Sun Valley could rightfully be renamed Rec Valley. For as much sun as shines down on the valley, there is just as much recreating going on under it.
New this year, the Sun Valley Rhythm and Ride Music and Bike Festival, Wednesday, June 23-Sunday, June 27, is celebrating life on the trails. There are more than 430 continuous miles, plus 32 miles of paved trail, a new pump park and endless scenic off-road biking. The festival will feature the Sawtooth Century Bicycle Tour, cruiser and kids' criteriums, music and food, open range biking, a 10k run, Sheeptown Fat Tire Rally and more. For more information visit svrhythmandride.com.
The outdoor ice rink at the Sun Valley Lodge is one of the few year-round rinks around and the home of the Sun Valley Ice Shows held every Saturday throughout the summer. The shows will bring some of the top names in skating to the little rink, including Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek, along with fellow Olympic skaters Johnny Weir, Sasha Cohen and ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto.
For those with Olympic aspirations but without the Olympic-level skills, there are always skate rentals. For more info, check out sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows.
Runners will have their day with the Backcountry Run on Saturday, July 17. Participants will race 16 miles through the Fox Creek area in search of glory. For more info, or to register online, visit active.com or phone it in to the Elephant's Perch in Ketchum at 208-726-3497.
Two-wheeled racers can hit the Galena Grinder Mountain Bike Race--that is if they have thighs of steel. The course is a butt-kicking 22-mile loop across some of the most challenging terrain around. Mountain bikers do one lap, while marathon racers hit the course twice. Watch galenalodge.com for more info.
If paved roads are more your style, check out the Boulder Mountain Bicycle Tour on Saturday, Sept. 11. Road riders will start in downtown Ketchum and ride up Highway 75 for 23 miles to Galena Lodge, where they will meet up with the mountain bikers and chow down before heading back to town.
But one of the highlight events of the year is a new one to Sun Valley. The 2010 U.S. Paragliding Nationals will fill the skies above the valley with some of the top paragliders in the country from Monday, Aug. 30-Sunday, Sept. 5. Spectators can crane their necks as they watch the competition from the base of Bald Mountain. The competition is set to coincide with the jam-packed Labor Day weekend festivities, so plan ahead. For more information, visit usparaglidingnats.com.
For more sporting events, check out visitsunvalley.com to see the full calendar of events. But since some of the best recreating doesn't come pre-organized, visit the Blaine County Recreation District's website at bcrd.org for information about trails, hiking, biking, swimming and more.