Hike to Devil's Bedstead West

Summit Creek Trail

A less trafficked hike within the Sun Valley area but is a favorite among locals.Spectacular panoramic mountain views.13 mile roundtrip trek with 4,200' of elevation gain.Hike along creeks and meadows.11,050' summit.

Ski enthusiasts recognize Sun Valley for its notorious town and prestigious slopes. What tourists might not realize is that during the offseason, the area surrounding Ketchum is also home to a plethora of remarkable mountains waiting to be hiked and explored. Among these amazing hikes is Devil's Bedstead West, a 13-mile trek into the epicenter of various mountain ranges.

Getting There

From Ketchum, drive north on Trail Creek Road toward the summit. (This road is closed during winter months, so take note that this hike is limited to the summer and fall seasons.) About two miles after the road turns to gravel, look for a sign announcing the entrance to Challis National Forest. Turn right into the parking lot and find the trailhead a few hundred feet farther off of the road.

The Trail

It's recommended to start the journey early in the morning both to beat the heat on the hike down and to witness the sunrise peak over the mountain tops. The first four miles of the 6.5 "out" is fairly moderate and strikingly beautiful—creeks, meadows, log bridges, and green forests highlight the early march. It isn't until about mile five that the climb really begins. Once across a field of boulders, pick the trail back up and steadily (and steeply) ascend towards the ridge. You'll be able to locate the destination towering to the left of the trail, and once you reach the ridge, turn left and approach it.

The last stretch from the ridge is mostly scrambling over rocks to reach the summit. Be careful in the last quarter mile. This will be the slowest part of the hike because of loose boulders and the lack of a defined trail, but it will also be the most rewarding. As you draw closer to the peak, more and more mountains will come into view. The summit of Devil's Bedstead West seems as if it's in the middle of all surrounding peaks, a 360-degree panoramic view of beautiful Idaho mountains. Once at the top, peek down at Kane Lake from the opposite side you approached, a high alpine lake that sits at the base of a couple of MONSTER faces. On a clear day you can also spot the ski hill Baldy to the east. If it's still there, write your name on a paper found in a Gatorade bottle at the summit.

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Hiking shoes
  • Water bottle or Camelbak
  • Snacks and lunch
  • Extra layer of clothing for the summit
  • Camera
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RT Distance 13 Miles
Elevation Gain 4200 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

A must do!

After traveling across the US and hiking in nearly every destination we stopped in, this hike is easily one of our favorite hikes we have ever been on. The length, remoteness and views are unbeatable. We hiked in July and were happy to have hiking poles for a few snow bank crossings. Enjoy!


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