Ah, summer in Sun Valley. The sun is out (usually), outdoor activities abound, and a number of world-class events take place that bring out both locals as well as drawing in the tourists. With so much going on, this guide has been broken down into events, music, and happenings at the Sun Valley Resort to make sure you catch a little bit of everything.
Summer activities at the Sun Valley Resort abound: There's golfing at its three golf courses, hiking and biking on numerous trails, tennis, swimming, shooting at the gun range, horseback riding, paddle-boating, ice skating, bowling, and movies at both the Opera House and on the pavilion lawn. Here are some of the special events happening this summer at the Resort.
Sun Valley on Ice
Starting July 4 and running on select Saturday nights through Labor Day are Sun Valley's world-class summer ice shows, featuring an all-star lineup of figure skaters like gold medalists Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc. Watch the show rink-side or from the terrace of the Sun Valley Lodge. Ticket prices vary.
- Sun Valley Resort
ScheduleJuly 4: Alysa Liu and Ryan Bradley, 9:45 p.m., $49-$185 July 20: Hubbell & Donahue, 9:30 p.m., $29-$149 July 27: Jason Brown, 9:30 p.m., $29-$149 Aug. 3: Ashley Wagner, 9:30 p.m., $29-$69 Aug. 10: Nathan Chen, 9:30 p.m., $49-$179
Aug. 24: Jeremy Abbott, 9 p.m., $29-$149
Aug. 31: Cain and LeDuc, 8:45 p.m., $49-$179
Sun Valley Pavilion Concerts
June 29: Granger Smith (country music), 6:30 p.m., $35-$105
July 2: Killer Queen (Queen tribute band), 8 p.m., $39-$69
Aug. 17: Journey former lead vocalist Steve Augeri, 8:30 p.m., $30-$100
Sept. 1: Ryan Bingham, The Social Animals, 6:30 p.m., $35-$105
San Francisco Ballet
The world-renowned San Francisco Ballet will present 38 dancers in a two-day performance at the Sun Valley Pavilion. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, San Francisco Ballet's Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer, Program A will take place on Friday, July 5 and will feature seven dances including a 30-minute ballet choreographed by Tomasson and six other classic and neo-classical shorter dances. Program B on Sunday, July 7, will feature three works from the company's 2018 Unbound Festival of New Works. Tickets are $50-$500 for each show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with show starting at 7:30 p.m.
- Sun Valley Resort
Other Resort Happenings
On Thursday, June 20, watch a special screening of award-winning documentary Live the Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys at the Sun Valley Opera House, presented by Silver Creek Outfitters. Live the Stream follows Joe's busy schedule for one year both on and off the stream: at his home, in his teachings and on his never-ending quest for fish. Joe Humphreys and crew will be in attendance for this special event. The doors will open at 6 p.m. with a meet-and-greet for all ticket holders.
For yogis and outdoor enthusiasts, combine the two with Yoga on the Mountain, free yoga sessions held at the base of Baldy at River Run Plaza June 22 and 29; July 6, 20, 27; Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; Sept. 7. All taught by local yoga instructors. There will also be Mountain Yoga at Lookout Lodge at the top of Baldy on July 14, July 28 and Aug. 11. Sessions start at 10 a.m. and are $35 (includes lift ticket).
Bald Mountain will start summer operations of its Roundhouse Express gondola, The Roundhouse restaurant, River Run Day Lodge, and lift-served mountain biking on the front-side of Baldy on Friday, June 21.
- Sun Valley Resort
Biking/Hiking/Running Outdoor Events
Obviously the outdoors are the main draw of the Ketchum and Sun Valley area so each year there are annual events as well as new ones to add to the agenda. For those who like to run, there's the Tutus and Tennis Shoes 5k on July 4, Backcountry Run on July 13, and Sun Valley Half Marathon on Sept. 21. Folks looking for more of a challenge, the Standhope Ultra Challenge is a 30k or 60k run through the mountains on July 27 and the Baldy Hill Climb is a race to the top of the mountain on Sept. 28. The Discrete Cirque Series is coming to Sun Valley for a second year on Aug. 24, a tough mountain race on a 9.6-mile, 3,820-foot vert course over Bald Mountain. On July 27, take part in the cross-country and endurance Knobby Tire Series of races at Sun Valley's Galena Grinder event at Galena Lodge.
