Welcome to Ketchum
In 1935, a Union Pacific Railway chairman set out in search of
the perfect spot for a grand American resort, modelled after the
magnificent ski destinations of Europe. His quest ended just
outside the tiny mining community of Ketchum, Idaho, population
100. One year later, Sun Valley, a place to 'rough it in style',
was opened to the public. It immediately gained glamorous regulars
like Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Ernest Hemingway, who eventually
settled in Ketchum.
Today, the area continues to attract high-profile guests, and it
certainly offers its fair share of sophistication and urban chic.
But the impression left on visitors is rather different; it is
perhaps what keeps them coming back year after year, or even what
motivates them to make the area their permanent home. Sun Valley
and Ketchum have retained their small-town charm. Residents,
whether millionaires or ski bums, are first and foremost lovers of
the outdoors. The emphasis here is on attitude rather than
appearance. Standing at the edge of the pristine wilderness of the
Sawtooth National Recreation Area, with the jagged peaks of the
Smoky and Pioneer Mountains in the distance, certainly puts pomp
And, of course, with Bald Mountain, considered by many to be the
single best ski mountain in the country, beckoning, time spent on
showiness is slope time wasted. 'Baldy' is equipped with 13 lifts
sending skiers up 3,400 vertical feet (1,036m) to a summit altitude
of 9,150 feet (2,788m). Known for its incredibly light and fast
snow, the mountain boasts varying terrain, from glades and bowls to
bumps and groomers.
Information & Facts
The Sun Valley/Ketchum area, despite its evergreen forests, is
actually in a mountain desert environment. During the winter, when
it isn't snowing, the sun is shining, and the air is crisp and
clear, making winter sports all the more enjoyable. Summers are
also sunny, pleasant and warm.
Downtown Ketchum and the village of Sun Valley exude small-town
charm, and walking around is a joy. However, renting a car is not a
bad idea, especially for visitors who wish to have the freedom to
explore the scenic areas outside town. The Ketchum Area Rapid
Transit (KART) also offers free, year-round, fixed-route bus
service throughout Ketchum and Sun Valley. The schedule changes
according to the season.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.