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2010