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Hiking

3 Best Ways to Maximize Hiking in Sun Valley

With hundreds of miles of trail within easy reach of downtown, Ketchum and Sun Valley are a hiker’s paradise. The Wood River Valley is fenced in by the Smoky, Boulder and Pioneer Mountains and within an hour drive lies the Sawtooth, White Cloud and Lost River mountain ranges, each boasting their own unique hiking experiences. Views will have you channeling your inner Ansel Adams, with wildlife sightings virtually guaranteed. The best ways to maximize your hiking experience is to check out some local guide experiences, read up on some of our blogs, and educate yourself on trail etiquette. Guide Services Guides are the best way to take all the leg work out of deciding where to hike and puts the leg work on the trails. There are plenty of guides across the valley with decades of local knowledge and all the best spots to go at any time of year! Beyond just dodging the crowds, Guides are also a vital resource for trail stewardship and etiquette. With more and more visitors venturing to the outdoors to take advantage of the trails, they may feel busier than normal. Guided hiking trips and shuttles to your favorite trailheads are available for any …

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Biking, Hiking, Spring, Summer

Locals Guide to Sun Valley’s Trails

With over 400 miles of trails spread across the Wood River Valley, from Bellevue all the way up north to Galena Lodge, it’s hard to know where to start. The area’s extensive, multi-use trails are fit for all kinds of recreation—biking, hiking, trail running, and horseback riding. Whether you’re new to the area or just new to the trails, there are some great starter trails in Hailey, mid-valley, and Ketchum. We talked to Sara Gress, the Executive Director of the Wood River Trails Coalition which works to create, maintain, and sustain the Valley’s network of trails to get her take on the best spots to try first. Hailey Sara: You have to ride Croy because it’s super fun for biking. The Two Dog Loop [6.7 miles] is fun and flowy, and you get some good views of the Pios, but it’s not butt-puckering. And it’s still enjoyable enough that if you’re an advanced rider, it’s still a really good ride. It’s a good place to hone your skills. I ride out there because it’s enjoyable and it’s not scary. People hike and trail run the trails out Croy and even ride horses sometimes too. Also try: Quigley Trails Park which …

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24hrs in Sun Valley

24hrs in Sun Valley – April – Dr. Jenny Emery Davidson -The Community Library

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. April showers bring, well, you know the rest. Spring has officially landed in Sun Valley with its season-bending weather patterns and the last days of skiing on Baldy and the Nordic trails. While we collectively shake off winter and crane our necks to glimpse the warmer days ahead, there is plenty of excitement to be found right here, in this often-unpredictable month. For this 24hrs Sun Valley – April edition, we connected with Dr. Jenny Emery Davidson, Executive Director of The Community Library in Ketchum. Jenny has been at the helm of the library for the past six years, working alongside the Board of Directors and a team of dedicated staff to bring “information, ideas, and individuals together to enhance the cultural life of the community.” Over the past year, the community has demonstrated how highly they value that connection to information and ideas. “We’re circulating as many, if not more, books – both physical books and digital downloads,” says Jenny. “People are hungry to read as a way to stay connected, to …

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Skiing & Snowboarding, Spring

How to get the most out of Spring Snow in Sun Valley

Although keystone events of spring are absent this year, one thing there is plenty of is spring snow. Spring in the Wood River Valley brings about juxtaposed weather patterns mixing courteous doses of sunshine and thaw inducing temperatures with winter flurries inflated by frigid arctic winds. While the south slopes turn a muddy brown and the lower valley starts to get buds on the trees it is still winter up high. Some of the best turns of the season happen after the calendar says the seasons have changed. The most obvious place to get your turns in is Baldy. Corny and soft snow awaits you for that oh so glorious spring “pow” turns. Although its little brother Dollar Mountain, with its rad terrain parks, is probably closed this late in the season, there are a few “pocket” parks plus all the classic hits scattered around Baldy. Winter certainly hasn’t waved it’s red flag in the higher elevations. Depending on when you’re reading this, Baldy will either be nearing the end of their sanctioned lift service or closed. If they’re finished up for the season, it’s up to your self-ascending or snowmobiling access to get those last winter fixes. Go for a hike… …

