Growing up on the East Coast, my early perceptions of the west largely consisted of visions of horses and wide open plains – images from books and films. This reality was reinforced by trips to ‘dude ranches’ in Wyoming as a child. I mostly remember scratchy straw cowboy hats, stiff leather cowboy boots and saddle sores from vacations spent on horseback. But I also remember the gorgeous scenery and excitement of learning riding basics.
Picture yourself here. Trail rides are offered seven days a week throughout the summer in Sun Valley.
Though Sun Valley isn’t the Wild West, horseback trail riding is certainly still part of our western culture. And no trip to a dude ranch is required to get some quality time in a saddle.
The Sun Valley Horsemen’s Center, located within easy walking or biking distance of the Lodge and Inn, provides a genuine trail riding experience that is fun, scenic and great for all ability levels. During the summer, stop by the Stables, or call 208.622.2387, and book a guided one or one-and-a-half hour ride up scenic Dollar Mountain. Rides are also available by appointment.
Look for the wagon on Sun Valley Road and stop by the Horsemen's Center to reserve a trail ride or carriage ride.
Chana, the assistant manager at the Horsemen’s Center (who looks the part in her flannel shirt, cowboy boots with spurs and broad smile), said both rides are beautiful. The California native turned Sun Valley wrangler said the longer ride dips down the Elkhorn side of the mountain, while the shorter ride offers fantastic views of Ketchum and beyond.
“During the high season that really heats up in mid-June, we offer trail rides seven days a week,” Chana said. “The first ride goes out at 9 a.m. and the last ride at 4 p.m. Reservations are required and we can take up to eight people at one time. We cater to the ‘never-ever’, the experienced horse person and everyone in between.”
Participants must be at least eight years old, 52 inches tall and accompanied by an adult. Riders are asked to arrive at the Stables 20 minutes before their set-out time for an orientation. A one-hour ride costs $46 and the longer ride runs $59. Tax is not included.
Communing with Sun Valley's horses is a popular family activity.
If you don’t want to ride a horse, you can still visit with some of Sun Valley’s most popular residents. The wide pasture along Sun Valley Road is populated by some of the Resort’s gentle horses that are more often than not up for a scratch on the nose or a carrot treat.
Another way to get a taste of the western experience is to book a summer wagon ride to Trail Creek Cabin for dinner. Please call 208.622.2387 for the details on this memorable mode of transportation. Currently, wagon rides are being offered on Tuesday and Friday evenings. The cost is $28 for guests 13 years and older and $18 for ages 2 – 12. This does not include dinner.
Your limousine awaits ... Idaho style!
Rustic takes a turn to the romantic when the horse drawn carriage ride is part of a special package in Sun Valley. First, you will be welcomed with chocolates in your well-appointed and elegant room. Then, step back in time as you board a carriage that will carry you to, and from, the sublime Trail Creek Cabin. There, a table for two awaits, either outdoors on the patio or inside in the one-of-a-kind dining room. This romantic special is $237 per person double occupancy and includes one night’s lodging and the carriage ride. It does not include dinner. For reservations please call (866) 616-8224.
Get your giddy up on!
A meal at Trail Creek Cabin is made even more special by a horse drawn carriage ride.
Summer has arrived in Sun Valley (yay!) and with it, the beginning of a delicious, fresh season of food.
Right now, there’s no better place to enjoy the tastes of summer than Sun Valley Club Restaurant, especially with the addition of ten new dishes to their already extensive lunch menu.
The terrace at the Sun Valley Club is a pretty spectacular spot to enjoy lunch and the food is just as good as the view!
Grab a comfortable seat on the patio. Sip a swamp water or glass of fine wine and enjoy the sweeping vistas across the Trail Creek Golf Course and up to Dollar and Bald Mountains and beyond. It’s like being at country club except you don’t have to pay dues.
While you relax, Chef Erik Olson and his professional team in the kitchen will prepare for you the tastiest, freshest lunch that emphasizes farm-to-table and local ingredients.
The new cold poached salmon salad is a refreshing and delicious choice for summer
Twice this week, my friends and family have enjoyed lunch at the Sun Valley Club. Our first visit was to celebrate the last day of school and our party of five enjoyed salads including the Club’s famous Crab Louis and a filling and tasty southwest chicken salad, as well as the slider trio, the green chile chicken melt and a falafel lettuce wrap. Everything got a thumbs up.
On the second visit, we decided to change up our tried-and-true favorites to explore the new menu options. But what to choose? Perhaps the shaved prime rib sandwich with havarti, crispy fried onion, grated horseradish and whole grain mustard sauce on ciabatta? The grilled chicken flatbread is also an appealing option with chicken, sorrel pesto, tomato, feta, red onion, arugula, pine nut and parmesan. Something lighter perhaps? An in-season caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, basil pesto, white balsamic, arugula and shaved parmesan sounds like an early summer winner.
