Is there a spot you have frequented and would enjoy today – but for some reason or another [sic., it] has not experienced your presence recently? For me, one of those places would be Parker Gulch in the Elkhorn area of Sun Valley. Parker and Independence Creek were staple routes for out the front door hikes, rides and runs from our first place in the Valley (The Ranch). On more days than not I was accompanied by Linda and Sweetie Dog. Even the beloved Snout (1972 Snot Green International Scout) sauntered up a portion of these routes.
Recently Kyle, Shae and Mary dog joined me for a hike. I returned the next day for photos.
Parker is wonderful in that the route offers a variety of terrain (open fields of native grass, a wide variety of wild flowers, sage and heavy old-growth forest) – all on a superb single-track bed. At a 13% grade is Parker is demanding for mountain biking and running. However, the pitch consistent and therefore a steady rhythm can be gained for the 3.2 miles out and up to the saddle at 8,620 feet which sits just below Johnstone Peak (elev. 9955). As the summer progresses water at the trail-head trickles to a stop and none is available on the upper reaches so be well equipped with fluids for hydration for all involved.
Below are some shots.