The Art & Soul of Sun Valley

Beautiful Outdoors Meets Arts & Culture in Sun Valley

By its very nature Sun Valley is like a fine work of art ... from the mountainous landscape and alpine lakes, to starry nights where the sky is so pure you can sometimes see the Milky Way from downtown Ketchum. But Sun Valley isn’t just a premier destination for beautiful outdoors. It also has a thriving arts and culture scene. Bring your camera and your enthusiasm for creativity and adventure.

The Hemingway Way

Silver Creek Preserve

Sun Valley

Sun Valley Lodge

Is it any wonder that the novelist and outdoors enthusiast Ernest Hemingway picked Sun Valley for his forays in both writing and adventuring in nature? Hemingway called this place home and is buried in the Ketchum cemetery.

Channel the Hemingway spirit while exploring his favorite places, including spots like the Pioneer Saloon and the Sun Valley Lodge, where he completed his most popular book, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Visit the oasis Hemingway’s Memorial and the 3,000-acre Silver Creek Preserve where Hemingway used to hunt and fish.

Hemingway memorial

Ready to be your own Sun Valley scribe? Join the renowned Sun Valley Writers’ Conference in mid-July at Sun Valley Resort & Pavilion. It sells out quickly, but you can catch many of the speaker series from the Pavilion Lawn for free. Develop and discover your unique writing skills with the help of some of the best authors from across the globe. And sign up early for next year!

Hemingway's Legacy in Sun Valley

Channeling Ansel Adams

Sun Valley gondola

Hike Sun Valley

Pioneer Cabin Trail Sun Valley

It’s impossible not to elevate your photography in the mountains of Sun Valley, whether trekking the classic Pioneer Cabin hike or soaking in the Sawtooth, White Cloud, and Lost River mountains. Combine your passion for hiking and your penchant for taking the perfect selfie or landscape photo.

For a premier hiking experience, go with the guides. They’ll tailor a hike to fit your needs and maximize your scenery without the crowds. The Pioneer Cabin Trail is a staple for locals and visitors alike, a challenging 8.5-mile (round-trip) trek up to amazing high alpine views of both Cobb and Hyndman peaks. The cabin itself is a vintage beauty; built in the 1930s, it’s a timeless classic and a modern Instagram star. (However, we challenge you to stay off your phone and just relax, enjoy the cabin, and save your pics for a future date… Instagram can wait!)

Hike Sun Valley

Or gain elevation another way … by hitching a lift on the Bald Mountain gondola: The Roundhouse Express gondola is now open for summer. Rise 7,700 feet on the mountain to beautiful Sun Valley views and biking and hiking trails. Dine at The Roundhouse where the only thing upstaging the food is the scenery.

Hiking in Sun Valley, Idaho

Art & Soul of Sun Valley

Sun Valley symphony

As one of America’s best small towns for art, Sun Valley has more than a dozen galleries, parks enriched by free symphonies and live music, ballet and improv, and modern museums.

If you spent a year here, you probably still couldn’t see it all, but when you plan your trip be sure to check out the calendar of events to discover what’s happening in and around Sun Valley.

Art and Culture in Sun Valley

BONUS SUN VALLEY ON ICE: See reigning Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen this summer at the Sun Valley on Ice show, featuring medal-winning skaters.

Sun Valley Ice Skate

STAY, EAT, PLAY, FLY! Nonstop flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles get you to Sun Valley with comfort and ease. Start planning your Sun Valley vacation today.

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  1. Photo of the East Brother Light Station in the San Francisco Bay Area

    Oh, Brother!

    Spending the night on a tiny island in the Bay? Intriguing. Spending the night in a lighthouse perched on that island? Sound the foghorn! East Brother Light Station Bed & Breakfast sits on a small patch of land in the strait that separates San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.

  2. Mill About Lakeside

    Bucks Lake Recreation Area near Quincy in Plumas County has plenty of beautiful hiking trails. For an easy hike with beautiful spots for sunning, swimming, and lounging on sand beaches or giant rock slabs, do the Mill Creek Trail.

  3. Camping at Chewing Gum Lake Emigrant Wilderness

    High Sierra Lake Hop

    Situated just north of Yosemite is a High Sierra wonderland that gets a fraction of the crowds and is a fantastic destination for backpacking. The Emigrant Wilderness is 113,000 acres of granite ridges, wildflower-strewn meadows, and cobalt lakes.

  4. The Secret Big Blue

    Set at 4,500 feet, surrounded by 52 miles of shoreline, and with sparkling sapphire hue, Lake Almanor is the other big blue. The secret one. This huge lake—idyllic in spring through fall for all kinds of water adventures—is a gem of Plumas County where you can relax without crowds.


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  1. Hot As (Bumpass) Hell

    So you like going to all the hot spots when you visit places? Well, in Lassen Volcanic National Park there’s a place so hot it gets downright steamy. Bumpass Hell is the largest hydrothermal area in the park, with sputtering mud pots, sulfur vents, and boiling pools. It’s California’s Yellowstone.

  2. Bucks Up!

    Come on in, the water is beautiful. Whether you like swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddling, or heading out on a bigger boat, Bucks Lake is a high mountain haven that’s easy to access, blissfully uncrowded, and surrounded by sandy beaches, picnic areas, pines, and aspens.

  3. Starcrossed Stairway?

    Built into the hillside next to the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Heights delights with historic homes, steep and narrow (mostly carless) streets, and enchanting city views. Best of all, it features a network of walkways and staircases that makes it super fun to wander and explore.

  4. Lunch at the Lakes

    Pack your own picnic and head for a lakeside lunch at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Then take your pick from a lovely trio of lakes accessed from the same trailhead. Follow it all up with a visit to Manzanita Lake on the other side of the park.