The fish tacos, new to the Sun Valley Club's menu, were a hit with our group
I finally settled on the cold poached salmon salad as it was a sunny, hot day just made for a light dish. It didn’t disappoint. The beautifully presented plate offered a generous serving of poached salmon with a delicate cucumber mint salsa over mixed greens, dotted with avocado and mango. It tasted as great as it looked.
My dining partners both opted for the Rocky Point fish tacos and sung the praises of the cod filets in white corn tortillas with cabbage, baja sauce, pico de gallo, avocado, fresh cilantro and lime.
It was a shame we all had to go back to work as the Sawtooth Putting Course and driving range beckoned nearby. All the Sun Valley golf courses are fully open and it surely looked like everyone was enjoying their time on the beautiful fairways.
In other Sun Valley restaurant news, the Ram Restaurant in the Sun Valley Village reopens for the summer on June 6 and is a wonderful place to enjoy al fresco dining on the patio with a view of the swan pond. More often than not, live music also accompanies a fine meal at the Ram. This summer, along with steakhouse favorites, this wonderful restaurant (my personal favorite) will serve lighter options like halibut cheeks and Divers scallops. Don’t worry, fondue is still on the menu!
Beginning June 21, bike, hike or take the gondola up to Roundhouse on Bald Mountain to enjoy lunch with a breathtaking view
At the Konditorei, patio dining is in full swing and the restaurant is now serving locally roasted Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee, all Fair Trade and organic. Three styles – Boulder Blend, Sawtooth Single and Pioneer Decaf are the perfect accompaniment to one of their hand-crafted European style pastries.
And the Roundhouse opens its doors to the most scenic lunch in the Lower 48 on June 21, to coincide with the start of gondola service up Bald Mountain. This is the perfect reward for a hike up the hill or just a great way to spend some time with family and friends surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
It promises to be a succulent summer in Sun Valley!
Whether you dine inside or on the patio, the Sun Valley Club is a great place to celebrate
There is nothing more memorable on a warm summer Sun Valley night than live music in the mountains. This pastime has been elevated in recent years with top acts and bands performing under the sail of the outdoor Sun Valley Pavilion. As the sun dips behind the hills and evening’s shadows creep in, the acoustics in this theater transport the audience to a place far removed from life’s hustle and bustle and busy schedule.
Close your eyes and you'll swear it's John, George, Paul and Ringo when the Fab Four take the stage at the Sun Valley Pavilion July 5
If you’re a Beatles fan, be sure to mark your calendar (and get your tickets) for the July 5 show by the highly acclaimed Fab Four. This event, presented by the Sun Valley Opera, dares you not to sing along (in your head!) to some of the biggest hits of all time. The group, dubbed the ultimate Beatles tribute band is known for their precise attention to detail. Close your eyes. Enjoy the spot-on note-for-note renditions of the Beatles’ lasting hits, and you will truly believe you are listening to John, George, Ringo, and Paul.
The California-based Fab Four was founded in 1997 by John Lennon impersonator Ron McNeil. Today the group covers almost the entire Beatles songbook, as well as solo material. They have performed throughout California, Las Vegas, and around the world in Japan, Malaysia, France, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil. Next stop? Idaho!
Other performances planned at the Pavilion this summer include a just-announced appearance by the one-and-only Los Lobos. This world famous band will rock the Pavilion on July 13. Known for No. 1 hits like La Bamba, this summer, the band celebrates the 20th anniversary re-release of their landmark Kiko album by Shout! Factory. Due for release on August 21, the album offers amazing new bonus tracks and a live DVD recording in addition to the original album. This legendary American quintet will surely rock the house.
The glorious Pavilion is home to the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, but is also a perfect venue for great concerts like the Fab Four, Los Lobos and the Doobie Brothers
On August 20, as part of the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial, benefiting leukemia and cancer research, the well-loved sounds of the Doobie Brothers will provide the sweetest summer soundtrack for a night at the Pavilion. These four-time Grammy Award winners have recorded some of the most enduring sounds of a generation – or two! They are still writing and recording new music, but promise to play their favorites in Sun Valley. Oh! Listen to the music!
Tickets to the Fab Four, as well as Los Lobos and the Doobie Brothers, are going fast so be sure to click HERE and get yours before they’re gone. All three shows promise to be anything but a Hard Day’s Night…
Enough bad song title puns … just be sure to get your tickets and plan on spending some of the best nights of the season surrounded by good friends, spectacular scenery and some pretty great music.
The magic happens beneath the sail of the Pavilion, but the views are still pretty magical -- even from inside
Trails crisscross Bald Mountain in summer offering hikers and mountain bikers countless beautiful options for days filled with exercise and sunshine
In exactly one month, Bald Mountain will unveil itself in its full summer glory, opening nearly 28 miles of hiking and biking trails to endless possibilities for fun. Whether you prefer to ride a lift up and mountain bike or hike down, or if the reward for scaling 3,400 vertical feet is the scenic and peaceful ride down, your time on Sun Valley’s crown jewel is sure to be rewarding. Prefer to simply enjoy some fabulous views and gentle hiking atop Bald Mountain? Then bring the family and enjoy a round-trip lift ride. No matter your outdoor style, Baldy is the place to be on Idaho’s endless summer days when the lifts start running from River Run.
