Sun Valley is an area that encompasses two major ski mountains, Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. With over 3,400 vertical feet to ski over 2,000 acres of different terrain, you can easily spend days and days skiing and snowboarding.
Sun Valley, also known as Wood River Valley, was a booming mine area, and the nearby city of Ketchum, Idaho had a whooping 13 saloons by the year 1884. By the early 1900s however, the mining boom went bust, and the town of Ketchum turned into a sleepy town of only 100 inhabitants.
In 1936, Count Felix Schaffgosch, was hired by the Union Pacific Railroad to find the perfect place to build a destination ski resort. Once the Count laid eyes on the mountains and bucolic valley, he knew he had found the place. By 1937, Sun Valley opened up as “America's First Destination Ski Resort.”
Today, people still flock to Sun Valley because of the immense natural beauty of the area, the excellent skiing conditions, and for the laid-back feel of Ketchum and the surrounding area. Visiting Sun Valley is exciting and you want the best accommodations to fit your budget and lifestyle, and you'll find just what you need while staying here.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Sun Valley, Idaho?
For winter activities, December through February is when peak skiing conditions occur, so if you are coming to Sun Valley to play in the snow, book your rooms well in advance, and expect to pay the highest rates of the year.
If you are visiting Sun Valley to enjoy the mountains in the summer for hiking, fishing, and summer events, then know that June through September is a busy time. Again, rooms fill up quickly and rates are high, so don't hesitate to make your reservations early.
March through May is often considered “mud season” as the snow is melting and there normally isn't enough snow to ski on. However, this is the time of year when the wildflowers begin to bloom, the days are getting longer, and because there are fewer tourists, you can easily score a room and find good deals.
October through January are also the slow months, as the days begin to get quite cold, yet there isn't enough snow to play on. Fishing is still good in the early part of fall, and there is something magical about being in the mountains when fall begins. You shouldn't have any trouble booking a room during the autumn months.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Sun Valley, ID:
Sun Valley by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Sun Valley, ID. You can use these charts to calculate the most cost effective time to book in Sun Valley during the year.
Can I Find Luxury Hotel Options in Sun Valley, Idaho?
4 Star Average Prices: $246.75
Of course! Because Sun Valley is an international ski destination, there are a couple of nice luxury hotel options available. The Sun Valley Resort is an all-season resort that has a spa, ice-skating rink, golf course, three outdoor swimming pools, and six restaurants. The rooms range in size from a standard guest room to full-sized condos.
The rooms are extremely well-appointed with wool carpeting, granite floors and walls, and luxurious bedding. Some rooms have fireplaces and full kitchens. Standard lodge rooms have free Wi-Fi, a mini fridge and flat-screen HDTV's. The cottages are charming and great for families and groups, and the condos are ideal for large groups. The Sun Valley Resort is quite large with plenty of lodging opportunities.
Stay in the beautiful Limelight Hotel in Ketchum for a luxury experience. The rooms and suites are well-lit with marvelous views. The rooms come with exceptionally comfortable bedding and a 55-inch flat-screen television with cable and satellite channels. The daily resort fees cover services such as Wi-Fi, skier shuttles, continental breakfast, access to the fitness center, as well as airport transportation to and from the Sun Valley Airport.
Enjoy the outdoor pool and hot tubs or relax in the plaza area that features over-stuffed lounge chairs around a pit fire. Ski rental services are available across from the lobby and the restaurant features top-notch dining.
What Are My Best Low-Cost Hotel Options in Sun Valley, Idaho?
3 Star Average Prices: $137.95
Because Sun Valley is a destination ski area, there aren't a lot of low-cost hotels, yet you can still find ones that are somewhat budget-friendly. Right in the heart of Ketchum and Sun Valley is the charming Tamarack Lodge. The lodge has recently gone through renovations so expect to find new carpet, new beds, and mattresses, as well as fresh paint.
Enjoy comfortable new bedding while watching a show on the 42-inch flat-screen TV. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, a microwave and mini fridge for your convenience, and you can snuggle up in the provided bathrobes. Take a dip in the indoor pool or relax in the outdoor hot tub, and for a small fee, you can enjoy breakfast on-site.
Another budget-friendly hotel is the Best Western Tyrolean Lodge in Ketchum. Start your day with a complimentary hot/cold buffet breakfast before hitting the slopes, and when you return, take a dip in the heated outdoor saline pool or relax in the hot tub. You can grab a quick workout in the exercise room, and then relax in your room with comfortable bedding and down comforters. Watch DirectTV on the 42-inch flat-screen or search the internet with free Wi-Fi. Select rooms offer a microwave and all rooms have a mini fridge.