Sun Valley and the adjacent town of Ketchum (pop. 3,400) are home to one of the last things you might expect to find in the back woods of Idaho: a world-class ski resort. Founded in 1936 in an attempt to recreate the style and quality of European ski resorts, Sun Valley quickly became a trendy destination for Hollywood stars and international figures.
The location couldn't be better. Sun Valley is surrounded on all sides by some of the country's most beautiful terrain. The road through town is a national scenic byway; a major national forest lies to either side; and to the north is the pristine wilderness of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The Smoky and Pioneer Mountains frame the Sun Valley vista, which has been captured by photographers for decades.
The slopes are the main attraction here, and the statistics on Bald Mountain are impressive: 3,400 vertical feet of slope and a generous assortment of lifts mean that long lines are rare. Also in the vicinity is Dollar Mountain, home to a nationally recognized ski school and aimed entirely at beginners. During summer, the mountains offer more than 30 miles of hiking or biking trails, and a host of other activities from horseback rides to ice skating to tennis. The town of Ketchum is filled with art galleries, fine cuisine, museums, and curio shops.
Ketchum and Sun Valley are located in south central Idaho, about 80 miles north of Twin Falls.