SUN VALLEY a complete guide
Our offices: 131 Sun Valley Rd, Ketchum 411 Fifth St E, Ketchum 360 East Ave N, Ketchum 141 N Main St, Hailey
Sun Valley has a bit of everything but not too much of anything • Sun Valley is a sophisticated mountain town, hosting world-class speakers, performers, and festivals throughout the year. It’s also down-to-earth for a resort town, with an unending trail system, countless campgrounds that begin just three miles out of town, and 1500 sheep that trot down Main Street every October. • Sun Valley is modern, with boutique hotels, high-end restaurants, and the world’s greatest snow-making equipment helping blanket our mountain with perfect snow. It’s also a traditional mountain town, with Western roots that still permeate our culture, and jeans and boots passing for dressing up. • Sun Valley is busy and full of people during the winter and summer months, when skiers and summer tourists fill the slopes, the streets, the rivers, and the restaurants and bars. It’s also an incredibly quiet and easily-navigable village where ten people on a ski run feels crowded and the locals will always make room for you at their table. • Sun Valley is home to multi-million-dollar estates and exquisite ranches, owned by some of the most influential people in the business and entertainment worlds. It’s also a place where being ostentatious and opulent will never be in style, and movies stars and athletes will smile and say hi. • Sun Valley is easy to get to, with nonstop flights from six major hubs, and one-stop flights from everywhere else. Skiing is 15 minutes from the airport. It’s also off the beaten track, the crowds are few, and the space unlimited.
Sun Valley Properties
Winter Events & Festivals In addition to the concerts, lectures, trivia nights, and movie screenings, Sun Valley hosts a repertoire of events all year long.
December Christmas in Sun Valley Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade
Here is a glance at some of the more popular events that fill our calendar. Visit visitsunvalley.com and mtexpress.com for the most up-to-date information.
February Baldy Challenge Opera Winter Festival Banff Mountain Film Festival Stanley Winterfest Skijouring Contest Family of Woman Film Festival Boulder Mountain Nordic Ski Fest
Galena Trails Winter Benefit
Boulder Mountain Nordic Fest
Christmas Eve in Sun Valley
Spring Events & Festivals March Sun Valley Film Festival Janss Pro-Am Ski Classic Pond Skim Hockey Classic April Sawtooth Quaffing Championships Baldy Bash May
Pond Skim Hockey
Redfish Lake Memorial Run Opening Day for Fly Fishing Hailey Memorial Day Ceremony
Opening Day for Fly Fishing
SV Film Festival
Redfish Memorial Lake Run
Summer Events & Festivals Wine Auction
Sun Valley on Ice
Summer Music Festival
Sawtooth Relay Sun Valley Brewfest Ketch’em Alive (thru August) Sheeptown Drag Races Summer Solstice Soirée Farmers’ Markets (thru Oct Jazz in the Park (thru Aug) Sun Valley Wellness Festival The Advocates Soirée
July Higher Ground Gala Hailey Days of the Old West Hailey Rodeo Allen & Company Sun Valley on Ice Ballet Sun Valley Swiftsure Cowboy Ball Ketchum Arts Festival Sun Valley Wine Auction Sun Valley Writers’ Conference Sun Valley Forum Sun Valley Tour de Force Galena Grinder Sun Valley Music Festival (thru Aug) August Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival Killebrew-Thompson Memorial WRV Studio Tour Rebecca’s Private Idaho Tour YMCA Benefit
Rebecca’s Private Idaho
Fall Events & Festivals September Wagon Days Boulder Bike Tour Oktoberfest October Trailing of the Sheep SV Jazz & Music Festival November SVSEF Wild Game Dinner Firefighter Ball Opening Day on Baldy Turkey Trot
Opening Day on Baldy
Sun Valley Jazz & Music Festival
Trailing of the Sheep
