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Sun Valley

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Mountain Stats

  • 220 in of annual snowfall
  • 2053 total skiable acres
  • Top elevation 9150 ft, base 5751 ft
  • 36% beginner, 42% intermediate, 22% advanced, 4% expert
  • Projected opening: 11/21/2013
  • Projected closing: 04/13/2014

Things to do in Sun Valley

When the bull wheel stops running and you’ve still got some energy to explore and experience the many things to do in Sun Valley, don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed. Here’s Ski.com’s list of what to do off-mountain. The historic ski village offers unique shopping opportunities from handmade chocolates to authentic cowboy attire, jewelry and home décor, to technical outerwear, sporting goods and designer active clothes, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Once you’ve shopped your way through Sun Valley, and are looking for something relaxing to do in the evenings, consider a night at the movies. Sun Valley’s historic Opera House, which was built in 1937, is an incredible place to catch a flick. The Bowling Alley and Game Room is located in the Sun Valley Lodge; the Bowling Alley is one of the oldest alley’s in the Pacific Northwest. The Game Room features a juke box, pool table and snacks.

Sun Valley Outdoor Activities

Winter recreating is a way of life in at this resort, so even when the slopes close down for the day, or your legs need a break, you have plenty of Sun Valley outdoor activities to enjoy.  Figure skating enthusiasts will be especially pleased on a Sun Valley ski vacation, since the resort sees some of the biggest name in the skating world, including Olympic skaters. Be sure to catch on of Sun Valley’s Ice Shows at the year-round outdoor rink. If you’re looking to get your cardio or explore the scenery, head to the Sun Valley Nordic and Snowshoe Center, located at the Sun Valley Club. You can even have lunch or dinner pre or post trek at the Sun Valley Club. Sun Valley has some of the best cross-country skiing in North America, offering, traning programs and clinic for serious Nordic skiers, and lessons for those who are trying out the sport, or just getting in to it. The whole family, and kids of all ages, will love Sun Valley’s new Tubing Hill, located behind Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports at the base of River Run.

To learn more about things to do in Sun Valley call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Sun Valley Beginner Skiing

With nearly an entire mountain to themselves, and 36 percent of the terrain designated as beginner runs, the Sun Valley beginner skiing is hard to beat. First timers generally want to stick to Dollar Mountain, but once they’ve picked up the skills need to stop and make wedge turns, they have a ton of options on Sun Valley’s larger Bald Mountain.

Sun Valley Beginner Terrain

Dollar Mountain is located one-third of mile from the Sun Valley base village and just across the valley from Ketchum. This zone features nearly entirely green and blue runs, so you won’t find throngs of expert skiers ripping past you. However, Dollar Mountain host to some of the best terrain parks in the Pacific Northwest, so the area does see some crowds.  Beginner families will also be pleased because the famed ski school is located at the base of Dollar Mountain.

The great thing about Bald Mountain is that beginners can experience Bald Mountain’s 9,000-plus foot summit thanks to the Broadway Face run which snakes along the ridgeline and drops skiers off at the base of Seattle Ridge lift. After a couple of days of skiing and you’re legs are warmed up be sure to head to the Lookout Restaurant for a spectacular lunch and then cruise down green run U. College all the way to the Sun Valley base village, which is nearly 3,000 feet.

To learn more about Sun Valley beginner skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Sun Valley Budget Ski Vacation

Thanks to the many lodging and dining options in historic mining-era town, Ketchum—adjacent to Sun Valley—someone on a budget can enjoy this Idaho ski vacation. In fact, the vast majority of Sun Valley lodging options are geared toward the financially conscious. Plus, the Redmond Airport is just 15 miles away, which keeps travel costs low.

Sun Valley Budget Hotels

If price point and convenience are high on your Sun Valley budget ski vacation, then the Best Western Tyrolean Lodge and Cottonwood Condominiums will please. The Best Western property is located at the base of Mount Baldy—the barren mountain tops from multiple forest fires that is a popular expert zone—and a short walk to the River Run chairlift, and all of  Ketchum’s best restaurants, shops and nightlife. Conveniently located near the Sun Valley ice rink and the Sun Valley Lodge, Cottonwood Condominiums, are a great option for families and large groups on a budget. Plus the complex is serviced by The Cottonwood complex is serviced by the free Mountain Ride bus system affording easy access to Ketchum and all other areas of the resort. Some of the Cottonwood Condos have access to Sun Valley Lodge and Inn amenities such as outdoor hot tubs and the Olympic pool to name a few.

