Like the resorts of Aspen and Squaw Valley, Sun Valley has a long and proud history combining sun, skiing and glitz, making it a favorite stop for wealthy and famous skiers and snowboarders. In fact, Sun Valley is considered the first destination ski resort in the United States. Sun Valley's village is separated from the ski mountains, but several hotels are within walking distance of the lifts.
Sun Valley Resort comprises more than 2,000 acres of ski terrain on two separate peaks: Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. Dollar Mountain is the smaller of the two, billing itself as "the finest teaching mountain in the world" and rising to 6,638 feet with 628 vertical feet. It has green and blue slopes as well as a terrain park and tubing hill. Bald Mountain is where most of Sun Valley's terrain lies, encompassing everything from green slow skiing areas to advanced bowls to a Superpipe. Bald Mountain rises to 9,150 feet and has 3,400 feet of vertical drop. In addition to the alpine ski area, Sun Valley also offers the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center, which grooms more than 40 kilometers of cross-country skiing trails.
Bald Mountain Inn
Located in the Warm Springs base area of Bald Mountain, Bald Mountain Inn is 100 yards from the Challenger lift, Bald Mountain's longest lift, which accesses beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain. The Challenger Lift provides quick access to most of Bald Mountain's terrain. An interesting combination of a budget hotel and condo, Bald Mountain Inn does not offer housekeeping services to its guests for stays under six nights, instead providing access to a housekeeping storage closet. Rooms include studio and one- and two-bedroom units with kitchens and gas fireplaces. The property has an outdoor hot tub and fitness room.
Best Western Tyrolean Lodge
Located in the other base area of Bald Mountain, River Run, the Austrian-inspired Best Western Tyrolean Lodge is a 56-room hotel that's about 400 yards from River Run lifts. The River Run area is in the heart of Bald Mountain, accessing all skill levels of terrain. The Best Western is in a central location that is also within walking distance of the town of Ketchum. It offers a year-round heated outdoor pool, an outdoor hot tub, steam room and fitness room.
Unlike other ski resorts where the village is located directly at the base of the mountain, Sun Valley Resort village is separated by about a third of a mile from Dollar Mountain and 1.5 mils from Bald Mountain. Be aware of this when booking lodging in the village as properties like the Sun Valley Lodge are not within direct proximity of the lifts. Slopeside hotels are limited in Sun Valley, but a free transportation system links Sun Valley village with both Dollar and Bald mountains. Slopeside condominiums like Snow Creek Condominiums at the base of Dollar Mountain and Aspenwood in the Warm Springs base area of Bald Mountain provide another viable option.