lthough it is hard to describe a place that was the first destination ski resort in the US to be established (in 1936) as a hidden gem, Sun Valley could easily fit into that category. It is an amazing blend of remoteness and accessibility, frontier and luxury as well as comfort and exhilaration. When you stand on the summit of Bald Mountain, there are mountain peaks in all directions. The only signs of human habitation that you can see are the resort and the nearby town of Ketchum. However, getting there is much easier than you would expect. There are direct flights to Sun Valley/Hailey from Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Sun Valley is very proud of its history. There is still much evidence in Ketchum of the town past as a mining center and sheep ranching community. Sun Valley, just 2 miles from Ketchum, has long been a favorite vacation spot for celebrities which is evidenced by the photos in the hallways of the Sun Valley Lodge. When you visit, you can stay in one of two areas: Sun Valley or Ketchum. Sun Valley emphasis is on luxury and service. If you stay at the Lodge or the Inn, you will have access to a wide array of amenities including beautiful outdoor pools, full service spa, world class dining and an unforgettable sleigh-ride dinner in Ernest Hemingway old hunting lodge. Ketchum has a little more hustle and bustle but offers several excellent hotels, including the Limelight and Hotel Ketchum, which have a very high level of service in a more contemporary setting. The main ski area, known as Bald Mountain, is huge. If you want to ski long leg-burning groomers from top to bottom or jump into any of the lift-accessed bowls, you will have a memorable experience. Up on the mountain, you will probably never have more than a 30 second wait to get on a lift. For great on-mountain food, go to the Lookout Restaurant (also known as The Bunker) at the top of the Christmas chairlift. They have the best tacos in the area. If you haven't been to Sun Valley because it takes too long to get there or here’s no ski in/ski out places to stay, I urge you to reconsider. It’s easier to get to than you think and the lack of lodging on the mountain gives it a more pristine and unspoiled feel. The resort shuttle service is frequent and friendly and I guarantee that you will appreciate the open vistas and serenity of the area.