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Sun Valley Skiing & Snowboarding Resort Guidee

Sun Valley is legendary for its awesome skiing and snowboarding, great town, and deep history. The very first chairlifts in the world were installed at Sun Valley in 1936, and the area has been a top ski and snowboard destination ever since. The resort and its village sit right outside of the town of Ketchum, split between two separate mountains Dollar Mountain and Bald Mountain, or Baldy. The region as a whole is often referred to as Sun Valley. Named for its ample sunshine, the area is a fun ski and snowboard destination all winter long. Served by its own airport, getting to Sun Valley isn’t even that hard considering its central Idaho location.

Mountain Overview

Bald Mountain:
Baldy Mountain is the main part of Sun Valley Resort. There are 12 lifts and a huge 3,400’ of vertical drop to explore here from the two base areas. There is great skiing and snowboarding at Sun Valley for all ability levels. Beginners have a lot of terrain to explore across the mountain, which is somewhat unique compared to other resorts where the only beginner terrain is at the base area. Some of the best beginner skiing and snowboarding is accessed by taking the Roundhouse Gondola to the Seattle Ridge chairlift. This area is separate from the advanced sections of the mountain letting beginners learn at their own pace. Those just starting out may want to head to Dollar Mountain, however.

Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will find some of the best cruising and groomed runs in the United States at Sun Valley. 42% of the mountain is rated for intermediate riders. The grooming is widespread across the mountain and constantly refreshed throughout the day.

Advanced skiers and snowboarders won’t find a ton of steeps and gnarly riding, but there is definitely still some fun terrain at Sun Valley. The bowls at the top of Bald Mountain are the highlight of the advanced terrain. When the powder falls and the sun pops outs (as it often does), the bowls are a pretty special place.

Dollar Mountain:
Dollar Mountain holds Sun Valley’s terrain parks as well as the learning area for beginner skiers and snowboarders. There are six lifts on Dollar Mountain and just under 1,000’ or vertical drop. The terrain parks are awesome, with great a great variety of features, from rails to jumps, and a halfpipe. The rest of the runs are great for learning.

Mountain Stats & Sun Valley Trail Map

Sun Valley Trail Map

 Total Skiable Acres 2,045Beginner Terrain 36%
 Base Elevation 5,750'Intermeidate Terrain 42%
 Summit Elevation 9,150'Advanced Terrain 20%
 Vertical Drop3,400'Expert Terrain2%
Total Lifts19Average Annual Snowfall220"

Travel Information & Directions

Sun Valley is located in southern-central Idaho in the Sawtooth Mountains. Skiers and snowboarders can fly into the Sun Valley airport directly from San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City. By car, Sun Valley is about three hours from Boise. Once in town, there is a system of free buses that can help skiers and snowboarders get to the mountain and back to Ketchum.
Travel Resources:

Sun Valley Transportation Information

Sun Valley Lodging Information

Sun Valley has lodging options for all groups and budgets. There are many upscale and luxury accommodations in the Sun Valley village itself as well as cheaper option in the greater Ketchum area.
Sun Valley Lodging Overview

Our Favorite Snowboards for Sun Valley
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Local Food Picks

Like the rest of Sun Valley, there are dining options that range from cheap to upscale. Sometimes the best thing after a long day of skiing and snowboarding is a hamburger and a beer. Those looking for a relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals will love Grumpy’s in Ketchum. Grumpy’s is a local staple, it looks a bit rough on the outside (and on the inside) but it’s got character and plenty of stories. Whiskey Jaques, also in Ketchum, is the only spot open late for those looking for a good time off the hill.
Sun Valley Dining:

Sun Valley Dining
Whiskey Jaques

Our Favorite Skis For Sun Valley
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Where to Find Lift Tickets to Sun Valley?

Lift tickets to Sun Valley aren’t cheap. Their price is pretty similar to that of other large western United States ski and snowboard areas like Big Sky and Park City. Buying lift tickets online, in advance, is a good way to save some money on the window price. Children and seniors are eligible for discount Sun Valley lift tickets, too.
Sun Valley Lift Tickets

Sun Valley Conditions & Weather Information

Sun Valley is aptly named, the sun is a frequent visitor to the ski and snowboard resort. The Average annual snowfall isn’t huge at only 220”, however, the resort's snowmaking system is quite impressive, covering a large percentage of the ski and snowboard area. The snowfall total also doesn’t reflect the quality of powder days at Sun Valley, which can be a ton of fun.
Sun Valley Weather Resources

Sun Valley Ski Report
Sun Valley Web Cams

For an awesome ski and snowboard vacation away from the crowds of Colorado and Utah, Sun Valley is a great choice. The towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley are laid-back and super friendly, while the mountain has a great consistent pitch with a huge vertical drop. The mountain and it’s facilities are fully developed allowing for a comfortable stay, with plenty of sun, and no crowds.

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