Wood River Valley 

Trailing of the Sheep

Michael Edminster

Trailing of the Sheep

Few places in Idaho are more well known than Sun Valley, the home of the rich and famous. But Sun Valley actually only makes up a small portion of the larger area usually referred to when people talk about it.

The Sun Valley Resort (sunvalley.com) along with the towns of Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue comprise the core of the Wood River Valley, an area that boasts not only a world-class ski hill but some of the most stunning scenery around.

In the winter, skiing—both Nordic and Alpine—are a given, with world-famous ski hill Bald Mountain (sunvalley.com) looking down on the valley, but there's actually more to do in warmer weather. Among the most popular of activities is bicycling, whether it's the paved Sun Valley Bike Path (visitsunvalley.com) or along the multitude of single track trails crisscrossing the hills. The folks at the Blaine County Recreation Department have made it even easier to get out on the trail with a new, interactive Trails Map (trails.bcrd.org), which allows users to scope out trails depending on difficulty level, length and location.

If you're more about catching air than racking up the miles, check out the Pump Tracks (bcrd.org) in both Hailey and Ketchum.

Golfers have an equal opportunity to scour the greens of three public courses, including the new nine-hole White Clouds Course (sunvalley.com), which is perched on top of the hills surrounding the area, offering 360-degree views. Beware: A bad hook could cost you a lot of balls.

Those less outdoor-inclined go for the vibrant arts scene that includes numerous galleries and art walks, as well as classes and talks sponsored by the impressive Sun Valley Center for the Arts (sunvalleycenter.org).

Throughout the summer and fall, live music can be found nearly everywhere, whether it's the casual Tuesday night summer concerts of Ketchum Alive (ketchumidaho.org) or the more formal Sun Valley Summer Symphony (svsummersymphony.org), which boasts some of the top classical musicians in the country. The concerts are free, and the audience is invited to spread a blanket on the lawn.

In between the array of outdoor concerts (visitsunvalley.com) is a dizzying schedule of festivals filling nearly every weekend and holiday.

The Trailing of the Sheep (trailingofthesheep.org) in October is a family favorite, as shepherds bring their flocks out of the hills on their way to winter pastures, filling the town with woolly visitors. Wagon Days (wagondays.com) over Labor Day weekend is a massive celebration of the area's mining history and includes a parade, antique show and classic car auction.

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