Boise is not only the capital of Idaho but also it’s largest city. Boise is often ranked at the top of fastest growing cities lists in part due to its great access and proximity to the outdoors. Whether its a canyon excursion south into the desert or a whitewater thrill ride north of town boise has a lot of options of all sorts of speeds. Although we are going to be focused on one of Boise’s best attributes and thats being less than a 3 hour drive from the #1 ski resort in the nation. Not only is Sun Valley a must for any winter lover it is also a mountain hub of year around sun soaked activities and sights to see.
We will start off with a bit of a winter focus with some stops along the way but then it gets into the year around possibilities of the Wood River Valley.
Many thousands of skiers drive by the town of Fairfield, Idaho on their way to Sun Valley without even knowing there is a great little ski hill tucked away in the mountains to the north. After a wildfire damaged some equipment during the summer 2020 Soldier Mountain has rebuilt and installed a new magic carpet. With 1150 acres serviced by two lifts and a vertical drop of 1425ft soldier has plenty to keep you entertained. But if that is still not enough, their cat skiing is the most extensive in the state and access some of the best terrain around these parts.
Sun Valley’s southern sister is a western mountain town with a lot of character in and of its own. In Hailey you will find a lot more family and community oriented events. Such as free night skiing at the local rope tow on Rotarun or Suns hockey games. Hailey boast a calendar full of must see events as well as some great dinning venues that are not to be cruised right by. Most people who visit Sun Valley start their journey in Hailey when they land at the airport, but be sure to slow down and take in what this awesome little town has to offer.
SKI Magazine ranked Sun Valley the #1 resort for the 2020 season and if you have ever skied here you know why. It isn’t the 2,434 ski able acres and 3,400 vertical feet, “What seems to capture the hearts of most visitors right off the bat is the authentic Western town of Ketchum that anchors the ski resort” said SKI Magazine. Sun Valley has a rich and storied history, but also looks forward with recent investments and innovations including a terrain expansion this season of over 380 acres of expert terrain, featuring chutes, glades and bowls, called Sunrise, and new high-speed quad chairlift named Broadway. Sun Valley has terrain for everyone from the beginner slopes over on Dollar to the leg burners on Baldy as well as plenty of off mountain activities to keep everyone entertained no matter how long your stay.
Once you’re in sun valley you will quickly realize you’re probably actually in Ketchum… the two little towns have merged together to be one of the best western ski town atmospheres. If the downhill sports are not your cup of tea then there are plenty of places to go ice skating or snowshoeing around town. Whether its art, nightlife, or family time you will not be idle with your time in Ketchum unless thats the goal.
Where to next?
One of the best parts of a getaway to Sun valley is your next move. If backtracking is not your style and you want to see some more new stuff then why not head north to Stanley? Stanley is a tiny town of 60 some people nestled under the idilic views of the Sawtooth Mountains. Looping back from Stanley through Idaho City won’t add too much time to your return drive to Boise. That being said we highly recommend you check road conditions since this route is often closed in the winter. Also, depending on your time line you can continue on the Southern Idaho Ski Road-trip or check out Idaho’s Scenic Byways.
Boise is a great mid sized city that is quickly being discovered for its great access to not only mountain activities but some of the top outdoor recreation venues in the country! So next time you need to escape the hustle and bustle cruise east for a few hours and come check out historic Sun Valley!