Apres Ski in Sun Valley
Sun Valley Resort is actually part of the larger, old cowboy town of Ketchum.
Sun Valley Village
The self-contained, pedestrianized village is 1930s Tyrolean style and at the heart of the resort is the Sun Valley Lodge with alpine-style rooms, restaurants, stores and outdoor ponds, ice rink, and steaming pools. It was in this lodge that Hemingway wrote most of For Whom The Bell Tolls. Ketchum by contrast is mostly redbrick buildings in the Old Western style, housing many gourmet restaurants, bars and nightspots as well as art galleries and a theater. It’s a lively and casual community with real small town friendliness and a vigorous local artists’ colony. A free continuous shuttle-bus service links Sun Valley Resort to both Dollar and Bald Mountains and throughout the Woods River Valley including Ketchum, Hailey, and Bellavue.
Apres-Ski Bars & Restaurants in Sun Valley
Sun Valley, and particularly downtown Ketchum, are renowned for excellent restaurants. An eclectic mix of upscale offerings and homey western fare is highlighted by the Sun Valley Lodge and Sun Valley Inn’s world class restaurants.
The bars are said to “wail” by some boarders, but gourmands will not be disappointed. In Sun Valley Village, the Sun Valley Lodge dining room has elegant dining and the bar serves some of the finest wines around. The Ram, attached to the Sun Valley Inn is a casual venue with a pianist. Gretchen’s, also in the Sun Valley Lodge, is quiet, family-oriented, and cozy for breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dinner.
Restaurants to savor in Ketchum include Evergreen Bistro with gourmet dining; Chandler’s likewise; Sushi on Second for Japanese; and Globus for Asian cuisine. The cheery Pioneer Saloon is famous for its steaks, prime rib, and mounted elk and moose on the walls, and is a very popular eatery and watering hole.
There are about 20 bars in the area for après-ski chilling out, including the Duchin Room in Sun Valley Lodge, where the older crowd dance to live music courtesy of the Joe Foss Trio who have been doing it for over 20 years. The younger crowd hang out in Ketchum at Apples, and at the Western-themed Whiskey Jacques as well as Grumpy’s for beer and burgers.
Other Activities in Sun Valley
Sun Valley has two ice rinks (one indoor, one outdoor), two glass-enclosed heated pools, bowling, and the previously mentioned Nordic and Snowshoe Center with miles of trails.
Between Ketchum and Sun Valley there are many, many eye-catching stores and art galleries. To rent or buy ski equipment go to Pete Lane’s. For those into nostalgia and trying to spot places on the mountain, check the schedule for the movie times of nonstop reruns for Sun Valley Serenade-which was filmed here-and for Warren Miller movies at the Opera House in Sun Valley ( www.sunvalley.com and visitsunvalley.com ).
Sun Valley has a nordic center located just steps from the Sun Valley Lodge. It offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The elevation in Ketchum is only 6,000′, meaning that while you may notice some altitude effects, they are generally minor. Additionally, the terrain on the valley floor is relatively flat making Sun Valley’s cross country and snowshoeing relatively benign.
The resort also offers sleigh rides from the Sun Valley Lodge to the Trail Creek Cabin. The round trip ride lasts about a half hour and costs $25. Dinner sleigh rides are available in season.
Tubing is a popular winter pastime in Sun Valley, particularly for children. Dollar Mountain is home to a tubing park with three 600-ft. lanes offering a 100′ vertical drop. Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge is nearby for apres-tubing hot chocolate.
Lastly, if the Sun Valley Sun’s (the town’s amateur hockey team) happen to be in town during your stay, taking in a game is truly a treat.