Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Hike to Pioneer Cabin and Other Miscellany


We were told the hike up to Pioneer Cabin was a must-do in the Ketchum area. It took George and Tina some convincing to get Jim to agree, but after a day of rest and with mostly clear skies, we drove about 8 miles northeast of Ketchum to the trailhead off Corral Creek Rd. At just under 4 miles and with 2.450’ of elevation gain, it’s not the easiest trail, but definitely worth the effort. After relentlessly climbing through the forest, we finally emerged into an open meadow, and the views just got better and better.









This last section of switchbacks seemed to go on forever, but Tina kept telling me we were getting close.


Finally we crested a saddle, where the Pioneer Range appeared seemingly out of nowhere.


And there was our destination, Pioneer Cabin.


Built in 1937 as a ski hut, it is now owned by the Forest Service and is open for use.



Yeah, we got pretty high.


Hikers can seek shelter and even spend the night.




I would advise bringing your own bedding. It’s not the cleanest place.


But it is truly in an idyllic setting.


View out the front door of the cabin.


We had quite a scenic spot for lunch, although it was windy and cool. Yes, it was definitely worth it, and all downhill on the way back.


In other news, we were riding bikes on the Harriman Trail the other day, which starts just a half mile from our site, and passes by a couple forest service campgrounds. We had to make a detour to check out this RV. The owners were not home so we didn’t speak with them, but we couldn’t help but wonder why you would have this great off road vehicle and be parked in a fee campground.

Sawtooth NRA, Ketchum, Idaho

On Friday afternoon our adopted nephew Casey stopped by for a few hours on his way to a weekend programmers camp about 30 miles north of here. He’s actually the nephew of good friends from Florida, and we were so glad he stopped by. He brought us a bunch of veggies from his and a neighbor’s garden in Colorado. Thanks, Casey!


We are feeling better about the cats as each day goes by, but Jim just had to find out how they are doing. He emailed the director of the shelter, who wrote back and said they are healthy and eating well, and Sophie is doing fine, but Elvis is not happy. She did not go into detail but said they are trying to find him a foster home until he gets adopted. Of course that made us feel terrible, but we knew as timid as he was, he would not like shelter living. We also saw their names listed in the shelter ad in the Wednesday local paper, which made us feel even worse. I know with time this will get easier.

And in more bad news, Jim has had gum inflammation and infection off and on for a couple years on his upper back molar. The tooth has a crown and a 30 year old root canal, and the dentist in Mexico last year said if it continues he should have it pulled so as not to infect the adjacent tooth, which is an implant. He visited a dentist in Ketchum last week who agreed, so he is getting it pulled by an oral surgeon in Hailey on Tuesday. He’s not very happy about this, but he’s hoping since it’s the last tooth he can go without it. If not, we’ll be heading back to Yuma this winter so he can go to Algodones for another implant. We were hoping for a year without either one of us needing more dental work, but looks like that won’t be happening.


  1. What a great climb... Above the dismal forest, where the views go on forever! My kind of country!
    Box Canyon Mark

  2. Could you manage one cat? Would Elvis be okay with you if not being attacked by Sophie on a regular basis?

    Virtual hugs,


    1. Judie, we seriously considered keeping Elvis, but that still wouldn't change the issue of them needing more space to run. We even looked into renting a house or apartment (not easy with pets) to give them more room, but in the end felt it was best to find them a new home. It was a very difficult decision, but we still feel it was best for all of us.

  3. For some mysterious reason these three comments were deleted when published:

    Gaelyn has left a new comment on your post "A Hike to Pioneer Cabin and Other Miscellany":

    Awesome hike, funky cabin. But would be a great place to stay overnight. Weird looking Ford camper. Bummer about the tooth.

    Jeff Pierce has left a new comment on your post "A Hike to Pioneer Cabin and Other Miscellany":

    What a beautiful hike to an ideal location. Glad the reward was worth it, but Jim has a point 2400' in 4 miles is a bit of an uphill ... But it beats a root-canal, good luck Jim!

    Metamorphosis Lisa has left a new comment on your post "A Hike to Pioneer Cabin and Other Miscellany":

    I envy your hiking and thoroughly enjoy the views through your eyes! (And I'm actually quite glad I didn't have to do all that elevation gain and subsequent loss!)

    1. Gaelyn, that is actually a Mitsubishi Fuso. Nice looking 4WD camper!

  4. Wow, those switchbacks look brutal, but that reward at the top is pretty spectacular!! I can imagine the views at dusk and dawn must be hard to beat. It's wonderful that the kitties are some place that is so sensitive to their needs, and know that fostering is best for Elvis instead of treating them the same.

  5. This hike reminds me of the Ptarmigan Tunnel hike we did in Glacier. The switchbacks were very steep and I thought they would never end. But the views were some of the best we had seen on any hike. Sorry to hear about Jim's tooth. Terry had to have an emergency crown done while on the road several years ago. We have gotten accustomed to having our dental work done in Mexico so these kinds of emergency expenditures don't fit well into the budget.

    I must admit that I groaned when I heard that Jim broke down and called the shelter. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. You just have to put your faith in the shelter that they will find both kitties good homes.

  6. What a spectacular trail! That view is amazing. It looks like you are on top of the world. The cabin...well, it has a great view:) And would be great to find if one got caught in a storm! Boy, that is some elevation gain. Good for you two:)

    Oh, Jim!! You can't call! It will only make it harder:) Hope your oral surgeon visit goes well!

  7. That was an impressive trail. Looks like a great hike. Sorry to hear about the kitties, but sometimes you just have to make those tough choices. I hope your tooth feels better Wed.

  8. So sorry about the kitties. I get it. These hard decisions are often for the best of the animals and are so hard to live with. Definitely painful. Unfortunately, Yuri became ill on Wednesday last week and I had to put him down the next day. He had cancer of the jaw and wouldn't have lived much longer and would have suffered a lot.