In 1936, an Austrian Count wanted to develop the first European Style Resort in North America. The Count spent much time searching the West Mountains, but none of the spots were what he had envisioned for this resort space. On the verge of defeat, he heard of a place called Ketchum, an old mining town off the beaten path in the Idaho Mountains. He set forth to find this place, and once he arrived he was overtaken by the beauty of the town, comparing it to that of Switzerland. This was what he was looking for all along, the perfect spot to build his resort. And so, the Sun Valley Lodge was born. Soon many Hollywood celebrities were drawn to this destination, which was quickly developing into the main attraction. Sun Valley had officially become “America’s First Destination Ski Resort.” But Sun Valley is much more than just a ski town, it is a place of rich culture and history, a home for adventures.
What is there to do in Sun Valley? Well, the list is endless, here are some of our favorite adventure spots!
First, we must talk about skiing and snowboarding since that is what the town is known for, afterall. Take your pick of well-groomed trails or backcountry runs, on Bald Mountain’s 3400 vertical feet of terrain. New terrain on Bald Mountain just opened at the beginning of the 2020/2021 season. The old Cold Springs lifts have now been replaced by a state of the art express quad lift.
It’s a challenge to even begin counting the number of hiking trails found throughout the region. From easy to advanced hikes, there is truly an option for everyone. The Scenic Overlook trail is a moderate trail that wraps around the mountain ending at a breathtaking overlook spot. At the top of the trail, there is a map of the original settlement of the town. It’s a fun challenge to see if you can determine where everything once was!
Sun Valley is a hot destination for Hot Springs and the perfect place to relax after a long day on the mountain. The closest being Frenchmen’s Bend Natural Hot Spring. There are three different temperature pools for you to choose from, and even an icy cold spring if you dare.
Enjoy some light adventure right at the resort, The Sun Valley Lodge is home to a year-round ice skating rink.
Sun Valley is known as one of the top places in the world to mountain bike. Just as with hiking, biking trails range from easy to advanced. If you are not a pro mountain biker, there are beginner-level trails that still let you enjoy the beauty of Sun Valley while engaging in the thrill of mountain biking.
Stop by the Sun Valley Stables to ride the scenic trails around the mountain on horseback.
Food & Drink
More than 50 local restaurants are housed in Sun Valley. The chefs are serving creative places with local ingredients and sustainability. Whether it’s sushi or fondue served at 8,000 feet, or an Idaho Potato the size of a football there is something for everyone to eat, and a memory to be made.
Downtown Ketchum is home to numerous boutiques and funky stores that will be sure to send you home with a conversation starter.
Want to run and jump 9,000 feet off the top of Bald Mountain and go sailing through the air? Yah, us too! Be sure to stop by Fly Sun Valley and they will give you everything you need to admire the beauty of Sun Valley while free-falling through the air!