The Chocolate gulch trailhead is a popular mountain biking/hiking area just north of Ketchum, ID off of highway 75.
I usually ride it as an out and back.
Starting at the Chocolate gulch trailhead and riding west (Adaptive level 9) up into the bottom of the main canyon. This first portion is narrow with a couple of switchbacks that you will need to take your time with. Once in the main canyon it opens up a little and is a long gentle but, continuous climb for about two miles (Adaptive level 7) . There are two small creek crossings and a few small obstacles to work through but all in all a very enjoyable section of trail. The next section is cut into a side hill. It’s narrow with stumps, brush, root balls etc. that will require your full attention to avoid being pitched off the bank. This section is about a mile long and puts you up on a plateau like section. The last portion of the trail is less steep but, has a lot more rocky features in the trail. There is one small move at the beginning of this section that it wouldn’t hurt to have a spotter. It’s uphill, off-camber right turn that’s a little tricky (Adaptive level 8). Pick your way through the rocks for about 1/2 mile and the trail has a short spur to left that will take you to an overlook looking down into the Fox Creek drainage. This is the point where I turn around. The return trip is the same sections of trail in reverse.
Sometime in the Future, I want to drop off the other side into the Fox Creek drainage but, this puts the ride into the shuttle type category and is a little more of a hassle. There is a trial that follows the Wood River back north the Chocolate gulch trailhead but, I don’t think it is handcycle friendly.
Trail Name: Chocolate Gulch
Location: Ketchum, Idaho |
Type: Wide trail (≥ 30″), Start and end at the same point (Out-and-Back)
Rating: Adaptive Level 08
Length: 7 Miles
Steepest Section: Moderate – between 10-30º
Most Off-Camber Section: Moderate – between 10-30º
Terrain: Mostly hardpack, minimal loose sections
Obstacles: Root exposure, Deep ruts and erosion, Brush and/or other growth, Baby heads and/or rock gardens, Water crossings
Help Needed? Yes, a little
Even more info: BCRD
Directions to Trailhead
Drive eight miles north of Ketchum ID, on highway 75. Take the Chocolate Gulch road turn to the left (west) which passes through a small residential area. The trail is roughly a 1/4 mile off the main highway out the trailhead.