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Sun Valley, Idaho: A Day Hiker’s Haven

Ketchum and Sun Valley, Idaho are home to a plethora of breathtaking hiking trails that will undoubtedly leave outdoor enthusiasts in awe. The area, with its towering peaks, verdant forests, and shimmering lakes, provides the ideal backdrop for outdoor activities like hiking and camping. This article will explore the best hikes in Ketchum and Sun Valley, Idaho, providing detailed information about each trail’s length, difficulty level, and notable features.

Bald Mountain Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 3.5 miles (one way)

Time: 3-4 hours

Bald Mountain Trail is one of the most well-liked hikes in Sun Valley, Idaho. The trail is a six-mile loop that offers hikers a chance to admire stunning views of Ketchum as they traverse through scenic vistas, dense forests, and wildflower meadows. The trail is classified as moderate and takes between two and three hours to complete. The trailhead is situated at the River Run base area, and hikers can board a gondola to reach the mountain’s top.

Pioneer Cabin Trail

Difficulty: Difficult

Length: 8.6 miles (round trip)

Time: 7-9 hours (round trip)

The Pioneer Cabin Trail is a challenging hike that is well worth the effort. It is about a 9-mile round-trip hike that leads hikers to the Pioneer Cabin, a backcountry cabin built in the 1930s. The trail begins at the Corral Creek Trailhead and passes through lush meadows, alpine forests, and rocky outcroppings. The trail is rated as difficult and takes between up to 9 hours to complete. Once at the cabin, hikers can relax and enjoy a picnic while admiring stunning views of the Pioneer Mountains.

Baker Lake Trail


Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 3.6 miles (round trip),

Time: 4-5 hours (round trip)

The Baker Lake Trail is a lovely hike that leads hikers to the serene Baker Lake, a popular spot for fishing and picnicking. The trail is a 3.5-mile round-trip that traverses through a dense forest and over a babbling creek. The trail is classified as easy and takes between one and two hours to complete. Once at the lake, hikers can take a break and soak in the peaceful surroundings before returning down the trail.

Fox Creek Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 3.7 miles (round trip),

Time: 2-3 hours (round trip)

Fox Creek Trail is a moderate hike that follows Fox Creek through a scenic forested area. The trail is approximately 3.7 miles long and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. This hike is open from June to October and is a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers. Along the way, hikers can enjoy views of the local wildlife, wildflowers, and fishing opportunities.

White Cloud Nine Trail

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Length: 3.7 miles (round trip),

Time: 2-3 hours (round trip)

The White Cloud Nine Trail is a scenic hiking trail located in Sun Valley, Idaho. There is a 4.0-mile loop offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including the White Cloud mountains.

Along the way, hikers can enjoy wildflowers, wildlife, and panoramic views of the surrounding area. The trail is typically open from June to October and is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the beauty of Sun Valley.




Nestled in the picturesque town of Ketchum, Idaho, a unique and cherished event is about to unfold – the Wagon Days Parade. This non-motorized spectacle, known as the Big Hitch Parade, pays homage to Ketchum’s rich mining heritage through a display of Lewis Ore Wagons and more. If you’re seeking a family-friendly event that encapsulates history, community, and a touch of whimsy, mark your calendars for this weekend’s Wagon Days Parade. As you plan your visit, MVP Vacation Homes has your back, ensuring you have all the essential information for an unforgettable experience. After reading our local guide to the festivities, check out the official Wagon Days website for the full weekend schedule.

Exploring Ketchum’s Mining Heritage:

As you immerse yourself in the charm of Ketchum, it’s impossible to overlook its mining heritage. The Wagon Days Parade encapsulates this history, with the prominent display of Lewis Ore Wagons – a nod to the town’s mining legacy. These wagons, once pivotal in hauling precious minerals, now roll through the streets in a celebration of the past.

A Family-Friendly Extravaganza:

The Wagon Days Parade isn’t just about history; it’s also about creating lasting memories with your loved ones. This family-friendly event welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy a vibrant procession of decorated wagons, local performers, and community spirit. It’s a unique opportunity to bond with your family and engage with the local culture.

