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

Bring on the Beatles (or at least a fab facsimile)

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

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

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.

–RES

The magic happens beneath the sail of the Pavilion, but the views are still pretty magical -- even from inside

The magic happens beneath the sail of the Pavilion, but the views are still pretty magical -- even from inside

Shopping, Sales and Sunshine

Ah… the unofficial beginning of the magical summer season in Sun Valley is upon us. Temperatures are soaring, skies are blue and it’s time to enjoy a three-day weekend.

In addition to the bustling Sun Valley Wellness Festival now underway at locations throughout the Resort, there is another way to spend a few hours this holiday weekend – shopping the amazing sales at the Sun Valley Village and River Run Plaza.

Panache, the upscale boutique in Sun Valley Village, is having a sidewalk sale that you, too, will give a thumbs up!

Panache, the upscale boutique in Sun Valley Village, is having a sidewalk sale that you, too, will give a thumbs up!

These sales are something locals look forward to every year, as our beautiful boutiques and specialty stores roll out the finest clothing, accessories, shoes and boots, athletic wear, ski wear, Sun Valley signature wear and even toys at deep discounts.

Sales officially began on Thursday and excited shoppers thronged to the Sun Valley Village to find top designer wear marked to sell at prices to make a deal hunters’ heart sing! At Panache, a sophisticated ladies’ boutique that carries top contemporary designers, the lunchtime crowd was thick at the table offering $50 jeans (only the best names), discounted cashmere, boots and racks and racks of gorgeous summer dresses, blouses, skirts and pants. Ladies were picking out large selections of beautiful pieces that they could wear that evening and into the weekend – no waiting for the snow to fall again this winter to enjoy this sale!

Brass Ranch at the base of River Run is discounting the finest ski fashions and its sister store in the Village has beautiful summer fashions on sale

Brass Ranch at the base of River Run is discounting the finest ski fashions and its sister store in the Village has beautiful summer fashions and accessories on sale

Across the walkway at Brass Ranch, lovely summer clothing for men and women was also on offer at incentivizing sale prices. Top name designer apparel, accessories and shoes are on sale and they also carry other summer necessities like sunglasses.

The River Run location of Brass Ranch is the place to be this weekend to think winter, as the best names in skiwear are deeply discounted. Now is the time to grab that ski parka you were eying all summer and a pair of pants to match! The prices cannot be beat right now and the selection is great. Just think how fantastic you will look on opening day next November.

From the fashion forward to the practical, Pete Lane's covers all your needs to get the most out of Sun Valley's endless summer days

From the fashion forward to the practical, Pete Lane's covers all your needs to get the most out of Sun Valley's endless summer days

Pete Lane’s, which carries fabulous and functional clothing and gear for all your Sun Valley activities, not only has soft goods on sale, but bike shoes, hiking shoes and lots of outdoor necessities. Be sure to stop by and stock up on anything you need before venturing out onto the trails.

The Sun Valley Signature Shop is also offering great deals over Memorial Day weekend on, you guessed it, Sun Valley signature items. If you are in town for the Wellness Festival or just to enjoy everything the early season has to offer, don’t forget to pick up a Sun Valley hoodie or gifts for friends and family who weren’t lucky enough to come with you.

All the sales people are cheerful and will help you find exactly what you’re looking for. And don’t forget that in addition to the sidewalk sales, all these top stores are filled inside with the latest trends and must-have items for the summer season.

Don't forget friends and family! The Sun Valley Signature Shop has great merchandise, on sale this weekend!

Don't forget friends and family. The Sun Valley Signature Shop has great merchandise, on sale this weekend!

In the interest of research, I brought home an eyelet white summer sundress (very on-trend right now!) and a great pair of shorts from the sales rack. Full disclosure: I also succumbed to a not-on-sale dress from Panache just because this seasons’ summer fashions are just too pretty to pass up!

Once you’ve shopped ‘til you’ve dropped, stop into the Konditorei or Gretchen’s for a re-energizing lunch or grab a sandwich or sweet treat to go from the Short Line Deli and a la mode. Who knows? You might be ready for round two of shopping!

Enjoy!

–RES

Music to savvy shoppers ears

Music to savvy shoppers ears

Summer on Baldy Awaits

Trails criss cross Bald Mountain in summer offering hikers and mountain bikers countless beautiful options for days filled with exercise and sunshine

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 (photo Tal Roberts)

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 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)

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!

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!

 

–RES

Spend your Summer at the Rink

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

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

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.

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!

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.

–RES

And so it begins... my daughter Blake and her friend Alex, two future National Showcase Champions

And so it begins... my daughter Blake and her friend Alex, two future National Showcase Champions

You’re Never too Young for Wellness

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 and enjoy on Saturday morning, May 24

Debra Drake provides children the opportunity to move, enjoy and get centered on Saturday morning, May 24

Because of this, this year’s Sun Valley Wellness Festival, now in its 17th year, offers special programming for the special younger people in our lives. Based in the Sun Valley Village for four days over Memorial Day weekend, the Festival offers something for everyone, including kiddos – and their parents. In fact, one of the most highly anticipated speakers at this year’s event is Kim John Payne, author of the wildly popular parenting book, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. More on Mr. Payne in a bit …

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

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

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

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

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.

–RES

The Boiler Room at the Sun Valley Village is HQ for children's wellness events

The Boiler Room at the Sun Valley Village is HQ for children's wellness events