Sun Valley is located in central Idaho and is home to a remarkable ski resort. It’s a luxury destination with frequent celebrity sightings, and it boasts a plethora of outdoor activities. The day we vi

Sun Valley is best known for its ski resort and is most likely the reason you are visiting the area. In fact, they were the #1 ranked ski resort in the West by SKI Magazine last year. Because of this, we are going to start out with all the ski resort information. After that, we will break down other things to do, restaurant suggestions, and lodging recommendations.

They have large lifts and a gondola, making it easy to take kids up to the top of the slopes.

Sun Valley Ski Resort

Dollar Mountain Lift Tickets

Full-Day: Ages 13 – 64 $135, Seniors 65+ $105, and Child 12 and under $99

Bald Mountain Lift Tickets

Full-Day: Ages 13 – 64 $240 – $245, Seniors 65+ $152 – $154, and Child 12 and under $123 – $125.

LessonsPrivate ski lesson in Sun Valley

The lessons offered at Sun Valley are extensive. We had two instructors who skied with us all day. One was a snowboarder so he took one of the kids to practice snowboarding all day. Nothing beats one on one instruction. These private lessons start at $1,049.

Rentals

You can get rentals onsite. You can rent Skis, Boots, Poles & Helmet for $or a Snowboard, Boots & Helmet for $71 and up depending on the type of skis. Kid rentals are only $47.

Be sure to check out our Ski Trip Packing List for Families to make sure you remember everything you need.

Sun Valley, Idaho

Trail Map

You can find both maps here.

MountainsSkiing Sun Valley

There are two ski mountains in Sun Valley, Dollar Mountain, and Bald Mountain.

Dollar Mountain

Dollar Mountain at Sun Valley Ski Resort is a haven for beginners and families, offering a welcoming and nurturing environment to learn and enjoy the sport of skiing and snowboarding. This mountain is celebrated for its gentle, well-groomed slopes and user-friendly terrain, making it an ideal setting for those new to winter sports or for families with young children.

The resort features a top-notch ski school with experienced instructors who provide personalized lessons, ensuring a fun and safe learning experience. In addition to its beginner-friendly runs, Dollar Mountain also boasts several progressive terrain parks, where more experienced skiers and snowboarders can hone their skills on jumps, rails, and boxes.

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The smaller scale of Dollar Mountain creates a more intimate and less intimidating atmosphere, perfect for building confidence and skills before tackling larger slopes. With its focus on learning and family fun, Dollar Mountain at Sun Valley Ski Resort stands out as a premier destination for families and beginners eager to embrace the joys of skiing and snowboarding in a supportive and scenic environment.

Bald Mountain

Bald Mountain, affectionately known as “Baldy” by locals, stands as the crown jewel of Sun Valley Ski Resort in Idaho, offering a premier skiing experience for enthusiasts around the world. Renowned for its consistently smooth, powdery slopes and minimal wait times, Baldy boasts a diverse range of runs that cater to all skill levels, from gentle, meandering paths for beginners to challenging, steep terrain for expert skiers.

The mountain’s impressive vertical drop and expansive terrain, coupled with Sun Valley’s state-of-the-art lift system, ensure a thrilling and efficient day on the slopes.

Off the trails, Baldy’s summit offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Wood River Valley, making it not just a skier’s paradise, but a haven for those who appreciate the serene beauty of alpine landscapes. 

Lodges at Sun ValleyRiver Run Day Lodge The Roundhouse Sun Valley

There are several lodges on the mountain where you can grab lunch or a drink. 

Lunch at Sun Valley

Things to do in Sun Valley

Sun Valley, Idaho, offers a wealth of activities beyond skiing and snowboarding, making it a versatile destination for all types of travelers. Here’s a list of things to do in Sun Valley that don’t involve hitting the slopes:

