5:27 pm, June 4, 2024

Four-seasons fun and entertainment are what you’ll find when you head to Idaho this summer. Its many scenic mountain towns are waiting to welcome you with year-round activities and attractions, as well as summer fun that will keep you coming back to experience the fun and excitement every season there. Sun Valley and the surrounding area is one of those places! Quiet, scenic, and serene, it has plenty of charm, along with fun and exciting Idaho summertime activities for you to enjoy. Once you’ve decided to head to Sun Valley, it’s time to begin planning everything, from the things you’ll do to where you’ll stay.

Sawtooth Wilderness Area

The federally protected wilderness area sprawls and impressive 217,000 acres of land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. No matter where you go, you’ll find outdoor fun. Its scenic beauty if punctuated by high granite peaks rising as much as 10,000 feet, and narrow glacial valleys you’ll want to explore. The area boasts nearly 400 high alpine lakes within its rocky terrain. There are nearly 350 miles of hiking trails that cut through meadows of wildflowers and other natural features.

The term ‘wilderness’ means truly wild. There are no motor vehicles allowed, and even bikes – anything “mechanical” – are prohibited. Tent camping, hunting, fishing, and other activities are available with the proper permits and within the proper season.

Sawtooth Botanical Garden

The beautiful gardens span over five acres and are organized into five major garden areas. Each area represents a separate biome found in south central Idaho, including Alpine, Lava, Montane, Riparian, Sagebrush, and Steppe. Wander the property and you’ll also find art installations, educational planting beds, and other special displays like the “Sawtooth Sandbox,” “Garden of Infinite Compassion, “Prayer Wheel,” and the visitor center and greenhouse.

The gardens are open to the public dawn-dusk, daily, year-round. The gate remains closed and latched to keep pests from destroying the garden, but guests are welcome during those hours.

The visitor center has summer hours Memorial Day weekend through the first Sunday of October, Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m. Winter hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $7/adult. Kids under 12, garden members, AHS RAP members, military veterans, and seniors are free.

Galena Stage Stop Corrals

Explore Sun Valley on horseback this summer. Trail rides cut through the heart of the big Boulder Mountain Chain. Take a guided ride and learn the history of the area, see points of interest, and enjoy the mountain scenery along old mining and logging trails. Catch glimpses of the Sawtooth Mountains, as well as wildlife in its natural habitat.

Choose from full day, half day, or 1.5-hour rides. The shorter rides take you through towering pines and into the historic mining area of Galena. Extend the experience to a half-day ride and ride along Titus Creek to Titus Lake or to the Miner’s Cabin of the Boulder Mountains. Full day rides include a lunch break and is plotted based on what you want to see and do.

Rides take place 23 miles north or Ketchum on Highway 75 across from Galena Lodge.


Sun Valley has beautiful outdoor scenery, including beautiful mountains, pine forests, and wide-open spaces to explore. Lace up your hiking shoes, pack some trail snacks and sun protection and head out. You and your loved ones will find hundreds of miles of trails to hike to see nature’s beauty. Spot local wildlife in their natural habitat while you stretch your legs and get a breath of fresh air.

Mountain Biking

The mountains that surround Sun Valley provide a variety of terrain for a unique riding experience when there’s not snow on the ground. Experienced bikers can take challenging trails that take you exploring through the mountains, alongside creeks, and more. No matter what trail you choose, you’ll experience the splendor and breathtaking beauty of thriving aspen groves and lush meadows of the area.


Enjoy the activity that has no age or skill requirement and can be a full-day or partial day journey. There are a number of destinations where you can cast a line and try your luck. The Big Wood River and Silver Creek Preserve each has an abundance of rainbow and brown trout. Head to the East Fork of the Lost River for beautiful meadows, mountain vistas, and a variety of fish including cutthroat and rainbow trout, grayling, and more. Pack up your gear and head to the Salmon River and cast a line for rainbow, cutthroat, steelhead, and whitefish.

For a calmer fishing experience, head to Magic Reservoir and its calm waters, where you can launch a boat and spend the day on the water. You’ll cast a line in search of rainbow and brown trout, perch, smallmouth bass, and more. Note that the reservoir is used to meet area irrigation demands, so check the water levels before choosing an access point. Don’t forget to secure the proper Idaho fishing license before heading out.

Easley Hot Springs Swimming Pool

The pool is filled with natural water from the nearby hot springs. The natural water source means you’ll be getting a rich mineral soak while you splash and enjoy yourself this summer. The facility includes a large pool with shallow and deeper waters, as well as two hot tubs. It is located inside the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, surrounded by Forest Service campgrounds. The property includes the pool, hot tub, and a general store.

The pool, spas, and general store are open Memorial Day-Labor Day. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. All facilities are closed on Mondays. Admission is $12 for adults, and $10 for seniors and children 12 and under. There may be additional costs for showers and rentals like swimsuits, towels, and pool toys.

Sun Valley Museum of Art

See a number of rotating exhibits that showcase the talents of local and Idaho-based artists. Exhibits include weaving, pottery, painting, sketching, sculpture, beadwork, and more. The museum holds a number of community events, including talks, lectures, tours, and live events. There is a summer concert series full of local musicians performing a variety of musical styles. Other special events include the Sun Valley Wine Auction to benefit their art education programs. Admission is free.

