This week, we had a small family reunion of sorts with my two aunts visiting to Sun Valley for some summertime fun. One is a frequent visitor, but the other had not been to the area for nearly 20 years. Wanting to offer something new and fresh to my Aunt Nancy who is here quite a bit and something quintessentially Sun Valley for my Aunt Marilyn, plus something fun for us locals – my mother and children – one activity seemed just perfect: a ride on the Roundhouse Gondola and lunch at historic Roundhouse Restaurant.
Perfect for every age, fitness level and first-time or repeat visitor, the ride on the gondola is breathtaking and easily navigable. Our group of seven convened at the River Run Lodge and quickly purchased lift tickets from the friendly attendant. There are special prices available for seniors and children, so be sure to remember to inquire if anyone in your party is young or just young at heart. As we settled onto the gondola and the ground began to fall away beneath the car, I knew this was a great call. The out-of-town aunts looked back and forth, taking in the full view over Ketchum and across the Pioneer Mountains. We chatted about biking and hiking trails as well as ski runs as the entire panorama looking east came into focus.
Roundhouse did not disappoint, either. Open for lunch during the busy summer months, the historic one-of-a-kind restaurant perched at 7000 feet above sea level serves either on the expansive deck, or with white cloth decked tables indoors. We chose to eat indoors and ordered from a simple menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Though tastes varied, everyone found something to please the palate and our choices included the salmon salad with fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, hardboiled egg, cucumber, Roquefort and rice wine vinaigrette; the 7000’ burger with olive remoulade, a brioche bun and jarlsberg; the salmon burger with red onion and sun dried tomato vinaigrette and the Austrian chicken salad sandwich served on an herb croissant with celery, onion, apples and tarragon aioli. Kids can choose from either a Roundhouse burger or Mac and Cheese. All meals come with a choice of homemade potato salad, homemade coleslaw, green salad or some pretty great chips. Soft drinks, wine and a full bar were available.
Our meal was leisurely and filled with laughter and stories and really good food. The view wasn’t too bad, either! The ride down the gondola was another eye popper and when we reached River Run Plaza it was certain we had enjoyed a true Sun Valley experience. Whether you have enjoyed a stay in Sun Valley countless times or have just arrived, a ride on the gondola shouldn’t be missed. Also remember, that there is no better reward for a hike or bike ride up to Roundhouse or the top of Baldy than lunch at Roundhouse and a ride back down.
Roundhouse will be open through for the rest of the summer season from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Seating is first come, first served. Don’t miss the view and the experience. It is something to remember. After all, Roundhouse has been doing it right since 1939! –RES