Places to Visit: Sun Valley, Idaho

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Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley, Idaho is a short drive from West Yellowstone and well worth the trip, to see breathtaking scenery and to enjoy the mountains and all the activities available here. Read More

  • Put beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho on your West Yellowstone itinerary
  • Explore the backcountry wilderness of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area
  • Take a white water rafting trip on the Salmon River
  • Catch some wild salmon on the Clearwater River
  • Visit the Ernest Hemingway Memorial for inspiration

Overview

In the heart of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Sun Valley, Idaho offers backcountry wilderness, gorgeous views of the Sawtooth Mountains and premiere recreational activities.

Location

Sun Valley is located in southern Idaho off Highway 75, just outside of Ketchum.

Services/Amenities

Sun Valley and nearby Ketchum provide great dining for the whole family. Gourmet food is easy to come by in Sun Valley, with excellent delis and cafeteria-style buffets. Stop in some small restaurant for a quick lunch of a burger and salad. Dine in the evening in style with a European atmosphere or a delicious home-cooked meal.

The lodging in and around Sun Valley will give you the perfect fit for your needs. Get a kid-friendly hotel, or economy room at a lodge. Perhaps a vacation rental with a view is you’re your style. A wide choice is available.

Activities

Winter Sports
Sun Valley is famous for winter recreation and snow lovers come here from all over the world. Both Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain have an abundance of terrain for varying levels of ability. The powdery snow and endless corduroy at Sun Valley are perfect for winter sports, such as a comfortable dog sled ride or an old-fashioned sleigh ride.

Backpacking and Hiking
With the Sawtooth Mountains all around, you’ll find ideal hiking and backpacking around Sun Valley. Rugged mountain scenery makes it all that much better. One popular trek is the Right Fork of Fall Creek. This hanging valley drops into Fall Creek. Although the trail is easy to follow, it is a moderately difficult hike.

Float Trips and White Water Rafting
The Salmon River is a great place to spend the day on a calm float trip, but many enjoy some half-day or full-day white water trips. Some guides will include camping in an all-inclusive adventure.

Fishing
The Snake, Salmon and Clearwater Rivers provide wonderful fishing around Sun Valley. Wild salmon and steelhead are a great catch here. Do some fly-fishing in any one of the mountain streams or lowland reservoirs.

Scenic Driving
The Sawtooth Scenic Byway is a drive not to pass up on your visit to Sun Valley. Drive over the Galena Summit on Highway 75.

Attractions

Blaine County Historical Museum
For a taste of regional culture and history, visit this famous museum located nearby in Hailey. Early settlers are showcased.

Ernest Hemingway Memorial
This memorial in downtown Ketchum makes tribute to the famed writer, who also lived here. Some of his inspiring words are carved on a plaque at this site.

Craters of the Moon National Monument
Travel south and stop to see the lava fields coming from early volcanic activity. It feels like you are walking on the moon.

Getting Here

To get to West Yellowstone from Sun Valley, you get on ID 75 to ID 23. From there get on US 20, taking I-15 North to exit 119. This exit puts you back on US 20 that takes you right into town. It’s a scenic 4-hour and 29-minute drive (260.6 miles).

Questions & Answers