Blaine County Demographics POPULATION of the WOOD RIVER VALLEY Total Population: 23,249 (2020) Median Age: 43 (Idaho is 37) College Graduate: 42% (Idaho is 27%) HOUSEHOLDS & INCOME Total Households: 8832 Median HH Income: $59,892 (Idaho is $55,499) Average House Value: $461,500 Unemployment: 2.3% (Idaho is 2.9%)
LOCAL WEBSITES Ketchum Sun Valley Hailey Bellevue
Sun Valley Climate MONTH AVG HIGH AVG LOW AVG PRECIP Jan 32 8 2.10” Feb 36 10 1.82” Bald Mountain receives an average of 220” of Mar 44 19 1.68” snowfall every winter Apr 53 27 1.25” (and the manmade snow May 62 34 1.76” ensures that the mounJune 71 40 1.49” tain opens Thanksgiving July 81 45 .64” Day every year!). Aug 80 43 .67” There are 205 sunny Sept 70 35 .91” days per year in Sun Oct 57 28 1.37” Valley. Nov 42 17 1.73” Dec 31 8 2.61”5
Tax Rates CORPORATE INCOME TAX 7.4% INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX 1.6% to 7.4% PROPERTY TAX 1.275% (Urban) .832 (Rural) SALES TAX 6% Each year the Mountain Express publishes their Blaine County Economic Almanac. Click here for the most recent version.
Local Education PUBLIC SCHOOLS Alturas Elementary (K-5) blaineschools.org/alturas Bellevue Elementary (K-5) blaineschools.org/bellevue
Silver Creek School (9-12) blaineschools.org/schs Syringa Mountain School (K-8 Charter Public) syringamountainschool.org
Hailey Elementary (K-5) blaineschools.org/hailey
PRIVATE SCHOOLS The Community School (PreK-12) communityschool.org
Ernest Hemingway STEAM School (K-8) blaineschools.org/hemingway
The Sage School (6-12) thesageschool.org
Wood River Middle School (6-8) blaineschools.org/wrms
Pioneer Montessori School (PK-6) pioneermontessorischool.org
Wood River High School (9-12) blaineschools.org/wrhs
Church of the Big Wood School (PK-1) bigwoodschool.com
Local Recreational Resources FISHING & ADVENTURE GUIDES Far & Away Adventures | far-away.com Fly Sun Valley (paragliding) | flysunvalley.com Lost River Outfitters | lostriveroutfitters.com Picabo Angler | picaboangler.net Silver Creek Outfitters | silver-creek.com Sturtevant’s | sturtevants-sv.com Sun Valley Outfitters | sunvalleyoutfitters.com
SKI / BIKE / GEAR STORES Backwoods Sports | backwoodsmountainsports.com Baldy Sports (used) | Facebook page Board Bin | boardbin.com Elephant’s Perch | elephantsperch.com Formula Sports | formulasports.com Idaho Cycles | idaho-cycles.com Pete Lane’s | sunvalley.com Ski Tek | skitek.us Sturtevant’s | sturtevants-sv.com GYMS & HEALTH CLUBS Boulder Mtn Crossfit | bouldermountaincrossfit.com Sun Summit South | crankandcarve.com Gravity Fitness | gravityfitness-tennis.com High Altitude | highaltitudefitness.com The Mill | themillsv.com GOLF COURSES Rapid Results | rapidresultspersonaltraining.com Bigwood GC | golflink.com YMCA | woodriverymca.org Elkhorn GC | sunvalley.com Zenergy | zenergysv.com Trail Creek/Sun Valley | sunvalley.com White Clouds | sunvalley.com Valley Club | thevalleyclub.org
Known as “Idaho’s Alps,” the Sawtooth Basin is home to some of the country’s most isolated, and beautiful, backcountry. 30 miles from downtown Ketchum and you are at Galena Summit, with views of the Sawtooth Range that deserve a stop. From the pass, you enter a world of lakes, jagged granite peaks, wildlife, the headwaters of the great Salmon River, and dozens of cabins, homesteads, and mountain estates. The town of Stanley is the jumping off point for all sorts of adventure, and the 500 or so people who call it home do so for the endless access to trails, peaks, lakes, rivers, and ghost towns. One trip to the Sawtooth Basin, whether it be to Redfish Lake or to the Stanley Bakery, and you’ll be hooked too. Insider’s tip: The headwaters of the famous Salmon River start just over Galena Pass-follow the road as far as you can. And get a shake at the Smiley Creek Lodge (in the summer and fall).
