There are so many fun things to do in Sun Valley Idaho. You can stay one night, or an entire week, and not get bored while enjoying your time exploring what to do in Sun Valley Idaho.
Tony and I recently took a weekend away from Boise and spent an incredible time treating ourselves to what the Sun Valley Lodge and the city of Ketchem had to offer us. I’m excited to share with you so many great things to know, do, and see during your trip to Sun Valley.
To make it clear, the term ‘Sun Valley’ is used to represent the resort and the nearby area, while Ketchem is the popular city that is only 1 mile away from the Sun Valley Resort. People often use ‘Sun Valley’ when talking about visiting the entire area in Idaho. Since there are many fun things to do in Ketchem Idaho in addition to the resort of Sun Valley, I’ll be sure to share all the top things to do in Sun Valley below.
Skiing Sun Valley Idaho isn’t the only thing to do in one of the most popular ski resorts in the USA. Sun Valley offers so many things to do throughout all of the seasons including mountain biking, hiking, camping, outdoor ice skating in the summer and winter months, bowling, shopping, fly fishing, golfing, enjoying the Sun Valley Spa, and so much more.
Keep reading to learn about the incredible things to do in Sun Valley ID.
Lodging In Sun Valley Idaho
First, be sure to book your accommodations before you arrive. Trying to decide where to stay in Sun Valley? There are many places to stay in Sun Valley including the Lodge at Sun Valley Idaho and the Sun Valley Inn, my top pick!
The Sun Valley Lodge is famous for its outdoor heated pool that is open year-round for guests. It could be categorized as a large hot tub with incredible views of the mountains. Order a drink or meal from the Pool Side restaurant and relax in the incredible mountain oasis.
There is also some great lodging in Ketchem Idaho. The Limelight Hotel is a popular choice and one of the newest hotels in Ketchem. Or consider renting an Airbnb in Sun Valley Idaho if you plan to stay awhile.
Camping Near Sun Valley
If you’re visiting in the summer months you may be interested to know where there’s camping near Sun Valley Idaho. From tent camping to RV parks near Sun Valley Idaho, there are a few options.
Consider tent camping at the North Fork Campground in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, just north of Ketchem. You’ll have access to drinking water, and toilets, and be able to enjoy the beautiful mountain view next to the river. Directions can be found on Google Maps.
Nestled in the Wood River Valley, you’ll find one of the most modern RV parks near Sun Valley. The Meadows RV Park offers full RV hook-ups, 30 and 50 amp services, paved campsites, full bathrooms, and both sunny and shaded campsites. They are also open year-round. So if you’re a full time RV living family who’s looking to ski all winter long, this could be an option for you.
Related Post: 30 Ideas For Must Have Camping Gear
How To Get To Sun Valley Idaho
Trying to figure out how to get to Sun Valley during your visit? Flying to Sun Valley Idaho is one option with several airports offering direct flights to Hailey’s Friedman Memorial Airport located just 20 minutes south of Sun Valley. Seattle, San Fransico, Salt Lake, and Denver to name a few airports that offer direct flights.
You may also consider flying into Boise, Idaho, and spending a few days exploring. Stay at one of the top hotels in Boise and then rent a car to drive the 2 ½ hours East to Sun Valley. For the shortest drive time – and the best scenery overall – take I84 East to Route 20 from Mountain Home to the junction of Highway 75. Just be sure to check the weather first so you’re not driving on icy mountain roads.
If you’re looking to include Sun Valley in an Idaho road trip from Boise, then you may want to take HWY 55 North and then head East on Banks/Lowman road until you take a left of HWY 21. This will bring you to the fun outdoorsy mountain town of Stanley, Idaho. Plan to spend a day visiting Stanley before heading South on HWY 75 for a 1-hour drive to Sun Valley, Idaho.
Things To Do In Sun Valley Idaho
Let’s dive into the fun things to do in Sun Valley Idaho during your trip.
