Every winter an estimated 60 to 100 million people around the world take to the slopes with a snowboard or pair of skis. One of the most sought-after destinations happens to be here in Idaho in Sun Valley.  Chairlifts were installed on Sun Valley’s mountains in the 1930’s and the area has since been known as the birthplace of destination skiing.

Nordic ski rack at the Sun Valley Nordic Center.
Nordic ski rack at the Sun Valley Nordic Center. Photo credit: Sun Valley Resort

Vitamin D is plentiful in central Idaho around Sun Valley with over 120 bluebird days per season. This sun-kissed ski area boasts scenic terrain that makes riders of all skill levels drool with excitement at first sight. With two mountains to play on and excellent restaurants ranging from casual to swanky, you have yourself the perfect winter getaway that is only three hours from Boise.

Mountain Stats:

  • Summit Elevation: 9,150 feet
  • Base Elevation: 5,750 feet
  • Average Yearly Snowfall: 220 Inches
  • Acres: 2,154
  • Named Runs: 121
  • Lifts: 18
  • Terrain Parks: 3
  • Season: Late November to April.
  • Ski helmets, skis, snowboards, and boots available to rent.

The Rundown

It’s true what they say about Sun Valley, “the higher you get, the higher you get.”

Ski Sun Valley
Taking in the breathtaking views before racing down to the bottom of the mountain.

Nothing quite compares to getting above the valley fog on top of Baldy for sunny views. With over 2,000 acres of varied terrain on 3,400 vertical feet, Sun Valley gives boarders and skiers unbeatable trails and backwood adventures they won’t soon forget.

There aren’t too many places in the lower 48 that offer amazing skiing, jaw-dropping scenery, and unbelievable culinary options all within 20 minutes of each other. This famous resort town has two mountains: The little brother, Dollar Mountain, which is a winding sun-soaked paradise for newbies looking to hone their skills, and the big bro Baldy, which is the less forgiving mountain tailored towards the intermediate-expert crowd. A definite plus to skiing Sun Valley is the short lift lines. I have ski’d here throughout the season and have never moved slowly through the lifts, even on holidays.

Skiing Lower River Run Bald Mountain Sun Valley Idaho USA

Top-Notch Trails

Ski the spectacular backcountry of Sun Valley with Sun Valley HeliSki
Ski the spectacular backcountry of Sun Valley with Sun Valley HeliSki.

Don’t waste any time searching for the perfect run on the hill. If you want to get an idea of what the trail map looks like in Sun Valley before hand, click here. However, if you want my advice try these five runs. I promise that they will get your blood flowing. Be sure to ride them yourself and share your experience with us on Instagram or Facebook @VisitIdaho.

  1. Exhibition
  2. I-80
  3. International
  4. Limelight
  5. Kaitlyn’s Bowl

Trip Tips:

  • Take the kids on the Adventure Trails at Baldy. There are 30 acres of glade ski and boarding terrain waiting to be explored.
  • Beginners: Introduce yourself to downhill sports at Dollar Mountain.
  • Visit the terrain park which features 76 rails and North America’s largest superpipe.
Featured Image courtesy of Sun Valley HeliSki.
This author is a paid content writer for Idaho Tourism.

Tyler Schnur

Published on March 1, 2016