Sun Valley, Idaho is a small resort village nestled deep into the Rocky Mountains and one of the first destination ski resorts in the country. Sun Valley (and the nearby town of Ketchum) has an impressive collection of art galleries, gourmet dining options, designer boutiques, and a good rep with Hollywood stars. Outside of the glitz of the resort, sits a beautiful and vast area of wilderness just waiting to be explored. The area is famous for Nordic skiing, mountain biking, fishing, and backpacking, and for ski bums and those who love the outdoors, it looks something like paradise. You’d be crazy not to visit, and you’ll find it hard to leave.
Sun Valley is full of outdoor adventures, but it offers up plenty of activities away from the rugged wilderness as well. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Sun Valley, outside and in: For winter time visitors, skiing at Sun Valley Resort is a must, and the slopes here are world class. The area is complete with everything from a terrain park to a tubing park, so everyone can enjoy some fun on the snow. The area also boasts over 200 km of networked and maintained Nordic Trails. Away from the mountain, the city hosts a monthly gallery walk, and history buffs can visit the Sun Valley Museum of History and the Ore Wagon Museum. Traveling with kids? Try the Christina Potters Ice Rink, take a guided river tour, or hit the Ketchum Bike Park. For the summer time visitors, there is no shortage of camping, rock climbing, fishing, or golfing to be had in Sun Valley. Take a few swings at the Bigwood Golf Course, warm up in the Warfield Hot Springs, or fish for trout in Silver Creek.
Sun Valley is surrounded by beautiful country, and exciting day trips outside of town are plentiful. Venture down to Hemingway country, just a couple miles east of town. The famous author wrote, fished, and eventually died here, and fans of his work can spend the day learning more about his life. Nature lovers shouldn’t miss a trip out to the Silver Creek Preserve. The area is an international destination for anglers, artists, and wildlife observers. For an amazing and unforgettable adventure, drive up over Galena Pass, and drop into the awe inspiring Stanley Basin. In the basin, take your chance to jump in Redfish Lake for a swim or take a river rafting trip down the Salmon River. Eventually you’ll end up in Stanley, Idaho, a town known for its funky western vibes and killer food scene. For one last day trip, visit the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The beautiful area sits just an hour north of Sun Valley, and offers trail rides, scenic drives, hiking trails, educational programs, and unbeatable scenery.
Sun Valley offers plenty of accommodation options for every kind of traveler. The resort and local hotels offer everything from five star luxury suites, to rooms equipped with the bare essentials. Local houses and hill side condos are the perfect place for you and your friends to hang out and relax or to regroup before heading out for a night on the town. There are also plenty of campgrounds and RV resorts for travelers who can’t get enough of the great outdoors.
When you visit Sun Valley, the best way to get around is through the city’s extensive public transport system. The area offers a daily free bus service that connects Sun Valley, Ketchum, and other areas surrounding the village. The busses are even equipped with ski and bike racks to make transporting your recreational equipment a breeze. If you don’t want to be tied to a bus schedule or would like to travel further outside of the Sun Valley/Ketchum area, then your best bet is to rent a car.
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