north of ketchum
Just a couple miles north of Ketchum, the change is palpable. There are fewer homes, frequent National Forest signs, and the Boulder Mountains rise up more suddenly than seems possible. Driving through this stretch, which is roughly from Adams Gulch to the SNRA Headquarters, it is difficult to get a sense of where the houses are. This is the allure of the area, as the large estates have plenty of cover up hidden gulches and along the Big Wood River. The more populous areas include developments such as Hulen Meadows, Lake Creek, and Chocolate Gulch, while many of the freestanding estates are gated and tucked along the river. If you’re looking for secluded space, unrivaled views, and convenience, head north. Insider’s tip: Drive up Lake Creek Road four miles beyond the pavement to the lake to see trout swimming in crystal clear water.
The cultural hub of the Sun Valley area, Ketchum is home to some of the area’s top restaurants, art galleries, and shopping. River Run, Sun Valley Ski Resort’s main base area, is at the southern end of town. Many world-renowned festivals happen in Ketchum, including Wagon Days and Trailing of the Sheep. Everything is in walking distance, including a range of restaurants and watering holes that hearken back to Ketchum’s Western roots. Real estate offerings include surprisingly private and secluded homes to sophisticated condos to smaller condos just right for ski getaways. Wherever you call home in this friendly town, you’re guaranteed great views, easy access to the ski lifts, and every possible resort need at your fingertips.
Insider’s tip: Walk 4th street for great street art, and keep your eyes open for the custom-made man-hole covers throughout the city.
Warm Springs distinguishes itself by sitting in an east/west canyon towards the northwest end of Ketchum. Warm Springs Road roughly follows Warm Springs Creek, which, true to its name, has several warm and hot springs feeding it. A second base for the ski mountain, offering steeper terrain and longer-lasting snow, is towards the western end. If you want ski-in/ski-out access, Warm Springs is your destination. It’s a family-friendly neighborhood that boasts exclusive estates to perfect ski getaways. The expansive Warm Springs Dog Park is the most popular place in the valley for canines and their human friends.
Insider’s tip: Take the trail off of Wanderer’s Way (park by the horses) north over the saddle and into Adam’s Gulch--it’s like teleporting. Then you can hike/bike/run for miles and miles.
Sun Valley is where the idea of a ski resort was born in 1936. The venerable, world-renowned Sun Valley Lodge provides the epitome of luxury to guests from all over the world, offering high-end shopping and dining, a modern spa, year-round ice skating, and an outdoor pavilion that hosts free symphonies all summer long. The leader in luxury for over 80 years, Sun Valley is still raising the bar. Mountain lodges and homes featuring large timber and river rock dominate Sun Valley’s structural landscape. Tucked within the trees are condominiums that offer unrivaled luxury in their amenities packages. The golf course, shooting range, Trail Creek, and the SV Opera House make Sun Valley a vacationer’s paradise.
Insider’s tip: Park at the Hemingway Memorial to access the trail up Proctor Mountain and the first chairlift ever made. The Memorial itself is gorgeous and calming too.
Over the saddle from Sun Valley is Elkhorn, where “resort amenities” just might have been invented. Elkhorn prides itself on ease of living, from the bike paths that connect everything, to the easy access to Dollar Mountain and the Elkhorn Golf Course, to the thousands of acres of accessible, “rightout-the-back-door” open space that give Elkhorn its unique flavor. Elkhorn also gets the most sun of anywhere in the Resort Core. Some of the area’s largest parcels and properties exist in Elkhorn. Whether you are soaking up the sunny vistas from the balcony of a mountaintop ranch, or from one of the many convenient condos or townhomes, the views from Elkhorn are unsurpassed--mountains in all directions comprise Elkhorn’s stunning horizons.
