Skiing in Sun Valley with its post-War boomtown architecture and longstanding worldwide great reputation could place you at the ultimate ski resort. Idaho is ski heaven, and that fact will come as no news to any winter sports enthusiast. The snow can get a bit heavy every once in a while, but it's bone dry as compared to most of the resorts closer to the Pacific. The occasional Arctic blast will see nighttime temperatures in the -30 degrees F. range, but most of the time, it will be far more comfortable, especially in the bright Idaho sunshine. The 220 inches of powder will very rarely ever experience a mid-winter thaw.
Dollar is a superb beginners and children's mountain and Elkhorn is just a bit more challenging than Dollar. Head for the River Run Lodge for their superb ski school. The kids will be bused to Dollar. In addition, the fun terrain park is used by beginner skiers who have some very entertaining terrain waiting at Dollar.
If you're in a mixed ability group, you'll find yourself about a 20-minute bus trip away from the rest of your friends. You might want to head for Warm Springs terrain, which features a great selection of intermediate terrain and when you want to get totally wild, you can try out their new 425-foot-long monster superpipe with 18-foot-high walls groomed by a Pipe Monster to competition superpipe standards.
Bald Mountain, or Baldy, is an extremely challenging set of slopes that are best advised for high-intermediates on up. Baldy is packed with extremely difficult and very long runs such as Limelight, Seattle Ridge Trail, Fire Trail, and Exhibition Plunge. Just about as long (but a little bit easier to handle) are Grayhawk, Cozy, Hemingway, and River Run. Upper and Lower College are the closest you can get to easy runs on Baldy, and they'd be ranked a mid intermediate anywhere else.
When you're up for a touch of adventure, Sun Valley Heli-Ski will helicopter you deep into the backcountry where you can experience skiing far from the crowds. Another opportunity to get above it all is by paragliding with Fly Sun Valley. Then when you come back down to earth, head straight to Smiley Creek Lodge, rent a very powerful snowmobile, and explore magnificent snow-filled valleys and meadows. Year-round ice skating can be found at the Sun Valley Resort outdoor rink.
Your Sun Valley ski vacation can be filled with great indoor fun as well. The Boiler Room has side-splitting live comedy shows. Head to The Casino for some great billiards action on their large selection of tables, but you might want to note that gambling in Idaho is illegal, and The Casino is just the name of the place.
A wonderful Idaho resort with a total of 21 lifts, comprising of four surface lifts, five double chairs, five triple chairs, and seven quad chairs that take you to 75 trails. Snowboard on the longest run of 15,840 feet atop 220 inches of powder. Their trails are rated 36 percent for beginners, 42 percent for intermediates, and 22 percent for advanced.
Check out Baldy for some pretty wild terrain, but if your skills are more in the intermediate range you might be more comfortable over at Warm Springs terrain, and neophytes should just stick with Dollar. Warm Springs features a new 425-foot-long monster superpipe with 18-foot-high walls groomed by a Pipe Monster to competition superpipe standards.
Sun Valley Heli-Ski will fly you deep into the backcountry where you can carve flawless virgin powder or you can try your hand at paragliding with Fly Sun Valley. Then when you come back down to earth, head straight to Smiley Creek Lodge, get on one of their snowmobiles and go get wild in endless snowy meadows. You can ice skate year round at the Sun Valley Resort outdoor rink. You can also choose from an huge number of exciting outdoor activities such as dog sled tours, hot air ballooning, jeeping and off-road driving, cross country skiing, fishing, rock and ice climbing, snowcatting, horseback riding, sledding, and tubing.
Whiskey Jacques is the western bar where Ernest Hemingway hoisted more than a few drinks, and you can go toast the master while you enjoy live music and dance inside a unique antique log building. The newest bar is Cellar Pub, an authentic Irish pub that’s smoke free so you can really smell and taste your brews! Wow! Beer really doesn’t smell of tobacco after all! If you’re hankering for a bit of the grape, go directly to Sun Valley Wine Company for the largest wine selection in Idaho. Lefty’s Bar & Grill is where the locals go for darts and ice-cold draft beers. The Pioneer Saloon is a very busy spot so get there early to catch all the action. The Boiler Room has side-splitting live comedy shows. Head to The Casino for some great billiards action on their large selection of tables, but note that there’s no gambling in Idaho. The Casino is just the name of the place! Other fun spots include River Run Lodge and The Duchin Room in the Lodge for lots of live musical fun. If you’re heading out to Warm Springs, Apples is the place to hang out, see and be seen for après ski.