Reggae and Rock (and bluegrass and country)

Though many associate Sun Valley with classical music (thank you Sun Valley Summer Symphony), the best in rock ‘n’ roll and country music (thank you Sun ValleyResort, the Sun Valley Center for the Artsand others), Sun Valley also has some strong reggae roots.

It's nearly time to enjoy some reggae (and jazz and bluegrass and alternative country) in the mountains

It's nearly time to enjoy some reggae (and jazz and bluegrass and alternative country) in the mountains

These roots, and what has sprung from them, will be on display on July 10 starting at 4 p.m. when Reggae in the Mountainsreturns for the seventh year, bringing some fabulous music and a laid-back summer vibe. Reggae in the Mountains has presented two shows each year since its inception, one in the winter and one in the summer, attracting thousands of loyal fans.

Don Carlos is reggae royalty and he will play Sun Valley on July 10

Don Carlos is reggae royalty and he will play Sun Valley on July 10

This week’s concert features international superstar Don Carlos and the Dub Vision Band. Don Carlos is reggae royalty and the opportunity to see him in such an intimate venue is one that shouldn’t be missed. In addition to the legendary front man, the horn section of the Dub Vision Band will blow you away. While according to concert organizer, head of Mountain Niceness and overall really nice guy Danny Walton, “Don Carlos doesn’t need an opening act, but we wanted to bring in great local talent to create a whole afternoon and night of music,” he said. Lighting up the night with be Matt Cifrese, a popular alternative country artist (think Johnny Cash to the Clash), the amazing jazz-inspired Paul Tillotson Trio and the Sheep Bridge Jumpers, a local eight-piece bluegrass band.

Past concerts, like this one in the winter, have drawn large, enthusiastic crowds (photo visitsunvalley.com)

Past concerts, like this one in the winter, have drawn large, enthusiastic crowds (photo visitsunvalley.com)

The event is casual and family friendly. Food and drink will be available for purchase from local vendors. “We expect a huge turnout,” Walton said. “The first concert we did with Don Carols was during the winter. It was negative 10 degrees but 2,000 people came out to hear him play. Don Carlos is the warmest, most positive guy and the cold didn’t seem to bother him at all.” Note: This week’s weather promises to be a bit more welcoming! Walton attributes the continued success of Reggae in the Mountains to the top quality entertainment it provides as well as wallet-friendly ticket prices. “It’s incredible bang for your buck,” Walton said, “and since it’s on a Thursday night this year, you have the whole weekend to get out there and enjoy everything this amazing area has to offer. Reggae in the Mountains runs from 4 – 10 p.m. right in the heart of Ketchum in the Town Square (next to the Visitors’ Centerat Sun Valley Road and East Avenue). You can’t miss it.

The Paul Tillotson trio is a crowd pleaser and made up of consummate jazz musicians

The Paul Tillotson Trio is a crowd-pleaser and made up of consummate jazz musicians

Pre-sale tickets are available for $20 until July 10 and $25 at the gate day of show. Kids under 12 are free. Special packages are available that include a VIP sponsor tent, parking, a no host bar, food, servers, swag and shade, according to organizers. These “Very Irie People” tickets are $100 each. Tickets are available at Atkinsons’ markets in Ketchum and Hailey, Lululemon, Zenergy at Thunder Springs and Johnny G’s Subshack in Ketchum. If available, you may also buy them the night of the concert. “Skip the long lines and buy early, though,” suggested Walton. More great music is right around the corner, too, when on July 13, the one-and-only Los Lobos plays the Sun Valley Pavilion and on July 27, Josh Ritter & The Royal City Bandrock River Run. There is truly something for everyone.

The one-and-only Los Lobos will rock the Sun Valley Pavilion on July 13

The one-and-only Los Lobos will rock the Sun Valley Pavilion on July 13

It has been a busy summer already and tickets to all events are selling quickly. Don’t count on availability the night of the show and don’t be disappointed. There truly is nothing like world-class acts beneath Sun Valley’s stars. The hills are alive with the sound of music and you won’t want to miss a minute. –RES

The Fourth is Looking Fab

The big Fourth of July holiday is just around the corner, and no one does it better than Sun Valley. Now is the time to make sure you’ve secured tickets to all the concerts, shows and events that will make celebrating the nation’s independence unforgettable.

