Filled with history, scenic vistas, great food, and plenty of things to do is the town of Ketchum, Idaho, where Sun Valley, the first “European-style” ski resort in the United States, stands. For years people have been drawn to Sun Valley during the winter season for it’s snow and slopes but it may not surprise you to hear that Sun Valley is just as incredible in the summer. From exploring the mountains of the Sawtooth National Forest to enjoying what Sun Valley Resort has to offer, there’s a little something for everyone. Below are a few of our favorite things to do when visiting our friends in Sun Valley during the summer.
There’s nothing like feeling the burn of those calf muscles during a good hike, and luckily for you, Sun Valley has got you covered. With almost 400 miles of single track and another 30 miles of paved trails there’s something for every ability level. Maybe try challenging yourself to a hike up to Bald Mountain, a five mile hike up to the top of Sun Valley Resort, offering full 360-degree views of the surrounding mountain ranges. What really makes this hike so enticing is the option to take the lifts down afterwards, your knees will thank you. There’s also the Proctor Mountain Hike for those that want to see Sun Valley Resort and Bald Mountain from a different perspective. For those interested to see what else Sun Valley has to offer, check out this trail map for even more recommendations.
Shooting 18 rounds of golf is always a good time, but there’s something about shooting 18, surrounded by mountains, while trying to not double bogey that makes it even better. Sun Valley offers a challenging 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., called the Trail Creek Golf Course. While an alpine links-style nine hole course named White Pines is also available, with 360-degree views of the Wood River Valley it’s the perfect place to lose a few balls.
Still want to feel what it’s like to glide across the snow while in the middle of the summer? Head over to the Sun Valley Outdoor Ice Rink. This ice rink is one of only a few outdoor ice rinks that stays open all year round, letting visitors and professionals slide across its icy surface. Come check out Olympians practice their routines or sign up for some open hockey. Whatever kind of skating you’re into, Sun Valley has got you covered all year round.
Once you’re done playing on the ice, it’s time to send it to the water. If you’re looking to stay in town just a short walk from the Sun Valley Lodge sits the Sun Valley Lake. This is a great day spot to bring the family, relax on the beach, and maybe even enjoy some time paddle boating on the water. Sun Valley is also surrounded by the Sawtooth National Forest which means there’s plenty of lakes to choose from that are just a short drive away. For those looking for more of a day trip, Alturas and Pettit are two of the closer lakes to Sun Valley, but one of the must see lakes is Redfish Lake. Rent some paddle boards or kayaks from in town and go explore all that these alpine lakes have to offer.
Visiting Sun Valley Lodge
This legendary lodge is a must go if you want to see where the roots of “America’s First Destination Ski Resort” come from. Built all the way back in 1936, this lodge rejuvenated what was a dying mining town, into the celebrity destination that it is now so famously known for. Come check out the lodge that has captured so many people’s interest, including celebrities like Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe and Ernest Hemingway. The Sun Valley Lodge also offers one of the midwest oldest bowling alleys, made back in the 1950’s and is a great place to hang out, grab a drink, and become part of lodge’s history.