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24hrs in Sun Valley

24hrs in Sun Valley – March – Courtney Gilbert – Sun Valley Museum of Art

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. Say hello to long(er) sunny days! March in Sun Valley nudges at the first hints of winter bending toward spring, and the promise of summer just around the corner. Still, it wouldn’t do to wish away this glorious month, when Baldy’s bowls turn into perfect corn conditions and the backcountry skiing and Nordic trails are on point. For this 24hrs in Sun Valley March edition, we caught up with Courtney Gilbert, Curator of Visual Arts at the Sun Valley Museum of Art (SVMoA). SVMoA, formerly called the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, is dedicated to enriching the community through transformative arts and education experiences. In her role, Courtney organizes multi-artist, thematic exhibitions that usually relate to SVMoA’s BIG IDEA projects, which “ask timely questions and investigate them through art, music, theatre, conversation, and workshops.”  The latest exhibition, on display at the SVMoA (191 Fifth Street East, Ketchum) through April 16, 2021, is titled “Deeds Not Words: Women Working for Change.” This multidisciplinary curation coincides with the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US …

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Arts & Culture, What We're Made Of

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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24hrs in Sun Valley, Winter

24hrs in Sun Valley – February – Rick Kapala – Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation

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. Happy February! We hope you are out enjoying the spoils of this epic snowstorm that dumped 51” of powder on Bald Mountain and coated the entire Valley, from Bellevue to Galena Lodge, in a deep blanket of snow. We are sure that one person taking advantage of this winter wonderland is Rick Kapala, the Program Director for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s (SVSEF) Cross Country Ski Team. Rick has worked with SVSEF since 1987, coaching youth athletes to some of the highest levels of competitive snowsport.  SVSEF’s vision is to create the best junior snowsports development program in the nation. They offer coaching and skills development in cross country skiing (including their elite “XC Gold” team), alpine skiing, big mountain, Freeski, freestyle, and snowboarding. “We offer programming for close to 800 kids across different winter sports disciplines,” says Rick. “From little kids putting on skis for the first time to ski racers at the highest level, we help our teams develop skills and capacities for ski sports and for life.” As for us, …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Southern Idaho Skiing & Snowboarding Road Trip

The Powder Highway or the Powder Pilgrimage might be headline worthy ski road trips, but the little known Southern Idaho Ski Road Trip is a hidden gem. Idaho has 18 resorts of all sizes and snowpacks spread across its expansive mountain ranges but down south is the coveted loop. Circling the Snake River plain this road trip stops by the 6 best mountains that offer everything you could want in a ski road trip with easily accessible mountains paired with reasonably safe roads. These 6 resorts offer up everything that skiing has to offer all in one convinet loop. Bogus Basin Right outside of Boise is this non-profit mountain that offers up 2,600 acres and a vertical drop of 1,790ft serviced by 7 chairlifts and 4 magic carpets. Bogus Basin has been operating for 78 years and still holds some of that homegrown vibe, but still provides a modern experience with some of the best night skiing in the state and a newly installed mountain coaster. Soldier Mountain Many thousands of skiers drive by the town of Fairfield, Idaho on their way to Sun Valley without even knowing there is a great little ski hill tucked away in the mountains to …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Intermountain West Ski Road Trip

Have you been itching to get out and travel a little bit? Have you been watching the forecasts roll in and the snow pile up? Well this year is the perfect year for a road trip to explore the mountains of the intermountain West. Below we have put together an itinerary that explores Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Whether you’ve got the Epic Pass, Ikon Pass, or Day tickets we’ve got you covered. Utah Assuming you’ll fly into SLC and get a rental car for this road trip we will start in the city. If you’re on the Ikon Pass or planed ahead for day tickets then head up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird and Alta. If you’re on the EPIC pass or a Sun Valley/Snowbasin pass holder head north out of the city to Snowbasin. If you’re really here to ski then plan ahead with your passes and ski all three! Ikon Pass: Snowbird and Alta Snowbird Odds are that you’ll be up earlier than a kid on Christmas with the anticipation of your first day of riding. Swing down to Baked & Brewed in the Snowbird center to ease the nerves with a quick breakfast and reviving cup of joe. After a …

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24hrs in Sun Valley

24hrs in Sun Valley – January – Peter Stearns – Sun Valley Resort

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. Happy New Year! While some may be saying “good riddance” to 2020, we’re looking ahead with hope and mindfulness for the coming year. We’re so lucky to have incredible outdoor winter recreation in Sun Valley, and that’s due in no small part to the opportunities at Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain, Sun Valley Resort’s two ski areas. For this month’s 24 Hours Sun Valley, we tracked down Peter Stearns, Director of Mountain Operations at Sun Valley, to hear about his typical day in January and learn more about this unique winter season.  Welcome, Peter! Can you tell us a bit more about your role at Sun Valley Resort? As the Director of Mountain Operations, my ultimate responsibility is the management of Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. I work with a fantastic team, most of whom have been doing this kind of work for quite a long time.  You’ve been working at Sun Valley for quite a few years, is that right? I’ve been with Sun Valley for 40 years this past June. Wow, that’s impressive! …