At Sun Valley itself, the Fourth will be feted with the first Sun Valley On Ice of the season on Friday, July 4. This star-studded event beneath the stars features the one-and-only Gracie Gold. Gold, the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2014 National Champion, is figure skating’s golden girl. Known for her beauty, grace, athleticism and lyricism, Gold will take your breath away. It’s rare to get this close to a star of Gracie’s caliber, so be sure to get your bleacher, Sun Room, or fabulous dinner buffet seats today. Also lighting up the ice on the Fourth will be Jason Brown, the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2014 US Silver Medalist, as well as Nathan Chen, 2014 Junior World Bronze Medalist and 2014 US Junior Gold Medalist. The fabulous core skaters and featured skaters of Sun Valley will keep the action – and beat — going strong. We’ve heard a rumor that there is a strong disco influence in this show and it is sure to be quite a night.

Sun Valley On Ice kicks off a star-studded season of Saturday night shows on July 4 with headliner Gracie Gold.

Following the show, Sun Valley will set off a dazzling fireworks display, lighting up Dollar mountain and beyond.

Tickets are still available but are going fast. To make sure you don’t miss a moment of this spectacular show, click HERE or please call 208.622.2135. To make the most of the weekend, book a special hotel package, as well. Stay at the Sun Valley Resort July 4 and enjoy two tickets to Sun Valley On Ice and buffet for only $209 per person, double occupancy. Bleacher seating is also available for two plus one night’s lodging for $158 per person, double occupancy. Ask about children’s tickets, too. For reservations, please call (866) 893-4452.

Close your eyes -- you'll swear it's John, Paul, Ringo and George

Close your eyes -- you'll swear it's John, Paul, Ringo and George

The fun continues in Sun Valley on July 5 when the Fab Four play the beautiful Pavilion. At 8 p.m., this first-class Beatles’ Tribute band weaves their precise attention to detail and uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ songs into the fabric of the weekend. This incredible stage show includes three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-evolving career and live performances of classics like “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Yesterday,” “A Day In The Life,” “Twist And Shout,” “Here Comes The Sun” and “Hey Jude.”

A concert at the glorious Sun Valley Pavilion is one you will never forget

A concert at the glorious Sun Valley Pavilion is one you will never forget

The holiday weekend kicks off with music of another sort – the upbeat, “dare you not to dance” sounds of Michael Franti & Spearhead, performing an evening concert at River Run on July 2 at 6 p.m. A part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts Summer Concert Series, Franti is a Valley favorite and puts on an amazing show that also features SOJA, Brett Dennen and Trevor Hall. Tickets are still available for $40 for members, $50 for nonmembers. Early entry (entry 15 minutes prior to general admission) costs $85 for members, $95 for nonmembers plus a $1 per ticket Reverb charity donation. A special VIP Party pack is available. Please click HERE to buy tickets and for more information.

Please note, picnics will be allowed at River Run, as usual, but due to liability concerns, Sun Valley Company will no longer allow outside alcohol at concerts. Bring ID if you’d like to purchase alcohol on site. Bags and IDs will be checked by Sun Valley Security.

Last time Michael Franti & Spearhead played River Run, an amazing time was had by all. Don't miss it!

Last time Michael Franti & Spearhead played River Run, an amazing time was had by all. Don't miss it!

Fun with Franti begins earlier in the day, though, when the Soulshine Tour Yoga Experience hits the idyllic Trail Creek Cabin picnic grounds. Starting at 11 a.m., live music, DJs, yoga and fans all take part in what organizers call “one ridiculously awesome jam.” The morning begins with a very special mass acoustic music and yoga practice, featuring Michael Franti and friends playing live and a class led by Allie Purdy. The yoga is appropriate for all levels, ages, shapes and sizes. The yoga event will last a roughly 90 minutes, followed by an hour-long traditional yoga class taught by Allie Purdy with Michael Franti performing a couple acoustic songs on either end of the class and physically participating with fans. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for this event. Please bring yoga mats and water, but leave your dog at home. The event is rain or shine and is non-refundable. Tickets are $20, $10 if purchased with a ticket to the Soulshine Tour Concert (plus tax). For more information on The Soulshine Tour Yoga Experience, please visit: soulshine.com.

