Not only is Sun Valley beautiful during the summer, it’s also stunning during the winter. Year round you will find a million things to do! Here are our favorite places you really don’t want to miss out on. Whether you’re with someone or going alone, with your dog or not, make sure to try at least one of these things out while you’re in the area.
The Best of Fly Fishing
Big Wood River
Looking for trout? Fly fishing Big Wood River is a great option. It’s easy to access but still feels secluded. If you fish at the lower end, you will find small Browns, but if you fish upstream, you can use it to your advantage to catch Rainbow Trout. Sometimes the river flows high all year or other times it gets kind of low, depending on if there was a lot of snowmelt in the Sawteeth Mountains. With the right timing, you’ll have just the right water flow. There are plenty of baitfish and sculpin as well as mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies, so “match the hatch” and you’ll have a great day.
Warm Springs Creek
We hope you like early mornings… The best time to fish here is between 7 and 10AM. It's really special here because it feels remote and quiet even though Ketchum is close by. Like a scene out of a movie you are surrounded by open space blanketed in wildflowers, after walking down a dirt road to get there. It’s very quiet, especially early in the morning, so you may see some mule deer, elk, or even moose. As if that isn’t enough to make it amazing, stocked rainbow trout in addition to wild rainbows are abundant.
Where to Go Golfing
Trail Creek Championship Course
This course is really cool because it is surrounded by open fields and mountains stretching for miles in any given direction. It’s insanely beautiful, with tree-lined fairways and incredible views. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., ominous bunkers and several “creek carries” make for a very challenging 6,968 yard golf course. After the 18th hole, enjoy their famed restaurant and bar. Can’t think of a better way to spend the day!
Where to Ski
Sun Valley Resort
Believe it or not, Sun Valley is ranked as one of the best places to ski or snowboard in the United States. It’s with good reason, too. You can hike it to your ski location or even take a helicopter to the backcountry if you prefer! We recommend the Adventure Trails on Bald Mountain. The best terrain park will probably be the Dollar Mountain Progression Park.
Proctor Mountain Trail, 3.5 Mile Loop
Should take you two hours if you keep moving - it’s dog friendly, has a steady incline, and a beautiful view. The best part about this trail is honestly the wildflowers. You can do this hike during the winter with some snowshoes and trekking poles too. Either way, there’s a ridgeline that gives you a view of Sun Valley. It’s breathtaking.
Long Gulch to Pioneer Cabin, 10 Mile Loop
Despite 23 switchbacks this is the best trail in Sun Valley. Traverse the plateau clockwise. It's a pretty steep scramble all the way up, but then it levels out with an amazing view from the Pioneer Cabin and goes downhill the whole way back. Each of the surrounding peaks was named after veterans who were killed in action serving during World War II. Not only that but the Pioneer Cabin was modeled after real alpine huts in Europe. Between historical value and wildflowers blanketing the hike, we completely recommend this.
Western Horseback Riding
Sun Valley Stables
You can’t go out west without trying western horseback riding! Seriously! Sun Valley Stables is the perfect place to check out whether you’re with kids or just by yourself. Sadly they don’t offer winter rides, but the rest of the season is fair game. Wagon events, private rides, wildflowers… it's lovely to go horseback riding in the Sun Valley. If you’re nervous about it, don’t worry, that’s normal. The staff are welcoming and will walk you through every step of the way.
Sun Valley Opera House
You don’t find places like this anymore. The atmosphere, the heart and soul put into live performances… Sun Valley Opera has put on incredible classics. Everything from The King and I to the Phantom of the Opera has been performed through the Opera House. They’ve made it work, even through the pandemic. They have affordable pricing so the whole group can go, plus it’s so cozy inside.
The scenery and fresh air out in Sun Valley Idaho is truly remarkable. There are so many ways to get outdoors, plus some super cozy places to hunker down after a busy day. Bring some friends and be sure to check out these places.