Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life for the more relaxing tempo of the small town lifestyle for a summer vacation? Then look no further than Ketchum, Idaho. Home to Sun Valley Ski Resort, Ketchum is a quiet little mountain town that is the perfect getaway for all your summer adventures. Check out what summer in Sun Valley looks like as you begin planning your vacation.
Sawtooth Botanical Garden
What’s better than walking through 5 acres of flowers? This botanical garden, founded in 1994, features plenty of native and non-native plants with a focus in showing plants from Idaho’s riparian, alpine, montane, and sagebrush steppe ecosystems. They also have plenty of offered classes in subjects like vegetable gardening, medicinal plants, and edible plants to help catch you up on some of that plant knowledge.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area
This massive 730,000 acre national recreation area first established in 1972 is a locals favorite for all things outdoor recreation. The headwaters for the Salmon River are located here which makes it a fantastic fishing location along with its hundreds of small alpine glacier lakes. There’s also a ton of great overnight camping locations for those who want to spend more time breathing in this fresh mountain air.
White Water Rafting
Speaking of the Salmon River it’s not just for fishermen but also for anyone who wants to tackle some white water rapids as well. There are a handful of different companies that offer guided trips that can go from a half day to a full day.
The Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve
In 2017 the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve was designated as the 12th Dark Sky Reserve in the world while also being awarded Gold Tier status meaning that it had the highest ranking for night sky quality. Dark sky reserves are areas that are protected from light pollution, allowing its visitors to get the full experience of a clear night sky. It covers 1,400 square miles within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and spans across four counties including Boise, Blaine, Elmore, and Custer.
Downhill Mountain Biking
As of 2014, Sun Valley Resort has added lift accessed mountain biking on Bald Mountain. With 3,400 feet of downhill this is easily one of the biggest adrenaline rushes that you can get in the winter as you countdown the days until the snow starts falling. They offer over 400 miles of single track across the valley making it “America’s longest purpose-built downhill”. With adult day lift tickets starting at $55 and full suspension bike rentals starting at $53 this is the best way to dive into the sport for the first time.
Scenic Lift Rides
For those who aren’t into biking down the mountain you still have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic views of Bald Mountain with a scenic chair lift ride. You can pay for a ticket to take the gondola up the mountain to enjoy the views or you can hike up and take the gondola down for free.
Johnny G’s Subshack
No trip to Sun Valley and Ketchum is complete without a stop at Johnny G’s Subshack. Located right in downtown Ketchum this subshack is a main attraction. Boasting affordable subs in four different sizes: 6”, 8”, 10”, and 12”. We’ve personally never been to a subshack with so many length options that can accommodate whatever hunger level you’re at and with their massive speciality menu of 20 different subs there’s plenty of flavors to choose from.