When you think of winter activities Northern Rockies, skiing predominantly dominates the scene. While downhill and cross-country skiing pursuits take center stage, the ice skating and hockey realms are not to be overlooked here in Sun Valley. This should help explain why so many regulars at Lefty’s and Grumpy’s look like they’re extras from the movie Slap Shot. It should also help explain why Sun Valley offers year-round ice skating, both indoors and out. No matter what the weather’s doing, you can always go skating in Sun Valley.
To help you carve turns of another sort, here’s a rundown of the ice skating action in and around area.
Christina Potter’s Ice Rink
Skating at Christina Potter’s Ice Rink at Atkinsons Park in Ketchum each winter is a right of passage for most longtime locals and visitors. Covering more than a soccer pitch, it’s one of the largest manmade outdoor ice rinks in the region. The views of Baldy and the surrounding mountains are as good as you’ll ever find for a skate or a game of pick-up hockey.
Everything, including skates and sticks, is free and the rink is open daily from late-December until the ice starts melting –usually in February . There’s even a place to step inside to warm up by the fire.
Beers, brats and hockey pucks! If those are some of your key ingredients for a good time than you’re going to love the 11th Annual Idaho Pond Hockey Tourney. For over a decade now, more than a hundred hockey players from all over the Gem State and the nation come to see who’s best in an old fashioned 4-on-4 tourney. The beloved event at Christina Potter’s Outdoor Ice Rink is fun for players and for fans of all ages.
Sun Valley Resort Ice Rink
Sun Valley Resort’s Outdoor Rink is one of the only year-round outdoor rinks in America. Part of the resort’s original design when it opened in 1936, the outdoor rink is home to Sun Valley’s famous ice shows in the summer. It’s also open all year for public skating. There’s something magical about being able to skate on the same ice that the best figure skaters the world have been performing on for the better part of a century.
The Indoor Rink at Sun Valley is also open-year round and is popular spot for local adult hockey leagues and for figure skating lessons in the winter. It can also be rented out for special occasions like trying to show your kids you’ve still got it.
Since Sun Valley has long been home to great skaters, it should come as no surprise that we’ve also got some of the best skating instructors in nation. The Sun Valley Figure Skating Club offers lessons as does the world championship team members at Glacier Ice Shows. No matter how long you’ve been skating, lessons from gifted instructors always help.
Hailey Ice & Campion Ice Arena
About a dozen miles down valley from Ketchum and Sun Valley is where you can find the newest skating facility. Hailey Ice opened a couple years ago and offers a variety of skating and hockey options, including regular “Stick and Puck” and open skating hours on most weekends and holidays. Hailey Ice also offers a free seasonal “pond” created next door at the Rodeo Grounds each winter.
Hailey Ice is the best place for hockey fans to catch some action. The rink hosts youth and high school tournaments throughout the winter and is also home to the Sun Valley Suns team. The Suns have a strong following and host games against visiting members of the Black Diamond League all winter long.
While skate are available everywhere ice is in Sun Valley, there are few options if you’re looking to purchase gear. The Sturtevant’s in Ketchum has a limited selection of hockey and skating goods upstairs. The Gold Mine Thrift Store in Ketchum and Baldy View Sports in Hailey are also good bets.