Friday, August 3, 2012

New trails proposed for Galena area

Meetings set for next week to take comments

Express Staff Writer

A mountain biker whizzes down one of the trails near Galena Lodge, north of Ketchum. The area could soon see 36 miles of new hiking, biking and horse-riding trails if the public seems receptive during two planned open houses next week. Photo by David N. Seelig

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area will hold a series of open houses next week to discuss a planned system of 36 miles of new hiking, biking and horse-riding trails in the Galena Lodge area.

The open houses will be held Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 5 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey and on Thursday, Aug. 9, at 5 p.m. at the Wood River Y in Ketchum. Public comment will be accepted and encouraged.

SNRA Recreation Specialist Ed Cannady said the plan includes many beginner and intermediate-level trails, in an attempt to supplement the area's current offerings.

"Right now, we're providing a lot for more experienced users," he said. "We have lots of trails for more advanced users, but we have few trails for beginners."

Cannady pointed to the Gladiator Creek and Galena Grinder trails as ones that are not suitable for the casual user.

Fees are charged to ski on the groomed trails in the winter, but use of the trails in the summer is free.

The trail system is proposed for summer use only, and will also involve an overhaul of 24 miles of existing trails. Cannady said the goal is to create a trail system with varied degrees of difficulty that is also self-sustaining—meaning crews won't regularly need to go through and maintain drainage.

Many of the current trails are former mining roads or trails built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which are not conducive to hiking or even long-term use.


"A lot of those trails weren't built with backpackers in mind, they were built with horses in mind," Cannady said, adding that water bars were the main form of drainage on these older trails.

A water bar is an angled channel across a road or trail that diverts surface water from the trail and into an adjoining drainage ditch. However, Cannady said that on a truly well-designed trail, water bars would not be necessary. He said the Forest Service prefers to use rolling terrain and other more natural features to ensure proper drainage.

"If the water is running down your trail, it's not good and it's not going to work," he said.

The plan will include a few advanced trails. The system was developed as part of the Sawtooth National Forest management plan, which designates the area around Galena Lodge as an area that should be managed with an emphasis on recreation rather than habitat improvement or preservation.

Cannady said he looks forward to hearing from the public during the open houses.

"We have the potential to develop a world-class system in the Galena Lodge area," he said. "We have the opportunity to do something really good here. I hope people will come out and tell us what we need to know about it!"

Kate Wutz:

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.