The history of ski racing in Sun Valley is as rich and as impressive as anyplace in the country. And the future is looking pretty bright, too. It is as if the slopes of Baldy and Dollar were blessed by the ski gods, Ullr and Skadi, to groom the fastest and strongest skiers and snowboarders to ever ride on snow. Sun Valley has been home to the best in the alpine sports scene since shortly after inventing the world’s first chairlift back in the 1930s. It’s a tradition that’s staying strong and is proudly on display as Sun Valley hosts events like last weekend...
Welcome to Idaho – the Wilderness State! With four million acres of designated wilderness, ours is the wildest state in the Lower 48. Miles of hiking and mountain biking trails promise innumerable ways to enjoy the unbelievable vistas, mountain wildflowers and peace and serenity that is often hard to find, but all these choices can also be a bit intimidating. Where do you start? The best place is Pete Lane’s Outdoor Adventure Center in the Sun Valley Village. With daily guided hikes and bike rides, the pros at Pete Lane’s will show you that adventures need not be far flung to be big fun.
The Outdoor Adventure Center is headed up by locals-in-the-know Molly Meyers, Greg Bearce and Sam Cochran. Check in with them to discuss your interests, fitness level and bucket list and they will get you on the right track in no time. “It’s great when guests who aren’t terribly familiar with the area come in so we can really help orient them and make the most of their vacation,” Molly said. “For families or individuals, we recommend a guided hike or mountain bike ride to get started. Our instructors offer insight, instruction and help guests understand all the options that are available. It takes a lot of the mystery out of planning a day of recreation and helps keep everyone safe. In addition to guiding, we offer information about recreational opportunities of all kinds. It’s a great resource.”
Pete Lane’s in the Sun Valley Village is adventure HQ. Stop in to book a guided hike or mountain bike ride to get your vacation on track
If hiking is your thing, some excellent local hikes await. Experienced guides will lead you on one of three tempting trails or you may design your own adventure. The first is Proctor Mountain, a favorite with locals, and the site of North America’s first chairlift. Trails wend through Aspen groves, evergreen glades and fields of wildflowers on the way to a jaw-dropping view out over Baldy, Sun Valley and the mountains all around. This is rated a moderate to advanced hike lasting 2.5 to 3 hours and is a great way to prepare for additional hiking you may be planning.
For those ready for a challenge and up for some great cardio, the Baldy Blast Climb awaits. This thigh burner takes you up 3,000 feet of elevation all the way to the summit of Bald Mountain and is a truly scenic way to see the entire valley below. Enjoy a ride back down the mountain on the chairlift and gondola or stop at the bottom of the Christmas lift to treat yourself to a delicious lunch at Roundhouse. You’ve earned it! This excursion (not including lunch!) takes approximately four hours.
There are countless hikes to enjoy in the Sun Valley area. Let the pros at Pete Lane’s start you out on a few local favorites and recommend where to go from there
If the will to see the summit of Baldy is there but the fitness level is trailing a bit, consider Averell’s Hike. Participants will ride the gondola to Roundhouse before hiking the last one-third of the mountain to the peak at 9,150 feet. The view is spectacular and the hike lasts approximately two hours. Again, hike or ride back down to Roundhouse for a burger or a fabulous salad. Lift tickets and lunch are not included in the cost of the hike.
Custom hikes into all of our wonderful wilderness area are also available. Guides will help plan what works best for your group and can even help arrange a picnic lunch from the Shortline Deli. Custom hikes generally go into the Dollar Mountain, White Clouds and Corral Creek areas. Pricing is per hiker, per hour.
If you dream of zooming around single track on a mountain bike but aren’t sure where to start, again, pop in to Pete Lane’s. Sun Valley is mountain bike Nirvana drawing some of the most accomplished and avid mountain bikers from around the country and the world to our trails. But even if you have never pedaled further than the corner store, this sport is within reach.
The pros at Pete Lane’s break down their biking instruction according to experience level. For the “never ever rider” they instruct in bike basics: breaking, shifting, safety and keeping in control. For the beginner, guides will help riders master biking skills and start working on small features and learning to ride in the dirt. For intermediate athletes, lessons help riders navigate terrain on single track with natural and bigger features.
Pete Lane’s has the gear and guides you need to enjoy what many call single track Nirvana. Meet with an expert to pick exactly the right bike and exactly the right ride and grab some instruction along the way
Rides go out in three regions. The first is just east of Sun Valley in the Corral Creek, Trail Creek and Proctor trail systems. These are great for navigating beginner single track, last about three hours and offer an introduction to technical riding. For those who are comfortable on their mountain bikes, a trip into the White Clouds offers switchbacks, single track and moderate technical climbing. These rides last about two hours. For those with sound skills, the Baldy Downhill guided tour is a must-do. Whether you long for the freedom of downhill, enjoy cross country riding or want to experience the epic flow trails, Baldy is calling. The price for Baldy rides includes a lift ticket to get you up the hill so you can get after getting down it! Participants on Baldy rides must have proper riding skills including knowledge of navigating terrain on single track, switchbacks and appropriately riding thru natural features.
And if all of this sounds like an awful lot of work, there is yet another way to enjoy a two-wheeled adventure in Sun Valley. The Wheels & Wine Guided Bike Tour offers a leisurely tour of Sun Valley, offering the lay of the land and insight into the Resort’s rich history. Pedal your way to the start of a lovely evening (or afternoon) with a glass of wine. Cheers! “Many people tell us this experience should be mandatory for all first-time guests,” Molly said, “people learn so much and have so much fun.”
Hiking or mountain biking in the beautiful White Clouds or any of our local trails is big fun for the whole family
No matter how you chose to enjoy Sun Valley’s bountiful natural resources, be sure to do so with an experienced guide. You will gain confidence and skills while enjoying some of the wonderful local trails many of us who live here call our “gym.”
Please call Pete Lane’s at 208.622.2281 to learn more and to reserve your adventure. No visit to Sun Valley is complete without a trip on the trails.
While Sun Valley may be best known for the modern sports of skiing and mountain biking, it’s still an Old West town at heart.
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