Sun Valley in the Summer Is an Adventurer's Dream Come True

This Idaho hotspot is not just for skiing.

Sun Valley Idaho
Sun Valley Lake and Bald Mountain. Photo: Nils Ribi

They’re known for winter sports, but Sun Valley and neighboring Ketchum are equally vibrant in warmer months, when the mountains are awash in artists, adventurers, and tech titans.


Start the day with brioche French toast at local favorite the Kneadery (entrées $9–$12), then walk over to adventure outfitters the Elephant’s Perch. Tell staffers your preferences — trail or off-road, lake or peak — and they’ll map out a route and make sure you rent the right gear.

The Adams Gulch trailhead is a starting point for hiking and mountain-biking trails ranging from moderate to extreme. For great views of the Pioneer Mountains, take Lane’s Trail and stop at the picnic table overlook.


Enjoy a well-earned meal on the patio at Bigwood Bread (entrées $11–$18), in the center of town. The menu is mostly salads and sandwiches, but even the simplest dishes stand out. Try the chicken-salad sandwich or the kale-and-quinoa wrap with avocado, hummus, carrots, edamame, and balsamic vinaigrette.


Stroll along East Avenue to Maison et Cadeaux, a slice of Provence complete with European linens and china and a French-speaking staff. Pop next door to Ketchum Flower Co., a boutique selling jewelry, soaps, candles, and gifts. Then visit Sun Valley Wine Co. to stock up on libations for your alfresco dinner.

Sun Valley Idaho
A rooftop fire pit at Warfield Distillery & Brewery, in Ketchum. Ray J. Gadd/Courtesy of The Warfield Brewery and Distillery


At around 5:30, stop by Rasberrys (entrées $14–$16) to pick up a picnic box (call in the morning to place an order), then stake out a spot on the lawn of the Sun Valley Resort Pavilion.

Early in the summer, the resort hosts talks by literary giants during the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. Some last-minute event tickets are released, but for a full pass, register in January.

Starting in mid to late July, the Pavilion is home to the acclaimed Sun Valley Summer Symphony. The group is a who’s who of musicians from top philharmonics and offers free concerts featuring such celebrated soloists as Joshua Bell and Renée Fleming.

Late Night

Head back to Ketchum to go stargazing on the roof of the Warfield Distillery & Brewery. Abundant heat lamps and fire pits (not to mention the house-made beer and liquors) take the edge off any evening chill.

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