Perhaps the most exciting outdoor event genre for Ketchum-ites: mountain biking and cycling. There are countless mountain bike trails ranging from easy to expert in the Sun Valley area as well as plenty of beautiful paved areas to explore. But for those with a competitive streak, there are plenty of races this summer. Coming to Sun Valley for the first time is Outerbike, a premier bike demo event that brings vendors and participants together for a three-day event over June 21-23. One of the most anticipated events of the season, Rebecca's Private Idaho, a 100-mile course where riders will be joined by mountain bike endurance champion and local Rebecca Rusch, takes place Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Lastly, the Full Tilt Enduro on Sept. 7 is a three-race enduro mountain bike series on Bald Mountain. Test your skills at any one of these amazing events!
- Sun Valley Summer Symphony
Arts and Cultural Events
In addition to the amazing outdoors, the Ketchum area plays host to many world-class art and cultural events in the summer. Enjoy theater productions from the Company of Fools as well as numerous lectures and activities from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts all summer long. Monthly gallery walks allow visitors a chance to see the majority of galleries in Ketchum in one night of exhibitions, wine and artist talks. Art crawls this summer will take place on July 5 and Aug. 2. The Ketchum Arts Festival, July 12-14, is a chance to see local artists display their mediums while enjoying live music and yummy local food. The Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival Aug. 9-11 is similar but also features craft work like jewelers, puppet-makers, ceramics and more. Explore local artists personal studios at the annual Wood River Valley Studio Tour Aug. 17-18, a rare glimpse into the world of an artist.
For those more inclined toward cultural events than art-based events, don't fret, there's plenty more to come. The Wood River Farmers Market runs June through October with Tuesday markets in Ketchum and Thursday markets in Hailey featuring a variety of local produce and goods. The annual Sun Valley Wellness Festival, June 28-July 1, features a variety of speakers and workshops on different aspects of wellness from mental and physical health to spirituality. The Sun Valley Wine Auction, July 18-20, is one of the most-anticipated events of the summer with fun events like the auction gala and vintner dinners and, of course, a bevy of good wine. Check out the Sun Valley Writers' Conference July 20-23 for a chance to hear from some of the world's greatest writers and to learn from them through intimate workshops and talks. For those with a need for speed, the Sun Valley Tour de Force, July 25-27, features a car show and high speed runs for the public to take part in.
Enjoying music outside is one of the many pleasures of the summer season; the Wood River Valley is no exception with options for free and ticketed performances in Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey and Bellevue.
There are many options for weekly free musical events to go to. One of the longest running is Ketch'em Alive, a weekly free music event held on Tuesdays June through August at the Forest Service Park in Ketchum. Musical genres vary and beverages are available for purchase. Bring a picnic and enjoy the tunes from 7-9 p.m. Run by the same people as Ketch'em Alive is also Jazz in the Park, a free jazz concert on Sundays at the Rotary Park in Ketchum. Running June through the end of July, concerts last from 6-8 p.m. The always-happening Hotel Ketchum has musical performances on Thursdays in their "backyard" area complete with craft cocktails, food specials and yard games. Head to the rooftop deck at the Warfield on Sunday nights (and select Fridays) through summer for local tunes and drinks and food. 8-11 p.m. June through September. Those in Bellevue can enjoy Mahoney's Bar & Grill's free family concert series on the deck June through September, 6:30-10 p.m.
Perhaps the best free music experience in Sun Valley is the Sun Valley Music Festival (formerly known as the Sun Valley Summer Symphony), July 29-Aug. 22. This is one of the only free privately funded summer orchestra concert series in the country and it's not to be missed. Bring some wine, a picnic and friends and enjoy classical concerts on the Sun Valley pavilion lawn. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.
The Sun Valley Center for the Arts brings new acts for their summer concert series each year and this year will not disappoint. Ziggy Marley & Michael Franti will perform June 24, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats on July 24, and Jackson Browne on Aug. 5. Ticket prices vary, check The Center website for details. The Sawtooth Valley Gathering takes place up in Stanley and is a weekend of music, dancing, camping and more from July 26-27.