As America's first major ski resort, Sun Valley is the place to go to soak up ski heritage while grabbing turns on Idaho’s slopes. At Sun Valley, Averell Harriman built the world’s first chairlift, put the resort on the map using Hollywood stars, installed the first outdoor ice rink, started one of the first Austrian ski schools in the U.S. and first hired professional ski patrollers.
In the resort’s 75 years, it fostered the innovative likes of ski movie mogul Warren Miller, freestyle pioneer Bob Burns and Gretchen Fraser, America’s first Olympic gold medal ski racer.
To relish the heyday of Sun Valley, you must first ski or ride its slopes—on both Dollar and Baldy mountains. Then, dine at the historic Roundhouse halfway up Mt. Baldy overlooking valley lights under the glow of the moon. Plan on staying at Sun Valley Lodge, built in 1936 but upgraded with modern luxury. Tack on a quick stop at the historical and ski museum in Ketchum for ski nostalgia.
Skiing and Snowboarding: Mt. Baldy and Dollar Mountain
Mt. Baldy: Two base areas, 14 lifts, 3,400 vertical
Dollar Mountain: Three terrain parks, beginner instruction slopes, four lifts, two carpets, Lift tickets: $37-62 for Baldy, $30-34 for Dollar (rates vary by age)
Other outdoor fun: Tubing, sleigh rides, Nordic center, heli-skiing, ice shows
Roundhouse Restaurant: Serves breakfast, lunch, après wine and beer, dinner, bar appetizers
Ambiance: Log octagonal building with old world charm and romance, 46 paned windows overlook Sun Valley and Ketchum from 7,700 feet on Mt. Baldy.
Sun Valley Lodge: 148-room luxury hotel
Amenities: Glass-enclosed outdoor pool, outdoor ice rink, three restaurants, family suites, high-speed internet, pool robes, DVD players and pay-per-view movies
Ski Free Package: $139 per person, per night double occupancy, includes room and free lift tickets, available Jan. 3-March 31 with some blackout dates
Reservations: 800-786-8259 or click here.
Ski history museum: Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society Heritage and Ski Museum
Exhibits worth seeing: Jimmy Griffith, the first Sun Valley ski racer to make the U.S. Olympic team, but was injured in training and died from complications; Gretchen Fraser, first American skier (male or female) to win an Olympic gold medal; 10th Mountain Division, early ski training films made at Sun Valley
Location: Washington Ave. and 1st Street in
Hours: Noon-4 p.m., Monday-Friday; 1-4 p.m., Saturday
- Explore Sun Valley--America's First Major Ski Resort
- Attend the Payne McShlonkey Classic at Squaw Valley