This summer, there is another way to play on Baldy – the new mountain biking flow trail. Nine new trails will eventually be constructed, offering nearly 20 miles of buttery fresh singletrack, and the first one opens July 1st. Flow trails are great fun according to enthusiasts, but are often located places hard to access by recreational riders. With lift access, those in Sun Valley will be available to bike riders of all ability levels.
New flow trails use the contour of the mountain and gravity to let mountain bikers get a smooth, easy downhill ride. This one leads to the historic and charming Roundhouse Restaurant where you can grab lunch with a view this summer (photo Tal Roberts)
Flow trails are downhill trails that are cut to induce a smooth rhythm that has been compared to a “terrain-induced roller coaster experience,” according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). Features like banked turns, rolling terrain, jumps and consistent and predictable surfaces keep pedaling and braking to a minimum – gravity does most of the work. Mountain bikers carve back and forth on the trails, flowing down the mountain without maneuvering obstacles or abrupt corners or encountering pesky logs or rocks. It really is available to riders of all fitness levels and skills.
The first trail, recently dubbed “Saddle Up,” is a four-mile, green-rated flow trail (ratings are similar to those given to winter trails) and links the top of the mountain to Roundhouse Restaurant.
The team was hard at work this fall and spring started to create the new flow trails (photo Tal Roberts)
The new trails are user-specific and unidirectional, available only for downhill mountain bike traffic. In addition to the flow trails, two new hiking and uphill biking only trails will be part of this upgrade. The design maintains existing use patterns on the hill.
The flow trail architects are hard at work making sure you have the best summer ever on Baldy (photo Tal Roberts)
Sun Valley is already singletrack heaven and the addition of flow trails completes the picture of the area as the ultimate riding destination. The flow trails complement 450 miles of singletrack, two pump parks and limitless miles of road riding.
Full service bicycle rental (as well as all related gear rentals and sales) is available at the base of the mountain at Pete Lane’s at River Run. Great mountain fashions, active wear and gifts are also available at the adjacent Brass Ranch.
Hiking Baldy with the family is a terrific activity. Just remember real hiking shoes, plenty of water and lots of sunscreen. It's 3,400 vertical feet to the top!
My favorite way to enjoy Baldy is to hike the approximately five-mile Bald Mountain Trail that originates at River Run. Switchbacks wend through open meadows, covered in wildflowers in July, through pine groves and along many ski runs. It is great exercise and provides fantastic views all around the Valley. I love to catch the lift down upon reaching the summit, munching a well-deserved snack and enjoying the breeze and the view. Like many who live or vacation in Sun Valley, for me, the climb up Baldy is the equivalent to a few good hours on a stair climber at the gym but much more beautiful and much more fun! I am pretty excited to try those flow trails, too.
Lift service lifts off on June 21 for hikers and July 1 for bike service. Many are counting the days. Bring on summer!
When it’s hot outside (and it is definitely already getting there) there is no cooler place to be than Sun Valley’s iconic outdoor skating rink. The largest year-round outdoor rink in the country, it is also one of the prettiest. Views extend over Dollar and Bald Mountains and to the historic Sun Valley Lodge.
Everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley and no summer stay here is complete without taking in the magical Sun Valley On Ice Saturday night shows
There is a well-known saying here that “everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley,” and in the world of world-class figure skating, that is true, indeed. The legendary Saturday night Sun Valley On Ice Shows have drawn Olympic and world champions, top professional talent and up-and-comers for decades. No visit to Sun Valley is complete without taking in an ice show under the stars. This year’s high voltage lineup includes Sochi Olympic gold medal winners in ice dance, the magical Meryl Davis and Charlie White on August 23. The beautiful Gracie Gold, Olympic bronze medalist, kicks off the season on July 4 and fellow Olympic team member, 2013 US National Champion Ashley Wagner, will take center ice August 9. From Sochi to Sun Valley: It doesn’t get much better than that! Crowd favorite and Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek returns to Sun Valley August 30. Ryan Bradley and Johnny Weir are also among the featured skaters this summer making for quite a lineup. The talented and always-entertaining core skater favorites include Craig Heath, Ashley Clark, Darlin Baker, Jozef Sabovcik, Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, Anita Hartshorn, Natalia Zaitseva and Jonathan Hunt, Ryan Bradley, Erin Reed and Jason Graetz.
The venue is intimate and there are few places where you can get so close to your favorite skaters. The athletes all say they love to skate in Sun Valley because they can see and hear the audience and the energy is amazing. Many of the stars stay after the show to greet fans and even sign autographs if they have time. Get your tickets early (they go on sale May 15), be sure to bring blankets to sit on (if you get bleacher seats) and layers to add as the evening temperature drops and come out and enjoy this amazing ice show.