And the Fourth wouldn’t be the Fourth without the Hailey Fourth of July Parade. This true community event features an old west shootout gang portrayal and fun-filled, family-friendly parade that runs down Main Street in Hailey from noon until approximately 1:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Wood River Valley Inspires.” The Grand Marshal will be Dick Fosbury noted for his “Fosbury Flop” and for sharing his love and enthusiasm for sports, especially track and field, around the world.

Hailey's family-friendly Fourth of July parade is non-stop fun

Hailey's family-friendly Fourth of July parade is non-stop fun

Also in Hailey, enjoy the Rodeo over the long weekend. The Sawtooth Rangers Fourth of July Rodeo runs starts July 2 with “Family Nite” (kids ten and under are free). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show usually lasts until about 10 p.m. Tickets are available at all Atkinsons’ Markets and at the Hailey Chamber of Commerce in the Welcome Center located at 781 S. Main Street. All Tickets are General Admission and sell out fast so get there early! This is the 66th annual “Days of the Old West Rodeo.” It runs through July 4.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Ride Sun Valley events continue through July 5. On the Fourth, the Hailey Criterium races around downtown Hailey following the parade. On July 5, some of the best mountain bikers around compete in the U.S. Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships on Baldy.

All the action is back on Baldy on July 5 for the US Marathon National Mountain Bike Championship, part of Ride Sun Valley

All the action is back on Baldy on July 5 for the US Marathon National Mountain Bike Championship, part of Ride Sun Valley

Oh yes, and the gondola and Christmas Lift on Bald Mountain open to bike traffic on July 1.

Phew!

Get out there and enjoy a real, small-town, western Fourth of July with a lot of pretty impressive bells, whistles, and yes, fireworks. Have a safe, fun weekend!

–RES

Big Fun for the Little Ones

There's no better place to play than the Sun Valley Adventure Camp

There's no better place to play than the Sun Valley Adventure Camp

On any given weekday morning, laughter and activity prevail on the lawn between the Opera House and Brass Ranch at the Sun Valley Village. This is the gathering spot for the Sun Valley Adventure Camp, a hub of energy and enthusiasm.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the children of guests of the Resort, visitors and locals alike enjoy all that a Sun Valley summer has to offer. Children from 6 – 12 years old undertake activities including wagon rides, hiking, river and stream exploration, orienteering, ice skating, horseback riding, tennis, golf, arts and crafts and swimming.

It's all about the kids at Sun Valley Adventure Camp

It's all about the kids at Sun Valley Adventure Camp

Under the indefatigable leadership of camp director Shannon Price, the camp boasts low counselor to camper ratios ensuring each child gets a lot of attention.

“We have children visiting Sun Valley who may never have hiked before in camp with local children for whom being outside is a way of life and know that both can have an amazing, memorable, safe and fun day, thanks to our terrific staff and well conceived programs,” Shannon said. “The kids come in with great, adventurous attitudes and have made good friends by the end of the week.”

The Sun Valley Adventure Camp utilizes all the Resort’s many ‘playgrounds’, from the Sawtooth Putting Course located outside the Sun Valley Club, to the Horsemen’s Center; from the tennis courts to the Olympic pool.

Hiking and exploring is all part of the fun for campers

Hiking and exploring is all part of the fun for campers

From the smiles on the camper’s faces on Friday when I took my son to camp, it looks like Shannon and her team are doing everything right this summer. The day’s activities included a hayride and picnic out Trail Creek, hiking, swimming and a little down time with some arts and crafts. Everyone came home happy, slightly damp from a passing rain shower and tired. Camp was given two thumbs up.

