If you have hiked, biked, skied or snowboarded on Bald Mountain, particularly on the River Run side in and around the Frenchmen’s runs, you may have noticed some unhealthy looking trees. The culprits? Douglas-fir beetles (the population exacerbated by wildfires in the region over the past decade or so) and parasitic dwarf mistletoe.
In a newly announced measure, Sun Valley with the Ketchum Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service is undertaking measures to manage certain forest stands on the mountain. A large-scale tree-thinning project was started in June and will continue for a few years. The aim is to reduce insect and disease infestation, improve forest health and growing conditions, enhance tree species diversity and reduce fuel loading from dead and dying trees.
Expect more of this after tree-thinning measures are put into place on Baldy. You can practically taste the powder!
An intended consequence of this work will also benefit recreationalists on Baldy. In addition to creating healthier and more fire-safe forests, the work will carve out new glade skiing. By next winter, you will be able to dip into large gladed areas, find amazing pockets of powder and enjoy new terrain consisting of open grown park-like stand conditions. Sounds pretty glorious on a hot summer’s day, doesn’t it?
The Sawtooth National Forest, USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management have authority over the 3,332 acre playground we call the Bald Mountain Ski Area. All entities are involved with Sun Valley Company in making this a successful endeavor.
The new efforts on Bald Mountain will improve the forest's health and enhance the experience for summer and winter recreational users
Sun Valley’s tip-top mountain operations staff will complete the work. This involves employing, for the first time, a track hoe with a special blade. This “masticator” blade meets the challenges of Baldy’s steep slopes and can quickly bring down trees with a 14-inch diameter or less, turning trees into compost where they lie. Kerry O’Brien, grooming trail crew manager for Baldy for 30 years, is operating the special blade and is on the search for the healthiest looking trees to preserve while taking out the dead wood.
All work will be done under the standard of Best Management Practices, reducing impacts to soil, wildlife and healthy vegetation and will affect 182 acres of timbered stands over a three to five year period.
By summer’s end, work on about 25 acres in Frenchmen’s will be complete.
Picture yourself here, enjoying new gladed terrain on Baldy next winter
With this concerted effort, Baldy will stay a verdant green in summer and boast a healthier tree population year-round. There will also be a little more white to play in during the winter. It’s a win-win!
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
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
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 ArtsSummer 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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Bald Mountain will be closed to the public on Monday June 30th. All access points to Bald Mountain (River Run, Warm Springs & Cold Springs) are included in the closure. The closure is due to the helicopter removal of the Sunnyside and Flying Squirrel lift towers and is for the public’s safety. Please enjoy Bald Mountain anytime before or after June 30th.
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 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
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
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!
Hiking on Baldy is fun for the whole family. Bring water, wear good shoes and dress in layers!
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
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!
Back by popular demand! Yoga on the mountain will take place all Summer long! This is a free event that will take place at the Sun Valley Village on June 28th and July 26th. All other times will take place at the Base of River Run.
The Kids Adventure Games is an adventure challenge course designed and run especially for kids in teams of two, ages 6 – 14, involving a range of obstacles in a mountain environment. This years event in Sun Valley will take place on August 30th – 31st. For more information please visit http://kidsadventuregames.com/2014/01/29/sun-valley-id-aug-30-31/