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