Visit Sun Valley Resort
If you’re not planning to stay at the Sun Valley Resort, you should still plan to spend some time visiting. There is so much history at Sun Valley. The world’s first ski lift was created for the Sun Valley Ski Resort in 1936 which was then owned by the Union Pacific Railroad.
If you walk around inside the Sun Valley Lodge, grab dinner at Gretchen’s and then walk over to the Duchin Lounge to enjoy an after-dinner drink.
Enjoy A Spa Day In Sun Valley
With the fresh mountain air and the abundance of sunshine, Sun Valley is a great place to focus on wellness and health. There are gyms, yoga studios, and the incredible Sun Valley Spa that offers hot stone massages, facials, and so much more. A second option when looking for a spa is the Zenergy Health Club and Spa in Ketchem, Idaho.
If you’re staying at the Sun Valley Lodge, enjoy a dip in the year-round outdoor heated pool after your spa treatment.
Get Professional Photos Taken In Sun Valley
Consider booking a travel photoshoot for your family during your visit to Sun Valley. You can hire a local photographer who knows all the best spots to grab incredible high-quality photos of you and your group during the season you visit.
Check out Flytographer and use the code: letstravelfam to save $25 off your first photoshoot.
Skiing Sun Valley Idaho
Did you know that Sun Valley is America’s first destination ski resort? People come from all over to experience the most incredible time with the smaller crowds at Sun Valley Resort. There are two large mountains to choose from.
Dollar Mountain has a gentle treeless terrain that makes it perfect for novice skiers, beginners, and families. It offers 4 lifts with its base at 6,010 feet and the summit at 6,638 feet.
Bald Mountain is best for intermediate and advanced skiers, offering a steep terrain and some well-groomed slopes. It offers 18 lifts with its base at 5,750 feet and the summit at 9,150 feet.
Families come from all over to ski at Sun Valley. With shorter lift lines, an abundance of sunshine, and incredible snow, you may want to consider a winter ski vacation in Sun Valley Idaho.
Related Post: Skiing Near Boise Idaho
Enjoy Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve
Sun Valley and Ketchem, Idaho are located in America’s first Dark Sky Reserve. After the sunset, you’ll be able to see so many stars and oftentimes the Milky Way!
Shopping In Sun Valley Idaho
Enjoy an afternoon shopping at Sun Valley and Ketchem’s boutiques and fun stores. Bring home something to talk about with the eclectic offerings at many of the shops.
Ice Skating In The Summer or Winter
With one of the few year-round outdoor ice skating rinks in the country, you can experience an afternoon of open skating in Sun Valley no matter what season it is. If you’re visiting during the summer months then be sure to enjoy one of the famous ice skating shows outdoors on Saturday evenings at dusk at the Sun Valley Resort from the 4th of July through Labor Day. The Sun Valley Figure Skating Club offers so many unique opportunities for adults and children.
Hiking in Sun Valley Idaho
Known for the jagged Sawtooth Mountains, Sun Valley boasts some incredible views and wildlife on just about any hike you take. The White Clouds trail is a great 4-mile loop trail used for both hiking and mountain biking just across the parking lot from the Sun Valley Resort.
Hike about 2 miles out to Baker Lake from the trailhead and enjoy the pristine water and views on this family-friendly hike not far from Sun Valley. Or share the trail with mountain bikers and enjoy Sunny Side trail just west of Ketchem.
Related Post: 12 Best Hiking Gadgets
Mountain Biking Sun Valley Idaho
Mountain biking in Sun Valley is a popular summer activity. With over 400 miles of singletrack spread throughout the area, the Idaho mountain biking is some of the best in the US. Rent a bike from Pete Lane’s Mountain Shop, or bring your own.
Bald Mountain now has America’s longest purpose-built downhill trail and over 3,100 vertical feet of lift-accessed trails for the thrill-seeking mountain bikers.