Gracious figure skating stars like Sasha Cohen often take time to talk with, and pose with fans, following a show
But you don’t need to be the best of the best to skate in Sun Valley. Throughout the summer, there are sessions available to everyone – from a first timer to a competitive skater. Children love to skate and take to it quickly. To make those first turns as enjoyable as possible, you might consider booking a group or private lesson for your child (or yourself!). Group lessons that teach basic skills are offered at the outdoor rink from mid-June to mid-August. This drop-in format teaches figure skating building blocks like stroking, skating forward, skating backward and that all-important skill, stopping. Classes are instructive, fun and affordable. With the help of a professional, you will see improvement in your scratch spins, swizzles, maybe even Salchow jumps!
Pros like Ashley Clark will wow you every Saturday night in Sun Valley On Ice and then are often available to give lessons.
For even more opportunities to improve, semi-private lessons are given for up to four skaters of similar level. Popular clinics are also offered throughout the summer season. The Sun Valley Skating School offers up to 20 classes a day on both the beautiful outdoor rink and the full-size indoor rink that is equipped with a ballet studio and a jumping harness. Clinics begin at 8:30 a.m. and run to 5:30 p.m. They include classes on spinning, jumping, stroking, performance, spirals, ice dance and more. Students can pre-register for the whole summer or pay by the week. Walk-ons are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For full information on available classes, pricing and registration, please click HERE.
If you don’t want a lesson, but just want to enjoy a spin around the rink, visit the skate house and select a package that includes ice time, skate rentals, even a helmet. Please call 208-622-2194 for a current schedule.
Skating is fun for the whole family. Rent some skates and try it!
For my family, summer and skating are synonymous. My two daughters, who now skate competitively, first laced up skates as toddlers during our summer vacations in Sun Valley. I’m not sure if it was the great teachers, pretty dresses or beautiful setting, but they caught the skating bug and have committed to this sport for 10 years now. As members of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club (celebrating 75 years this summer), they spend hours and hours each summer at the rink, participating in classes, working on skills, selling snacks at Sun Valley On Ice and being generally inspired by all the talented and enthusiastic skaters at the rink. It is a wonderful way to spend the warm weather months.
Come join us this summer to take part in a great Sun Valley tradition that is now nearly 80 years old. Skating is fun, it’s super exercise and it is a wonderful way to glide away an afternoon or evening.
And so it begins... my daughter Blake and her friend Alex, two future National Showcase Champions
For children, incorporating some of the basic tenets of “wellness” into their lives is as easy as skipping down the sidewalk. Naturally open-minded, creative, inquisitive and joyful, children and teens are at the perfect age and stage to enjoy new experiences, the lessons of which they can carry with them for their entire lives.
Debra Drake provides children the opportunity to move, enjoy and get centered on Saturday morning, May 24
According to Kerry Brokaw, one of the primary organizers of this year’s Children’s Wellness Festival, this portion of the Festival was started four years ago with the idea of bringing spiritual awareness to children.
Kerry Brokaw performs as part of Mountain Moon Puppetry
“This year the children’s festival welcomes younger and older children and will celebrate movement, art, music, puppetry and mindfulness,” Brokaw said. “The nature of the activities reflects the rhythm of breathing, an ‘in breath’ followed by an ‘out breath’; thus, a more lively activity, such as dance, is followed by a more focused and meditative artistic activity.”
Kids’ programming takes place on Saturday, May 24, and is based in Sun Valley’s Boiler Room. Morning activities are directed more at younger children (age suggestions are provided on the Sun Valley Wellness Festival website), and include Mindful Movement with Debra Drake featuring hoops, silks and blocks, followed by Jessica Banks, a Waldorf Kindergarten and Handworks teacher who will lead the children in wet felting, creating “message rocks” wrapped in felted wool to take home. Parents are asked to accompany their children during these morning activities. “It will definitely be fun for all!” Brokaw enthused.
Kids are invited to drum with Tim Hanna in a call and response style that is fun and appropriate for all experience levels
From 11:30 a.m. to noon, children of all ages are invited to a marionette puppet presentation of a transformative African tale by Kerry Brokaw and Bege Reynolds, Early Childhood Educators and creators of Mountain Moon Puppetry. The ever-popular Tim Hanna, West African drumming teacher and Zenergy‘s Health and Wellness Manager, will accompany the production with his djembe drums.
Afternoon activities, designed primarily for children nine years old and up, begin at 12:45 p.m. when Tim Hanna teaches a beginning level djembe drum rhythms (hand drumming) class. He bases his teachings off of a series of calls and responses. He plays a small piece of a rhythm and then the class repeats it back. This style is very effective in working with all ability levels even if participants have never touched a drum. Plus, it’s really, really fun.
Dale and Peggy Bates will get the children on their feet and dancing
Then, it’s time to get up and move as Dale and Peggy Bates host line dancing for the older children and teens. This is not your grandparents’ line dancing according to Brokaw! Then it’s ‘breath out’ time again as Jessica Banks and Tammy Hood offer needle felting, a more advanced form of wool felting. The final out breath comes when as Kate Janke, a long-time participant of and speaker for the Sun Valley Wellness Festival, ends the program with a Heart and Mind Meditation workshop. Younger children, ages six and up, are invited back for this peaceful end to the day.
