There’s more to do in Sun Valley than the obvious. Downhill skiing and snowboarding can be costly; not only are lift tickets expensive but purchasing or renting the equipment necessary, possibly taking lessons or clinics, and the high price of dining at a ski mountain all add up to an experience many can’t afford. In Sun Valley, despite its reputation as a ski resort, there are many other fun winter activities that locals and visitors participate in. From hockey to fat biking to snowshoeing, winter opportunities abound that are fun, outdoors, and won’t cost an arm and a leg (figuratively and literally).

Despite each of these activities being vastly different than one another, they are grouped together here because the trails used for all four are in the same locations. Ketchum’s Sun Valley Nordic & Snow Center, located in the Sun Valley Club, has over 40 kilometers of trails groomed daily for winter activities. The center also offers training programs, clinics and rentals. You can also get day passes for half-day, two-day and three-day, snowshoeing and fat biking.

Spanning the entire Wood River Valley is the Wood River Trail, aka the bike path. At 20+ miles, it’s a groomed trail available in the towns of Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue for use year-round. The Blaine County Recreation District grooms this trail in the winter to keep the free resource maintained.

To the south in Hailey are the Quigley Nordic trails, a system of 13 kilometers of groomed ski trails in Quigley Canyon next to the Wood River High School. A $10/day trail pass is required to ski here.

To the north of Ketchum are several popular areas: Harriman Trail, Prairie Creek, Billy’s Bridge, North Fork Loop, Durrance Loop, and Lake Creek. The almost 115 kilometers of North Valley Trails are groomed all winter by the BCRD. The 20-mile Harriman Trail is only for Nordic skiers. The North Fork and Durrance Loops are both for Nordic skiers and Durrance accommodates dogs and fat bikes as well. Prairie Creek and Billy’s Bridge, located just south of Galena Lodge, is an area of 16 kilometers of groomed Nordic skiing and snowshoe trails. Lake Creek, just north of Ketchum and the home of the Sun Valley Ski Education foundation training center, is open to cross-country skiing only. All BCRD-maintained trails require a pass.

Lastly, about 45 minutes north of Ketchum is Galena Lodge which is surrounded by over 50 kilometers of groomed Nordic trails for skate and classic skiing and 25 kilometers of snowshoe trails.

During winter, there are four ice rinks in the Wood River Valley (three are year-round) for both hockey and figure skating. Sun Valley Resort is home to both an outdoor and indoor ice rink right next to the Sun Valley Lodge. The outdoor rink is open to the public 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and the day rate is $12 for adults, $10 for kids 6 to 12 years old and free for kids 5 and under with a paying adult. Skate rental is $6.



The indoor rink is home to the Sun Valley Figure Skating School and open hockey and thus not open to the public.

During the winter, one of the soccer fields of the BCRD is turned into the Christina Potters outdoor ice rink by Ketchum’s Parks and Recreation Department. Hockey and figure skates, helmets, pucks, and sticks are all available for free.

In Hailey, check out the Campion Ice House which offers open skating and hockey as well as events like curling and learn-to-skate clinics. Skating is $7 for adults and $5 for kids with $5 for skate rentals. Open hockey is $10 and sticks and pucks for adults are $10, and $5 for kids.

While more of a leisure activity than a sport, sledding is still a workout, as you are dragging a sled up a hill repeatedly. While there’s no officially designated spot for sledding in Ketchum, the unofficial spot is Penny Hill, located at the intersection of Sun Valley Road and Saddle Road next to the Sun Valley Resort. This spot is definitely the go-to and its close proximity to town means the hill can fill up on winter days.

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After Bald Mountain closes at 4 p.m., the bottom of Lower River Run with its casual slope can make for excellent sledding as well. Just make sure to wait until all the skiers are done for the day!

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