At the doorstep of the Sawtooth National Forest, this authentic mountain resort community is comprised of two adjacent towns, Ketchum and Sun Valley, bustling with activity and culture while retaining a small town atmosphere–the most distinguishing characteristic of the area.
Known for some of the best skiing on Bald Mountain (Baldy)–which offers diverse terrain most fully appreciated by experts but is equally thrilling for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders–Sun Valley is one of the world’s best ski areas. No other mountain rivals its impeccably groomed runs–both long and steep–legendary bump runs, glade skiing, family friendly Seattle Ridge terrain, and the Bowls. Baldy is complimented by Dollar Mountain, an ideal, treeless mountain for beginners with extraordinary terrain park features. The two mountains set the bar for other major winter sports of nordic skiing, back country touring, heli-skiing, snowshoe hiking, and snowmobiling.
As a training site for athletes who compete on the international level, Sun Valley is a designated Olympic Nordic training site. The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, in partnership with the Sun Valley Ski Academy at Community School, including in-residence education, is a world-class development institution in alpine racing, snowboarding, cross country, and freestyle.
With the valley floor at a comfortable elevation of 6,000 feet, recreation shifts in the spring from snow sports to a network of paved bike paths, single-track mountain biking and hiking trails, and road cycling. The area offers four golf courses, totaling 81 holes. The Big Wood River flows through the town of Ketchum, south to Hailey, and nearby Silver Creek Preserve provides the finest fly fishing in the state. No matter what one chooses to do, there is always the experience of resources and facilities that seem overbuilt and under utilized, due to the lack of population pressure.
It might feel to some as if Sun Valley is a private club, yet it is most democratic in its community involvement and inclusivity. This is most exemplified by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the largest free-admission symphony in America, which was moved in 2008 from a stage on a massive lawn tent to a stunning modern architectural masterpiece, the Sun Valley Pavilion. The elegance and power of this venue is the perfect compliment to the iconic Sun Valley Lodge and Resort Village. The Lodge, which was first opened in 1937 by the Union Pacific Railroad, is currently undergoing a complete remodel and expansion with new spa facilities and modern luxury suites in the classic Sun Valley style.
Arts and Culture are an integral part of the Sun Valley experience with the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, the Community Library, and the Sun Valley Film Festival offering educational programs during every season. Friday night gallery walks, Fourth of July rodeos, the Sun Valley Wine Auction, The Writers’ Conference, and the Labor Day Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade are just a few events that offer sophistication and fun.
Energetic and accomplished, yet casually relaxed, is the definitive style of Sun Valley. It is home to celebrities, world leaders, artists, athletes, and recreationalists–perhaps none better known than Ernest Hemingway, whose writing, hunting, and fishing exemplified the passion and character of a community where stories are made and passed down by generations.