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Sun Valley Lodging Or Skiing Info

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
1ST time posting to this site! We have been skiing for 10 years and travel to different resort almost every yr. We are interested in learning about Sun Valley, ID. There could be anywhere from 6-10 of us for Feb '07.
How far is Dollar Mtn & Bald Mtn from each other, is there ski in/ski out lodging. How is the skiing for beginners & high intermed? Read that snow can be spotty. Thanks
post #2 of 15
Ketchem is a neat town and SV has some good terrain but to be honest it never impressed me much. As a resort it has, however, a fascinating and rich history. That's what draws me to the place. Jackson Hole, Teton Pass and the Wyoming legislature played a key role in the selection of Ketcham/Mt Baldy for Sun Valley, the ski resort.

Most of the lodging is in Sun Valley and Elkhorn a couple of miles east of Baldy. Dollar Mt is about a mile from Baldy. Nice views of the Sawtooths when you get on upper Baldy but overall the scenery is not one of it's strong points.

Had probably the best prime rib ever at the Pioneer in Ketcham. For a resort in the Rockies it does have alot of snowmaking. At one time, many years ago, they had the largest automatic snowmaking system in the USA
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks! We have doned Jackson Hole a few yrs ago...loved it there. But wanted to try some place new for '07.
post #4 of 15
Originally Posted by kendo103
How is the skiing for beginners & high intermed? Read that snow can be spotty. Thanks
The skiing for both is good, but totally separated. Dollar is a couple of miles from Baldy. When it's good, Sun Valley is really good.
post #5 of 15
Dollar is considered to be their beginner mountain, although I think it could be somewhat intimidating to a true beginner because it doesn't have any trees to speak of, so it is very open. My wife has a touch of vertigo, and she couldn't ski there because of the lack of trees, she needs the tree line as sort of a reference point, if that makes sense. Bald mountain itself has very limited green terrain, most of their beginner trails would be blue square most other places, although they do a very good job of grooming. Most of the rest of the mountain is steep, long groomers with some good bump runs and decent bowl skiing. There is very limited ski in ski out, but there is quite a bit of lodging within walking distance of the lifts on the Warm Springs side. They typically don't get dumped on like some of the other western resorts, although they still get more natural snow than most of the ski areas in the east. They are on the edge of a high plains desert, but they have a very extensive snowmaking system and excellent grooming that make up for any lack of snow. And they also have a lot of cross country skiing available if you're into that. And the views of the Sawtooth Range from the ridge that runs along the top of the bowls is something to see. We stayed at the Sun Valley Inn the last time we were there. Very classy and reasonably priced, with lots of other activities to keep you busy. One if the nice things about Sun Valley is that it is never very crowded, no lift lines, and never a problem getting a seat at one of the many good restaurants in Ketchem. They have one of the best lift systems out there, and the on mountain lodges are unlike anything I have seen anywhere else. Truly one of my best overall ski experiences.
post #6 of 15
Ketchum is a great Ski Town. Skiing was awsome this last season ! Very much underated ski area, . doesnt get crowded due to its remoteness. Mountain facities, some of the best in the US.
Rib (Try the Ohio Cut) & Steak & Seafood in Pioneer Saloon out of this world ! Good selection of restaurants for all tastes.

Im from Europe and have skied Sun Valley since 1986 almost every year :-)

Incidnetly there is 10 year upgrade/expansion plan for Sun Valley including replacing the high speed quads(I remember when they replaced the old chairs with high speed) with Gondolas

They also have some awsome Heli Skiing .
post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by kendo103
is there ski in/ski out lodging. How is the skiing for beginners & high intermed? Read that snow can be spotty.
Not really ski in/out, but the lodging at the base of the Warm Springs lift is walk in/ out. And yes the snow can be spotty, but you're safer in Feb.

Most of the dining is in Ketchem, so if you're slopeside in Warm Springs you have to bus to dinner most nights; if you lodge in Ketchem or Sun Valley, you have to bus to the slopes. Like most ski areas, the bus system is pretty good. I've been to SV four times, and never found the need to ski Dollar Mountain.
post #8 of 15
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's input!!!! I'm on the fence now about Sun Valley. Any other ski resort's recommended? I have a group of 8, 1/2 of them need some green to blue, others blue terrain. They would like something with shops & pubs too. Ski in or ski out is there wish. I have personally done Vail, Big Sky, Breck area, P.City, Whistler, J.Hole, Da Boat..any other places you would suggest?? Going for a week in Feb '07.
THanks again!
post #10 of 15
Sounds like Snowmass would be perfect for your crew. Almost all of the lodging is ski in/out and it has a ton of terrain.
post #11 of 15
Sun Valley's Baldy Mt. has a long and consistent pitch, at the high blue to single black level. I agree on all the positive comments about resort ambience and lack of crowds. You should stay in Ketchum/Sun Valley village not on the mountain. The transit to the mountain during the day is more frequent than the opposite in the evening.

