Facilities & Services

Selkirk Powder Cat Skiing
World Nomads Travel Insurance
The stand-out features of the Sun Valley services and facilities would have to be the magnificent day lodges. Majestically large buildings with high ceilings, plenty of use of stone work, grand fireplaces, amazing décor and fancy furniture, and you won’t be forced to sit in a crowded cafeteria on plastic chairs at Sun Valley! Even the restrooms are incredibly fancy and there are so many of them, you’ll never need to queue there either!

Another nice touch is the many wagons that you can use to cart gear between the shuttle bus stop and the slopes. The snow hosts that provide tours of the mountain are also a standout feature.

Sun Valley is very refined and also traditional, which for some aspects of the services and facilities equates to being antiquated, which is not something you’d expect of a resort that’s otherwise very swanky.

Sun Valley Ski Rentals

For Sun Valley ski rentals you can choose one of the resort owned stores, Pete Lane’s. There are locations at the River Run base, the Warm Springs base (no beginner or low intermediate level equipment), and Dollar Mountain (good range of beginner equipment and park skis/snowboards). Basic equipment was reasonably priced, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, demo skis were really expensive.

Our experience of ski rentals at River Run wasn’t a great one. Firstly they didn’t have enough powder skis, had rather antiquated “computer” systems, and poor communication. One guy pretty much just grunted at us, and we sat there waiting for our equipment for a long time because no one told us to get it around the corner. It’s easy to see why the website suggests to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to riding to get rental equipment.

There are also a handful of Sun Valley ski rental and snowboard rental shops in the town of Ketchum. A couple of the shops offer a service to pick you up and drop you off. There are also a few options for delivery equipment services where they come to you.

For backcountry equipment rentals and Nordic skiing equipment, try Backwoods Mountain Sports or The Elephant’s Perch.

Sun Valley Ski School

The Sun Valley Snowsports School offers the full gamut of lessons, including adaptive lessons, and whilst they have a great reputation, even the group lessons attract a large price tag. For private lessons you might need to take out a second mortgage. Like a lot of high profile ski resorts, if you can afford it, you can get first tracks as part of “early ups” private lessons with the ski instructors.

As you’d expect, the beginner lessons are on Dollar Mountain whilst others are at Baldy. Group lessons start from ages 4, whilst for 3 year old children, Sun Valley offers a day care/lesson combo.

Children’s Facilities

Day care is available at Dollar Mountain for ages 18 months to 5 years, so if you want to go skiing at Bald Mountain, it can involve a little bit of mucking around to drop them off.

If you’re staying in the Sun Valley Village, the Sun Valley Playschool provides childcare for ages 18 months to 5 years.

There are also a few options for Sun Valley babysitting services.

Eating On Mountain

The on-mountain dining at Sun Valley is a real highlight. At other ski resorts you might find crappy cafeterias serving up bland food, but not at Sun Valley! All the day lodges have a big range of quality food. You might have to pay a little more, but it’s worth it. And unlike at some ski resorts, you don’t need to have lunch at 11am just to get a table.

Here’s a few stand out features of the day lodges. The River Run day lodge has a great salad bar. The Seattle Ridge day lodge has an outdoor deck with a wrap-around glass fence, which is awesome for views on beautiful days. Warm Springs day lodge is well renowned for its hot cookies. The little Lookout Restaurant is aptly named and offers great mountain views. Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge offers very child friendly food options.

Then there is The Roundhouse! The Roundhouse at the top of the gondola is a delightfully historic building that’s rather beautiful. The abundant use of timber adds to the charm and the timber originated from some of the trees from when the trails were cut at Sun Valley Ski Resort. You can sit by one of the big fireplaces or closer to the windows if you want views. The restaurant offers table service and lunch offerings include soups, salads, and burgers. During peak periods, you might need to make a booking.
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