Saturday, December 3, 2011 was forecasted to be a beautiful day in Sun Valley, Idaho and mother nature did not disappoint. The air was crisp, cold and mantled by a clear azure sky from horizon to horizon. My friend and I were anxious to strap on our snowshoes and tread some powder.
Immediately, we were faced with a dilemma: where do you snowshoe in Sun Valley? We were staying at the incomparable Sun Valley Lodge and decided to query the concierge. She informed us that The Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center trails were not yet officially open, but there were several excellent nearby alternatives. She provided us with a couple of maps designating nordic ski and snowshoe trails along Idaho Highway 75 heading north toward Galena Summit.
Determined to find some pow-pow to play in, we hopped in the car and headed north. Along the way, we saw several nordic enthusiasts enjoying the many groomed trails off the highway. The concierge recommended a snowshoe trailhead at Billy’s Bridge about 10 miles outside of town. With clear roads and immaculate weather, we were there in no time. We quickly geared up and crunched our way to the trailhead about 100 yards from the parking turnout.
The awesomeness began not two steps into the trail. There, situated along the tree line overlooking a clearing across from an impressive mountainside, stands a mountain goat viewing porch outfitted with a bench, informational display and two viewing scopes. From this perch, the lucky viewer can observe native mountain goats traversing the jagged rocks. We were not so lucky, but we were still treated to the breathtaking scenery!
Finally, we hit the trail with gusto. The snow was perfect; light, fluffy and glowing in the sunlight. We followed the well marked trail toward the creek where it turned and led us along the bank until we came to Billy’s Bridge. We crossed the bridge and stopped to take in the view. Picturesque would be putting it mildly. I could have spent all afternoon in that spot, but we carried on. The trail brought us along the other side of the creek and further into the clearing with stands of pine and aspen shooting out of the snow. We could not help but stop several times to drink in the beauty. We anticipated seeing some wildlife, but I was hoping for the small cuddly variety rather than large and growling. After about 45 minutes, we reversed our tracks and headed back. It saddened us to end our trek, but we had scheduled massages back at the lodge. Priorities!
Back at the viewing porch, we took one last hopeful sweep of the landscape and marveled at its grandeur. I look forward to returning to Billy’s Bridge in the future as a new favorite winter destination. A big thank you to mother nature and the helpful staff at Sun Valley Lodge for such a memorable adventure!
Guest Blogger Jennifer Colson is an avid reader, designer and all around enthusiast.