A Sun Valley Travel Guide
Sun Valley, Idaho is a hidden gem located between Jackson Hole, WY & Portland, OR. Most people have never even heard of the small western town & what it has to offer locals & tourists alike. There isn’t a right or wrong season to visit, except May, that is when the snow is melting off the mountains & is referred to as “mushy May.”
A Summer in Sun Valley
Depending on where you are flying from you might have a quick flight or an 8 hour traveling day like myself (or 36 hour drive, yes I have done this.) Either way you will fly into the Hailey, Idaho airport. On your way into Sun Valley take in all that the small town of Hailey has to offer. From quaint coffee shops, like Black Owl Coffee (my fave!), to local restaurants and boutiques. We also can’t forget the amazing HOPE garden,which contributes fresh produce to the local mobile food bank & a center of education (how cool!?)
Sun Valley is technically the region & the name of the resort in that area but Ketchum is the town where we stay.
Summer brings temperatures in the 70’s during the day with cool nights. Every season is a season to be outside while in Sun Valley but summers are especially nice coming from an Alabama girl where temperatures are well into the 90’s in the summer plus humidity.
Start your day off with breakfast at Cristina’s (The Cristina’s Eggs are to die for!)
After a filling breakfast it is time to get outside!
A quick hike to Baker Lake which has beautiful views & a bright blue green lake if your up for a swim.
If you want to climb more of a challenge there are multiple different trails in Adams Gulch for hiking and mountain biking.
After a hike take a drive up north over the pass toward Sun Beam for some exciting white water rafting with White Otter.
For lunch head back toward Ketchum for a refreshing salad at Big Wood Bread Cafe! (Spicy Thai Noodle Salad is AMAZE!)
Fill the rest of your day walking around town & taking in all that Ketchum has to offer.
For dinner there are endless options but Vintage Restaurant is one of the best! (The pecan crusted chicken & tomale!!!!)
Other activities geared toward summer:
Fly Fishing on the Big Wood River with Picabo Angler.
Visit Frenchman’s Bend Hot Spring right outside of town for a natural hot tub.
For the adventurous type fly high with the best views while paragliding with Fly Sun Valley.
A day on Redfish Lake up north. Take the day to relax by the lake, take a boat out or try horseback riding in the mountains around the lake.
The farmers market lines the streets of Ketchum every Tuesday in the summer. Try a local Mennonite pie!
A day at Sun Valley Spa is always on the table with a relaxing massage or facial.
Over the summer Sun Valley hosts Sun Valley Summer Symphony, 2018 dates are officially out!
Fall in Sun Valley
You can still indulge in the activities that summer has to offer along with the festivities fall brings!
Wagon Days is a historical event that occurs every labor day weekend in Sun Valley. It is the largest non-motorized parade in the pacific northwest with loads of activities going on throughout the weekend.
Trailing of the Sheep is exactly as it sounds, trailing sheep through the town of Ketchum from the mountains.
Like Wagon Days, there are multiple activities going on throughout this week in October.
Ski Sun Valley!
During the winter & spring, Sun Valley turns into a winter wonderland for skiers & snow boarders.
When you arrive you will want to make sure you have all the equipment you will need, which you can rent or buy from Sturtevants in town.
Now, time to hit the slopes!
Dollar Mountain is a great start for beginners & also has a great terrain park for snowboarders! Once you have mastered the smaller mountains head on over to Baldy Mountain.
In terms of Apres Ski you have several options! You could relax on the top of the mountain at Round House & ski back down or take the gondola down to River Run.
If you are over at Warm Springs lift you can grab a drink & bite at Apples Bar & Grill or a quick hotdog at Irvings hot dog stand. ( Usually located in town during the summer but moves to the warm springs lift area during ski season.)
If you want to celebrate a successful day on the slopes while in town Grumpy’s is the place to be (a scooner & corndog please!) Lefty’s is under the same owner & has equally good food, I love their monkey fries!
After a soak in the hot tub, bundle up, it’s dinner time!
During the winter a full moon dinner at Galena lodge or a sleigh ride to trail creek cabin for dinner is magical.
Other activities geared toward winter:
Snow shoeing around Galena Lodge
Catch a local hockey game in town
Ice Skating at Sun Valley resort
Snowmobiling up north at Smiley Creek
Other notable places to go year round:
Ketchum Grill ( Their homemade lemon noodles with rock shrimp are EVERYTHING).
Town Square Tavern is a fresh take on Mediterranean inspired tapas & plates & a family favorite.
Stanley Bakery, such a yummy place for breakfast! ( Try the CRAG!)
Some would be surprised by the amount of art galleries in Sun Valley, all of them so unique in their own way. It is well worth-it to walk around town (Ketchum & Sun Valley Resort) one day wandering into little boutiques, shops & galleries.