“Best of all he loved the fall” is engraved on the bust of Ernest Hemingway which stands overlooking Trail Creek in Sun Valley, Idaho. Hemingway, who had a special kinship with this place, was not alone in feeling this way. Many locals consider fall to be the Wood River Valley’s most spectacular season, and for good reasons – the warm days and cool nights, the gorgeous gold leaves that shimmer among high peaks and a slower pace with fewer people that make you feel that this really is your own private Idaho. It’s the season to hike, bike or ride scenic mountain trails, cast a line in the Big Wood River or in world-famous Silver Creek, or find that perfect getaway campsite or hotel room with jaw dropping views. And enjoy it all in stunning natural technicolor.
But the great outdoors isn’t the only fall attraction here. The Wood River Valley (which includes the towns of Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue) is also a bit of a cultural hub, hosting a number of unique fall events, like the very western Wagon Days, the nationally acclaimed – and oh so Idaho – Trailing of the Sheep Festival, the eclectic and lively Sun Valley Jazz and Music Festival, and Rebecca’s Private Idaho gravel cycling race. Plus, concerts, opera, live music, gallery walks, cooking classes and plenty of other kinds of creative pursuits.
Or you can do nothing at all, just relax and soak in the beauty. However, you chose to spend your time here, we know you’ll fall in love with Sun Valley’s secret season.
To make it easy to plot your fall escape, here’s a rundown….
How to get here: Hop on a plane and fly 2 hours nonstop into SUN from Seattle on Alaska Airlines or make easy connections from points throughout the northwest on Alaska, Delta or United. Driving is also an option if you have more time.
Where to stay: Plenty of great choices, from luxury resorts to smaller intimate hotels and inns, condos and homes. Great campsites throughout the valley too.
Things to Do: So many options, so little time.
Major Fall Events:
Ketchum Wagon Days (September 3-5)
Rebecca’s Private Idaho (Sept 1-5)
Ernest Hemingway Seminar (Sept 9-11)
25th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival (Oct 6-10)
Sun Valley Jazz & Music Festival (Oct 13-17)