Sun Valley is a mountain resort city at 6,000 ft (1,830 m), in South central Idaho; incorporated in 1967.
Bald Mountain ski area as seen from Ketchum Idaho
Sun Valley is located in Blaine County, which began its life over a century ago in much the same way other Idaho mountain communities did: as a hardscrabble mining area. By 1900, mining was clearly in decline in southern Idaho. Many Idaho mountain mining settlements eventually became ghost towns, but the Blaine County communities managed to hang on, mostly do to the sheep industry.
In 1936, tourism entered Blaine County in a big way with the opening of the Sun Valley resort, which attracted the rich and famous from day one. A particularly famous early visitor was Ernest Hemingway, who spent his final days in the area and is buried in Ketchum. Today many world famous people maintain first or second homes in Blaine County.
Sun Valley revolves around tourism, with skiing in the winter and outdoor activities in the nearby Sawtooth National Recreation Area in the summer dominating the itinerary. The area has a reputation as a highbrow and unapologetically liberal enclave in largely conservative Idaho. While vegan and organic lifestyles may be openly scoffed at only a few miles away, it's no problem at all to indulge them here.
The nearest airport to Sun Valley is Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey,  served by Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines. It is reachable from the gateway sites of Boise (ID), Seattle (WA), Los Angeles (CA), Oakland (CA) and Salt Lake City (UT). These cities are served by most major airlines and are met by Sun Valley’s two connecting carriers. Horizon Air now offers daily direct, nonstop flights between Sun Valley and Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle.
By Bus or Shuttle
Sun Valley Stages offer charter service to Sun Valley from the Idaho gateway cities of Boise, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls.
Sun Valley Express offers daily bus service to the resort from the Boise, Idaho airport.
Sun Valley is located adjacent to the town of Ketchum on Idaho State Route 75, about two hours north of Twin Falls.
Mountain Rides, ☎ 208.788.RIDE (7433), . operates a free, year round transportation busing system with fixed route service in and around the cities of Sun Valley & Ketchum. Newly Expanded service to Haily and Bellvue costs around $2 round trip
Walk and bike. Sun Valley is a walking village. Vehicles park next to the Sun Valley Lodge. Everything in Ketchum is accessible by walking as well. There is a walking/bike path between the two cities, about 1 mile. Bicycle rentals abound.
The Community Library, 415 Spruce Avenue, ☎ 208.726.3493, . Varys. in Ketchum is one of the only privately owned and operated libraries in the country. Free internet for the public
World Class Ice Skating Performances, Sun Valley Ice Rink. Saturday nights during the summer. Tickets can include a buffet dinner or just the show
Sun Valley Serenade (1941 film). The film is shown several times a day at the Sun Valley Opera House. Scenes were shot at Sun Valley in March 1941.
The Hemingway Memorial (dedicated in 1966). off Trail Creek Road, 1 mile from the Sun Valley Lodge.
The world's first chairlifts. installed on Proctor and Dollar Mountains in the fall of 1936. The chairlift design was adapted from banana loading equipment used on fruit ships in the tropics. The single-seat chairlifts were developed at the Union Pacific headquarters in Omaha in the summer of 1936. The chairlift went on to replace the primitive rope tow and other technologies used at ski areas at the time.
Wagon Days, Ketchum. First week in September. Wagon Days spans four days of Old West entertainment with street theater, dances, live music, food, antique shows, arts and craft fairs, and the highlight: the Big Hitch parade, the longest non-motorized parade in the Northwest. with more than a hundred museum-quality buggies, carriages, tacks, carts, buckboards, and wagons of every variety in existence today-- featuring the giant ore wagons pulled by a sixteen-draft mule team.
Ore Wagon Museum, 900 3rd Ave N; Ketchum. Free.
Sun Valley Arts and Crafts Fair (August 12 through 14), Sun Valley.
Sun Valley Music Festival. August- Northern Rockies Folk Festival presents regional folk and western bands in Hailey city park.Free.
Ketchum Ski & Heritage Museum, First Street & Washington Ave, Forest Service Park Ketchum, ☎ 208-726-8118.
Sun Valley Writers Conference (Late August), ☎ 208.726.5454, . a once-a-year community of discerning readers and writers who come together to consider ideas set forth in fiction, nonfiction, journalism, poetry, and filmmaking. While covering a great breadth of subjects, the conference is always anchored by important literary figures and frequently includes policy makers who have authored respected books.
