Sun Valley offers a complete winter vacation. Known as the original American winter resort and voted the number-one ski resort in the United States by readers of Ski Magazine and Conde Naste Traveler, Sun Valley is surrounded by the craggy peaks of the Sawtooth, Boulder and Pioneer Mountains, affording some of the most scenic country in the world.
National airline carriers fly into Sun Valley Airport daily. Or fly into Boise Airport (southwest of Sun Valley) and take the bus (Sun Valley Stages and Sun Valley Express) with multiple shuttles to Sun Valley. Car rentals are available for driving the easy, 2-1/2-hour highway trip from Boise to Sun Valley.
Skiing and Snowboarding in Sun Valley
This ultimate Western ski destination boasts dependable snow (with one of the world’s largest snow-making systems), 810 acres of groomed runs, very consistent fall-line skiing, high-quality trails and lots of sun. The two ski mountains — Bald and Dollar — offer adventures from tame to daring for skiers and snowboarders.
Bald Mountain, climbing in elevation to 9,150 feet, has a new gondola, 14 chairlifts (including 7 high-speed quads) and finely appointed day lodges. Its 65 varied runs — 3 named for Sun Valley’s Olympic women medalists — offer changes in elevation of 3,400 feet. This formidable yet forgiving mountain offers open cruising on pool-table smooth runs, steep bumps and spacious bowls, as well as a super pipe.
Dollar Mountain is known as the finest ski-teaching mountain in the world, with 13 runs and more than 200 experienced instructors for alpine, snowboarding and racing skills. Its 628 feet of supportive vertical rise and day lodge cater to all types of skiers and boarders. Dollar’s treeless runs, half pipe and terrain park are bathed by the sun.
The surrounding Sawtooth National Forest affords backcountry skiing and snowboarding for more daring downhill skiers. All-day or half-day guided snow-cat expeditions into more than 1,500 acres of surrounding wilderness and overnight yurt adventures from nearby Soldier Mountain are available.
Other Sun Valley Winter Activities
The Sun Valley Nordic and Snowshoe Center’s 40 kilometers of groomed trails are esteemed by cross-country skiers and ski skaters. Snowshoe enthusiasts appreciate its 8 kilometers of scenic trails. North and south of Ketchum, miles of trails cover a variety of terrain for those sporting skinny skis or snowshoes.
For ice skating enthusiasts, the world-famous outdoor rink at the Sun Valley Lodge beckons. Or take a horse-drawn sleigh ride from the Sun Valley Lodge to the legendary Trail Creek Cabin and enjoy a hearty meal. Dog sledding with a pack of huskies or snowmobiling Baker Creek and the Wood River Recreation Area’s scenic backcountry lure adventurous winter visitors.
The shops and boutiques of Sun Valley, Ketchum and nearby Hailey feature some of the best shopping outside of Beverly Hills. Exquisite clothing and jewelry, home décor items and unique books (even obscure titles by local author Ernest Hemingway) can be found. Ketchum’s 29 galleries offer fine art, jewelry, crafts and glasswork.
Sun Valley Dining
Restaurants and bars in Sun Valley offer a variety to please any taste:
- The Ketchum Grill features contemporary American cuisine in an historic home.
- Sushi on Second, written up in Bon Appetit magazine, is known for its excellent sushi and seafood.
- Michel’s Christiania Restaurant features traditional French cuisine and European ambiance.
- The Sawtooth Club’s mesquite-grilled seafood and meats are local favorites.
- The Pioneer Saloon is a popular spot with the après-ski crowd.
- The Galena Lodge affords fine food and spectacular views from the peaks of Galena Summit, 24 miles north of Ketchum.
Sun Valley Lodging
Accommodations in Sun Valley range from luxurious to cozy:
- The Sun Valley Resort’s award-winning accommodations include the luxurious, hotel-style surroundings of the Sun Valley Lodge & Inn and private and cozy condominiums.
- River Street Inn B&B, in central Ketchum, blends contemporary Western design with Victorian antiques in its 8 rooms with views and balconies.
- Ketchum’s Best Western Tyrolean Lodge’s 56 rooms and suites combine Old World charm with Western hospitality.
- The Knob Hill Inn, an awarding-winning hostelry, affords awe-inspiring mountain views for its 26 cozy rooms.
- Luxurious homes and condominiums in Ketchum and throughout the Wood River Valley offer more accommodations.
Known as one of the 10 best ski resorts in the U.S., Sun Valley also has awe-inspiring natural beauty, myriad winter activities, as well as world-class lodging and dining.