An Adventurous Winter Escape for Skiers and Non-Skiers Alike

By Danny Sullivan

December 11, 2017

Go fat-tire biking in the snow, visit a classic ski lodge and enjoy holiday fa-la-la.

This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Image Credit: 

Courtesy of Sun Valley Resort

Ketchum and Sun Valley, Idaho, are decked out for the holidays and wrapped in special events during December. Visitors can enjoy the light display in the Sun Valley Village throughout the month; find gifts at the Papoose Club’s annual Holiday Bazaar; and watch the Christmas Eve Ice Show and subsequent torchlight parade of skiers snaking down the mountain on nearby Dollar Face.

Get Outside
Though known as a skiing destination (with 2,000 acres of terrain on Baldy and Dollar mountains), this area offers plenty of fun for the non-skier. Hop on a fat-tire bike and head to Bigwood Fat Bike Park (Ketchum, 115 Thunder Trail; 208.726.4024trail pass, bike and helmet rental, $30) or the ski area’s Nordic trails (some open to fat-tire biking), where you can also snowshoe. 

Photograph Courtesy of Sun Valley Resort; outdoor attractions non-skiers can enjoy activies like fat-tire biking.

Hunt For Treasure
Locals and visitors alike make a point of combing through the goods at The Gold Mine (Ketchum, 331 Walnut Ave. N; 208.726.3465;), a thrift store with an eclectic mix of high-quality clothing and outdoor gear. Find new gear at sporting goods favorite Sturtevants of Sun Valley (Ketchum, 340 N Main St.; 208.726.4501). 

Take a Walk
Browse for Native American antiquities at Broschofsky Galleries (Ketchum, 360 East Ave.; 208.726.4950) and work from 20th-century masters, such as Picasso, Matisse and Magritte, at Frederic Boloix Fine Arts (Ketchum, 351 Leadville Ave. N; 208.726.8810). All of the town’s art galleries are open during the Sun Valley Gallery Association art walk on December 29 (208.726.5512; 

Sleep Well
The classic Sun Valley Lodge (Sun Valley, 1 Sun Valley Road; 800.786.8259; from $309/night), opened in 1936, looks the same from the outside, but underwent a complete renovation last year, adding a full-service spa. Book a spacious room or suite with fireplace, or opt for a room in town at the modern Limelight Hotel (Ketchum, 151 Main St. S; 855.565.0985; from $300/night), which opened last year. 

Courtesy of Sun Valley Resort; The recently-renovated Sun Valley Lodge is the backdrop for the popular skating rink.

A Meal and Music
Fortify yourself at Jewish deli Esta at Club 511 (Ketchum, 511 Leadville Ave.; 208.726.0841), where some of the breakfast dishes, such as the Yiddish Cowboy Style huevos rancheros, have a Southwest flavor. Visit Austrian-inspired café Konditorei (Sun Valley, 1 Sun Valley Road; 208.622.2235) for schnitzel or midafternoon tea and strudel.

Wood-fired pizza and wine are on the menu a Enoteca (Ketchum, 300 N Main St.; 208.928.6280), the newest restaurant from the owners of longtime local favorite Ketchum Grill (Ketchum, 520 East Ave.; 208.726.4660). Cap off the day at live-music venue Whiskey Jacques  (Ketchum, 251 N Main St.; 208.726.5297), or enjoy a pint of cask-aged Miner’s Canary stout at Warfield Distillery and Brewery (Ketchum, 280 N Main St.; 208.726.2739).