About Sun ValleySun Valley got its start in 1935 when Union Pacific Railroad Chairman Averell Harriman hired Austrian Count Felix Shaffgotsch to find the most scenic snow spot in the country for a huge ski resort. Passing up places that would become Aspen, Jackson Hole and Mount Hood, Shaffgotsch chose Sun Valley. Soon stars from all across the country came to ski down Dollar Mountain (chairlifts were not installed on 9,150-foot-tall Bald Mountain until Sun Valley's fourth operating season) and hobnob in the huge lodge Harriman built. Gary Cooper and Clark Gable were frequent visitors; novelist Ernest Hemingway spent his last years in the area, and a memorial to him stands alongside Trail Creek.
Today nearly a quarter-million persons visit the area, which somehow still manages to maintain an uncrowded, non-tourist atmosphere. Sun Valley, along with the neighboring town of Ketchum, offers heated outdoor pools, saunas and indoor and outdoor ice-skating rinks. The list of local summer activities includes golf, tennis, swimming, white-water rafting, camping, bicycling, hiking, horseback riding, skeet shooting, trapshooting, fishing, mountaineering and kayaking. Offering respite from the great outdoors, The Sun Valley Pavilion, 1 Sun Valley Rd., hosts the Sun Valley Summer Symphony for 3 weeks in July and August. Admission is free; phone (208) 622-2135 for the pavilion, (208) 622-5607 for the symphony, or (888) 622-2108 for the schedule.
Winter brings sleigh rides, snowmobiling and ice-skating as well as downhill, cross-country and helicopter skiing. Saturday nights are reserved for hockey games in winter and professional ice shows in summer. Skiing begins on Thanksgiving.
Horseback Riding Sun Valley Stables
Skiing Bald Mountain
Sun Valley, ID
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.