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Top 40 SV Bucket List

Summertime Must-Dos!


Pioneer Cabin photo by Julie Molema

1. Go for a Hike!  The hiking around Sun Valley is stunning and seemingly endless. But one of our staff favorites is the Pioneer Cabin. Nestled 9,400-feet high in the Pioneer Mountains, the cabin was originally built in 1939 as part of Sun Valley’s backcountry hut system.


2. Ride the Pump Track! Both Ketchum and Hailey offer free dirt pump tracks, which are fun for kids of any age.


3. Dig in the Dirt! Go to Sun Valley Garden Center or the Sawtooth Botanical Garden and get inspired!


4. Play a Round of Golf at High Elevation! Drives go a lot further here a mile or so above sea level and the Valley offers several world–class courses!


5. Enjoy a fresh, locally brewed beer! The Sawtooth Brewery in Ketchum and the Sun Valley Brewery in Hailey both serve up fresh local brews!


Julie Molema of JAM Designs at the Wood River Farmers' Market

6. Eat, drink and buy local crafts! The weekly Farmers’ Markets in Ketchum (Tuesdays) and Hailey (Thursdays) are perfect places to enjoy local food and crafts like our favorites: Calle 75 Street Tacos and JAM Designs!


7. Ice skate Under A summer Sky! You can either skate yourself, or catch Olympians like Gracie Gold, Johnny Weir or Meryl Davis and Charlie White perform at the world-famous Sun Valley Ice Shows.


Galena Lodge lunch. Photo by Julie Molema



8. Visit Historic Galena Lodge! 23-miles north of Sun Valley you can find Galena Lodge. It’s a great spot for a hike, bike ride or a fabulous lunch like a Lava Lake Lamb Burger!



photo: olga



9. Stop by a few of Ernest Hemingway’s Old Haunts! Ketchum is littered with places “Papa” loved to hang out. So it’s easy to retrace his steps to the bars at Michel’s Christiania or the Alpine Club (now Whiskey Jacques’) or to enjoy a “Hemingway’s Special Daiquiri” at The Duchin Room. His memorial on Trail Creek, dedicated in 1966, is also worth a visit.







10. Go for a swim! Lakes, rivers and public pools polka dot the local landscape, especially over the pass in the Sawtooth Valley where it’s always fun to waterski at Alturas Lake or rent a sailboat on Redfish Lake.


11. Have a schooner of beer! Grumpy’s is more than just a beer and burger bar, it’s an institution in Ketchum. Popular with everyone from working class locals to the biggest stars on the planet, no summer is complete without a schooner—or several—on the deck of Grumpy’s!


12. Read a Great Book! Chapter One and Iconoclast bookstores in Ketchum have terrific selections and our local libraries are top notch!


13. Catch a Free Concert!Ketch’em Alive” offers live music each Tuesday; “Wicked Wednesday’s” at The Spud is the place to be in Hailey; and “Mahoney’s Baloney” serves up live music Thursday nights in Bellevue.

Tennis at Atkinsons' Park in Ketchum



14.  Play Tennis! Sun Valley has a long and impressive history of high-quality tennis. Atkinson Park in Ketchum and Wood River High in Hailey have quality courts.






15. Shop till you drop! Lacking any chain stores, the Valley is loaded with shops that offer one-of-a-kind boutique and intimate shopping experiences, sure to please any shopper.




16. Have a Glass—or several—of Idaho Wine! The Wine Company in Ketchum and diVine Wine Bar in Hailey offer large Gem State wine selections! And Frenchman’s Gulch even produces wine in Ketchum and offers wine tastings!





Bowl of Soul at Java. photo by Travis Bartlett




17. Experience the ritual Have a Bowl of Soul at Java! Their Mexican chocolate mocha topped with fresh whipped cream has a cult following for a reason!




18. Go Rafting! The famous Middle Fork “River of No Return,” and even day trips on the Main Salmon River, are amazing experiences!


