Just last week, a Saturday night dinner at the Ram Restaurant in Sun Valley Village seemed like a great idea. One member of our party was anxious to try the nightly $25 special of Hungarian Goulash, and an evening spent at the beautiful eatery, accompanied by live piano music, and noshing on delicious food sounded perfect. Our decision proved even more prescient when the server announced that the Ram was running a spring special: fondue for two (free!) with the purchase of any two entrees. It was a bubbling, gold prize at the end of the proverbial rainbow!
Fondue for two with...
Even in the high mountains of Idaho, April showers (and winter snowmelt!) bring May flowers. And this year, Mother Nature is showing off a bit with some of the most beautiful wildflower blooms anyone can remember. Fields of lupine are flashing their springtime best on hiking trails and mountain bike single track just south of Sun Valley and further north, the bloom is also beginning. It’s truly a stunning spring.
Everyone is buzzing about the lupine bloom and spectacular wildflowers that are making hiking and biking memorable this spring
Proctor Mountain, located just behind Trail Creek Cabin east of the Sun Valley Lodge is one great reason to get up and get out there. This local’s favorite hike is a good mix of consistently challenging uphill with some spectacular views when you reach the summit. After the hike up via two main routes (I like to “loop it left” myself) treat yourself to some time up top. The views of Baldy, Dollar, Sun Valley, and east over the Pioneer mountain range are glorious. On this hike, the wildflowers are pretty spectacular, too, and spring is the best time to enjoy color on the trails. Proctor is also the home to North America’s first chairlift. Take a moment to see where Sun Valley’s storied alpine legacy began in earnest.
Looking for and identifying wildflowers is a favorite activity among outdoor enthusiasts. Many local guidebooks are available to help in this endeavor.
Directly across from the Sun Valley Resort, the White Clouds trails system winds gently uphill and down. It is a very popular spot for mountain bikers and hikers and is a great early season workout if you are working on getting your summer fitness level up. Great views predominate and early wildflowers are making the scenic walks even more scenic.
If you want to get peddling on flatter ground for starters, the Wood River Valley’s miles and miles of “rails to trails” paved paths await. These well-maintained trails that run along the Big Wood River, connecting all the towns of the Wood River Valley, are full of bikers and walkers getting back into summer shape and enjoying fresh air, sunshine and already long days. Even on the valley floor, the wildflowers are starting to decorate the trails.
Early season mountain bikers are being rewarded for their efforts with trails like this one. Gorgeous!
More amazing biking and hiking is right around the corner when Bald Mountain opens for the summer season in a little over a month. Uphill lift service accesses legendary mountain bike trails, including the popular flow trails. These downhill trails use the mountain’s natural contours and gravity to provide a fun-filled ride for enthusiasts. The hiking on Baldy is also beautiful and available to all levels. Beginners can grab the lift to the top of the hill and take a gentle hike on the top of the world. More ambitious climbers can access the summit from the base of River Run, conquering a few thousand vertical feet and about five miles via the trail that begins at the base of River Run.
Check into Pete Lane’s in the Sun Valley Village for all your gear needs. Now is the time to get that bike tuned, check the tires, break in some hiking or trail running shoes and invest in the latest high performance clothing. They also have a fleet of rental bikes appropriate to every occasion and experts on staff to help you plan your adventures. If you’re new to the area, a guided hike or mountain bike tour may be the perfect way to start your holiday.
It’s not only a great year for wildflowers; morel mushrooms are also bountiful. Hunting for them is another fun (and later delicious) way to get outside and enjoy the day
It promises to be an amazing summer in Sun Valley and there is much to look forward to. But right now, everyone is enjoying a bountiful spring. The wildflowers are outrageous, the morel mushroom yield (hunting morels is a favorite locals’ activity) is almost unheard of. Spring is a gift that keeps on giving and it’s time to get out and enjoy doing what you love best.
Get out onto the trails and into the local mountains now and you will be in great shape and ready to enjoy all the warm weather months offer.
All the locally loved dogs are also enjoying their spring hikes
Go take a hike!
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