Wood River Museum of History and Culture

Learn more about the history and culture of the place you’ve decided to call home this summer. Visit the museum and wander through interactive exhibits that help you “become part of history.” Exhibits have included ski history, Ernest Hemingway in Idaho, sheep ranching, ice skating in Sun Valley, and an extensive documentation of cultural changes in the area.

Wood River Valley Ore Wagon Museum

If there are young children in the group, they may be getting bored with all the museum visits, but there’s one more to add to your summer visit itinerary. Learn about pioneering days through a display of original 1880s ore wagons that were used in the Wood River Valley. The wagons were pulled by 20-mule teams to transport gold and silver ore from the mountains. Everyone will marvel at the wagons that are larger than an average freight wagon and built to survive the stresses of travel on the road over Trail Creek Summit.

There are currently seven wagons in the museum’s fleet, which parade down the streets of Ketchum by an 18-horse team in the Wagon Days Parade. The museum is open year-round and is located at 200 10th Street in Ketchum.

Spa Day

Make total relaxation part your Sun Valley adventure. There are several spas in Sun Valley and the surrounding area that are waiting to help you out with that total relaxation during your well-deserved break. Choose from services like mani/pedis, body wraps or scrubs, scalp treatments, and more that will have you walking away refreshed and rejuvenated. If the men of the group want a relaxing treatment, too, some spas offer special just-for-men services that cater to their unique needs.


There are a variety of things to do in the summer, from hiking and biking the tall mountains, to conquering the rolling hills of a golf course. If you have golfers in the group, they’ll want to take some time out to challenge themselves to any of Sun Valley and the surrounding area’s great courses. You won’t just be challenging yourself to the course, but to the thinner mountain air! It may take some time to modify your game to accommodate for the way your ball flies through the fresh mountain air. Sun Valley offers a number of public courses including Sun Valley Resort’s Trail Creek and White Clouds courses, and Elkhorn Golf Club. You can go a little further afield to places like Ketchum and Hailey, too. If your clubs and other gear didn’t make the packing list, ask about rentals when scheduling your tee times.


You’ll no doubt want to do some shopping while you’re here, either for that perfect souvenir or to find the perfect locally made items. You’ll want to make sure to hit the many shops and boutiques in search of something only found in Sun Valley. You’re sure to find some interesting treasures and souvenirs to remember the trip. You’ll find shops full of apparel, accessories, and services like ski and snowboard gear, items for water sports, and more.


Enjoy the many tastes of Sun Valley and the surrounding area! There are many restaurants offering the most delicious food prepared by brilliant chefs. Deli selections like hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and more join mouth-watering pizza, burgers, authentic Italian or Thai cuisine, Mexican, Mediterranean, and more. No matter what meal of the day you’re hungry for, you’ll find it in Sun Valley. There’s a flavor to love and leave you satisfied until the next meal.

Breweries & Distilleries

After tasting some of the most delicious foods the area has to offer, wash it down with a locally made brew or spirit. Warfield Distillery and Brewery is right in nearby Ketchum and hosts an on-site brewery, distillery, and restaurant. Take a seat and taste a rotating menu of “modern American” offerings, meaning no two taste tours will be the same. The establishment has 14 original beers, along with a rotating list. The distillery offers a number of handmade, small-batch spirits and liquors, including vodka, gin, and brandy.

Sawtooth Brewery hosts 25 taps of beer, plus wine, hard cider, kombucha, and more. Sun Valley brewery offers a brewery, bar, and restaurant with 12 beers brewed on-site to accompany gourmet pub fare. Powerhouse hosts the largest selection, including 19 beers on tap and a menu of over 50 served alongside a menu of burgers, pizza, sandwiches, and more.

White Water Rafting

There are a number of companies that will take you on the adrenaline-pumping adventure of a lifetime. Companies offer half-day, full-day, and multi-day trips along the Salmon River. Depending on your trip, you may encounter rapids as fast as Class IV for a heart-pumping wild ride. Go for a leisurely “float” for 1-2 hours or spend six or more hours battling the rapids.

Longer trips include lunch. Most adventures take place June-September, meaning you’ll have no problem adding it to your summer trip. Companies provide all the necessary safety gear, including life jackets and helmets.

Celebrate Summer in Sun Valley

While you’re planning everything for your ultimate Sun Valley summer getaway, make sure booking a vacation rental home base is your first step. Abode Sun Valley has a variety of homes, all the way up to seven bedrooms, to fit your summer vacation needs.

Arrive and feel the stresses and worries of home melt away and be replaced by vacation calm. Enjoy preparing ingredients for summer cookouts or any other meal in the fully equipped kitchen or stretch out with some popcorn and a favorite movie or TV show. Multiple private spaces like patios, balconies, and private bedrooms means everyone can retreat to privacy whenever you want. Choose a premium unit for flat screen TVs, stainless steel appliances, a wet bar, plush furnishings, and more.

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