Visitor reviews for Sun Valley Ski Resort
November 13, 2013
Michael Wilko from Australia
Sun Valley is a riders mountain with 3,300 ft of vertical that you can ski every run. The big mountains like, Whistler, Jackson, Snowbird etc have lots of steeper runs that are broken up with a traverse along cat tracks to get to the next run. Sun Valley gets different weather systems to the Rockys but as most weather comes across deserts to get there, it can be as dry as the best. With no major mountains to block the weather systems, Sun Valley doesn't get as much snow as would like, but this is made up for by one of the best man made snow facilities anywhere in the world. Many a time have I driven from New Mexico to British Columbia looking for snow only to find top to bottom skiing in Sun Valley on man made snow with always perfectly groomed corduroy runs. If you are a wimp like me that doesn't enjoy skiing in temps below 20 degrees zero, enjoy the climate of one of Nth Americas finest. My tip for the serious snow rider is Dec / Jan Niseko Japan, Feb / March Sun Valley, Idaho.
Sun Valley Ratings
Overall: 4.5. Based on 4 votes and 7 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Sun Valley.
Public Transport: 3.8
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Sun Valley, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Sun Valley, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 5.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 5.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Sun Valley.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.5
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Sun Valley, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Sun Valley is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Sun Valley relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 5.0
(1) There are no snow groomers at Sun Valley, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Sun Valley are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Sun Valley is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 1.2
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Sun Valley, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.8
(1) Sun Valley usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 5.0
(1) The staff at Sun Valley are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Sun Valley are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 5.0
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 5.0
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.8
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Sun Valley has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Sun Valley, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.8
(1) Not even a kicker at Sun Valley, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Sun Valley, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Sun Valley has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.8
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 4.8
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 5.0
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.2
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.5
(1) Overall, Sun Valley is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.5
(1) Overall, Sun Valley is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
December 15, 2012
Jim from United States
Here we are at Sun Valley a couple of weeks into the 77th season for the world famous resort, in the state of Idaho, in the USA. Great skiing today as the whole mountain got open on ample natural snow with the groomer runs enhanced by wonderful man made. Superior grooming as always. New resort head-chef with all new food offerings at each on mountain venue causing a little stir among the veteran Sun Valley types. A movie actor or two were among us today on a Wood River Blue sky day! Get here or be square. The town is booking up for January and may be full for Christmas-New Year weeks.
October 19, 2012
DG from United States
SV doesn't get the high volume of snow like a lot of western US resorts (think Alta and Snowbird) but it does get sufficient snow and it's usually very high quality, light and dry. The resort also makes extremely high quality snow and does a tremendous job with piste maintenance and grooming. All facilities are first class. Scenery is very similar to the Kitzbuhel area in Austria. Great above tree line bowls and excellent tree skiing if you know where to go. Great vertical. Truly 3,000+ feet of sustained pitch top to bottom unlike just about anywhere else in the world I have skied. No real sphincter puckering steeps but sustained pitch more than makes up for it. The remote nature of the area is a great dirt filter. Zero crowds. First class lift infrastructure. Town is classic with lots of high end and funky places to eat and drink. Not a huge apres ski scene. If that's your deal head to Europe; I would suggest Zermatt or St. Anton or go to Whistler. Great ski school but limited beginner pistes. For pure skiing though, hard to beat this classic resort.
December 12, 2010
JIM from United States
Sun Valley is into the 3rd week of their 75th season! The majority of the mountain is open 12/11/10. The expected great grooming, short to nonexistant lift lines, superior day lodges and food service are available. With the 75th there are events all season long including reunions of many of the skiers who made Sun Valley famous and vis a versa. Check this place out and join in the celebration.
May 27, 2009
RB from United States
Sun Valley has great terrain. It has one of the most consistently steep fall lines I have skied and the town is fantastic too.
There's only one problem: sparse snowfall. They don't call it Sun Valley for nothing. Snowmaking is extensive, but if I want to ski on artificial snow, Vermont is a lot closer.
December 17, 2005
BJD from United States
Man are these runs L-O-N-G; real quad-burners. Tons of runs to choose from. Great grooming. Great lodges at the base and on top of the mountain. Sun Valley/Ketchum is a great, laid-back resort town.
December 21, 2004
jim from United States
Sun Valley has just opened the new Dollar Mountain Lodge at the historic Dollar Mountain ski teaching area in the resort. This facility is an unpresidented commitment by the Holding family, owners of the resort, to the future of winter sports at this old Idaho mountain village. Current conditions are excellent skiing on groomed trails of mostly manmade snow, sun shine and mid 20s temps.