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How to Recreate Responsibly

There’s no wonder that folks such as John Muir have been preaching the benefits of venturing to the wilderness with its fresh mountain air, views for days, free recreation, wildlife abound, and so much more. While many have been drawn to these attributes for a long while now, an influx of others are discovering the incredible offerings out there. Like anything new, there tends to be a learning curve for figuring how to do things the right way. There’s no exception for recreating. To give you a head-start and ensure that everyone heading outdoors here has a good time, it’s important to recreate responsibly which means following trail etiquette, Leave No Trace, and geotagging responsibly principles. Trail Etiquette For the majority in the Wood River Valley, their first and most frequent access to the outdoors is through the area’s vast system of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. With so many users, trail etiquette is of the utmost important to make sure the trails stay pleasant for everyone. Stay in control Know your limits, slow down around blind turns, step to the side to let others pass when appropriate. Maintain awareness of your surroundings by keeping music volume low …

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Women’s History Month: Early Women of the Wood River Valley

For the second week of Women’s History Month, we are honoring four women who have shaped the history and heritage of Sun Valley. These ladies have all had an impact on the Wood River Valley, dating back to before the establishment of the ski resort and through its early years.  Two of these women were integral in establishing the Community Library in 1955. They, along with 14 other trailblazing women, “founded the Community Library Association, a privately-funded, privately-governed public library to encourage intellectual and creative adventures in the remote mountains of central Idaho,” (ComLib). All four women contributed to the pioneer spirit of the Valley, fostering a momentum for woman-led innovation that is alive to this day. Marge Brass Heiss 1910-2007 Marge Brass Heiss, daughter of Ernest Brass, was born in Caldwell, Idaho in 1910. She moved to Ketchum two years later when her father bought what became known as the Brass Ranch until the family sold the land to the Union Pacific in 1936. He traded 3,888 acres for $39,000, and Sun Valley was born. In fact, Marge, along with her sister Roberta, gave a tour of their ranch property to Count Felix Schaffgatsch. Within a few months of …

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Women’s History Month: Honoring Sun Valley’s Native Land and its People

Women’s History Month, celebrated during the month of March in the United States, highlights the contributions of women to historical events and modern society. Most people know that Ketchum, Sun Valley, and the entire Wood River Valley have a storied past, one marked by celebrities and old, Western mining culture. However, archaeological evidence indicates that as far back as 10,000 years ago, the Wood River Valley was home to Native peoples from the Shoshone, Bannock & Lehi tribes. To kick off Women’s History Month, we are looking back to the Wood River Valley’s first inhabitants and commemorating the women who have ensured that their stories and culture live on. We are constantly told that we were never here, but our presence is in the petroglyphs, teepee rings and other cultural resources. These are traditional artifacts from time immemorial. We continue to come back to the areas of our ancestors to let the communities know that we have not forgotten our past association with these lands. We come to pay homage to the spirits of our ancestors. We let the communities in and around Sun Valley know that we are a living culture, not a prehistoric culture to be forgotten. Lionel …

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Arts & Culture, Uncategorized

Locals Guide to the Miscellany II

On Wednesdays, there is one thing that everyone in the Wood River Valley, no matter where they are, where they live, or where they work does: read the Mt. Express. This long-time local source of news not only catches one up on the past week’s highlights, but also features a fun, long-standing tradition: Miscellany II aka Misc II. It is like Craigslist and internet trolling long before the internet. A section of the newspaper where anyone can submit free, anonymous commentary, Misc II is a must-read for anyone looking to be kept in the loop on town happenings, drama, or missed connections. In 150 words or less, submitters espouse on topics as diverse as dog poop at trailheads to the status of local hotsprings to calling someone out (though without using any names—a rule of Misc. II). To get the real scoop behind this small, but mighty section, Visit Sun Valley spoke to two lifelong locals, Spencer Cordovano and Jacob Frehling. Cordovano was born in Ketchum and is the man behind F11 films through which he has made movies with notable clients such as Matador Network, Smith, the Sun Valley Film Festival, Dropbox, and more. Frehling is the owner of …

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Summer, Uncategorized, Winter

Locals Guide to Driving & Parking around Sun Valley

Chief Deputy for the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department, Will Fruehling, has been patrolling the streets of the Wood River Valley for over 20 years. Since starting his career as a patrol officer for the Ketchum Police Department in 1995, Fruehling has been a patrol deputy, a Sergeant, Investigator for the Idaho Department of Corrections, and was appointed to his current position in 2017 by Sheriff Harkins. As a local and a police officer, Fruehling has seen plenty of visitors come and go over the years and through the seasons. So we asked him some tips on driving and parking, what his driving pet peeves are, and Fruehling settles the Miscellany II debate between left-lane drivers and right-lane once and for all. What tips do you have for visitors who haven’t driven in snow before? Will: “Obviously, the first thing is for people to slow down when the road’s covered in snow or when the road is slick. You see these people who wiz by and then you see them right in front of you at the next stoplight in town and you’re like, they made it at the same time that I did, but they went too fast for these …

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24hrs in Sun Valley, Uncategorized