Sun Valley Affordable Restaurants

As the local’s favorite for cheap, good eats since 1978 you can bet a visit to Grumpy’s at least once (just try staying away) is worth it. Grumpy’s, on Warm Spring Road, is a down-to-earth joint to grab an affordable and unforgettable burger and beer. If you’re tastes and wallet gravitate to American classics, stop by Irving’s Red Hots for Chicago-style hot dogs. And if you’re looking for an affordable sit-down affair, head to Lefty’s Bar and Grill, which serves up locally and nationally loved subs, salads, handcut fries, burgers and fresh salads.

To learn more about Sun Valley budget ski vacations call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Sun Valley Dining

As the first major Western U.S. ski resort destination, you can imagine the Sun Valley dining scene is bursting with a  variety of options and experiences from an upscale dinner in one of Sun Valley’s historic lodges to affordable laidback ski bum fare. And as a ski hub for the last 75-plus years you can bet this Idaho ski resort has international and big city influences, so foodies and urbanites will also find plenty of options to suit their preferences.

Sun Valley Restaurants

If this historic resort has you in the mood for authentic mountain cuisine, you’ll want to head to Konditorei for classic Alpine breakfast or lunch experience. At Konditorei you can enjoy everything from crepes to spatzle and fresh, homemade European pastries. For a meal the whole family, or your group, will love a night at Bald Mountain Pizza is in order. You can eat in or opt for delivery to your hotel, townhome or condo. If you’re looking for something a little more eclectic, try Dashi in Ketchum. This innovative menu, by Chef Tyler Stokes, namely focuses on Asian-inspired cuisine with a modern American touch. Stokes is committed to sourcing ingredients from local farms, and Idaho has no shortage of farms, so you’re sure to experience some incredibly fresh and interesting food at Dashi.

Cava Cava is another don’t-miss Ketchum dining experience. The menu features a marriage of fine dining and eclectic cuisine, featuring organic, natural products and ingredients. The restaurant offers a chic, modern atmosphere, and is locally renowned as a great place to enjoy gourmet wood-oven made pizza, As the name implies Cava Cava is also a great spot to grab a glass—or bottle better yet—of wine.

To learn more about Sun Valley dining call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Sun Valley Expert Skiing

If cruising down steep terrain with perfectly groomed conditions, or perhaps making expansive turns in a powder bowl—sound like your idea of the perfect ski vacation, then the Sun Valley expert skiing will not dissapoint. Expert skiers and snowboarders can enjoy an array of challenging conditions from Sun Valley’s many steep mogul runs to picture perfect glades and iconic bowl skiing.

Sun Valley Expert Terrain

The most iconic—and brag-worthy—terrain is found from the top of Bald Mountain. Take the Mayday chairlift up and then head right along the ridgeline and drop into some of Sun Valley’s most challenging terrain: Lookout Bowl, Easter Bowl and Little Easter Bowl. From the top of the River Run chairlift be sure to take a run down Limelight for some wide-open steep skiing. There’s also a nice pocket of short, black diamonds scattered around the Roundhouse Restaurant, perfect for lapping around lunchtime.

To learn more about Sun Valley expert skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Sun Valley Family Ski Vacation

A Sun Valley family ski vacation is an ideal choice for a slew of reasons. First and foremost, Sun Valley boasts perfect family ski terrain, and a world-class ski school. The Sun Valley village provides families with a safe, well-contained area for children to play, explore and experience the many off-mountain activities, including the Sun Valley PlaySchool and Day Camp. Families will love catching a movie togeth at Sun Valley’s historic—and charming— 1937 Opera House. Kids of all ages will love hanging out at Sun Valley’s six-lane bowling alley and game room. The many vacation condos and townhomes in Ketchum provide all the comforts of home, and make for a relaxing and comfortable family ski vacation.

