Destination Sun Valley

November through April, the glistening slopes of Bald and Dollar Mountains offer week or weekend get-aways for every outdoor lover

Article by Shasta Ockerberg

Photography by Photography: Sun Valley Resort + Hillary Maybery + Visit Sun Valley + Ray Gadd + Ever Changing Horizon + Oliver Guy

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

When it comes to winter fun, Boise spoils its residents with Bogus Basin, Idaho Ice World, and its assortment of sledding hills. But only two and a half hours away, Sun Valley opens her arms to we lucky locals. For almost 100 years, this northwest beauty has been a sweet spot for travelers, and even some favorite celebrities. Ernest Hemingway fell in love with the Wood River Valley so deeply that his final resting place is nestled in Ketchum’s loving embrace. Arnold Schwarzenegger is frequently seen visiting the small town; Reese Witherspoon vacations with her family at the lodge; and Clint Eastwood filmed his 1985 film Pale Rider around the Sun Valley’s countryside. It’s the Hollywood of Idaho, except with Tamarack trees instead of metal letters mounted in the hills. It’s also considered “America’s original winter playground,” and we in the Treasure Valley are thankful to have it practically in our backyard.

For the second year in a row Sun Valley Resort has been voted #1 Best Ski Resort in the country by SKI magazine, but its real success comes from the community they built for us. Limelight Hotel, Sun Valley Lodge, and Knob Hill Inn work together to provide the complete package for visitors with over 400 rooms, 388 snowy acres, 18 restaurants, and much more, all in the heart of Idaho. From November through April, the glistening slopes of Bald and Dollar Mountains call, offering a week or weekend get-away an outdoor lover can only dream of. For Boise locals, the experience is its own home-away-from-home, enjoying all of Idaho's offerings and wonders at once.

Since 1936, the Sun Valley Resort has been inviting people from all over the country to witness the ski season in its peak environment, and it has continued to evolve the experience for travelers. Winter-fanatics now have over 2,400 acres to ski, Heli-ski, snowshoe, snowboard, tube, and more. There are over a dozen chairlifts for easy accessibility and little to any lift lines for skiers to fully appreciate “Baldy.” Visitors can choose among numerous Nordic trails that weave the forest, and can even explore the Galena Lodge hidden within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The Resort and Sun Valley itself continues to develop and accommodate the growing number of guests it hosts every year.  For first timers, the glistening mountaintops and chilling rushes on the slopes leave them begging to come back again.

There’s always something to do in Sun Valley. Anyone can experience it at the base of the mountain range or paragliding over the town’s twinkling lights. Your day will overflow with fun activities, whether in skis or snowmobiles, fly-fishing or riding in horse-drawn carriages, or simply relaxing in the steam of a hot tub or indulging in a spa day. Ketchum’s Main Street is lined with independent businesses that make them unique to the Sun Valley experience, with many local eateries, boutiques, bookstores, and more.  The lasting impressions of Sun Valley will fill you for a lifetime, yet living so close means you can experience this beautiful slice of America over and over again.

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