In addition, Tammy Hood, Education Director at Sawtooth Botanical Garden, will be on hand to share some curious critters from the Bug Zoo during the entire event.
On Sunday, May 25, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., Kim John Payne will present “Simplicity Parenting” in Limelight Room A at the Sun Valley Inn. Payne’s book of the same name swept through the community this year and was read, discussed and passed on up and down the valley. He is making many re-think their parenting priorities.
Author and thinker Kim John Payne will bring his 'less is more' wisdom to parents during the Wellness Festival
“Having Kim John Payne come to the valley is a fabulous opportunity for parents, grandparents, educators, health care providers and anyone who works with children and teenagers to meet with a brilliant and resourceful mentor and colleague,” Brokaw said. His lecture is sure to touch on many of the topics that have everyone talking: discipline, raising socially resilient children, social difficulties with siblings and classmates, and fostering self-esteem. Known for his practical approach, sense of humor and wisdom, he connects with his audience, making his ideas both understandable and practicable.
For more on Kim John Payne, please visit www.socialsustain.com. He is a fascinating man who is changing the way many think about parenting in this day of rampant technology and “busier is better” standards.
Tickets to all Wellness Festival events are now on sale and the full schedule, speaker and event descriptions and more can be found HERE.
Bring your kids to Sun Valley over Memorial Day weekend and help get them started on a lifetime path of wellness.
The Boiler Room at the Sun Valley Village is HQ for children's wellness events
Mother’s Day is coming up fast and now is the time to make plans to honor the special mother in your life. For the woman who does so much for so many, Mother’s Day, this Sunday, May 11, is the perfect opportunity to show her just how much she is appreciated.
Mother's Day + Sun Valley = unforgettable
Sun Valley is the perfect place to treat your mother, wife, sister or daughter to an unforgettable Mother’s Day celebration.
A wonderful meal with the family is de rigueur for this holiday and there is no better place to indulge than at brunch at the elegant Sun Valley Club. Come celebrate at this elaborate meal that includes specialty items like Sun Valley Club Eggs Benedict (poached egg, duck confit, bread pudding, cherry gastrique and hollandaise) and much more. Invite mom to enjoy a mimosa or Bloody Mary and to sit back and relax. There is absolutely no rush. Brunch begins at 9 a.m. and reservations are not necessary. For more details please call 208-622-2919.
On Sunday, the Sun Valley Club will offer the perfect combination for Mother's Day -- a bountiful brunch and beautiful views
Stumped for the perfect gift for mom? Look no further than the Sun Valley Village. Whether she would love a beautiful scarf, handbag or spring dress, Panache and the Brass Ranch have you covered. Spring fashion is bright and beautiful and the selection right now is great. New gear for all mom’s fitness and outdoor needs are stocked and ready at Pete Lane’s and for another kind of hard goods, don’t miss the gorgeous jewelry at Towne & Parke Jewelers. Imagine how thrilled she will be to receive a beautiful necklace or bracelet from her family. Even the simple (and sweet) things will be greatly appreciated. The gift of fine chocolate from the Chocolate Foundry is sure to be a hit.
A handmade card is also always cherished. However, if you really want to impress, tuck in a gift card to the Sun Valley Salon & Spa for a pampering manicure and pedicure, massage, spa treatment or even a new hairstyle. The Sun Valley Salon & Spa has relocated to the Sun Valley Village while the exciting Lodge renovation is underway. Give mom a mini-vacation without having to go far. Please call 208-622-2160 for an appointment or more information.
If you really want to impress mom, give her a gift certificate for some pampering at the Sun Valley Salon & Spa
As an added bonus, the family-friendly Sawtooth Putting Course, located outside the Sun Valley Club, opens for the season Friday, May 9. It will be free through Mother’s Day so go out and putt away!
Following brunch, spend some quality family time at the Sawtooth Putting Course.
Mother’s Day has a long history in the United States, and many nations set aside a similar holiday to honor mothers. The American version of Mother’s Day is said to have been created by Anna Jarvis in 1908. In 1914, it became an official U.S. holiday. Though some decry the commercialization of the holiday, it is a good reminder to appreciate the mothers in your life and all they do.
As a mother of three school-aged children, I do have one more suggestion: there is no better gift, prior to a fabulous, indulgent brunch, than being allowed to sleep in.
Happy Mother’s Day to my sweet, indispensable mother, Patricia, and to all you other moms out there!
Even in the high mountains of Idaho, this year, April showers did bring May flowers.
Wildflowers are beginning to bloom along Sun Valley's trails
Local lower altitude trails are dry and open, and with temperatures well into the 70s this week, everyone is out enjoying the early season.
Across from Sun Valley Resort, the White Clouds trails that wend through the hills below the storied golf course of the same name, are a popular spot for hikers and mountain bikers. Great views predominate and early wildflowers are making the scenic walks even more scenic.
