Serene & Beautiful: Spring Skiing at Sun Valley Mountain & Resort

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I had a unique opportunity to do some spring skiing in Sun Valley Idaho this past April, only a couple of weeks before they closed for the season. For those who haven’t been to Idaho, think again! This state is beautiful and Sun Valley’s Ski Resort is home to some of the most stunning views you could ever hope for.

One thing to note for avid skiiers who tried their hand at spring skiing and dealt with the slush and mush, Sun Valley apparently has the largest snow making machine in the country. In other words, we had plenty of snow but the skies were crystal blue and while I still needed a fleece and a shell, I didn’t freeze my tail off. Below I am looking at the ski run called Olympic Ridge, a run coming down the river run side of Baldy Mountain. How’s this for beautiful site?

Not only does it have a smoking snow making machine, but it’s also America’s first destination resort, dating back to 1936.  Below, I’m looking into the bowls from top of Christmas lift.

There are a total of 66 runs and 19 lifts, one of which is a gondola lift.  If you want to go to the top, the summit elevation at Baldy is 9,150 feet and at Dollar Mountain, the summit is 6,638 feet.  To grab food, water, or a warm coffee, there are a number of day lodges, including River Run Day Lodge, Warm Springs Day Lodge, Seattle Ridge Day Lodge, Lookout Restaurant and the Roundhouse. Below, Seattle ridge Day Lodge.

From Baldy mountain, I have views of the towns of Sun Valley and Ketchum.

The photos will speak for themselves and remember I shot all of these on my iPhone. The photos below include looking out at Olympic Ridge, standing on Olympic Lane , overlooking Olympic ski run, on the top of Canyon looking at Ketchum and Sun Valley and the Lower Broadway run.

The Seattle Ridge Day Lodge and skiing towards upper college.

Skiing towards upper college with Challenger lift in the background and the Seattle ridge area of Baldy.

Other views include looking south from the top of Christmas lift, looking at Seattle ridge and the bowls from the top of Christmas lift, looking east from the top of Christmas lift, the top of Challenger Lift, the bottom of Challenger lift on the Warm Springs side of Baldy, Greyhawk lift on the Warm Springs side of Baldy, the Christmas lift, riding down the Christmas chairlift and the bottom of Roundhouse express Gondola on the river run side of Baldy.

My skiis on the way up a chairlift, a pair of Blizzards from Pete Lane’s ski shop on the bottom of Baldy.

On a sunnier and warmer day, I only need a shell. Here, I am happily buried behind my goggles, or rather Therese Magner’s goggles. THX Therese!

Therese Magner of Sun Valley Resorts and I on a sunny Spring day two weeks before Easter, the day the resort closed for the season.

The Harry Lee & Black Alley Blues Band plays throughout the afternoon while skiiers taking a break from the slopes. It couldn’t have been more relaxing as we pulled off our jackets and goggles, and drank beer and ate burgers with the Idaho sun beating on our faces.

The man himself.

I have a soft spot for blues – the music makes me FEEL what’s around me. We only had about 15 minutes before he had to be back on stage, but let’s just say their music energized everyone. There was a whole lotta feet tapping on that sunny April day!

Does it get much better than this?

Now for a little glimpse of what winter is like, photos courtesy of Sun Valley Resort.

Below, Dollar Terrain Park.

Below is a shot of a lift at Seattle Ridge at sunset.

Below, Seattle Ridge Lodge at sunset.

Skiing wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the collective effort of four people who decked me out with gear, so a big thanks to them for not only making sure I was warm enough, but that I looked “hip” as well. Thanks to Sun Valley’s Therese Magner (she has fabulous ski outfits), the van driver from Knob Hill Inn for his red fleece, Cecile from Seattle for her gloves and Ellen Rowan for a warm pair of socks.

For Apres Ski, there’s entertainment in the Boiler Room, Duchin Lounge, and Bald Mountain base lodges. Jazz musicians perform nightly for dancing in the Duchin Lounge.

Given that ski season is officially over for the year and Spring is in full force, it’s worth noting how much there is do to in Sun Valley during every season. In the spring, summer and fall, you can take advantage of golf at the resort (there are several courses), tennis, skating, swimming (3 heated outdoor pools, one children’s pool and one jacuzzi), horseback riding, fly fishing, rafting, bowling, paddle boating, horseshoes, volleyball and more.

For entertainment, major events include Sun Valley Pavilion Entertainment, the Sun Valley Wine Auction, Arts And Craft Show, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Saturday night Sun Valley Summer Ice Shows, Swing ’N’ Dixie Jazz Jamboree, Car Auction, Writer’s Conference and the Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament.

Where to Stay in the Area:

I stayed at the Lodge, which has 148 rooms, though they are in the middle of a massive renovation. The Inn has 105 rooms, and there are currently 232 apartments, cottages and condominiums. See some of the existing room shots as well as their plans for a brand new Sun Valley Lodge.

Also be sure to check out some of the other posts we did on Sun Valley and the surrounding area, such as our article and photos on Sun Valley for Spring skiing, my write up on Globus and other great Sun Valley restaurants (also see our write up on GlobusSun Valley restaurants and great picks for foodies), my visit to Zenergy and soaking in Sun Valley Lodge‘s massive hot soaking pool.

Note: I was hosted by the fabulous Sun Valley Resort & Mountain however all opinions expressed are entirely my own.


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