Space is very limited for the Sun Valley Adventure Camp and reservations are strongly suggested. The cost is $95 per day and $375 per week. A lunch of a sandwich, fruit and a cookie may be purchased for an additional $10 a day or children may bring a sack lunch. Campers who spend a full week at Adventure Camp go home with a photo memento capturing all the fun they had.

A wagon ride to Trail Creek cabin and a picnic is fun whether you live here or are visiting

A wagon ride to Trail Creek Cabin and a picnic is fun whether you live here or are visiting

Shannon said she is currently taking reservations through the end of the summer and interest has been extremely high. Secure your child’s spot today by phoning (208) 622-2133.

Younger children, aged three months to five years also have a wonderful chance to get the most from the Sun Valley experience at the Sun Valley Playschool Summer Camp. Every day of the week, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the camp’s friendly, trained and dedicated staff take little ones on nature walks, gondola rides, picnics and wagon rides, depending on their age. Also on the schedule are tennis, golf, ice skating and lessons and theme weeks including gardening, the world of insects, animal habitats and the solar system. Full days are $95, the week costs $375 and lunch can be added for $10 a day. Half days (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.) are also available for $65 per day. Please call (208) 622-2288 for more information and for reservations.

The goal of camp is to get smiles like these

The goal of camp is smiles like these

Every Saturday from July 5 to September 7, the Playschool also offers Kids’ Night Out from 6 – 10 p.m. Children can come to Playschool in their pajamas and enjoy a fun night while mom and dad do, too. This is offered by reservation only and costs $50 per child. Dinner is an additional $10.

Sun Valley summers are one-of-a-kind no matter your age. Take advantage of these wonderful programs that let the little ones get the most of these endless summer days.

–RES

There is something new every day. Come check it out!

There is something new every day. Come check it out!

The Dirt is Going to Fly

Mountain biking is a big part of what makes Sun Valley so amazing. Come get your ride on this week.

Mountain biking is a big part of what makes Sun Valley so amazing. Come get your ride on this week.

If you see more smiling, dirt-spattered people in town than usual this week, it’s for good reason. Ride Sun Valley returns to local trails beginning June 26 and dips, plummets and races its way the grand finale event on July 5. This festival celebrates singletrack and all pursuits on two wheels. It is an ode to one of the activities that makes the area so amazing and is the perfect start to the holiday weekend.

Ride Sun Valley is back and with it, a celebration of mountain bike culture

Ride Sun Valley is back and with it, a celebration of mountain bike culture.

Though many rides and races cater to accomplished, competitive mountain bike athletes, there is definitely something for everyone during Ride Sun Valley. Amateurs, enthusiasts and spectators alike are all part of the action.

Riders who may not qualify for the US Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals (most mere mortals!), scheduled for July 5, have many other options for getting involved. One great way is by riding some trails with local experts. Free, guided rides on fantastic singletrack are being offered throughout the weekend all around the area. Organizers of Ride Sun Valley call it one of the best ways to get your stoke on!

Rides leave from the Sun Valley/Ketchum Visitors Center, located at the corner of Sun Valley Road and East Avenue (adjacent to Town Square) at 8:30 a.m. on June 28 and 29. The format is first-come, first-ride and participants should bring food, water and spare/repair equipment. Space is limited so try not to be on Ketchum time! The rides are appropriate for visitors and locals alike and will be led by people who know all the best singletrack secrets.

Experienced mountain bikers will take to Baldy during Ride Sun Valley for some daring runs.

Experienced mountain bikers will take to Baldy during Ride Sun Valley for some daring runs.

Shuttle rides and bike transportation are provided to remote trail head start locations on both days.

The first ride is at Fox Creek which boasts not only great singletrack, but some of the most gorgeous wildflowers in the area. The ride lasts two hours and encompasses four miles of bike path and six miles of singletrack, climbing 700 feet. The technical level is moderate and difficulty is medium.