One family takes a break from an early season bike ride on Sun Valley's fabled "rails to trails" system
The area’s miles and miles of “rails to trails” paved paths that run along the Big Wood River, connecting all the towns of the Wood River Valley, are full of bikers and walkers getting back into summer shape and enjoying fresh air, sunshine and already long days. Dry pavement is making for great road rides, too.
More amazing biking and hiking is right around the corner when Bald Mountain opens for the summer season the third week of June. Uphill lift service accesses endless mountain bike trails, including new flow trails planned for this summer. These downhill trails use the mountain’s natural contours and gravity to provide a fun-filled ride for enthusiasts of every ability. The hiking on Baldy is also beautiful and available to all levels. Beginners can grab the lift to the top of the hill and take a gentle hike on the top of the world. More ambitious climbers can access the summit from the base of River Run, conquering a few thousand vertical feet and about five miles via the trail that begins at the base of River Run.
A mountain biker takes advantage of warm afternoon temperatures, bright sunshine and dry trails on the White Clouds system
Check into Pete Lane’s in the Sun Valley Village for all your gear needs. Now is the time to get that bike tuned, check the tires, break in some hiking or trail running shoes and invest in the latest high performance clothing.
Early season golf is also in full swing with nine holes open on the White Clouds Course and nine holes open on Trail Creek‘s back nine. It’s a great time to work out the kinks as value season daily rates apply beginning Friday, May 2, and include range warm-ups and cart rental. Please contact the Pro Shop if you have questions or to make a tee time, 208-622-2251.
Come hit some balls at the top of the world on the spectacular White Clouds course. The early season is a great deal and a great way to be ready for the best summer ever
It promises to be an amazing summer in Sun Valley. Spring is rarely this nice, this early, in the Idaho mountains and so far, it’s providing a few extra weeks for everyone to get out and enjoy what they love to do best.
Get out onto the trails and into the local mountains now and you will be in great shape and ready to enjoy all the warm weather months offer.
Get out there! It's beautiful right now on Sun Valley's trails
Springtime is all about renewal and in Sun Valley, there is no better way to revive, recharge and maybe even revise your way of thinking than at the perennially popular Sun Valley Wellness Festival. The five-day event straddles spring and early summer, bringing the most interesting, sought after and inspiring speakers and practitioners to the Sun Valley Resort, offering something for everyone. Films and workshops are also part of what makes this one of the premier wellness events in the nation.
Start the summer season in just the right way at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival. Get centered, get inspired.
In its 17th year, the Festival kicks off on May 22 and runs through Memorial Day, May 26. More than 30 presentations and workshops are scheduled, all designed to “inspire positive change” in body, mind, spirit and environmental awareness according to event organizers.
Headlining an impressive list of nationally known speakers is the one-and-only Diana Nyad who will deliver the keynote address. Nyad’s recent record-breaking swim from Cuba to the U.S. (all without a shark cage) was a lifelong dream, but there is much, much more to her story. At 64, she is sure to inspire others to keep pursuing their dreams. A documentary based on her experience, “The Other Shore,” will be screened in advance of the Festival on May 10 at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum.
Also coming to Sun Valley to offer her unique perspective is second keynote speaker Kris Carr: New York Times best-selling author, wellness activist and cancer ‘thriver’. She will speak on “Crazy, Sexy, Wellness.”
Speakers Eric Saperston, Tommy Rosen and a friend let the joy flow at last year's Wellness Festival (photo courtesy Nick Maricich).
Other top 2014 Sun Valley Wellness Festival speakers include: new visionary spiritual leader Panache Desai, relationship expert Arielle Ford, Heart Math founder Howard Martin, yoga master and addiction recovery expert Tommy Rosen, GMO experts Don Huber and Tyrone Hayes, author and filmmaker Eric Saperston, Simplicity Parenting founder Kim John Payne, wellness shift comedian Kyle Cease, Mindfulness Meditation expert Kate Janke, author, speaker and co-creator of film “What the Bleep Do We Know?” Betsy Chasse, Kundalini Yoga expert Kia Miller, naturopath and triathlete Dr. James Rouse, astrologist David Pond, intuitive experts Gary Quinn and Peggy Rometo, Oneness leader and Interfaith minister Rev Michael Milner, PhD and many more, according to Festival organizers. See? Something for everyone!
The Movement Studio and Wellness Expo is another great way to participate in the Festival. The Movement Studio offers numerous types of yoga practices taught by top teachers, including Tommy Rosen. At the Sun Valley Inn, the Wellness Expo encourages exploration and features vendors selling everything from beautiful clothes to jewelry to health products. In the Hands-On-Hall, you can get a massage, try reflexology or have an intuitive reading. The Wellness Expo is free and open to the public throughout the Festival.
Try a henna tattoo at the Hands On Hall at the Sun Valley Inn.
Children are welcome at the event, too, with programs designed just for the younger set.
For a full listing of speakers, workshops, films and events and for ticket information please click HERE.
The Sun Valley Resort provides a beautiful backdrop (and great place to stay) for all the events the Festival offers.
