Sun Valley (Idaho)

Bald Mountain Sun Valley Idaho

Sun Valley is a mountain resort city at 6,000 ft (1,830 m), in central Idaho. It was incorporated in 1967.


Bald Mountain ski area as seen from Ketchum Idaho

Sun Valley is located in Blaine County, which began its life over a century ago in much the same way other Idaho mountain communities did: as a hardscrabble mining area. By 1900, mining was clearly in decline in southern Idaho. Many Idaho mountain mining settlements eventually became ghost towns, but the Blaine County communities managed to hang on, mostly due to the sheep industry.

In 1936, tourism entered Blaine County in a big way with the opening of the Sun Valley resort, which attracted the rich and famous from day one. A particularly famous early visitor was Ernest Hemingway, who spent his final days in the area and is buried in Ketchum. Today many well-known people maintain first or second homes in Blaine County.

Sun Valley revolves around tourism, with skiing in the winter and outdoor activities in the nearby Sawtooth National Recreation Area in the summer dominating the itinerary. The area has a reputation as a highbrow and unapologetically liberal enclave in largely conservative Idaho. While vegan and organic lifestyles may be openly scoffed at only a few miles away, it's no problem at all to indulge them here.

Get in

By air

The nearest airport is Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, served by Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines. It is reachable from the gateway cities of Boise (ID), Seattle (WA), Los Angeles (CA), Oakland (CA) and Salt Lake City (UT). These cities are served by most major airlines and are met by Sun Valley’s two connecting carriers. Horizon Air now offers daily direct, non-stop flights between Sun Valley and Los Angeles, Oakland, and Seattle.

By bus or shuttle

Sun Valley Stages offer charter service to Sun Valley from Boise, Twin Falls, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls.

Sun Valley Express offers daily bus service to the resort from the Boise, Idaho airport.

By car

Sun Valley is located adjacent to the town of Ketchum on Idaho State Route 75, about two hours north of Twin Falls.

Get around

Everything in Ketchum is accessible by walking as well. There is a walking/bike path between the two cities, about 1 mile. Bicycle rentals abound.


The Hemingway Memorial




The Sun Valley area is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, either to visit or to live in. Out of sheer economic necessity, many people who work in the area commute daily from as far away as Twin Falls. If money is no object, pretty much anything can be had here. Otherwise you may want to do as many of the locals do: see the sights, then head for less expensive locales.




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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, May 21, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.