Expect something like this on the free, guided bike rides. It is this beautiful. (photo Tal Roberts)

Expect something like this on the free, guided bike rides. It is this beautiful. (photo Tal Roberts)

A longer ride also goes out that day and lasts 4 – 5 hours covering 21 miles (mostly singletrack) and a 2100-foot elevation gain. This gorgeous ride takes you to Fox Peak and ends up back at the Expo.

Sunday also offers two rides, one out Corral Creek and one on Red Warrior to Greenhorn Gulch. The first is a one-and-a-half-hour ride that covers four miles of bike path and six miles of singletrack. It is rated easy on the technical scale and climbs 340 feet.

The second ride lasts about three hours and stretches over 11 miles of glorious singletrack. Elevation gain is 1500 feet and shuttles take you to and from Ketchum.

No bike? No problem. Stop into Pete Lane's in the Sun Valley Village. The selection of rentals is great.

No bike? No problem. Stop into Pete Lane's in the Sun Valley Village. The selection of rentals is great.

For a full schedule of events (and it’s long!), please click HERE.

Mountain biking is one of the most wonderful things about Sun Valley. Be sure to get out there on the trails yourself and cheer on the pros bringing their talents and enthusiasm to our hills.

It’s bike season!

–RES

It’s (officially) Summer on Bald Mountain

Baldy is showing off its summer splendor with amazing views and fields of wildflowers

Baldy is showing off its summer splendor with amazing views and fields of wildflowers

What better way to celebrate the longest day of the year and the official start to summer than by gaining some of the perspective that comes only with being on top of a big mountain!

On Saturday, the Gondola and Christmas Lift on Bald Mountain kicked into gear, providing uphill and downhill access for foot traffic of all varieties to the tip top of the mountain. And the trails were buzzing. Hikers and sightseers alike climbed up and rode down, rode up and hiked down, or just enjoyed the round-trip ride to and from the River Run side of the mountain.

Step one: let the helpful folks at River Run get you a lift pass and recommend some appropriate adventures for your group

Step one: let the helpful folks at River Run get you a lift pass and recommend some appropriate adventures for your group

Step two: check in and hop on a comfortable Gondola car

Step two: check in and hop on a comfortable Gondola car and enjoy the ride!

The historic Roundhouse Restaurant located at the top of the Gondola and about two-thirds up the mountain welcomed everyone to lunch with the best views around. The deck and rustic interior of the one-of-a-kind eatery is open daily, serving soups, salads, sandwiches and a children’s menu. Some highlights include the ‘7000’ Burger, an Austrian Chicken Salad sandwich, a fabulously fresh Mediterranean Chop Salad and locally-sourced Gazpacho. There is no better reward for a vigorous hike, or no better way to celebrate the beginning of a memorable vacation, than by dining at Roundhouse. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with beer and wine available daily. For a special cocktail hour, a full bar is offered on weekends (Friday to Sunday). Seating is first come, first served.

On July 1, Baldy opens to mountain bikers, again providing lift service both up and down the mountain depending on the rider’s proclivities. Special cars on the Gondola and on the Christmas Lift can accommodate bikes and many trails, appropriate to most levels, wend around the mountain. The first flow trail is set to open on July 1, offering a whole new biking experience on Baldy.

Enjoy lunch with an incredible view at the historic Roundhouse Restaurant

Enjoy lunch with an incredible view at the historic Roundhouse Restaurant

And if a trip up Baldy whets your appetite for snowy trails, today is the day to buy your winter Sun Valley passes. On sale now, a variety of passes are offered at the best prices of the season. Check out all the different possibilities HERE.

If being on the mountain is turning your thoughts to winter, now is the right time to buy your winter pass

If being on the mountain is turning your thoughts to winter, now is the right time to buy your winter pass

Seeing the Wood River Valley from atop Baldy is something everyone visiting Sun Valley must do. The 360-degree panorama is truly jaw dropping and right now, the wildflowers are adding fields of color and fragrance to the experience. Beautiful!

Summer trails on Baldy offer limitless fun. Get out there and get after it!

–RES

Hiking on Baldy is fun for the whole family. Bring water, wear good shoes and dress in layers!

Hiking on Baldy is fun for the whole family. Bring water, wear good shoes and dress in layers!

