6 things to do in Sun Valley, Idaho besides skiing

Published Date: January 6, 2023

Mountains in Sun Valley
Surrounded by rugged mountain peaks, Sun Valley, Idaho, is a world-renowned ski destination. In fact, it was recently named the top ski resort in North America by SKI Magazine for a second year in a row. But skiing isn’t the only activity this resort town offers. In fact, it’s a popular destination for anyone who wants to enjoy a mountain retreat — even if strapping on a pair of skis and gliding through fresh powder isn’t your idea of a good time. Here are six other activities you simply must try. 

1. Have dinner at Trail Creek Cabin 

Built in 1937, Trail Creek Cabin is a hunting cabin-turned restaurant that’s perfect for a romantic dinner. The creekside log cabin offers incredible views of Bald Mountain, a cozy atmosphere and steakhouse fare. You can even arrive for your reservation via horse-drawn sleigh, where you’ll be cozied up under wool blankets.   

2. Treat yourself to a spa day

Conveniently located in the heart of the resort, The Spa at Sun Valley offers almost endless ways to treat yourself. Spa packages include Couples Suite experiences, lifestyle packages with body wraps and massages, and manicures and pedicures. The spa also has a 2,300-square-foot fitness center with gorgeous views. Another great option is Zenergy, a 50,000-square-foot spa and health club offering both traditional spa services alongside acupuncture, personal training, group fitness classes and wellness retreats. 

3. See the Milky Way in all its glory 

Sun Valley and nearby Ketchum are part of the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. This is a designation that means the area is committed to preserving dark skies for stargazing by reducing human-made light pollution. It’s the only such reserve in the United States and only one of 12 in the world! What it means for visitors and locals alike is that on dark nights, it’s one of the best places in the world to stargaze — and one of the few places you can truly experience views of the Milky Way. 

4. Ice skate outdoors, year-round 

Sun Valley Resort’s ice skating rink is one of the few outdoor rinks in the country that stays open all year. In the winter, stop by an open skating session and skate as the snow falls. In the summer months, the rink hosts the famous Sun Valley Ice Shows, where you can see some of the sport’s most famous athletes perform. Don’t forget to bring your autograph book! 

5. Take flight on a paragliding adventure

Are you looking to get a true bird’s-eye view of this gorgeous mountain landscape? Launch from the slopes of Bald Mountain in the summer (strapped to an expert instructor, of course) on a tandem parasailing flight with Fly Sun Valley. From the launch site on “Baldy” to the landing area at the base, you’ll descend some 3,300 feet over the course of 15-30 minutes — plenty of time to enjoy the views. Want to catch every moment? Your instructor can record the whole thing on a GoPro.

6. Explore on two wheels 

When warmer weather arrives, the mountain bikers rejoice. Bald Mountain is a mountain biking paradise, with more than 400 miles of singletrack spread throughout the valley. It’s home to the country’s longest purpose-built downhill track, with over 8,100 vertical feet of adrenaline-pumping fun. Load up your bike on the gondola and catch a ride to the top, then enjoy the ride. Looking for a more family-friendly biking experience? The Wood River Trail has 30 miles of paved trails. 

Embrace mountain living in Sun Valley 

No matter the time of year and your interests, Sun Valley offers a myriad of activities and recreation, surrounded by incredible natural beauty. Set down roots in Idaho when you buy a Pacaso vacation home. Then, get out and explore!

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Jen Lyons

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