12/28/2011 10:59 am ET | Updated Jan 05, 2012

Sun Valley Resort: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide

Sun Valley Resort in Idaho is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Sun Valley Resort, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.

The Basics

Sun Valley Resort is a ski lover's paradise, with trails for all skill levels and a wealth of entertainment off the slopes. Thanks to the nearby Friedman Memorial Airport, Idaho's Sun Valley Resort is a quick flight from several West Coast cities, including Seattle, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Skiers looking to fly in to a larger airport can land in Boise and hop on a resort-provided shuttle, the Sun Valley Express, for a 150-mile trip.

The Mountain

Sun Valley Resort includes two mountains: Bald Mountain, with 3,400 vertical feet and a summit of 9,150 feet, and Dollar Mountain, with a 628-foot vertical rise. Bald Mountain is the more well known and spacious of the resort's two mountains, with runs, including one that measures 1.2 miles, stretching across 2,054 acres. Novices will enjoy Dollar Mountain's smaller peak, while experienced skiers will be challenged on the slope affectionately known throughout the resort as Baldy. Both mountains feature packed powdered snow and an average 200 inches of snowfall per year. Sun Valley Resort's season begins around Thanksgiving and typically ends in April.

Trails And Lifts

Sun Valley's two mountains feature 76 trails: 66 on Bald Mountain and 10 on the smaller Dollar Mountain. Novice skiers can enjoy the gentle slopes on Dollar Mountain, while more advanced skiers can tackle Bald Mountain trails, such as Warm Springs and the Firetrail in Seattle Ridge. The resort includes 12 lifts, including a gondola on Baldy and five lifts: two quads, one triple lift, one double lift and one magic carpet. Three terrain parks feature a variety of challenges for skiers, including a half-pipe, barrel jib, multiple jumps and a battleship rail.

In The News

Sun Valley has hosted a number of national competitions, including the 2011 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships and the 2011 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross Country National Championships. The resort's ice-skating rink has welcomed Olympic medalists, including Brian Boitano and Evan Lysacek, for its all-star ice shows. The resort also served as the site for two classic movies: I Met Him in Paris and Sun Valley Serenade. Sun Valley also attracts celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, all of whom have been spotted at the resort.


Adult skiers can purchase half-day lift tickets for Baldy for $54 and full-day tickets for $62; two-out-of-three-day and three-out-of-five-day tickets are available as well (see the website for details). Budget-conscious skiers can ski Dollar Mountain for significantly less, with full-day tickets costing $34 for adults. Pete Lane's Mountain Sports handles equipment rentals for the resort, with daily ski/snowboard packages starting at $39. A two-hour private ski lesson runs $345; group lessons represent a more economical option, costing $80. Adult ski and snowboard clinics, which take place on three consecutive Saturdays, cost $135.


Sun Valley Resort offers plenty of activities for a range of interests. Families can check out the bowling and game room, which features six bowling lanes, video games, a pool table and a snack bar. The year-round ice-skating rink is open for general skating and hosts summer ice shows. The 340-seat Sun Valley Opera House regularly hosts plays and concerts. At the Sun Valley Salon and Day Spa, guests can enjoy a day of pampering, with facials, massages, acupuncture and body wraps.

WATCH: Sun Valley Resort

The majesty and magic of Sun Valley Idaho makes the resort a ski lover's paradise.