Putt-ing Away the Afternoon

Dateline: Sun Valley, Idaho. Saturday afternoon, 4 p.m.
Challenge: Kids ‘bored’. Hours until dinner.
Solution: Putting!

If you ever find yourself in a situation like the one above or something similar (you want a fresh idea for a date, the in-laws are visiting and no one is hiking-ready, or even if you just really want to practice your putting to improve your short game) make your way to the Sawtooth Putting Course at the Sun Valley Club.

The Sawtooth Putting Course is fun for the whole family.

The Sawtooth Putting Course is fun for the whole family.

Located just beyond the terrace of this wonderful Lodge are a full 18 putting holes that provide surprisingly pretty views of the Trail Creek Golf Course, burbling Trail Creek, Baldy and Dollar Mountain and beyond.

We took to the green with three complete golfing novices, one seasoned player and quite a bit of resistance (“we don’t like golf!”). After Tate fixed us in the Golf Pro Shop with putters, balls and the all-important score card (no golfing shoes or attire required), we made our way to the first hole.

The putting course is scenic and good for all ages.

The putting course is scenic and good for all ages.

The Sawtooth Putting Course consists of par three holes with varying elevations, curvature and difficulty. (I am definitely one of the novice golfers listed above, so if the nomenclature isn’t correct, please forgive me!). On the first hole, we all did pretty poorly, with everyone but the golfer among us taking about six strokes to find the hole if we found it at all. But even with those first putts, the mood of the group began to shift.

Soon, no one was ‘bored.’ As we progressed through the course, everyone was laughing and cheering each other on. When one of us made the occasional good shot, it was cause for celebration. My daughter ran ‘color commentary’ in the background as we each stepped up to the tee. All in all, it was great fun.

My form may be terrible (with a score to match!) but we had a great afternoon in Sun Valley.

My form may be terrible (with a score to match!) but we had a great afternoon in Sun Valley.

An hour spent on the Sawtooth Putting Course is an affordable, accessible and truly enjoyable way to enjoy time with family or friends. The full service bar at the Sun Valley Club is available if a libation is needed to improve your game or if the kids are thirsty and want a lemonade. The atmosphere on the course is light and I’d put pressure to perform at about a rating of zero.

Our group that Saturday consisted of two adults, a nine-year-old and a 13-year-old, which were great ages for the game. There is certainly no reason younger children can’t putt the afternoon away, though, as the holes are short, the flags easy to spot and even when you take a terrible shot (which we did many times), you can totally get it back together.

The lovely, full-service Sun Valley Club is just steps away in case you need a beverage to improve your game!

The lovely, full-service Sun Valley Club is just steps away in case you need a beverage to improve your game!

I see many more afternoons at the Sawtooth Putting Course in my family’s future this summer. When you have an empty hour (which is hard in Sun Valley, but it does happen), or you are heading for a wonderful dinner at Trail Creek Cabin, the Ram, Gretchen’s, Bald Mountain Pizza or other Resort restaurants, it’s a great pre-dinner experience. Enjoying lunch at the Sun Valley Club and then going out for a round works, too.

According to my son, the whole experience would have been perfect if we had been allowed to take a golf cart as part of the package. Maybe we have a golfer in the family after all!

See you on the green!

–RES

Next time we have to hit the Trail Creek Course to satisfy the request for a golf cart!

Next time we have to hit the Trail Creek Course to satisfy the request for a golf cart!

Reinvent Father’s Day

Let’s face it. Typical Father’s Day gifts and activities can be, well, typical. My guess is that the gift of a standard necktie and stereotype of dad as grill chef on Father’s Day only became jokes because they are so common.

Well, in Sun Valley, Father’s Day, celebrated this year on Sunday, June 15, can be anything but average.  Add the many activities your dad will love, to all the gear he needs and throw in a new outfit or two to accompany said activity in style, and you’ll have a Father’s Day to remember.