Before the Parade – Exploring Ketchum:

Before the parade kicks off, take advantage of the myriad activities in Ketchum. From hiking the scenic trails to exploring local art galleries, there’s something for everyone. Discover the heart of Ketchum’s dining scene by indulging in delicious local cuisine. If you’re wondering where to stay in Ketchum, our vacation rentals provide the perfect home base for your adventure.

Essential Information for Parade Day:

Optimal Accommodations: Wondering where to stay in Ketchum? Our vacation rentals offer a comfortable and convenient stay, allowing you to fully enjoy all that the town and the Wagon Days Parade have to offer. Experience the warmth of Ketchum’s hospitality from the comfort of a private rental.

Conclusion: The Wagon Days Parade stands as a testament to Ketchum’s enduring spirit and rich heritage. This non-motorized parade, featuring Lewis Ore Wagons and community participation, invites families and visitors to bask in the charm of the town. Before and after the parade, Ketchum’s offerings beckon, ensuring your vacation is filled with adventure. As you plan your trip, remember that MVP Vacation Homes is here to provide a cozy retreat amid the festivities. Get ready to create treasured memories at the Wagon Days Parade in Ketchum, Idaho.

Welcome, fellow adventure-seekers! If you share our passion for the great outdoors, skiing, and snowboarding, then Sun Valley, Idaho, is the ultimate destination for your next vacation. And lucky for you, at MVP Vacation Homes, we’ve got the inside scoop on vacation rentals that will outshine any typical Sun Valley lodging.

Sun Valley hotels have long been a popular choice for travelers, and for good reason! The renowned Sun Valley Resort holds a special place in the hearts of travelers seeking a world-class experience in this winter wonderland. From its exceptional skiing and snowboarding facilities (now accepted on the Ikon pass) to its luxurious amenities and breathtaking scenery, it’s no wonder visitors are drawn to the Sun Valley Resort.

At MVP Vacation Homes, we recognize the allure of the resort and strive to offer vacation rentals that can provide a similar experience, if not more. MVP Vacation Homes’ carefully curated Sun Valley and Ketchum vacation rentals are designed to provide a similar vibe, with the added bonus of feeling like your own home away from home. Let’s dive in to see why these four Sun Valley vacation rentals can beat our your typical Sun Valley lodging:

1. Mountain Modern Retreat – Your Home Away From Home

At MVP Vacation Homes, we know how important it is to feel at ease during your vacation. Our cozy rustic modern retreat is designed to make you feel right at home amidst the stunning mountains. Here’s why this gem shines brighter than regular Sun Valley hotels:

  • Ample Space for All: This spacious home boasts 3 bedrooms and two living spaces, providing plenty of room for your entire family to relax and bond.
  • Hot Tub and Backyard Fun: After a day of exploration, unwind in the hot tub or gather around the fire pit in the large backyard for some quality time together.
  • Comfort and Luxury: The thoughtful design and luxurious touches throughout the house will make you feel right at home, while surrounded by the allure of nature.

2. Warm Springs Riverfront Home – Walk to the Lifts in Luxury

For all you ski and snowboard enthusiasts, our ski-in/ski-out home is a dream come true. This private home in Ketchum is a top-performing Airbnb and VRBO… for obvious reasons. MVP Vacation Homes ensures you get the most out of your Sun Valley experience. Here’s why this rental shines brighter than typical Sun Valley hotels and resorts:

  • Unbeatable Location: Ski enthusiasts, rejoice! This property is just steps away from the Warm Springs Ski Lift, granting you immediate access to the slopes.
  • Après-Ski Heaven: After a thrilling day of carving the powder, indulge in the ultimate après-ski experience with our chalet’s hot tub and cozy fireplace.
  • Elegant Design and Spacious Bedrooms: With 5 beautifully appointed bedrooms, including custom-built barnwood bunk beds in the lounge room, this home comfortably accommodates up to 14 guests, making it perfect for group getaways.