Sun Valley Summer Symphony, ☎ (208) 622.5607, . A free outdoor Symphony that feature nationally known classical musicians Concert in August at the brand new Symphony Pavilion at the Sun Valley Resort. FREE.
Skiing. Magnificant skiing! Baldy's 13 chairlifts, including high-speed quads, have a capacity of over 23,000 skiers per hour. With an average of 3500 skiers per day (& less than 6000 skiers per day during peak periods), Sun Valley has kept the lift lines to a minimum, a rarity among major resorts. Also Dollar mountain for learners, great place for children.
Fishing. Idaho in general is a mecca for fly-fishing. Nearby walk and wade options include the Big Wood, Big Lost, Little Wood, Copper Basin, Silver Creek and the headwaters of the Salmon. You will find a variety of fishing guidesin the area that offer Walk and Wade trips.
River Rafting. Idaho is the Whitewater State. A number of river rafting companies offer 1 to 5 day trips on the Salmon River of No Return just north of Sun Valley
Ice Skating. at the Sun Valley Ice Rink or free at Atkinson Park in Ketchum.
Sun Valley Wellness Festival (May), . provides education on health and wellness though programs and events. Past keynote speakers have included Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Marianne Williamson, Byron Katie, Dr. Marasu Emoto, Mariel Hemingway and Debby Ford.
Sun Valley Ketchum US Half Marathon (Half Marathon = 13.1 miles, 12K, 5K & Kids MaraFUN), . Memorial Day Weekend. Experience one of the most scenic and traffic free courses imaginable. The US Half Marathon, Sun Valley Ketchum runs primarily along the Sun Valley and Wood River paved path and trail system.
Mountain Biking. Sun Valley and Stanley are home to more miles of buffed singletrack than any destination in Idaho. The huge trail variety makes the Sun Valley/ Stanley area the perfect place for beginner to advanced riders to explore the surrounding Pioneer, Smokey and Sawtooth Mountains. With so many options pick up a local guide book or try a Mountain Bike Guide company to ensure you find the best trails in the area
Food & Wine Festival
Center for the Arts Wine Auction
The Sun Valley area is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, either to visit or to live in. Out of sheer economic necessity, many people who work in the area commute daily from as far away as Twin Falls. If money is no object, pretty much anything can be had here. Otherwise you may want to do as many of the locals do: see the sights, then head for less expensive locales.
Ketchum Grill, 520 East Ave Ketchum, ☎ (208) 726-4660. Dinner served from 5:30PM nightly.. One of the areas best.
Akasha Organics, Main Steet Ketchum (Located in the lower level of the Chapter One Book Store), ☎ (208) 726-4777. All Day. Healthful menu, all homemade, organic produce, intimate restaurant.
Sun Valley Lodge (Built in 1936, the historical Sun Valley Lodge's elegance lives on.). offers rooms featuring French country interiors and furnishings, marble appointed bathrooms and large-screen televisions, as well as the Lodge Dining Room, Gretchen's, the Duchin Lounge, Sun Valley Salon & Day Spa, massage center, sauna and heated swimming pool, workout facility, bowling alley, game room, room service,gift shop and Ice skating that runs all year long.
Best Western Tyrolean Lodge, 260 Cottonwood Street Ketchum, ☎ 800-333-7912/ 208-726-5336. has Austrian-style guest rooms and overlooks Baldy Mountain.$$$.
Tamarack Lodge, Corner of Sun Valley Road and Walnut Ave Ketchum, ☎ (208) 726-3344, . in the heart of Ketchum. Indoor pool, hot tub, etc.$$.
Java Coffee House, 191 4th St W Ketchum, ☎ (208) 726-2882. coffee, food, and free wireless Internet. Nice, casual, and friendly atmosphere. The back room looks like someones living room, sort of.
The city of Ketchum. has free wireless Internet throughout the city.
North on HWY 93, will take you over Galena Summit and into the beautiful town of Stanley Idaho. From there, HWY 21 leads to Boise, or HWY 93 continues on to Challis and Salmon Idaho, then into Montana.
South on HWY 93 leads to the Sun Valley airport and Hailey Idaho, 11 miles from Sun Valley, then onwards to Twin Falls or Boise.