Insider’s tip: A smooth and rolling bike path meanders through all of Elkhorn and into Sun Valley and Ketchum.
south of ketchum
You won’t find it on any maps, and locals disagree about where “South of Ketchum” starts and stops. Roads such as East Fork, Greenhorn, Deer Creek, and Zinc Spur branch east and west off Highway 75, leading to riverfront acreage and benches with huge mountain views. Prestigious developments like Starweather, Golden Eagle, Valley Club, and Gimlet sit just off the highway, offering the best in modern mountain living. South of Ketchum features some of the area’s most elegant and palatial estates, making good use of both the Big Wood River and the East Fork of the Big Wood. Homes along East Fork have majestic views of the Pioneer Mountains, and many of the spur roads head deep into wilderness areas.
Insider’s tip: Take East Fork to Cove Creek and look for the sign for “The Narrows” trail. 1/2 mile in, and you’ll see why it is so named.
Hailey, the Wood River Valley’s engine, hosts all of the Blaine County government facilities, the airport, public middle and high schools, and the bulk of the area’s population. Mountains line both sides of town, and water fans can access the Big Wood River from almost anywhere to fish and frolic. With great restaurants and shopping, as well as a burgeoning nightlife scene, Hailey has emerged as a bona-fide destination in its own right. Dotted with neighborhoods rich in character, Hailey boasts modern family homes, “Old Town Hailey” bungalows, and riverside estates that rival any resort town’s. New developments, such as Quigley and Old Cutters, will ensure that Hailey remains the vibrant, bustling economic hub of Sun Valley.
Insider’s tip: Walk the trails in the Draper Reserve and cross the Big Wood River on the beautiful Bow Bridge. Then go eat authentic Mexican and Salvadoran food at Lago Azul’s.
Eighteen miles south of Ketchum is Bellevue, a town with no stoplights and plenty of wide open spaces. Prudent locals and travelers know that there is plenty to do in Bellevue, from great restaurants to secluded paths along the river to the endless backcountry roads going up Slaughterhouse, Muldoon, and Townsend Gulch. Bellevue homes offer space and views galore. Bellevue Farms is one of the most sought-after residential areas in the county, while large ranches and horse farms dominate the area south of town. As real and perceived distances between towns shrink, Bellevue will continue to grow and play a major role in Sun Valley’s economy.
Insider’s tip: Some of the Valley’s best food is in Bellevue. the South Valley Pizzeria, Mahoney’s (get the Jucy Lucy Burger), Lucy’s Breakfast, and Fuego are all outstanding and full of character.
south blaine county
Head south out of Bellevue and the valley truly opens up. The South Valley is wide open, dotted with farms and ranches and laced with dirt roads taking the intrepid explorer deep into the lunar hills and mountains. There are a couple of towns in South Valley, such as Garnett, Picabo, Magic, and Carey, but much of the population (not more than 1000 total) is spread out and rural. There is unlimited recreation down south, from boating on Magic Reservoir to fishing on Silver Creek to exploring the Craters of the Moon. And it is all so different from what the rest of the Wood River Valley offers. Truly, we are blessed to have such a diversity of landscapes and features in this valley we call home.
Insider’s tip: Go to the Picabo Angler for all the local knowledge about flies, fishing line, and any other fly fishing info you need. It’s also a great place to have a meal or grab a homemade tamale!
it’s all right here
All the information you need to learn about Sun Valley and the surrounding area, including demographics, events, neighbrohoods, a map, and a...
Published on Nov 4, 2020
All the information you need to learn about Sun Valley and the surrounding area, including demographics, events, neighbrohoods, a map, and a...