Pioneer Cabin

On two previous visits to Sun Valley I have hiked up to Pioneer Cabin via the Corral Creek trail from the north. On my visit last year I talked with a hiker on top suggested the route from the south via Hyndman Creek. This time I decided that would be a good acclimatization hike. Just 24 hours removed from sea level in Seattle it's a bit of a strain going right up to 9400'. Even though it is late August the late snow melt promised a chance of wildflowers too. It's about 16 miles from my Brother's home to the trailhead outside the "town" of Triumph. The road was good except for the fording of the creek. I managed to bang a rock on the car frame but a scratch was all the damage. Malibus are not the best trail cars.

The trailhead is for both the NF Hyndman Creek to the cabin and the route up to Hyndman, Old Hymdman, and Cobb Peaks. Those are near and just over 12,000'. I was on the trail by 7:55 am in an effort to beat the heat and possible afternoon thundershowers. Lightning on an open slope did not appeal to me. The route begins along the creek and stays there for much of the way. Some forest and lots of meadows along the way. While the trail goes from 7000' to over 9400' in 4 miles half of the gain is in the last one mile.

Wildflowers began early and never let up. The valley narrows with the trail at times climbing well above the creek then meeting the creek again. Some spots are quite narrow. There are a few side creeks and all are easy to get across with dry boots. This trail is used by bicycles. I saw a group at the trailhead but not on the trail. In fact, up to the last half mile coming out I did not see anyone at all. The trail leaves the creek and begins heading steeply uphill for the last mile. The grade is smooth and the steepness not a problem. There are many switchbacks as forest gives way to open slopes with sage and wildflowers.

The valley below ends in a big grass and granite basin. Granite peaks from 10,000' to 12,000' circle the basin. The view is quite spectacular. I like the Corral Creek trail but this one can be even better with wildflowers in bloom. The lack of oxygen made it challenging to keep up a fast pace but I made good time. The climbing finally ends right at the cabin. It was still early as I arrived at 10:25 am. My body felt it was still 9:25 Seattle time and I was up at 9400'. A nice close in morning hike. The meadow around the cabin was awash in blooming lupine. I headed up to the saddle and views to the north.

It was very hot when I arrived. I went into the cabin and it was 20 degrees cooler. While I was at the saddle clouds began to build. I did not want to take any chances. Even though it was still so early I headed down to make sure I missed any lightning. Part way down the clouds melted away and it was blue sky again. Back at the trailhead I found the three other cars in the morning were now more than a dozen including two horse trailers. As mentioned I saw hardly anyone. I love the view from the cabin and this new to me trail is a great way to get there.


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Trips - 2011