A smattering of things you might not have know about Sun Valley, Idaho.
Sure Sun Valley might technically be considered a desert region, but believe me, there is no shortage of natural water sources. Keep in mind I’m still far from the highly acclaimed local status but if a fellow Out-of-Towner asked me, my top 5 spots thus far would have to be:
Sore legs, epic views, and cold beer. Three thoughts that command my attention as I reflect on a glorious weekend spent acquainting myself with Coyote Yurt in the Smokey Mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho. This magical, remote place perched high above the valley is a dream come true for mountain bikers looking to ride endless single track from a base far away from it all, yet still fully supported. Think glam camping with all the beer you can fit in to a 4×4, comfy beds, and bottomless vistas. The Coyote Yurt should be on your Sun Valley bucket list.
Regardless of old man winter’s fickle temperament and unpredictable generosity, you can always count on the good folks at Sawtooth Mountain Guides to sniff out the stashes and pave the skin track to the goods. When slopes on Baldy rattle your teeth, soft powder conditions can often be found in the vast backcountry surrounding Sun Valley.
Ketchum and Sun Valley may be known for many outdoor opportunities like biking, hiking, skiing, camping and so on, but what many people do not know is that it is also a well known Skateboard destination.
To be honest, the Osberg Ridgeline Trail doesn't make any sense. It's too perfect. It's too remote, yet too close. It's singletrack is too flowy, too rolly, too buffed out and way too scenic to be so close yet so far away. It's too easy to be a backcountry trail and it's too far from town to be… well it's almost too much of everything to be real. But it is. Sitting in the middle of nowhere, 3,000' above the valley floor, unspooling from east to west, following a prominent ridge system that divides Baker Creek and Warm Springs Creek with views for tens if not hundreds of miles, this newest addition to the Sun Valley region's singletrack motherload is a mind blower.
The official score card of destiny Harley’s for hangovers, Banks Gilberti must still be looking for his passport. It began nearly a quarter century ago as a way to pass time during spring slack season at a time of year when the tourists are not on tour and the locals are getting a little restless. It’s a basic yet brilliant concept: the bars and restaurants in town rally together and each creates a mini-golf hole to try and befuddle even the savviest golfer. Athletes congregate in teams of two and play a round of ultimate mini golf. Bonuses are awarded for various actions and everyone tries to make it all the way around town before the closing bell rings. Costumes are taken seriously in Sun Valley and the KWO as it is affectionately known brings out the best of the best. The Vikings and the Americans battle for the title. It’s no joke and if there was ever a winter of preparation to get ready for this event Sun Valley has got it. Spend hours upon hours at apres and you are the finely tuned machine who will come and represent. The Mutant Turtles …
One way to get a spectacular view of Sun Valley and the surrounding mountains is to hike or ride the lifts to the top of Baldy. But an even better way, as we found out, is to run off the top of the mountain with another person strapped to your back as a big beautiful glider rises over your head and takes you soaring out over the valley.
Twenty-three miles north of Sun Valley, tucked at the base of Galena Summit and nestled beneath the Boulder Mountains, sits a snow seeker’s manna. Constructed during the 1960s using vestiges of the property’s nineteenth-century mining colony, the Galena Lodge is a valley favorite for those wishing to escape “the big town” for a day of peace, beauty, and scrumptious food.
While the Sun Valley Resort is well-known for its immaculately groomed runs and glitzy Hollywood skiing history, a lesser-known aspect of the area is the limitless access to backcountry skiing in the surrounding mountain ranges. As forecasted, clouds built on Saturday evening. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the White Cloud Peaks before preparing for the “40% chance of a trace.” After Sun Valley’s establishment in 1936, the burgeoning ski-school quickly developed a “ski-touring” arm to offer guests access to this winter wonderland of ski-terrain. Backcountry cabins were erected at the foot of the Pioneers Mountains (aka The Pio Cabin) and up Owl Creek in the Smoky Mountains to serve as base-camps for guided ski trips with resort guests. Today, two guide-services maintain backcountry huts and Mongolian style yurts nestled deep in the local mountain ranges. They offer both guided and non-guided groups a comfortable base camp from which to explore the backcountry ski terrain. The group breaks a fresh trail into the Marshall Lakes Basin, just an hour and a half from the yurt. We recently enjoyed a long Presidents Day weekend at the Williams Peak Yurt in the Sawtooth Mountains. (operated by Sawtooth Mountain Guides) We …