Sun Valley - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Sun Valley

Sun Valley

The holiday destination of Sun Valley, located outside the town of Ketchum, opened in 1936 as the first purpose-built ski destination in America, modelled after the renowned ski resorts of Europe. It was quickly christened the 'American Shangri-La' and has been a favourite of Hollywood stars and other glamorous types ever since. However, in spite of its elite status, Sun Valley has a laid-back atmosphere; the focus remains on the pristine beauty of the environment and the feats accomplished by athletes and outdoorsmen.

Sun Valley is built around Bald Mountain, known affectionately as 'Baldy' and considered by many to be the single best ski mountain the country. The old stomping ground of Olympians Picabo Street and Reggie Crist boasts 3,400 vertical feet (1,036m), 14 lifts and 65 runs on 2,054 skiable acres. The widely varying terrain of 'Baldy' and neighbouring Dollar Mountain means skiers of all levels can hit the slopes. The ski and snowboard school offers clinics for all ages and skill sets. A wide range of accommodation is also available, from romantic retreats to spacious family options, including four mountain lodges, the original and elegant Sun Valley Lodge as well as village condominiums and cottages.

Information & Facts


There is no shortage of activities in addition to skiing and snowboarding, including hiking, snow-shoeing, tubing, dog sledding, and ice skating in the winter, and horseback riding, hiking, biking, rafting, fly-fishing and canoeing. The hot springs of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area are also nearby.

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.


Some skiers have found the tighter valleys of the ski areas to be a bit uncomfortable during busier times. Others have judged the trails to be slightly more difficult than their posted ratings. At times, there is a lack of natural snow.


Nightlife comes alive in Sun Valley during the winter months, with holiday visitors enjoying the après-ski socialising. The Duchin Lounge 'HBR' serves special hot-buttered rum that is a must-try. The Boiler Room is a popular nightspot, serving the obligatory American bar fare of nachos and chicken wings. Its entertainment schedule includes the Mike Murphy Comedy Show as well as karaoke night.


Sun Valley's restaurants cater to every taste, from hearty Idaho fare to pizza to gourmet Mediterranean cuisine - holiday visitors won't be disappointed. Those in a nostalgic mood can dine at Roundhouse, the first day lodge on Bald Mountain, built in 1939. Trail Creek Cabin is also a tradition, with its amazing sunset views and three outdoor decks. It's now open year-round. Visitors can even find sushi in nearby Ketchum.


Shoppers and holidaymakers will find the latest designer fashions and the top brands in technical skiwear in Sun Valley village, as well as skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking equipment and accessories. In addition to an art gallery, there are a variety of gift and souvenir shops. Free bus service to lively Ketchum and its shops is also available.

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