The holidays in Sun Valley are unique. From the snow-covered peaks (and ski runs!) that surround the Wood River Valley, to the old-fashioned charm of the Sun Valley Village and the decidedly European feel of the Resort, Christmas in Sun Valley is straight out of a beloved picture book. I have spent more than 30 Christmases in Sun Valley and while I certainly appreciate all that the Resort does to keep current (our amazing snowmaking and grooming, the gorgeous Lodge remodel, The Spa, and new
Things are busy on the River Run side of Bald Mountain to say the least. On any given day, hikers are setting off onto the trails, mountain bikers are renting bikes and equipment to explore the mountain, little ones are enjoying Sun Valley Adventure Camp and children of all ages are bouncing on the Spider Jump. People are sipping coffee or grabbing a snack at the carts on the terrace, the Gondola is whisking adventurers and sightseers up to Roundhouse and there is energy in the air. The “ski season” for the summer is well underway!
Baldy’s flow trails are big fun on a mountain bike offering miles of carving, banking and, well, flowing
One of the busiest aspects of the warm weather months on Baldy is the mountain biking. With the Gondola and Christmas Chairlift serving the mountain from base to summit, many riders are spending quality time on two wheels. And why not? If you like to mountain bike, there is a trail to suit your every whim.
“We are seeing a lot of great ridership numbers this year,” said Julian Tyo, Coordinator of Mountain Events and Summer Trails. “If you are not an absolute beginner mountain biker, Baldy is a terrific place to be. New bike technology, trails designed with mountain bikers in mind and purpose-built trails allow a wide range of ages and abilities to enjoy one of Sun Valley’s premiere sports.”
Special cars on the Gondola will whisk your bike to Roundhouse or to the top of the mountain for hours of mountain biking adventures
One huge new draw on the mountain is the recently installed flow trails. Two trails (of a planned nine) offer buttery, fresh singletrack. These downhill trails are cut to induce a smooth rhythm that has been compared to a “terrain-induced roller coaster experience,” according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Features like banked turns, rolling terrain, jumps and consistent and predictable surfaces keep pedaling and braking to a minimum – gravity does most of the work. Mountain bikers carve back and forth on the trails, flowing down the mountain without maneuvering obstacles or abrupt corners or encountering pesky logs or rocks.
The two trails, Saddle Up and Lupine were built in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Lupine runs from the Broadway Trail to Saddle Up and Saddle Up terminates at the base of the Christmas Lift. Saddle Up offers a full 3.5 miles of riding fun and Lupine adds an additional 1.7 miles. They cover 1,300 feet of elevation. “These trails are great fun,” Julian said. “They are really dynamic, offering a good workout and an amazing experience.”
Saddle Up and get the thrill of riding Baldy’s flow trails
According to Julian, the longer perimeter trails are also seeing a lot of action. “Our perimeter trails are a very unique asset and are extremely popular,” Julian explained. “They were way ahead of their time when they were built and people cannot wait to ride them.”
For the best possible mountain bike adventure, Julian recommends coming prepared – mentally, physically and with the right gear. “I suggest renting a bike at the base of the mountain at Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports,” he said. “The bikes are tailored for the type of experience riders will have on Baldy. Any bike you ride needs good tires and good suspension. Helmets are required and appropriate footwear, good gloves and even knee and elbow pads are recommended, especially on the flow trails.
Stop by Pete Lane’s at the base of River Run to rent the perfect bike and equipment and pick up some pointers
At both Pete Lane’s and the ticket desk in the River Run Lodge, riders are encouraged to pick up “Know Before You Go” cards. “These outline the experience and what riders can expect on Baldy,” Julian explained. “There is a checklist of necessary equipment and bullet points explaining the terrain. The people at both Pete Lane’s and River Run will also be happy to answer any of your questions and help to direct you to the proper trails for your interests and abilities. Everyone should know, though, that Baldy is not a first-time mountain bike experience. Beginners can enjoy the wonderful trails on the White Clouds across from the Lodge to gain confidence and great skills.”
For another type of adrenalin charged adventure, families are flocking to the Spider Jump at the base of River Run. Come by, grab a snack and enjoy some Sun Valley fun!
Bikers should also be aware that some trails are uphill only, some are downhill only and some are shared with hikers. Summer maps detailing all of this are available online or at River Run.
Baldy is the place to be this summer whether you are on foot, on two wheels, on the Gondola, or on the bungee strings of the Spider Jump. Be sure to get in on the action!
It's that wonderful time of the year again - the Gondola and Christmas Lift on Bald Mountain are once again transporting people up and down the mountain. In late...Read More
Sun Valley will kick off the busy summer season with some serious star power when Olympic gold medalist ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White headline Sun Valley On Ice. ...Read More
I literally counted down the days until my appointment for a Hydra Facial at the brand new, wonderfully welcoming and unapologetically elegant Spa at Sun Valley. I practically skipped into...Read More
Sun Valley might be famous for being home to world-class skiing, hiking, hunting and fishing, but what the place really goes nuts for is bicycling. From toddlers on Strider-style bikes,...Read More