Sun Valley Resort is offering special Wellness Festival lodging rates, starting at just $120. To make lodging reservations call 1-800-786-8259 and ask for the Wellness Festival rates.
In between events, be sure to get out into Sun Valley’s mountains and onto the trails for some fresh air, sunshine, blue skies and wellness of a complimentary variety. Just steps away from the Resort are hiking and biking trails suitable for every fitness level. Be sure to pop into Pete Lane’s at the Sun Valley Village and ask for a recommendation and get any gear you might need. Sun Valley is also known for its restorative hot springs, endless fitness opportunities, vibrant cultural scene and so much more. Five days won’t be enough to get it all in!
Sun Valley has always been a place to recharge and to heal and it's easy to see why.
Renew your mind, refresh your spirit, replenish your soul in Sun Valley this May. Stay tuned to this blog for updates and more information on the Sun Valley Wellness Festival.
With tips of daffodils and tulips peeking through the ground with just a hint of hesitation and buds forming in earnest on the trees up and down the valley, everyone’s thoughts are on summer. Summer in Sun Valley is like nowhere else: endless days filled with sunshine and temperatures that begin wonderfully cool for golf or biking and heat up to “time to jump in the pool” digits. Blue skies abound. The pace is as leisurely or as fast-paced as you like and days are filled with adventure and activities ranging from hiking to fly fishing to mountain biking to golf, tennis, horseback riding, backpacking, ice skating … really too many to name.
Summer in Sun Valley is pretty special. Make your plans now so you don't miss a moment.
In addition to this daily menu of fun, Sun Valley offers some pretty amazing programs and opportunities each summer that draw thousands from near and far. Now is the time to secure your tickets and make your reservations. Mark your calendar for some of these favorites and check back to this blog and to visitsunvalley.com for updated listings.
Sun Valley Writer’s Conference
The always-popular Sun Valley Writer’s Conference is back and better than ever. This year, the intellectually charged event will take place in and around the Sun Valley Pavilion from July 19 – 22. Celebrating its 20th year in Sun Valley, this year’s speakers and participants include luminaries such as Dave Barry, Justice Stephen Breyer, Timothy Geithner, Ridley Pearson and Scott Turow among many others. Please click HERE for more information about conference passes and single event tickets (based on availability). There is no better place to listen to some of the great thinkers and writers of our day tackle the issues of our day than at the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference.
The Tapas and Tasting event is one of many wonderful ways to enjoy fine wine and great company during the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' Wine Auction weekend
Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction
This year, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts celebrates its 33rd Sun Valley Wine Auction, one of the premier charity wine auctions in the nation. Tickets are now on sale for this legendary event that offers something for everyone (as long as you are over 21!). Extraordinary wine experiences await over the course of three days, from Vintner dinners hosted in exquisite private homes, to the popular Grand Tasting and Tapas party to the Wine Auction Gala. The Gala includes 40 live auction lots and 70 silent lots including many once-in-a-lifetime experiences and wines. Proceeds from all Wine Auction events support The Sun Valley Center for the Arts. The Center provides educational opportunities in the arts, with fine art and music programming, lectures series and arts education in the Blaine County School District. Cheers!
Michael Franti & Spearhead, will launch the first-ever music & yoga tour, Soulshine, that will bridge daytime and nighttime experiences including music, yoga, sustainable lifestyle and DJs guaranteeing a full-blown dance party. SOJA, Brett Dennen and Trevor Hall will be joining the North American Tour along with special guest yoga teachers. The afternoon will begin with a mass yoga at Trail Creek Lodge and acoustic music jam with Michael Franti & Friends, led by some of today’s most inspiring teachers from across North America, including Ryan Leier. The yoga session is designed for people of all experience levels, ages, shapes and sizes and will feature artists participating side-by-side with fans. The evening concert will feature all four bands for over four hours of music! The evening will kick off at 6 p.m. at the beautiful River Run Lodge. Music in the mountains is unbeatable!
I dare you not to dance when Michael Franti & Spearhead rock River Run
Josh Ritter is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and author who performs and records with The Royal City Band. He will perform his distinctive Americana style and narrative lyrics, also at River Run Lodge where there will be food and beverages for sale or you are invited to bring a picnic. Be sure to make a night of it!
On August 6, the legendary Chris Isaak takes to the River Run stage treating the audience to his deeply personal style, influenced by luminaries like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Finally, on August 29, The Head & The Heart conclude the concerts series on a high note bringing to River Run their indie folk-rock sound straight from Seattle. They scored two No. 1 singles with their song “Lost in My Mind” and they’ve opened for Vampire Weekend, The Decemberists and others.
Tickets for the concert series go on sale to the public on May 19.
The Fab Four and the Doobie Brothers will perform this summer beneath the Sun Valley Pavilion's amazing sail, also home to the Sun Valley Summer Symphony
Fab Four Concert
A fun-filled and energetic blast from the past will grace the stage at the Sun Valley Pavilion on July 5 at 8 p.m. when the Sun Valley Opera presents The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute. This is the ultimate Beatles tribute band known for its uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ hits. Check out www.thefabfour.com for a preview of what is sure to be an amazing night. Tickets are now on sale and the Sun Valley Opera is also selling Diva Party Tickets that include a cocktail party in a private home and premier seating.
