Tucked away in the endless mountains of central Idaho is Sun Valley. Nicknamed “The Original Mountain Town” for being the first American destination ski resort, Sun Valley is known for its rich ski culture and history. With over 2,000 acres to ski on it’s a skiers paradise, but what do you do after the skis are put away and the boots are resting nicely by the fire or maybe you’re just looking to take a break from the slopes? Luckily, Sun Valley prides itself on not just being a destination ski resort but a beautiful quaint town that is filled with tons of activities to help entertain the kids (Or yourself!) after the lifts have shut down for the day.
1. Ice Skating
Sun Valley has one of the nicest outdoor ice skating rinks in the country! Being one of the only outdoor ice rinks in the United States to be open year round, this ice rink is truly something else! Rent some skates and enjoy the mountain views that surround the rink during free skating or watch from the side as world-class skaters and Olympians practice. If you or the little ones are into hockey as well don’t worry! Ketchum’s Park and Recreations Department builds one of the largest unrefrigerated outdoor rinks in the Northwest. Called Christina Potters Ice Rink, they offer skates, helmets, sticks, and pucks for no rental cost. Perfect for toning those skills and first-timers alike!
Like many of the ski destinations we provide services for, Sun Valley has its fair share of snowmobiling! Places like Smiley Creek Lodge will rent you snowmobiles along with guides for those who are new to this experience and want to see the best spots of the Sawtooth Basin. With hundreds of miles of snowmobiling trails in the area, there’s no end to the fun!
3. Nordic Skiing
Want skiing without the slopes? Sun Valley aka “Nordic Town USA” has one of the largest and best-maintained nordic ski trails in the country. With over 200km of nordic tracks that connect the north valley to the south, you can practically start skiing from your front door, with the craziest part being that you actually can! The Wood River Trail, or just the bike trail as locals call it, is a 20-mile paved multi-use trail system that connects the Wood River Valley communities. With how well-maintained Sun Valley and the surrounding communities keep these nordic trails, it’s no wonder that the US Winter Olympic Committee made Sun Valley the United States’ first Nordic Olympic Training Site and Paralympic Training Site!
4. The Roundhouse
Don’t want to ski but still want to enjoy the views from the mountain? Take yourself or the family on a ride up the gondola at Bald Mountain to check out the Roundhouse! Skier accessible as well, the Roundhouse is a great place to relax and enjoy the views. With a changing menu that includes a children’s menu, the Roundhouse has a little something for everyone!
5. Beers and Distilleries
Can a ski town even be a ski town without a few breweries and distilleries? It definitely adds to the charm and at Sun Valley there are fantastic choices no matter what it is you’re craving. If spirits are more to your liking, heading over to Warfield Distillery and Brewery is the place for you. With a wide assortment of organic whiskey, vodka, and gun, alongside a variety of beers that are also brewed in-house, Warfield has a little something for everyone. If just beer is more to your liking, checking out Sawtooth Breweries two locations (both with 25 taps) is a great place to start out. Sun Valley is also home to Sun Valley Brewery and Power House, which isn’t necessarily a brewery but claims to have the largest beer selection in the area with 19 beers on tap and another 50 in bottles.
6. Shopping and Restaurants
Take a stroll through the streets of Ketchum to check out some of the unique stores and restaurants that they have to offer! Pick up a gift at Huck and Paddle or a scarf from Haute Wrap and then go check out one of over 50 restaurants within the area. With most of these restaurants being privately owned and operated, you’ll be able to see the love and care before you even step through the door!
Sun Valley is one of our favorite ski destinations and we can’t wait to help you plan your trip here this winter! Want to see what others have had to say about Ski Butlers? Check out some reviews! We can’t wait to see you this Winter!