Stop by Pete Lane's in the Sun Valley Village to demo a bike on Father's Day

Stop by Pete Lane's in the Sun Valley Village to demo a bike on Father's Day

Start Sunday with a stop at Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports in the Sun Valley Village. There will be free bike demos all day from Cervelo, Turner, Norco and Kona. Terrific mountain bike trails await just across the street in the White Clouds and road biking possibilities stretch in every direction.

Next stop? The Sun Valley Club for a wonderful, relaxing lunch at the restaurant. Whether he wants to tuck into a hearty meal following his biking adventure or wishes to keep it light for afternoon activities, there is something for everyone on the locally-sourced, super fresh menu.

A few hours on the Sawtooth Putting Course is fun for the entire family.

A few hours on the Sawtooth Putting Course is fun for the entire family.

Following lunch, dad may want to simply relax on the patio and take in the view, or if he is a golfer, there are numerous choices to consider. One is to take the whole family to the Sawtooth Putting Course for 18 holes of fun for every skill level and age. Playing the front or back nine at the storied Trail Creek or White Clouds courses would also make many men very happy.

Dad not a golfer or a biker? How about a scenic trail ride on horseback from the Horsemen’s Center. These gentle rides last up to an hour-and-a-half and offer never-ending vistas and views from atop Dollar Mountain. Then head down to the Konditorei at the Sun Valley Village for the finest coffee drinks, pastries, hearty breakfasts and fabulous lunches. This time of year, dining on the Konditorei deck cannot be beat.

Local trails are convenient and great for hiking or mountain biking.

Local trails are convenient and great for hiking or mountain biking.

Or how about a family hike up nearby Proctor Mountain with a picnic lunch up top? The Short Line Deli in the Sun Valley Village will prepare made-to-order sandwiches and offers chips, drinks, desserts and salads to round out the meal.

Maybe the best Father's Day for dad is some alone time with mom. Book a creekside table at Trail Creek Cabin to enjoy great food or a drink.

Maybe the best Father's Day for dad is some alone time with mom. Book a creekside table at Trail Creek Cabin to enjoy great food or a drink.

Maybe a romantic dinner is in order for the man in your life. Book a babysitter and make a reservation on the deck at Trail Creek Cabin or at the Ram patio in the Sun Valley Village. Both offer fine dining in a beautiful atmosphere. Please call restaurant reservations at 208.622.2391 to book your table.

Treat dad to the latest in mountain lifestyle fashion from Brass Ranch.

Treat dad to the latest in mountain lifestyle fashion from Brass Ranch.

As far as gifts go, every store will offer endless ideas. Pop into Pete Lane’s for the latest and greatest bike and hiking gear; the Pro Shop at the Sun Valley Club sells only the best names in golfing hardware as well as the latest styles for the game; Brass Ranch will help any man achieve the look of the mountain lifestyle. Before Father’s Day, take a few hours to shop the Village stores. Dad will be stunned by your thoughtfulness at finding the perfect gift.

There is really so much to do, perhaps you should make a weekend of it. That would allow for fly fishing, as well. There may not be a more relaxing activity for the man who does so much for so many than to wander hip deep into one of the area’s glorious rivers to unplug and unwind.

No matter how you celebrate Father’s Day, be sure to acknowledge the great fathers you know. They deserve a day to remember.

–RES

For my dad (pictured here with an amazing steelhead caught near Stanley this spring), nothing says Father's Day like time on the river. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

For my dad (pictured here with an amazing steelhead caught near Stanley this spring), nothing says Father's Day like time on the river. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

 

 

Along the Banks of Trail Creek

As our server Shauna approached the table to take a drink order with her signature smile, the business of the day began to evaporate into the tumbling water of Trail Creek as it raced just feet from where we sat. The wide wooden deck, perched inches away from the burbling stream, was set with umbrellaed tables and offered a full bar, complete with comfortable bar stools and festooned with twinkling lights.

The deck at beautiful Trail Creek Cabin awaits to make your dining dreams come true!

The deck at beautiful Trail Creek Cabin awaits to make your dining dreams come true!

