On Saturday we woke up to a sunny day! We planned to attend the Sun Valley Brewfest in the afternoon and figured we could squeeze in a decent morning hike. (Plus we needed the exercise to feel better about drinking a bunch of beer.) Again I referred to my list of lupine hikes, but I wasn’t feeling very optimistic after Baker Lake. I chose Taylor Canyon, a nice four-mile loop with views of the surrounding mountains.
We got started a little after 10:30am and the sky was bright and blue overhead. Even still, as we hiked in the canyon, small bouts of sprinkles fell on us. Not enough to deter us from continuing though. We let Tru off-leash for this hike, and he became an obnoxious trail leader, constantly beckoning us to continue if we paused to rest or admire the views. He also stunned us, doing a full three miles and an ascent of 1,200 ft. before relenting to the respite of his pack.
Hikers can start at either end of the loop, but I was happy travelling through the canyon first. It’s a pleasant gently ascending path alongside a small stream. If we didn’t pay attention, Tru would become momentarily lost in the tall grasses. Then the trail turned west and went up into a nicely shaded forest section before emerging at the top giving us our first views of Bald Mountain.
Finally, we emerged into a large meadow. I couldn’t believe it. The meadow was full of blooming lupines! It began to seem as though I would fulfill my goal after all. The farther we went, the more lupines we encountered. My photos really suck, honestly. I just couldn’t capture the beauty of it all.
We travelled through flower-filled meadows for a good while as the trail opened to the northwest giving us moody skies over the Boulder Mountains and then continued south toward Ketchum. We remained exposed to the sun, and this is what ultimately wore Tru out. Shortly after we left the last of the meadows, we followed the ridge line toward the main descent of switchbacks and steep chutes which found us back at the parking area.
Zach and I changed clothes at the trailhead, and we headed straight for town where the beerfest had already begun. It was lightly raining when we arrived, so we left Tru in the car for a bit. It started to rain a little more heavily, and then suddenly a full downpour with hail erupted. It was déjà vu for us. It only lasted a few moments, and the rest of the fest had gorgeous sunny weather. As the sky cleared up, I grabbed Tru and he spent the rest of the fest with us. He was a big hit. People really love dachshunds. Maybe too much.
The next morning we were surprised to wake to clear skies. Sunday’s forecast indicated a 90% chance of rain, so we hadn’t made any plans to hike. Since it was nice we decided to grab a quick breakfast and walk along Trail Creek just east of Ketchum. There is a nice trail system by Trail Creek, including a trail which follows the creek. There weren’t many people out, and it was very peaceful. A little closer to town, near the Sun Valley Resort, is a memorial to Ernest Hemingway. We visited his gravesite our first time in Ketchum, but weren’t aware of the memorial until this trip. It’s in a tranquil spot alongside a branch of Trail Creek with pieces of a eulogy Hemingway wrote for another Sun Valley resident.
If you’re interested in Hemingway’s connection to Sun Valley, Cowboys and Indians has a great article, Hemingway’s Idaho.
We left Ketchum and began our trek south toward Utah. I wanted to stop in Hailey for a coffee and a visit to Iconoclast Books, so we made a pit stop. We noticed what we thought was a farmers market, but it turned out to be a chili cook-off! For $10 Zach was able to sample as much chili as he wanted and cast a vote for his top three choices. There was quite a variety of chili styles, each one with its own flavor and meat preferences. Zach’s favorites included game in their recipes.
Sadly, after the chili cook-off, we had to truly depart for Utah. Until next year, Sun Valley!