There’s something about going sledding that screams “Winter Fun!” Flying down a snowy slope on a sled brings out the giggling kids in all of us. So if you’re looking for a good place to have some sledding fun then you’re in luck. Sun Valley has all kinds of places to go sledding. To help you make the most out of it, here some Sun Valley sledding basics.
photo: Sarah Keefer
Where to Get a Sled
The best bets in to pick up some sleds in Ketchum are Sturtevant’s, Chateau Drug or The Toy Store, which also has a shop in Sun Valley. Just a short stroll down the Sun Valley Village from The Toy Store, Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports also sells sleds during the winter months. The local thrifts stores, The Gold Mine in Ketchum and the Barkin’ Basement in Hailey, also usually have selections of used sleds to choose from.
What to Wear
The key to any outdoor fun during the winter in Idaho is to be dressed properly. Layers are the way to go, especially wearing outers layer that can handle moisture. Good gloves and solid winter boots are also a must.
Sun Valley and Ketchum offers all kinds of shops to buy everything from long underwear, to high-tech socks, top-of-the-line gloves and hats, and jackets and ski-pants to get you through any conditions. The friendly and knowledgeable staffs at places like Silver Creek Outfitters or Formula Sports will be able to guide you to finding the right gear for your adventure.
Even though temperatures hovered just above single digits during a recent sledding trip to Baker Creek, everyone in our group from the young cousins visiting from California to the grandparents stayed comfortable.
Where to Go
Penny Hill on Sun Valley Road is the most popular and easiest place to sled. It can get crowded, but is close enough to downtown Ketchum and Sun Valley Resort that it’s easy to grab a cup of hot chocolate or a snack while you wait for the crowds to subside on sunny, powder days.
Baker Creek is roughly a 15-minute ride north of Sun Valley. The popular sledding spot offers a large, plowed-out parking lot, a Forest Service Vault Toilet and enough sledding options so that it never feels very crowded. The best place to sled is just across the street from the parking lot, just be careful crossing Highway 75. Baker Creek is also a popular spot for snowmobilers and the well-traveled road can a be a nice place to go for a week as well. The Harriman Trail runs right past the sledding hill, too, so Nordic skiers can take off on their own adventures while others sled. You can even pick up day-skiing passes right at the help-yourself kiosk at the beginning of the road.
The Galena Lodge is located 23 miles north of Sun Valley and has a very small sliding hill just outside the lodge, which is perfect for parents looking to entertain their kiddos while taking turns Nordic skiing at Galena. The cozy and rustic lodge is also famous for it hot chocolate and cookies, which are sure to keep any sledders energized.
Quigley Canyon in Hailey is back in action this year thanks to a land conservation easement that now protects 1,278 acres there and keeps them open for public recreation. The Blaine Recreation Department reports that folks have been happily sledding and skiing at Quigley Canyon since Thanksgiving weekend and the road that leads through Quigley is also an extremely popular spot for dog walkers.
Your Favorite Snow-Covered Slope
Any place with some slanted elevation and snow is obviously all you need to go sledding, and so the Wood River Valley is also home to all kinds of unnamed options, both on and off the beaten path. During nice and snowy winters you can see folks making sledding tracks all over the place. Just about the only place you shouldn’t go sledding are any runs that lead across city streets or down to the river. But if you are dressed properly and are willing to earn your tracks, there are literally endless sledding options in Sun Valley.
Have fun, be safe and be sure to reward yourself with a hot cocoa or a refreshing beer or glass of wine afterwards—options to grab those also abound in Sun Valley.