Welcome to summer at Trail Creek Cabin, Sun Valley’s historic restaurant located 1.5 miles east of the Sun Valley Lodge. This romantic hideaway in the Idaho hills was originally built in 1937 as a hunting lodge and now offers a first-class dining experience featuring a menu filled with the freshest, most local, most seasonal choices available.

There is no better place this summer to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail (pictured is the Hawaiian Cosmopolitan) and delicious, locally-sourced food.

There is no better place this summer to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail (pictured is the Hawaiian Cosmopolitan) and delicious, locally-sourced food.

This summer, creekside dining is a must-do. Though the restaurant normally offers al fresco dining on the lawn adjacent to the restaurant, there is something really special about descending the steps onto the deck. The slight mineral smell of the creek and the sounds it makes as it bounces over rocks and around bends ensure a one-of-a-kind experience.

Through June 21, the menu at Trail Creek Cabin includes a nightly “deck” special, that for $15.95, is a can’t-miss. This week, the special included a grilled New York Steak with crushed red potatoes and seasonal vegetables accompanied by a glass of red wine and ending with homemade cinnamon ice cream.

The daily 'deck special' hit the spot.

The daily 'deck special' hit the spot.

The rest of the menu this summer, under the direction of Chef Wendy Little, is full of delicious details and fan favorites. Small plates include House Smoked Rainbow Trout with potato and watercress salad, a Charcuterie Plate and Ground Elk-Buffalo Sliders. A complement of salads provide a light interlude and rely on locally grown, in-season ingredients. Large plates range from Grilled Eggplant for the vegetarian to a Bone-In Cowboy Rib Eye for those who crave a taste of the wide-open range. Of course, wonderful fish dishes like Cedar Planked Alaskan King Salmon and Potato Wrapped Idaho Sturgeon with sublime sides are also available.

Trail Creek Cabin is also known for it’s hand-crafted cocktails and extensive wine list. Bartender Richard carefully prepares Basil Lemondrops using fresh basil that is still growing behind the bar. Another favorite is a Huckleberry Mojito, full of the flavor of fresh local huckleberries. My favorite is the Hawaiian Cosmopolitan made with fresh pineapple. It’s a trip to the beach without ever having to leave the beautiful Idaho mountains.

My chicken was juicy and flavorful, perfect for a summer's evening.

My chicken was juicy and flavorful, perfect for a summer's evening.

Save room for dessert as Trail Creek Cabin’s enormous “Mile High” Mud Pie is something you have to taste to believe. They also serve local ice creams, a wonderful chocolate lava cake and specialties featuring in-season berries and fruit.

For dinner one night recently, our party of four enjoyed a relaxing dinner on the deck and ordered a wide selection from the menu. I sampled the night’s Market Salad that was comprised of the freshest local asparagus, crumbled egg, a bit of breadcrumb and hazelnuts. It was accompanied by a wild mushroom strudel and was absolutely perfect. Our large plates ranged from the Bone-In Cowboy Rib Eye (with the best buttermilk onion rings ever), the deck special, Brick Red Organic Rotisserie Chicken and the Slow Cooked Heritage Pork Ribs. Delicious!

Bring your friends and enjoy a memorable meal along the banks of Trail Creek.

Bring your friends and enjoy a memorable meal along the banks of Trail Creek.

To make a special night even more special, book a round-trip carriage ride to Trail Creek Cabin from the Resort. This approximately half-hour journey includes beautiful scenery and the chance to take life at a slighter slower pace. For details on this memorable option and to ask about the Mountain Romance package, please call 208.622.2387.

Reservations for dinner are available by calling 208.622.2097 and dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Dinner on the deck beside Trail Creek – it really feels, and tastes, like summer!

–RES

Giddy Up!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

–RES

A meal at Trail Creek Cabin is made even more special by a horse drawn carriage ride

A meal at Trail Creek Cabin is made even more special by a horse drawn carriage ride.

The Taste of Summer

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!

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

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

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

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!

–RES

Whether you dine inside or on the patio, the Sun Valley Club is a great place to celebrate

Whether you dine inside or on the patio, the Sun Valley Club is a great place to celebrate