Summer in Sun Valley is special. Not special-for-a-mountain-town or special-for-Idaho, but truly wondrous, breathtaking, and adventurous–for visitors and locals alike.

Known to some as a ski town, if you have visited Sun Valley during the summer, you understand the charm and excitement that takes place between June and September.  

If you’ve yet to visit in the summer, don’t worry. Here is an exhaustive list of things to do in Sun Valley this summer, whether you’re looking to relax or rev your engine.

Map of Sun Valley Idaho Vacation Exploring Fun

Summer Activities in Sun Valley

Many summer activities reappear each year. For those wanting to get outside and experience the summer heat, try one of the following.

Fishing

After Memorial Day, The Big Wood River (among others) opens up to fishing. The trout limit differs from spot to spot, so check out the 2018 Seasons Rules here (page 23).

Golfing

Bigwood Golf Course is an 18-hole course just north of Ketchum and open to the public seven days a week. Check here for rates and hours.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Rent a SUP, get on the lake, and dive in when you get too hot. While there aren’t many places to stand up paddleboard within Ketchum proper, if you have a car, you can easily ride over to Redfish Lake or The Salmon River.

Pool Time

People often overlook a simple pool day in mountain towns, but take a day now and then to sunbathe and splash around (just don’t forget the SPF).

Hiking

Don’t forget the quintessential mountain summer activity: hiking. Try one of these ten routes to get in your miles. If you prefer something less taxing, a walk along the Big Wood River Trail will also get your legs moving.

Cycling

Whether you prefer the road or mountain variety, Sun Valley has hundreds of miles of bikeable terrain. If you’re itching to put miles on the board, tackle the 60-mile ride up to Galena Summit.  If cruising is more your speed, rent a complimentary cruiser bike from the Limelight Hotel and explore the Wood River Trail System.

Horseback Riding

Visit Sun Valley or Elkhorn stables to experience the Wild West. Learn more about horseback riding options in Sun Valley.

Ice Cream

Once you’ve completed your daily summer activity, head to downtown Ketchum and scoop up some ice cream from one of these spots. Come on; you deserve it.

Pavilion Concerts

Summer in Sun Valley is time to take in one of the open-air concerts at The Pavilion. Be sure to catch some of this summer’s lineup, beginning mid-June.

  • Saturday, June 16 – Citizen Cope
  • Monday, June 25 – St. Paul & the Broken Bones with special guest North Mississippi Allstars
  • Tuesday, June 26 – Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Thursday, July 3 – The Bluzmen: The Ultimate Tribute to The Blues Brothers!

In need of tickets? Don’t worry, you can find some here.

Jazz in the Park

Jazz in the Park is a Sun Valley tradition, taking place on Sundays at 6 PM in Rotary Park (north of town). Don’t forget to bring a blanket, lawn chairs or a bottle of wine. Enjoy jazz riffs while relaxing with friends; you may even make some new ones.

Sip in the Sun

There’s a handful of drinking-related events happening this summer in Sun Valley: Beer dinners, beer fests, and wine celebrations.

This summer, attend a Limelight Beer Dinner, open most Thursdays throughout the summer. They are $55 per person and include bites and beer tastings in the Lounge of the Limelight Hotel. Summer 2018 dates include:

  • June 14 | Grand Slam Dinner with Warfield Distillery & Brewery
  • June 28 | Beer Dinner with Lagunitas Brewery
  • July 12 | Beer Dinner with Odell Brewery
  • July 26 | Rosé Farm to Table Dinner
  • August 9 | Beer Dinner with New Belgium Brewery
  • August 23 | Kansas City BBQ Dinner with Boulevard Brewing
  • September 6 | Beer Dinner with Mother Earth Brewing
  • September 20 | Tequila Farm to Table Dinner
  • October 4 | Beer Dinner with Sun Valley Brewery
  • October 18 | Grand Slam Dinner with Sawtooth Brewery and 44 North Vodka

Sun Valley Brew Fest

If you want to taste local brews in the Valley, attend the 5th annual Sun Valley Brew Fest on June 16th. Brew Fest occurs on Main Street in Ketchum from noon to 6 PM.

Idaho Wine Month

If beer isn’t your thing, come to Sun Valley in June for Idaho Wine Month. This month-long celebration toasts Idahoan wineries across town in different restaurants and venues. View the monthly events on the Idaho Wine Commission website.

2018 Special Events for Summer

Olympic Cruising and Medals with Muffy Davis

​Explore Sun Valley with local hometown hero and four-time Paralympian and U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame inductee, Muffy Davis.

This 90-minute cruising event takes places on June 22, July 20, and August 10th. Open to Limelight Hotel guests only.

A Walk in the Woods: Explore Sun Valley

Enjoy a naturalist-led walk with a local specialist and explore Sun Valley or Sawtooth Botanical Garden with an expert who will teach you about the area’s flora and fauna. The nature walks will take place Mondays starting June 19. Open to Limelight Hotel guests only.

As we mentioned before, there are countless things to do in Sun Valley during the summer! Come, visit us and fall in love.