New Year’s on Dollar

2014 started on a sunny high note for Sun Valley holiday-makers ringing in the new on Dollar Mountain. Slopes were filled with smiling faces on the first days of the New Year and family fun was the name of the game.

The Swanson and Gabbert families enjoyed an afternoon on Dollar's Tubing Hill

The Swanson and Gabbert families of Seattle enjoyed an afternoon on Dollar's Tubing Hill

Skiers and snowboarders honed their skills in lessons, navigated the new Prospector Park skill-building terrain area, hit the Family Cross Course, rode the rails and soaked up the sun and the beautiful views.

At the end of an exhilarating ride, the Swanson girls are ready for more

At the end of an exhilarating ride, the girls are ready for more

The Swanson family, visiting for the holidays from Seattle, came out for an afternoon of tubing with their three daughters and friends. As guests at the Resort, their condo was a short walk from Dollar’s slopes and they strolled over to enjoy the tubing course.

“It was a great way to spend the afternoon,” said mom Mari Swanson. “The kids had a terrific time and it was a nice break from skiing, but still a great way to be outside.”

The feeling on Dollar at New Year's? Woo hoo!

The feeling on Dollar at New Year's? Woo hoo!

I spent part of the beginning of the New Year on Dollar, as well, making my first tentative turns following knee surgery last spring. Accompanied by my patient 8-year-old and a patient friend, I tried out my repaired leg on the gentle slopes of Quarter Dollar before progressing all the way to Dollar Face by the day’s end. While my technique and style might be slow to come back, the joy of being on the snow and on skis with Sun Valley at my feet, returned immediately.

My son and friend made sure to try out Prospector Park (thumbs up), a few park features and the Cross Course. We enjoyed an al fresco lunch on the fabulous Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge patio where great food is accompanied by a big show and it seems the sun is always shining.  Even when you live here, there is no better way to feel like you’re on vacation than lunch on the patio.

Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge is HQ for great food, lift and tubing tickets and even super post holiday shopping for gear

Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge is HQ for great food, lift and tubing tickets and even super post holiday shopping for gear

They say the way you spend January 1 sets the tone for the year to follow. Hopefully, the months to come will be as enjoyable, laughter-filled and memory-making for those who spent New Year’s Day on Dollar as that beautiful day last Wednesday.

Wishing you all peace, joy and lots of fun in the snow in 2014!


Dollar is all about family fun

Dollar is all about family fun

Lift Line: Full Moon Nights

What to do when the moon lights up SunValley

By Mike McKenna

Each month, a full moon reigns over the sky, lighting up Sun Valley in a whole new way. To make the most of out these bright nights–including the nearly as bright waxing and waning days surrounding the full moon–here’s a rundown of some fun stuff to do in Sun Valley when the moonlight is aglow.


Full Moon Nordic & Moonlight Dinner 

Departing from the Sun Valley Club & Nordic Center and offering spectacular views of Sun Valley and the surrounding mountains, these cross country ski tours and moonlight dinners beginning at 6 pm. For more information about the skiing or the dinners, please call 208.622.2135.


Full Moon Dinners Galena Lodge

Take a moonlit ride up to Galena Lodge nor of Ketchum for a fabulous and unforgettable five-course meal. The dinners do not include any group excursions on the snow, but visitors are welcome to go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing under the moonlight before or after dinner. Reservations are required, so give them a call (208.726.4010) to assure your seat and hear the menu for the month.


Sleigh Rides

For a magical and memorable moonlit dinner for the whole family, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride to Trail Creek Cabin. Sleigh rides begin December 17, and run three times a night, Tuesdays through Saturdays, throughout the season. Bundle up, grab a hot toddy from the bar at the Inn and enjoy the ride. Due to the wild popularity of the sleigh ride dinners, reservations are required. PLease call 208.622.2135.


 Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Sledding, Ice Skating and Snowmobiling

If scheduling a full moon outing ahead of time is too much work, don’t be afraid to find a moonlit adventure of your own. There are plenty of reasons why USA Today named Sun Valley one of the Top 10 ski resorts in the world for non-alpine skiers.

 The Wood River Trail System offers 30 miles of free, groomed trails for snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Snowmobiliers can ride the 500 miles of groomed trails north of Ketchum, or head over Galena Summit to ride some of the 170 miles of trails in the Smiley Creek/Stanley area, or head a little southeast to the 200 miles of trails near Fairfield.

You could skate on the same surface Olympian champions like Sasha Cohen and Brian Boitano do at Sun Valley Lodge’s ice rink. Rentals are available and skating is open until 8 p.m. nightly. There are also "natural" rinks at Atkinson Park in Ketchum or Roberta McKercher Park in Hailey.


Tubing at Dollar Mountain

Rubber meets the snow in three 600-ft. lanes at Dollar Mountain’s Snow Tubing Park. Fun for the whole family, the tubing park is open daily. For more details, check here

Or, you could simply find a well-lit spot just outside your own neighborhood to go snowshoeing or sledding. If you do go on a trip of your own, please make sure you take all the proper safety precautions and always be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be returning.



Terrain Park Opening Saturday!

Sun Valley’s killer new Snow Park Technologies-designed terrain park on Dollar Mountain is opening in a matter of days. Complete with a huge jump line down Old Bowl and 12 new rails, boxes, and jibs, this is one of the biggest things Sun Valley has ever seen.

The boxes and other features have been in the works for weeks now, with some of the most legit terrain park experts in the country coming to put them together, even installing them on Lower River Run for the beginning of the season. Painted with Sun Valley’s signature blue and sun emblem, boarders, park rats, skiers, and even telemarkers have been stoked to practice and hone their skills on Lower River Run since Opening Day. Snow Park Technologies cat driver, Corley Howard, one of the best cat drivers in the world has been around town for the past few weeks, helping Sun Valley and new park manager, Brian Callahan, get ready for the opening of the new park. Callahan has recently been brought over from terrain park central, Breckenridge, CO, and is amped for the terrain park to get open and for the word to get out. His goal, he says, for the next few years is to get Sun Valley on top in terms of terrain parks and features.

Starting this Saturday, December 19th, the entirety of Dollar’s new park, with ALL the rails, the HUGE jump line, and the rest of the features being added to the park’s arsenal will open. Head over there early to be first in line at the Hip or check out the skills of some of the Valley’s best athletes flying off the true tables and gap jumps around the new park.

Also opening Saturday is Baldy’s 18-foot Superpipe and Dollar’s revamped tubing park. Check out Snow Park Technologies’ website for more about what they are doing in the ski/snowboard industry ( Here are some pics of the park in progress over the past weekend.