Sun Valley: The Best Ski Resort for These Five Reasons
Jan 21, 2024 By Juliana Daniel

Every skier has a tale about the time they finally figured it out. It snowed beautifully, and there were hardly any people around. They are rare occurrences in the mountains. However, Sun Valley Resort in Idaho is where skiing truly shines, as it is both remote enough to avoid overcrowding and close enough for adventurers. Both the landscape and the facilities are unparalleled. Still don't trust us? We contacted three long-time Idahoans for their thoughts on what makes Sun Valley the best ski area.

Terrain Is Perfect

Sun Valley's snow is so well groomed that it consistently wins best-in-class awards, and the resort's unending groomers have made it famous. Why? The perfect grooming, broad routes, and steep slopes allow for some of the world's most exciting carving. With more vertical than any other chairlift in North America, the Challenger lift is widely considered to offer the finest top-to-bottom hot lap in the region.

According to big-mountain skiing guru and Black Diamond's ski category chief Mike Hattrup, Running leaves you with tired legs before your energy does. Such a uniform slope is also fantastic for powder skiing.

Snow as light as fairy dust will be blown up on top of springy corduroy if you catch it just so. Skiing here is world-class when fresh powder is dumped on top of a freshly groomed slope, according to Lucy Sackbauer, a professional skier from the area. You may find me in the Burn if the avalanche danger is low.

Not Just a Vacation Spot

Indeed, certain vacation spots can only be fun on the slopes and nothing else. This does not include Sun Valley or its nearby town of Ketchum. Need to clear your head? Go Nordic skiing. The Sun Valley Nordic and Snowshoe Center feature 25 kilometres of tracks for skate and traditional skiing.

Are you fascinated by the wilderness? ExploreWITH, a guide service, is located right next to the famous Ram restaurant in Sun Valley Village, making booking a yurt trip easy.

Sun Valley is a winter paradise that provides a variety of winter sports for visitors to enjoy, such as snowshoeing and fat riding. It is also possible to skin up the resort after hours provided that you are mindful to observe the rules and regulations.

Sun Valley Lodge Is a Skier's Dream

Did you know that the chairlift was invented at Sun Valley, Idaho, the first tourist ski resort in the United States? To the north of the resort community on Ruud Mountain is the world's oldest operating chairlift, which replaced the original single chair installed by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1936.

The old and elegant Sun Valley Lodge is a reminder of skiing's wealthy history. In the 1940s, this resort was where many famous actors and actresses in Hollywood began their skiing careers. While finishing For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway transformed the lodge into a haven for writers. There are artefacts on display that span more than eight decades of skiing.

An evening was spent "walking the corridors looking at old images," recalls Outside writer and former editor of Skiing Magazine Marc Peruzzi. The lodge serves as a visual reminder of the lodge's significance in tying skiing into the larger society

As Excellent As The Skiing, The Food Is A Must-Try.

Sun Valley has been a popular location for visitors looking for a good meal. It is beginning your day in Sun Valley Village's authentic Austrian pâtisserie and restaurant, Konditorei. To begin, a classic twist on the meal that has bacon crumble. Together with a doughnut, it should keep you going strong on the slopes until lunch. Have the mouthwatering Porcini truffle fries as an appetizer at Gretchen's in the village, and then order the world-famous Lodge Burger.

A Much More Accessible than You May Have Imagined

It's understandable if you have the impression that you've escaped to another planet while at Sun Valley. However, preparing for a ski vacation here is not an epic journey in and of itself. Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, south of Sun Valley and Ketchum, is serviced by several major airlines throughout the winter. There aren't any long, winding mountain roads or terrifying mountain passes to worry about, just 13 short miles from the airport to the lifts.