Sun Valley Family Lodging

If you’re a family who loves a little bit of history, or values a long-standing and exceptional reputation, as well a slew of family-friendly activities and dining options, then the Sun Valley Inn. As the second hotel in Sun Valley history buffs are in for a treat; built in 1937, the Inn has been meeting place for celebrities, politicians, artists, writers and other movers and shakers for more than 75 years. The Inn offers a variety of dining options, but Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta tops the charts for family dining. Parents will love the fact the fitness room adjoins the glass-enclosed swimming pool, so everyone in the family will enjoy off-mountain recreation. If affordability and family-friendly amenities, like a pool, is high on your list then boutique, chalet-style Knob Hill Inn will please. Located within walking distance to downtown Ketchum, and a short walk to ski shuttle to access the chairlifts, which is nice for large families with a lot of ski gear. 
Families looking for a convenient, hassle-free lodging option will be happy to learn that Prospector Complex, located in beautiful Warm Springs Village, is only one block to Sun Valley chairlifts. Warm Springs Village offers multiple shopping, après ski and dining opportunities, so everything is close when staying at Prospector. Properties in this complex range from cozy one bedrooms to expansive four bedroom condominiums, so every family size will be aptly accommodated.

Sun Valley Family Restaurants

If you’re looking for a quality all-day restaurant that everyone in the family will enjoy Sun Valley Lodge’s Gretchen Fraser serves up home breakfast fare, burgers, sandwiches and salads. Kids love Bald Mountain Pizza and pasta in the Sun Valley Inn, so be sure to make an evening—or two—out of it. And after dinner, the whole family can enjoy some dessert at A La Mode, which serves up sundaes, shakes, hot cocoa and ice cream.

To learn more about Sun Valley family ski vacations call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Sun Valley Intermediate Skiing

Intermediates hold the majority at Sun Valley. With 42 percent of the terrain designated at blue trails, and state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming capabilities, you can bet that Sun Valley is a corduroy paradise.

Sun Valley Intermediate Terrain

Intermediate skiers and boarders have a handful of options over on Dollar Mountain, located adjacent to the larger Bald Mountain and across the valley from Ketchum. Terrain park skiers and snowboarders will especially love the Dollar Mountain freestyle offerings. But for long, meticulously groomed runs, Bald Mountain is where you want to go. The best zone for long, sustained pitches are found off the River Run chairlift. Enjoy the views from Lookout Restaurant and then drop into Warm Springs Face for a 3,000 foot descent. Intermediates will also love the fact that they can access the tippy top of Bald Mountain via the Mayday chairlift. They have several options on this exhilarating face littered with mini bowls: Mayday Bowl, Lefty Bowl, Farout Bowl and Sigi’s Bowl. Christmas chairlift also accesses plenty of wide-open blue runs every intermediate skier and snowboarder will love.

To learn more about Sun Valley intermediate skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Sun Valley Lodging

Elegant, historical hotels and inns are king in Sun Valley, but there are also plenty of modern townhomes and condos to please vacationers looking for cutting-edge conveniences. Just about every budget and lodging preference will be fulfilled on a Sun Valley ski vacation. 

Below you’ll find our Ski.com’s top Sun Valley lodging picks.

Sun Valley Hotels

Built in 1936, the historical Sun Valley Lodge was recently remodeled to match its original "roughing it in style" atmosphere. Enjoy upscale accommodations and fine dining in this majestic four-story hotel. Each of the Lodge's 148 rooms features French country interiors and furnishing and  marble-appointed bathrooms.

Sun Valley's second hotel, the Sun Valley Inn, was inspired by the movie set for Paramount's "I Met Him In Paris," filmed near the resort in 1937. The historic hotel provides 109 rooms and the resort's new state of the art Convention Center. Guest rooms are newly remodeled with elaborate and gracious décor, with the very finest European fabrics, carpeting and ornate wall coverings. Dining opportunities at the Inn include the Ram restaurant, the new Lobby Lounge serving light fare and cocktails and the family friendly Bald Mountain Pizza and Pasta. A fitness room adjoins the outdoor glass-enclosed swimming pool.

Located within walking distance to Ketchum, the Knob Hill Inn is Sun Valley’s premiere boutique hotel and offers remarkable views of the world-famous Bald Mountain as well as the Sawtooth and Boulder mountain ranges while being nestled in a peaceful setting.

The Greyhawk Condominiums are located about one block from the chairlifts and Warm Springs Base Lodge. The free KART bus service stops nearby and provides service to all areas of the resort. In addition to the amenities listed this property also offers a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace and balcony. Greyhawk is your home away from home in the mountains.