Picture yourself here for one of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony's amazing concerts
Sun Valley Summer Symphony
Picture this. You carefully unpack a gourmet picnic full of treats on the vast lawn outside the Sun Valley Pavilion amphitheater. Wine is poured, the blanket is spread as you settle in for an evening of world-class classical musical played live by some of the country’s best musicians. The sun begins to slowly set over Dollar and Bald Mountains as the strains of the symphony waft through the air. And what do you pay for this one-of-a-kind experience? Absolutely nothing. From July 28 – August 19 join the thousands of enthusiasts who make an evening at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony the centerpiece of their summer schedules. At the age of 30, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony attracts the most sought-after soloists of our time. With free year-round music education programs complimenting free-admission concerts, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony has claimed a place of world-class status in the North American classical music scene. This year, the In Focus Series takes place on July 28, 29,31 and August 1. The 30th Anniversary Gala, featuring the incomparable Renee Fleming, will be held on August 3 and the Pavilion Series takes place from August 4 – 19. Be a part of it – every concert is a reason to celebrate!
Doobie Brothers in Concert
Yes, you read right … those Doobie Brothers, the one and only, are coming to Sun Valley on August 20. Their concert set in the gorgeous Pavilion is sure to be one to remember. Four-time Grammy winners, the Doobie Brothers provided the soundtrack to the lives of more than one generation of Americans. They continue to write and record new material, tour the world, and delight fans everywhere they go. Presented by the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial, net proceeds from this event benefit Leukemia and Cancer Research. Every August for the past 37 years, the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament in Sun Valley has gathered celebrities, sponsors, participants, members of Congress and supporters with one common goal: the cure for cancer and leukemia. Tickets to this amazing concert go on sale May 15 and are sure to sell out so don’t delay!
There is no better way to spend a summer's Saturday night than watching the stars under the stars at Sun Valley On Ice
Sun Valley On Ice
There is nothing more beautiful than being outside on a star-filled Sun Valley summer’s night and no better place to be outside on a Saturday evening that at Sun Valley On Ice. These storied ice shows have graced Sun Valley’s iconic outdoor rink for decades, drawing the very best professional and up-and-coming figure skating talent summer after summer. This year, Sun Valley welcomes 2014 Olympic Gold Medal Ice Dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White (August 23) straight off their spectacular win in Sochi. Other headliners include the amazing Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek (August 30), beautiful Olympic Bronze Medalist Gracie Gold (July 4) and US National Champion and Olympian Ashley Wagner (August 9) – truly the biggest names on ice. Sun Valley On Ice debuts July 4 and runs Saturday nights through Labor Day. Core skaters including Craig Heath, Ashley Clark, Darlin Baker, Jozef Sabovcik, Kim Navarro & Brent Bommentre, Andrei Khvalko & Elena Leonova, Natalia Zaitseva, Ryan Bradley, Erin Reed and Jason Graetz will also delight and entertain. No visit to Sun Valley is complete without taking in Sun Valley On Ice.
Ride Sun Valley brings some amazing mountain bike athletes and action to Bald Mountain and beyond
Ride Sun Valley
Sun Valley is mountain bike Mecca and at no time is this evident than when Ride Sun Valley comes to town. From June 27 to 29, all things two-wheeled take center stage during this bike festival to end all bike festivals. The 4th annual event showcases the area’s 400-plus miles of continuous singletrack in an event centered around some of the best race courses in the U.S. Sun Valley is a bike rider’s paradise with over 32 miles of multi-use paved bike paths, two bike parks, and miles of scenic road riding. There are events for the recreational rider to the professional and lots of opportunities to spectate, cheer and enjoy mountain bike culture.
Labor Day is officially the end to summer and in Sun Valley, the season ends with one of the biggest celebrations of the year: Wagon Days. From August 27 – September 1, the Wood River Valley honors its heritage with lots of family-friendly events culminating in the Big Hitch Parade. This non-motorized parade is one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest and features museum quality wagons, buggies, and stagecoaches. The Grand Finale to the parade is Ketchum’s own Big Hitch, the Lewis Ore Wagons. These large freight wagons are the best preserved, most original, functioning wagons of their kind in existence. Watch them wend down Sun Valley Road pulled by an authentic 20-mule jerk line. There are also arts and crafts fairs, pancake breakfasts, an antique car show and auction, live music and much more. It is a can’t-miss weekend in Sun Valley.
The old ore wagons in the Labor Days Wagon Days Parade are a sight to behold
Don’t miss a minute of this magical season in Sun Valley. By July 2, daily non-stop flights to Sun Valley will be offered from San Francisco (United Airlines), Seattle (Alaska Airlines), Los Angeles (Alaska Airlines) and Salt Lake City (Delta Airlines) with new service from Denver (United Express). Also, be sure to look for great lodging deals on www.sunvalley.com for many of these summer events.