24hrs in Sun Valley, Summer

24hrs in Sun Valley – July – Mike McKenna

In this monthly series, we check in with one of our adventurous locals to find out how they would spend a perfect 24 hours in Sun Valley.

And just like that, summer is here!

From north to south throughout the Valley, visitors and locals are getting out to enjoy the area’s uncrowded trails, tasty dining, and cultural activities. It seems that everyone is determined to make the most of our socially distanced summer, and we invite you to join us in experiencing everything the season has to offer.

For this July edition of 24Hrs Sun Valley, we caught up with Mike McKenna, the Executive Director of The Chamber of Hailey & the Wood River Valley. Mike is an award-winning journalist and author, passionate fly fisherman, and youth sports coach. He explores the Wood River Valley with his wife Brooke and his two sons, Jack and Sam.

What does Mike’s perfect July day look like? Hint: it involves more than one round of fly fishing! Read on to learn more about Mike’s favorite spots in the Valley.

What’s for breakfast on your perfect July day?

I’d order a Bowl of Soul and “The Usual” (a toasted bagel with cream cheese, tomato, and cracked pepper) from Java in Hailey or Ketchum.

How would you spend your morning?

I’d go fly fishing. Ideally, I like to hike a little bit to get to the water. Depending on conditions, I’d fish the Big Wood, Silver Creek, or get off the beaten path and find a stream or a mountain lake. My oldest son likes to fish, too, so he’d join me.

What would you have for lunch?

That depends on where I fished. If I was in Hailey, I’d get a sandwich at Jersey Girl on Croy Street. If I was near Ketchum, I’d either order lunch at Perry’s, where they have the world’s best chocolate chip cookies, or I’d grab a wrap at Wrap City.

What’s on the agenda for the afternoon?

In the afternoon, I’d probably get a mountain bike ride in. In Hailey, I’d ride the new Quigley Trail Loop in Quigley Canyon, or I’d drive north to Ketchum and explore some of the trails there. If I was riding with the whole family, we’d pedal on the Wood River Trail bike path.

Any happy hour for you?

Absolutely, but first, I may sneak in an afternoon fish. I fish early and late, which leaves the middle of the day for other stuff, like a mountain bike ride. 

Once I was done fishing, I’d stop at Lefty’s in Ketchum for a drink, or have one on the deck at Grumpy’s. If I was closer to Hailey, I’d go to Sawtooth Brewery & Tap Room or The Wicked Spud.

What’s for dinner?

For a special occasion, I’d go to The Grill at Knob Hill and get the Wienerschnitzel with spaetzle. If it was just my wife and me, we might get cocktails and the jumbo steamed California artichoke at the Pioneer Saloon.

When it’s the whole family, we like to go to the restaurant at The Limelight. They have a great patio.

In the summer, the sun sets really late around here, so would you squeeze in one more activity after dinner?

Sure! I’d take an evening walk along the Big Wood River in Hailey.

Thanks to Mike for giving us his ideal 24hrs in Sun Valley for July.

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