For a family-friendly experience or one for mountain bike beginners such as myself, head to the White Clouds trail network for all green trails. Or rent an e-bike and take an easy ride through town along the Wood River Trail, with over 30 paved miles to explore.
Horseback Riding Sun Valley
Go horseback riding in Sun Valley during the summer. The Sun Valley stables offer trail rides and wagon experiences throughout the warm months of summer. The minimum age is 8 years old for a trail ride, and the upper weight limit is 250 pounds.
Golf at The Sun Valley Golf Resort
The Sun Valley Resort is home to three golf courses including two driving ranges. Trail Creek golf course is Sun Valley’s signature golf course located at the Sun Valley Club House offering an 18-hole course.
White Clouse Golf course is the newest course offering 9-holes with some of the best views around. The Elk Horn 18-hole golf course is the oldest of the three courses, yet received a huge renovation in 2004.
Go Bowling At The Sun Valley Lodge
The Sun Valley Lodge offers a bowling alley and video games at their lowest level, great for kids and adults. Families especially enjoy being able to take the elevator to the bottom floor and enjoying the Bowling Ally.
Go Fly Fishing In Sun Valley
Idaho still boasts the type of fishing you might have seen when Lewis and Clark trekked through Idaho. Fly fishing is a popular sport in Sun Valley in the summer and is something to consider trying. With four different waterways within a 1-hours drive of Sun Valley, you have so much to choose from.
You can find brown trout in Silver Creek, bull trout in the Salmon River, cutthroats in the Lost River, and rainbow trout in the Big Wood River. Learn more about fly fishing in Sun Valley here.
Sun Valley Idaho Restaurants
There are so many incredible places to choose from when looking for great places to eat in Sun Valley and Ketchem. From fine dining to a quick bite to eat before hitting the slopes or trails, you will not go hungry in Sun Valley.
IL Naso Restaurant
Located in downtown Ketchem just off Main Street, IL Naso offers a romantic and authentic Italian dining experience. With a large wine menu and delicious food options, the Chef at IL Naso will not disappoint.
Enjoy a meal with great views at Gretchen’s in the Sun Valley Lodge. Opened for breakfast, lunch, and dinner you will have the chance to grab a bite to eat when visiting the Lodge.
Breakfast in this Austrian-inspired eatery is a great choice if you’re staying at the Sun Valley Resort. Konditorei offers freshly baked pastries and locally roasted organic coffee options if you’re looking for a quick morning breakfast. Or, consider sitting down to order eggs benedict over their homemade English muffins.
As Sun Valley’s original restaurant, The Ram is a popular choice by many. Be sure to make reservations as it’ll become even more popular with the recent renovations of this rustic and elegant dining house.
The Village Station
Looking for great happy hour specials, burgers, and a warm place to enjoy the afternoon? Then Check out The Village Station right in the heart of the Sun Valley Village.
Looking for an Asian flair? Then grab lunch or dinner at Rickshaw without any reservations. Enjoy the outdoor summer patio or order takeout and make it a picnic.
Enjoy a meal at America’s first on-mountain restaurant. The Roundhouse is located at 7,700 feet at the top of the Roundhouse Express gondola on Bald Mountain.
Enjoy some homestyle cooking at The Kneadery in Ketchem, Idaho. Serving locally baked organic bread, seasonal fruit, and locally sourced cage-free eggs, The Kneadery is a popular breakfast and lunch spot.
Experience the warm feel that Ketchum has to offer from a Sun Valley native and former dishwasher at CK’s Real Food, chef-owner Jesse Sheue. He attended culinary school in San Francisco before returning to his hometown to open The Covey in 2018. With an open kitchen, large tables, and fireside seating outdoors, The Covey is worth a visit.
Other Things To Do In Idaho
Planning a road trip to Idaho? Or do you have a few extra days to explore Idaho during your visit to Sun Valley? Then check out a few inspirational posts to help you plan out your visit to Idaho.