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Sun Valley, the "Grand Dame" of skiing in America, has the distinction of being America's first destination ski resort. It's reputation as a glamorous playground for well-to-do skiers is rooted in its history, and the area still attracts the likes of Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jean-Claude Van Damme as part-time residents. In recent decades it has sought to accommodate young families who enjoy the outdoors. The Sun Valley area has also attracted a population of talented artists, resulting in a thriving performing arts and fine arts scene.
The resort originally consisted of Sun Valley Lodge and Sun Valley Inn, which maintain their classic resort atmosphere in lavishly refurbished form today. Look out for Idaho's wildflowers displayed in plush hand-made carpets. A cozy village has grown up around Sun Valley Inn. Within the city limits of Sun Valley, a range of accommodations and on-site amenities have sprung up at Elkhorn, featuring Radisson Sun Valley Resort, and providing "backdoor" access to Dollar Mountain. Further a field, three beautifully designed day-lodge facilities have been added to Bald Mountain: Seattle Ridge (at an elevation of 8,680 feet), Warm Springs (at the base of Challenger quad lift) and River Run (at the base of River Run quad lift).
Along with the adjacent town of Ketchum and other Wood River Valley communities, Sun Valley provides complete amenities for a luxurious get-away ' summer and winter.
On offer in the area are over 1,500 "beds", over 70 restaurants, dozens of chic shops, over 80 tennis courts, four 18-hole golf courses, including two designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., world-class ice shows, a skateboard park and hot springs. There are over 100 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails and skating lanes in the area. Two cross-country ski centers in Ketchum and Sun Valley are complimented by two more in the Sawtooth National Recreation Center to the north. About 30 miles of paved trails for biking, in-line skating, running and walking, joins the communities along the length of Wood River Valley. Silver Creek, the Big Wood River and its tributaries have some of the finest fishing in the Western United States.
And of course there are the 78 ski runs. Bald Mountain is considered to offer some of the best and most challenging skiing in the country in its 3,400 vertical feet of ski runs. "Baldy", as it is affectionately called, is known for its constant pitch enabling skiers to ski smoothly all the way down. Dollar Mountain, developed as part of the original resort, is ideal for beginners. Another reason Sun Valley continues to rank at the top in ski resorts is that the number and speed of lifts result in shorter lines. In all, 17- lifts have the capacity to carry 28,180 people per hour. The ski season typically runs from November/December to March/April.
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