24hrs in Sun Valley – August – Heather LaMonica Deckard – Wellness Festival

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. The dog days of summer have arrived, and with them, our favorite combination of warm days, cool nights, and long evenings that beg to be enjoyed with close friends and a favorite beverage in hand. For this August edition of 24hrs Sun Valley, we caught up with Heather LaMonica Deckard, the Executive Director of the Sun Valley Wellness Festival & Conference. This year’s conference, Sun Valley Wellness Virtual, takes place online from August 22-23. Speakers include Dr. Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams; Seth Cohen, MD, MS, Director of Infectious Disease Medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center and lead of their COVID-19 clinical program; and Nora McInerny, award-winning host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking.  In addition to the incredible speaker lineup, the Festival also includes guided meditations, movement classes, and sessions on finding happiness and nurturing creativity. Though hosting a virtual event wasn’t what Heather anticipated, she’s excited about the possibilities. “Because it’s virtual, participants can interact with the Festival in ways they haven’t been …

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Dining, Uncategorized, What We're Made Of

What We’re Made Of – Warfield Distillery & Brewery

At the corner of Main Street and Sun Valley Road stands the Warfield Brewery & Distillery, the only combination brewery and distillery in Idaho. This combination brewery, distillery, and gastropub opened in 2015 and has been a go-to dining and imbibing destination ever since. Whether you’re hitting the roof-top bar in the summer for drinks and to sit around a fire pit or stopping by in the winter after spotting the blue light (which means it’s snowed over three inches in town and beer specials will run until it stops snowing), the Warfield serves up food, beer, and spirits like no other. The Warfield had some big shoes to fill when taking over the building that previously housed two local institutions: The Roosevelt and Slavey’s. The property itself has been in the Werry family since 1936; the Werry siblings were even born in the Sun Valley Lodge and raised in Ketchum. In 1952, the main street saloon known as Slavey’s—or sometimes “Slimey’s” by locals due to its atmosphere and clientele—moved in. Known as Ketchum’s last “honky tonk”, Slavey’s was famous for its live music and dancing, its drinking and brawls, and its annual 4th of July tradition of a horseman …

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Spring, Uncategorized

Sun Valley COVID Resilience

We are undoubtedly dealing with some incredibly tough times these days. Amidst all of the negative doom and gloom news out there, there are plenty of uplifting moments. We’ve compiled a few shining moments of Sun Valley COVID Resilience to give you a little pick me up. We hope you too can start to look for those little wins as we get through this ordeal together. Howling for Front Line Workers Every evening at 8pm at you can hear the oowoooos and yips echoing off the valley walls from Bellevue to Ketchum. These howls are a beacon of appreciation for those COVID-19 frontline workers. It’ll put goosebumps on your arms and make you smile from ear to ear. If you’re in the Valley, we encourage you to join in. Even the Blaine County Sheriff’s dogs are showing their support. A Perk for Healthcare Workers The Argyros Performing Arts Center has raised funds to purchase 250 gift cards and are donating them to St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation. These cards will be given to health care workers. Recipients of the cards can be used for any of the Argyros’ future performances. “As the Argyros remains dark until we all feel comfortable …

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Sun Valley, Idaho – COVID-19 Resources & Updates

To our beloved Sun Valley area visitors, newcomers, and locals; we are navigating this ever-evolving realm with COVID-19. Our business, restaurants, and hotels are open with adapted protocols for operating in the safest manner. Practice Mindfulness While you’re here we also ask that you practice Mindfulness in the Mountains. In short, this means being understanding, respectful, patient, and kind. We want to stay open, we want to continue to have experiences that we so cherish, and we want to have some semblance of normalcy throughout the current world we’re living in. We need your help to make this happen. Sun Valley Area COVID-19 Status For the latest updates on the status of COVID-19 in the Sun Valley area including Ketchum, Hailey, Bellevue & beyond, please review the following resources from the St. Luke’s Wood River Hospital and the Blaine County Risk Assessment reports. State of Idaho & Sun Valley Area Health Mandates & Ordinances Below are mandates and requirements implemented by the state of Idaho and the municipalities and counties within the Sun Valley area. These requirements will stay in place until COVID-19 shows signs of declining. The Cities of Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey, & Bellevue Health Orders Masks are …

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Uncategorized, Wellness

Self Isolation Inspiration – Sun Valley, Idaho

A few days into social distancing and binge watching even the most addicting show just doesn’t cut it anymore. With everything going on in the world at this moment it can be easy to lose our minds or to sit back on the couch and binge watch our favorite shows as the time just passes by. That is why it is important to make some adjustments to the new normal or at least what life is going to be for the near future. We’ve compiled some self isolation inspiration from Sun Valley to get you through these uncertain times. Mental Health & Physical Well Being Maintain a daily schedule: Although we might not be going to work or running our standard errands it is important to maintain a consistent sleep and eating schedule. It can also help to create a new adapted daily schedule to help give your day order and structure which helps reduce anxiety. Physical Activity: Although gyms and pools are closed it is still important to remain active. The BCRD bike path is open and plowed and the northern cross country ski trails are still being groomed and are open for FREE. It can also be as …