For having lots of terrain at all ability levels Mammoth ranks second only to Vail IMHO, so from a skiing perspective a diverse group of skiers should consider it. The resort/apres-ski ambience still reflects its SoCal weekend commuter history. You'll need a car to get around, and probably to get there from Reno.

Tahoe is also worthy of your consideration. Here you'll be visiting a a variety of areas, as in Utah or Summit County in Colorado. Everyone will find some skiing they like, but not necessarily at the same place.

Big White and Sun Peaks in Canada are nearly all ski-in-ski-out with lots of intermediate terrain.

Of the places you haven't been Shredhead is probably right about Snowmass being most ideal, though it's more expensive than the other places I've mentioned.
post #12 of 15
Sun Valley is definately geared more to the advanced skiier except for Dollar Mtn. and Seattle Ridge area on Baldy. Not sure what is meant about spotty snow, a huge snowmaking system makes it one of the most reliable in the west for good conditions, only place in the northwest that didn't have any problems being open in 05.
It sounds like the interior of B.C. would fit what you are looking for better, Big White, Silver Star and Sun Peaks would have a lot more of what you are looking for.
post #13 of 15

Sun Valley ?

Kendo, welcome to Epic. On your list of Ski Areas I see no Lake Tahoe or Mammoth. You should consider these-some comments:

Tahoe. Great variety in accomadations and their cost and location including on the slopes. Example. Heavenly you can take a Gondola almost from your room. Northstar has condos very close to ski in and out. The probably best buys and most ambience is the private home/cabin rentals you can find on the internet. If you stay in Tahoe City area you are Close to Alpine Meadows, Squaw and Homewood and pretty close to Northstar/Diamond Peak and a little further to Sugar Bowl. South shore youre very close to Heavenly, 45 min to Kirkwood and 35 min to Sierra at Tahoe.

Any of these resorts can accomadate your Green and Blue skiers. Your beginners and lower intermediates will love Northstar but Sugar Bowl, Squaw, Alpine all have Green/Blue and Expert runs.

Tahoes choice of lodging, eateries etc. are really staggering.

Another Choice. Mammoth. Huge Mt. great for all types of skiers.

There is a big contingent of Bears in the Tahoe area and at Mammoth. Of course it is easier to fly into Reno than Mammoth. I don't know where youre from so can't help there. Anyway ask some questions on Epic and/or get on the numerous web sites and check out. If you decide on Tahoe I can recommend some really neat places to ski and eat so let me know. Pete
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Mammoth Ski area

Thanks Pete!
We would be flying from Atl and some from Tampa. I have thought about Mammoth. Where do you fly into & how much of a drive is it. Do you need a rental car or are you ok once getting there? We prefer not to have to rent, but know some areas you're better if you do. Tahoe is not out of question, but have heard about bad winds & crowds. Thoughts? Yes, please share lodging ideas for both areas if possible.
post #15 of 15
You will fly to Reno for either Tahoe or Mammoth. Realistically you should have a rental car for either. Tahoe to sample different areas easily. Mammoth because it's 3+ hours drive from Reno and has evolved as a mostly car dependent area. Mammoth can also be reached in 5+ hours from Vegas or L.A.

Crowds at both are strongly concentrated on the weekends and you should have no problem midweek. Mammoth has put in so much lift capacity that even on the weekends lines over 5 minutes are unusual unless the weather has closed a lot of them. Tahoe's weekend crowd issues are more related to traffic than the actual skiing IMHO. Get to the hill extra early on weekends and maybe consider one of the less famous areas those days.

Mammoth, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley are most vulnerable to wind closures. At Tahoe you have many other more sheltered areas to choose on those days. At Mammoth you only have June Mt. as an alternative.

If it's warm Mammoth will have better snow conditions, but February at Tahoe is usually fine.
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