You are here

Jonathan Stull | 02.21.2018

Sun Valley is famous for its alpine terrain, and while it might be a challenge for many families to don the ski boots and hit the slopes, there are several alternatives in this mountain town that will allow you to revel in the beauty of its peaks from the relative safety of a mellow trail. In fact, you’ll find opportunities on snowshoes or fat tire bikes to enjoy the scenery in ways you couldn’t on a downhill slope. Whether your family is new and growing or fully fledged, these snowshoe, cross-country skiing, and biking trails are a great way to enjoy Sun Valley’s great outdoors.

  • Billy Bridge Snowshoe: At a little over 2.5 miles and with minimal elevation gain, the mountain views at Billy Bridge are a welcome enticement with little cost for families. Add to that the fact that dogs are allowed, and you have an easy lope for the whole family.
  • North Fork Snowshoe: This short 3-mile loop just 8 miles from Ketchum is easy to access and offers level terrain for snowshoers of all skill levels. Elk, mule deer, moose, or coyote may be spotted along the way, and the trail is dog friendly.
  • Galena Lodge: The trails at Galena Lodge offer both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and there are 16 and 30 miles of each, respectively. With those numbers, you can stay in the area for several days and explore. Galena Lodge is also full-service: there are yurts available for overnight stays and rentals for those who need them. With challenging and easy trail options, there’s enough to keep everyone in the family entertained.
  • Sun Valley Nordic Center: Like Galena, Sun Valley Nordic Center offers a mix of easy and challenging trails to keep everyone in the family occupied. Being so close to Sun Valley Lodge means that access couldn’t be easier and amenities are incomparable upon return. Go for views of Bald Mountain and Trail Creek Loop, which offers a good tour of the network.
  • Durrance Loop: With easy terrain and beautiful scenery on a dog-friendly trail, Sun Valley offers a couple of options, and Durrance Loop is one of them. In winter, most use the trail for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, though a hike is also an option due to the modest elevation gain. That being said, this is one of the few places to ride fat bikes in the area, which is a novel family-friendly option that you won’t encounter so easily anywhere else.
  • Wood River Trail: Like Durrance Loop, the Wood River Trail is a multi-use trail offering river access and passage from Sun Valley to Hailey and Bellevue. With more than 20 miles to explore, it’s a great option for longer walks or rides. Major upside: It’s free.
  • Silver Creek Outfitters: Fly fishing is typically thought of as a summer activity. Not so in Sun Valley. Silver Creek Outfitters will help you understand the joy of winter fly fishing on the Big Wood, Big Lost, and Salmon rivers and Silver Creek. Silver Creek Outfitters offers guided tours throughout the region that capitalize on Idaho’s winter trout runs, among other fish. With half- and full-day options, you’ll be back for more winter recreation in no time.


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.