Sun Valley gondola. photo by Heather Linhart Coulthard




19. Dine at 7,700 feet! Take the gondola more than halfway up Bald Mountain for a remarkable meal at the historic Roundhouse, the octagonal restaurant has been serving patrons since 1940.





20. Watch a Parade! We love our parades around here, and there’s lots of ‘em! Between Hailey’s popular 4th of July Parade and the Big Hitch Parade (part of Ketchum’s annual Wagon Days celebration and one of the nation’s longest non-motorized parades), and lots in between, summers in Sun Valley are marked by parades.


21. Have a Cowboy Cut! Nothing beats a cut of Prime Rib at Ketchum’s world-famous Pioneer Saloon. Where time seems to almost stand still, especially at the start of each ski season when “Pio Days” watches prices drop back to what they were in the 1970s!


22. Enjoy an Ice Cream! Toni’s and Yellow Belly both create mouthwatering local ice cream flavors like Toasted Coconut and Real Mint Chocolate Chip.

23. Watch a rodeo! Catch cowboys and cowgirls kicking up their heels at the Hailey Rodeo Grounds!


24. Have a pastry or some Wienerschnitzel at the Konditorei! Influenced by Sun Valley’s strong European history, the Konditorei offers authentic German and Austrian fare.


25. Mountain Bike Baldy! The lift-assisted singletrack and new Flow Trails on Baldy add to Sun Valley’s outstanding mountain biking options.


26. Go for a Motocross Ride! Numerous local canyons and the track in Croy Canyon west of Hailey offer terrific dirt bike riding.

27. Experience the Milky Way! Explore constellations under our stunning night sky or take the kids on a guided astrological campout with the Environmental Resource Center!


28. Visit the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery! Learn about the amazing 900-mile journey salmon and steelhead make from the sea to the heart of Idaho.


29. Fly Sun Valley! Paraglide off Baldy and high above Ketchum with Fly Sun Valley.


30. Fly Fish Silver Creek, the Big Wood or Big Lost rivers! Pick up a copy of “Angling Around Sun Valley” or hit up a local tackle shop like Ketchum’s Silver Creek Outfitters or Sturtos in Hailey to find out how to hook `em!


31. Go to the Symphony! Sun Valley summers are not complete without at least one visit to the largest free-admission publicly funded symphony in the country.


32. Play Mini-Golf! Sun Valley offers a putt-putt course you can play with the kids, or you can simply enjoy a Bloody Mary and lunch at the Club House while the youngsters play a round.


33. Take a day trip to Stanley! A little over an hour away, Stanley is nestled alongside the Salmon River and offers stunning views and easy access to the Sawtooth Mountains. The tasty treats from the Stanley Bakery are worth the drive alone!


34. Partake in a Gallery Walk! Sun Valley Gallery Association’s exceptionally popular, free monthly gallery walks (including two in August!) are wine-friendly events and a big part of why we’ve been named one of the Best Small Art Towns in the nation.


35. Take a Kid Fishing! Family put-and-take ponds can be found at Dollar Lake, Lake Creek or Hayspur Hatchery!


36. Canoe the Silver Creek Preserve! The gin-clear, trout-filled waters of Silver Creek are ideal for casual canoe trips, especially for bird watchers and photographers.


Liberty Theater Company of Fools. photo by Julie Molema




37. Catch a play at Ketchum’s nexStage Theater and the Liberty Theatre in Hailey offer world-class quality performances throughout the summer.







38. Soak Under the Stars. Frenchman’s Hot Springs, just west of Ketchum, are one of several great local hot spring options.


39. Ride a Horse! There are loads of riding options around these parts, but it’s tough to top trotting along Dollar Mountain’s wildflower-filled trails!


40. Roast Marshmallows over a Campfire! Our area is overrun by spectacular spots to camp and enjoy Idaho’s breathtaking wilderness so get out there!





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