Two Wheeled Nirvana
Fighting gravity on the way up and harnessing it on the down is the common theme here. When Sun Valley thaws, the faithful trade boards for bikes and don't look back for nearly six months. Over 400 miles of singletrack (including the resort’s lift-serviced gravity trails), hundreds of miles of scenic byways, country roads and the town’s 30 miles of paved, scenic bike paths, adds up to bike Mecca.
Known for flowy, buff singletrack complemented with more rowdy, advanced terrain in the sub-alpine and alpine, riders can turn it up for weeks on end without ever repeating the same ride. In a place where every ride takes you somewhere magical, it's as though you've arrived in mountain bike nirvana. As of summer 2014, Sun Valley Resort added lift-accessed mountain biking on Bald Mountain. With 3,400 feet of vertical drop to the valley floor, the European-style ski mountain lends itself quite well to a hair-on-fire big mountain experience on two wheels.
Hailey and Ketchum both offer bike parks with closed loop pump tracks suitable for everyone from kids on Stryder bikes to adults looking for a bit of air time and a lot of flow. Ketchum's is adjacent to Hemingway Elementary School while Hailey's is adjacent to the Wood River High School and Blaine County Aquatic Center.
Although Sun Valley is known as a grip-it-and-rip-it sort of knobby tire town, the road cycling isn't too shabby either. With over 30 miles of perfectly paved bike paths, Highway 75 linking town to the high mountain valley north to Galena and even into the Stanley Basin, miles of meditative road miles lie ahead. And if you have caught the gravel road craze, even better, as the region is littered nearly limitless country roads connecting the mountains to the north and farm country to the south.
Need to rent a bike, buy a few necessities, shoot the breeze with a shop employee to get the best trail beta? See the list below.
Tuesday Night World Championships: This is the local hero ride which leaves every Tuesday night at 5:30 from Sun Summit North in Ketchum.
Nappy's Wednesday nighter: This free, no-drop fun ride leaves from the Elephant's Perch each week for a prompt start at 5:00 p.m.