While ski vacations are undoubtedly amongst the best of vacations, the logistics involved in the trip can be daunting. Because of the physically demanding nature of sliding down a mountain, calorie consumption is of the utmost importance, and is thus a logistic that simply cannot be neglected. But keeping yourself well fed at a ski hill can be a nightmare. Paying ten dollars for a heat-lamp hot dog is often the norm, and…well, that’s a bummer. At Sun Valley Ski Resort, however, the food available on the mountain is of the utmost quality, and won’t clear out your wallet.
There are five main venues for on-mountain dining, each with their own specialties and charm. Let’s start at the bottom of the hill, and then head up the lifts.
River Run Lodge
River Run Lodge lies on the “town side” of the mountain, and if you’re starting your day over here, skip the breakfast stop on the way to the hill—they’ve got you covered, from bagels to fresh-made breakfast burritos. After your a.m. laps, lunchtime offerings include everything from fresh pizza to ribs to gyros and a wok menu.
The salad bar is king, however, and goes well beyond the typical iceberg, ranch and crouton program. House-made dressings drizzled over spring greens and fresh-baked salmon is just the beginning. Additionally, the River Run Bar offers an extensive apres ski menu to pair with the ten outstanding beers on tap.
Warm Springs Lodge
Warm Springs Lodge, on the “other side” of the mountain, offers great cafeteria-style dining throughout the day, but is most well known for its fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Families pack in and wait patiently to hear “the bell”. When the bell is rung (about every 20-30 minutes during peak season), it means that fresh, gooey cookies have just come out of the oven and are ready to be chowed on. No matter what your age, they are delicious and should not be neglected.
Lookout Lodge is on the very top of the mountain and is famous for it’s inexpensive, yet remarkably generous taco bar. The array of meat, vegetable, and sauce options made from fresh ingredients will fuel you right up and vastly satisfy your pallet.
Seattle Ridge Lodge
Given the far-out location of Seattle Ridge Lodge, all the way on the “back” of Bald Mountain, you would think the structure would be little more than an outpost with some restrooms. Think again—the facility is of remarkably stunning design, lined with timbers and granite finish from the entry-way to the bathroom stalls. Grab a giant slice of house-made pizza, migrate out to the spacious deck, and recover your calories amongst one of the most stunning vistas in the area.
Now on to the main event—The Roundhouse. This octagonal-shaped building, located about two-thirds up the mountain, at the top of the gondola, is a European-inspired fixture on Bald Mountain and is regarded as one of the best “alpine restaurants” in North America. With spectacular views of the famed Pioneer Mountains through giant glass windows, you can sip your beer or wine away while you indulge in the Roundhouse’s mid-day specialty—Fondue. In addition to daytime dining, the Roundhouse is also open for dinner by reservation. Get out of your ski boots and into something a little more formal, and enjoy the moonlight gondola ride up the mountain. The fine dining is absolutely outstanding, and the setting is surreal, to say the least.
Sun Valley Ski Resort has a reputation of never skimping on details. Rest assured, you can leave your peanut butter and jelly at home because the food on the mountain is no exception.