Sunsets and Starry Nights in Sun Valley

Sunsets and Starry Nights in Sun Valley

Sunsets and Starry Nights at the Dark Sky Reserve in Sun Valley Idaho

Two people on a bench at Knob Hill Natural Area in Ketchum

Sunny days give way to starry nights in Sun Valley, and the transition from sunset to dark nights is equally mesmerizing. Sun Valley has the distinction of being part of Central Idaho’s Dark Sky Reserve—the first of its kind in the country. The sky here has a signature clarity thanks to dedicated efforts at limiting light pollution.

Entrance to Knob Hill Natural Area in Ketchum Sun Valley Idaho

We recommend transitioning from sunset to starry night by first grabbing some dinner in downtown Ketchum (we like Warfield Distillery & Brewery, Ketchum Grill, the Wood River Farmers Market, or a Tuesday night Ketch’em Alive event located at Forest Service Park and filled with food and beverage trucks, live music, and pretty much anyone who lives in Ketchum along with visitors).

Two people enjoying beer and food at Warfield Distillery in Ketchum Idaho

River Run Farmers Market in Sun Valley Idaho

Ketch-em' Alive event in Ketchum Sun Valley Idaho

After dinner, walk over to Knob Hill Park and up to a lone bench overlooking downtown. Time it for sunset. Summer light lingers here before slowly settling into an expanse of tangerine and lilac orbs over the mountains.

Person watching sunset from bench at Knob Hill Natural Area in Ketchum Idaho

Then make your way by car to Sun Valley Lake as the stars start to wink in the deepening night. You’ll need a flashlight or headlamp to approach the lake, and then it’s lights out … to let the natural light in … stars glint across the lake, backed by beautiful mountain scenery bathed in moonlight on some nights, or the Milky Way on others. Sun Valley sublime.

starry night over Sun Valley

STAY: There are plenty of options for where to stay in Sun Valley. We liked Hotel Ketchum for its centrality and quirky theme, centered on sheep (including an impressive outside wall mural) modern rooms, dog-friendliness, complimentary bikes (in two-hour intervals), cornhole games, pool, and hangout nook—aptly named The Hangout. Ewe might like it too!

Hotel Ketchum view of pool and mountain scenery

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