If you want to enjoy endless blue sky skiing on pristine snow, Sun Valley in Boise, Idaho is the place to be. This is where many Hollywood and Warren Miller films have been shot, the stars have stayed and the USA’s top ski racers have grown up.
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AccommodationAs you’d expect, Sun Valley offers a huge variety of accommodation to suit families, couples and groups. Ski-in-ski-out options are limited as most accommodation is a short drive to the base areas, by resort shuttle or car, where you’ll find there’s plenty of parking.
Choose from hotels, motels and condos, the Sun Valley Inn or the famous, luxurious Sun Valley Lodge. Whether or not you stay at the Lodge, it’s worth taking a stroll through this historic building. Built in 1937, the walls are lined with photos of Hollywood stars who frequented the lodge, among them Marilyn Munro, Clark Gable, Clint Eastwood, Lucile Ball and Ernest Hemingway. While you’re there, check out the heated outdoor pool and the massive ice-skating rink!
Skiing & BoardingThe two mountains that make up Sun Valley – Dollar and Bald – rise from the gentle surrounds to catch the best of the snow and all day sunshine.
If you’re a beginner, head to Dollar Mountain – the gentle slopes here are dedicated to your level and there’s also a terrain park, complete with superpipe to keep you entertained.
The wide, often steep runs, gladed areas and relatively easy off-piste areas on Bald Mountain are where it’s at for intermediate skiers.
If you’re an advanced or expert skier, you’re unlikely to find the nail biting challenges you’re looking for at Sun Valley, however Bald’s long runs will test your endurance.
When it’s time to catch up with the kids, the Adventure Trail is a great option for skiing together.
ActivitiesAt Sun Valley you can experience tubing, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing, or head to the Sun Valley Lodge for some ice skating on the massive rink. Enjoy one of the regular ice shows on the Lodge rink during the season, or step inside to explore its incredible history.
If you’re looking for more adventure on the snow, with appropriate training and equipment, you can head out to the backcountry beyond Bald or chase the powder with a day of heli-skiing.
Less physical but equally enjoyable is a horse-pulled sleigh ride, a visit to the many galleries and shops or a luxurious spa treatment.
Ski school for kids as young as 20 months, and childcare from three months to five years, is available at the base of Dollar Mountain.
Getting There & AroundThe best time to ski Sun Valley – for temperature and snow – is in December and February. January has the biggest snow falls and spring skiing can be unreliable although snow making is used to top up the cover.
Drive to Sun Valley from Boise Idaho in around 2.5 hours or just under five from Salt Lake City.
You can also fly into Boise Airport or Hailey regional airport (which has daily flights and is about 20 minutes’ drive from the mountain) then transfer to the town area, known as Ketchum, via shuttle.
Once you’re in Sun Valley it’s simple to get around by car and you’ll find plenty of parking at the base areas and around town. There’s also a great free bus service to get you to and from the ski areas and town.
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A brand new property which opened December 2018. Centrally located in downtown Ketchum, the primary Sun Valley ski area is 6 minutes away by hotel shuttle. Close to dining and shopping with ski concierges and rentals on site. Daily breakfast included and complimentary shuttles to Sun Valley's famed skiing along with Sun Valley Airport. Kitchenettes in each room. Onsite: ski concierge, ski rentals, shuttle, fitness centre, games room.
Formerly the Bellemont Hotel, the Hotel Ketchum went under a complete renovation in time for the 17/18 ski season. Located in downtown Ketchum the hotel is within walking distance to many restaurants/bars, spa services. Onsite: restaurant, coffee house, guest laundromat.
Located in the heart of downtown Ketchum within walking distance to casual and fine dining, shopping and nightlife, the Tamarack Lodge has breathtaking views and offers recently refurbished rooms with flat screen TVs and free wifi. Onsite: outdoor hot tub, indoor pool, free snowshoes available.