To learn more about Sun Valley lodging call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Sun Valley Luxury Ski Vacation

As a favorite mountain retreat for the rich and famous for the last 75 years you can imagine that Sun Valley has a good handle on what a luxury ski vacation means. The resort which was built in 1937, was North America’s first ski destination town and was modeled off luxury ski destinations in the European Alps. It didn’t take long for Sun Valley to begin attracting the world’s rich and famous, among them was Ernest Hemingway, who was very proactive in promoting the area’s beauty and elegant “roughing it” style. Whether you prefer a boutique hotel or a convenient, historical lodge it’s all within reach on a Sun Valley ski vacation.

Sun Valley Luxury Lodging

Built in 1936, the historical Sun Valley Lodge has recently been remodeled to match Sun Valley founder Averell Harriman's original “roughing it” style. Enjoy upscale accommodations and fine dining in a majestic four-story hotel while your camera captures the beautiful and breathtaking view of the surrounding mountain range.

Each of the Lodge's 148 rooms, which range from deluxe rooms to balcony rooms, to parlor suites and family suites, features French country interiors and furnishings, marble appointed bathrooms and flat-screen TVs, to name a few.

Sun Valley's second Christmas season was celebrated by the opening of the Challenger Inn in 1937. Renamed the Sun Valley Inn in the early Seventies, Sun Valley's second hotel was inspired by the movie set for Paramount's "I Met Him In Paris," filmed near the resort in 1937. Today, the hotel provides 109 rooms and the resort's new state of the art Convention Center. Guest rooms are newly remodeled with elaborate and gracious décor appointed with the very finest European fabrics, carpeting and ornate wall coverings. Dining opportunities at the Inn include the historic Ram restaurant, the new Lobby Lounge serving light fare and cocktails.. An exercise room adjoins the outdoor glass-enclosed swimming pool.

Sun Valley Fine Dining

For the ultimate romantic, rustic and one of the best Sun Valley fine dining experiences a reservation at Trail Creek Cabin, circa 1937, is a must. Snow levels and weather conditions permitting, guests can access this Sun Valley fine dining hotpost via a horse-drawn sleigh. The sleighs depart  from Sun Valley’s village—near the SV Inn and whisk you through a winter wonderland to the quaint cabin restaurant. The seasonal menu has a western flare all complimented by a great wine list and a full bar. Guests looking to drive can also do so, Trail Creek Cabin is located one and a half miles east of the Sun Valley Lodge (half a mile past the Sun Valley Club). Advanced sleigh ride reservations are required.

To learn more about Sun Valley luxury ski vacations call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.


Sun Valley Nightlife

With 75 years of attracting some of the world’s most interesting people, you can bet that Sun Valley nightlife is lively enough for even the most seasoned party animals, and also sophisticated enough for someone looking for a relaxing fireside cocktail or glass of wine.

Sun Valley Bars

The Sun Valley Inn Lobby Lounge is a cool place to grab an old-fashioned cocktail and take in all the history this place has seen. Downtown Ketchum is the place for those seeking to blend in with the local crowd. The Pioneer Saloon is the place for margaritas in town, so be sure to head to this historic Ketchum bar. Grumpy’s is renowned for its tasty cheap eats, but the schooners of beer you can order is a close second. If you’re on the hunt for cheap drinks and late night entertainment, like live music and a friendly game of air hockey, then Whiskey Jacques on Main Street is the place to be. Catering to a young, active crowd, The Cellar Pub, on Sun Valley Road, serves up great bar food, like their locally loved fish and chips, cheap drinks, and offers fun games like shuffleboard and arcade games.

Sun Valley Après-Ski

After a satisfying day on the slopes, Sun Valley’s base village is the place to be, specifically the Sun Valley Lodge lobby, which is where the Duchin Lounge is located. Since the resort’s founding in 1937, the Dunchin Lounge, which is named for Marjorie Oelrichs Duchin, has been the après hotspot. The Lounge provides an authentic atmosphere perfect for socializing and dancing to live music. Between the Lodge’s décor and the Dunchin Lounge’s throwback cocktails, like hot buttered rum and hot apple pie, you’ll fee like you’ve been transported back in time. The Sun Valley Margarita also comes highly recommended.

To learn more about Sun Valley nightlife call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

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