  1. Ice Skating: Enjoy gliding across Sun Valley’s iconic outdoor ice rink, suitable for all skill levels and a favorite among both locals and visitors.
  2. Snowshoeing: Explore the serene winter landscapes of Sun Valley on snowshoes, a peaceful way to connect with nature and enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
  3. Cross-Country Skiing: Try your hand at Nordic skiing with miles of well-groomed trails winding through the stunning scenery of the Wood River Valley.
  4. Sleigh Rides: Experience a traditional horse-drawn sleigh ride, a romantic and family-friendly activity that offers a unique way to see the snowy countryside.
  5. Spa and Wellness: Indulge in some relaxation and rejuvenation at one of Sun Valley’s luxurious spas, offering a range of treatments to soothe post-adventure muscles.
  6. Cultural Experiences: Visit the Sun Valley Museum of Art or catch a performance at the Sun Valley Opera House, showcasing a variety of artistic and cultural events.
  7. Snow Tubing: A fun and exhilarating activity for all ages, snow tubing is a great way to enjoy the winter snow in a more relaxed setting.
  8. Shopping and Dining: Explore Sun Valley’s charming boutiques and shops, followed by a meal at one of the area’s excellent restaurants or cozy cafes.
  9. Photography and Scenic Tours: Capture the beauty of the Idaho mountains and valleys on a photography tour, or take a scenic drive to enjoy the vistas.
  10. Fat Biking: Rent a fat bike and pedal your way through snowy trails, a unique and increasingly popular winter activity.
  11. Fly Fishing: For a unique winter experience, try fly fishing in the nearby rivers, a peaceful activity amidst beautiful surroundings.
  12. Hot Springs Visits: Take a short trip to one of the many natural hot springs near Sun Valley, where you can relax in warm, mineral-rich waters.
  13. Dog Sledding: Experience the thrill of dog sledding, an unforgettable way to explore the snowy landscapes, led by a team of enthusiastic sled dogs.
  14. Yoga and Fitness Classes: Join a yoga or fitness class to stay active and centered during your vacation, with many options available throughout Sun Valley.
  15. Wildlife Watching: Embark on a wildlife watching adventure to see local animals such as elk, deer, and various bird species in their natural habitat.
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Summer Activities – In the summer, enjoy incredible hiking, horseback riding, and biking through over 400 miles of trails, as well as fishing, golfing, and more. There’s even a year-round ice skating rink!

 

 

Where to Eat in Sun Valley

There are a lot of Sun Valley restaurants to choose from in town, on top of what is offered at the mountain.

Ketchum Grill

Ketchum Grill is a Sun Valley favorite, known for its delicious steaks and friendly service. The restaurant has a cozy, lodge-like feel and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Be sure to try the bison ribeye!

Pioneer Saloon

Pioneer Saloon is an iconic Sun Valley eatery, housed in an old stagecoach stop from the 1800s. The restaurant is famous for its juicy burgers and hand-cut fries, and it also has a great selection of local beers on tap.

Sawtooth Club

The Sawtooth Club is a popular après-ski spot, located right at the base of the ski area. The menu features classic American fare such as wings, nachos, and cheeseburgers, and there are also a few vegetarian options available.

Ram Restaurant & Brewery

The Ram Restaurant & Brewery is a great option for those looking for a hearty meal after a day on the slopes. The menu features a variety of hearty soups, sandwiches, and burgers, as well as a selection of house-brewed beers.

Gondola Pizza

Gondola Pizza is the perfect spot for grabbing a quick slice after hitting the slopes. The pizzeria offers both traditional and gourmet pies, and there’s also a full bar with beer and wine available by the glass or pitcher.

Wrap City

Wrap City is a great option for those looking for a quick and healthy meal on the go. The restaurant offers wraps made with fresh ingredients and whole wheat tortillas, as well as salads and soups.

Where to Stay in Sun Valley

Sun Valley Resort

The Sun Valley Lodge is the perfect place to stay if you want to be in the heart of all the action. The lodge is located right in the center of Sun Valley, just steps from all the best shops, restaurants, and bars. The lodge also has its own ski school and rental shop, so you can hit the slopes as soon as you arrive. Plus, you can take advantage of the swimming pools.

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Shopping in Sun Valley

Gold Mine – If you need ski gear, but do not want to pay top dollar head here to shop for used gear. They’ve got a pretty good selection, so chances are high you will find what you need.

Sun Valley FAQ’s

What time is it in Sun Valley?

Sun Valley is on Mountain time, so one hour later than Pacific Time.

Where do I find the Sun Valley snow report?

You can find the daily snow report at https://www.sunvalley.com/mountain-snow-report/

Where to fly into to get to Sun Valley?

There is a small airport just south of town and a few major airports fly into it. If you need to use a major airport we suggest flying into Boise or Salt Lake City. Be sure to rent a car that has AWD.

How far is Sun Valley from Boise?

It is 155 miles, so 2 hours and 45 minutes drive time.

More Fun Places to Ski in Idaho

Pomerelle Ski Resort

Magic Mountian

Soldier Mountain Ski Resort

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Get Travel Insurance

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong on any trip. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance. We use Travelex or Safety Wing (often cheaper).

Book Flights

I use Skyscanner to find flights. I use it so much, I wrote an entire guide to finding cheap flights with Skyscanner!

Book a Place to Stay

I recommend using Expedia.com or Hotels.com for most hotel bookings. I prefer to book directly with Marriott when I stay there because of their excellent military discount.

If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO.

Rent Clothes

Rent clothes for your trip with Travel Style Expert for only $50 a month! The first 30 days are free!

Choose Activities and Tours

To find great activities in any area I use Get Your Guide and Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available. Groupon also tends to have a lot of local travel deals.

When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals. If I am going somewhere in Mexico or the Caribbean I use Apple Vacations.

Rent a Car or Take a Lyft

More often than not Lyft is cheaper than Uber. Use my Lyft link for an $18 credit! For a car rental in any country, I recommend Hertz or Discover Cars.

Save Money on Gas

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