Sun Valley, Not What You Expect From Idaho
Sun Valley, Idaho is one of the top ski resorts in the country. It boasts a beautiful, vibrant town with two different ski mountains surrounding it. Nestled in its own little world inside the Sawtooth mountain range, Sun Valley combines a laid-back ski town with world-class skiing and should make it to the top of anyone's ski destination list.
Sun Valley is unique because it has two mountains: Dollar Mountain and Bald Mountain. Dollar Mountain (the home of the original chairlift in the United States) is perfect for beginner skiers and snowboarders. The runs are wide open and easy, making the mountain accessible to every level of rider. There is also a massive freestyle terrain park with over 77 features. Dollar Mountain also has a new 22’ superpipe that is ready for ripping and is great for some quick freestyle action.
The main attraction is Bald Mountain. Baldy has a constant pitch that has very few flat areas. With over 3,000 feet of vertical terrain, riders can find some lengthy ski runs. Skiers and boarders can get over 10,000 feet of skiing in before lunchtime. With a mix of green, blue, and black runs, every level of rider can find something. There are green and blue runs sprinkled throughout the mountain, with the easier blues found under Lift 12. Steep black bowls outline the top of the mountain as well, testing expert riders’ limits. The mountain has an interesting shape compared to other resorts. It has a “valley” shape, making the middle of the mountain less open than the eastern and western sides. Having treeless bowls at the top of the mountain, riders can nail some cool tricks using the natural rocks and kickers. The trees throughout Bald Mountain are also fantastic; you can be here for a month and still be finding new trees to ride and explore. Sun Valley gets a lot of snow, and there is room for everyone to enjoy the fresh powder.
Apart from the millionaires and celebrities who love to visit the Sun Valley, the town has a welcoming feel to it. The locals are nice and friendly, and walking around the block feels like a treat. Classic mountain homes line the streets, and the Main Street is filled with shops and restaurants. There is a huge variety of places to eat, with high-end restaurants alongside inexpensive, casual eateries.
Try some of the best steaks in the world at Pioneer Saloon on Main St. (which also has a world-famous martini), or try a Taste of Thai, Asian cuisine that will leave you wanting more. Of course, there are on-mountain dining options as well. Listen to live music at the base of Bald Mountain at Warm Springs Lodge or take in breathtaking views at The Roundhouse on top of the gondola.
No matter where you dine, you can’t go wrong. There are also other activities to do besides skiing and snowboarding. Go snowshoeing at the Nordic Center or go on a great sleigh ride dinner with a loved one.
If you are planning to visit Sun Valley, flying into Boise is a good option. The two-and-a-half-hour drive from Boise gives you a chance to take in the Sawtooth mountain range. For visitors who are not staying next to the mountain, free bus rides are available to all skiers and snowboarders looking for an easy way to hit the slopes. It might not be the easiest resort to get to, but the trip is well worth the extra effort.
All in all, Sun Valley is a can’t-miss resort. With the local-friendly town and great restaurants, visitors will find no shortage of good times. Adding the two ski mountains on top of the beautiful western town creates the winter paradise visitors have always dreamed of. It is truly an experience a mountain enthusiast won’t want to miss.
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