3. Downtown Mountain Condo – Budget-Friendly and Convenient

At MVP Vacation Homes, we understand the desire for contemporary comfort and prime locations. That’s why our downtown mountain condo is a top-notch alternative to the typical Sun Valley hotels:

  • Slope-Side Proximity: Our condo’s location offers unbeatable access to the slopes and is also just a stone’s throw away from the vibrant dining and shopping scene.
  • Chic Interior: Step into a stylishly designed living space with modern furnishings, providing all the comforts you need for an extraordinary stay.
  • Hotel-like Vibe: Enjoy a sense of camaraderie with fellow travelers in our condo’s community atmosphere, making your vacation both social and enjoyable. Enjoy the perks of a hotel with access to a pool, hot tub, and laundry facilities, all while relishing the privacy and comfort of a home.

4. Riverfront A-Frame Cabin – A Unique Getaway

For those yearning for an unforgettable and unique experience, MVP Vacation Homes offers a rustic A-frame cabin that will steal your heart. Here’s why it stands out from typical Sun Valley Airbnb and VRBO options:

  • Fly Fishing Haven: During summers, anglers will revel in the opportunity to fly fish right on the river, surrounded by nature’s beauty.
  • Winter Wonderland: For snow lovers, the Warm Springs Lift is just a 5-minute drive away, making this cabin an ideal winter retreat.
  • Cozy Comfort: With 3 charming bedrooms accommodating up to 8 guests, and a huge backyard featuring a BBQ grill and firepit, this cabin ensures a memorable stay in every season.


Your perfect Sun Valley getaway awaits with MVP Vacation Homes. Whether you crave the comfort of a rustic retreat, the convenience of a ski-in/ski-out luxury home, the modern amenities of a mountain condo, or the unique charm of a riverfront A-frame cabin, our vacation rentals surpass typical Sun Valley lodging options.

Let the adventure unfold as you hit the slopes and create unforgettable memories this winter. If you want more options for Sun Valley and Ketchum vacation rentals, visit our website or give us a call to get advice from our friendly, local staff!

Are you ready to plan your dream vacation to Sun Valley, Idaho? Sun Valley is a year-round destination, with breathtaking natural beauty, vibrant culture, and endless outdoor adventures. To help you plan your perfect vacation, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide with 7 easy steps.

Step 1: Decide on Your Travel Dates

The first step in planning your Sun Valley vacation is to decide on your travel dates. Sun Valley experiences four distinct seasons, each with its own unique charm and activities. The peak tourist seasons are winter and summer, with skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports dominating the winter months, and hiking, fishing, and golfing taking center stage during the summer months. Fall and spring are quieter seasons, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making them ideal for a more relaxed and peaceful vacation.

To make the most of your vacation, it’s best to plan your travel dates well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. This will ensure that you can secure the best accommodations and activities, and avoid disappointment.

Step 2: Choose Your Accommodations

Once you’ve decided on your travel dates, the next step is to choose your accommodations. Sun Valley offers a wide range of lodging options to suit every taste and budget, from luxurious resorts and private homes to cozy cabins and bed and breakfasts.

At MVP Vacation Homes, we offer a variety of vacation rental properties to suit every need, from cozy one-bedroom apartments to spacious multi-bedroom homes with stunning mountain views. Our vacation rentals are fully equipped with modern amenities, comfortable furnishings, and all the comforts of home. Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or on your own, we have the perfect vacation rental for you.

Step 3: Plan Your Activities

Sun Valley is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with a wealth of activities to choose from. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, there’s something for everyone in Sun Valley. Some of the most popular activities include skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, golfing, and horseback riding.

To make the most of your vacation, it’s important to plan your activities in advance. Some activities require reservations or equipment rentals, so be sure to research and book ahead of time to avoid disappointment. MVP Vacation Homes offers a variety of concierge services to help you plan your activities, from lift tickets and equipment rentals to guided tours and restaurant reservations.

Step 4: Research Local Dining Options

No vacation is complete without indulging in some delicious local cuisine. Sun Valley has a vibrant food scene, with a variety of options ranging from fine dining to casual cafes. Some of the most popular local dishes include Idaho trout, elk, and huckleberry pie.

Research local restaurants and make reservations ahead of time, especially during peak tourist seasons. Some of our favorite dining options include The Pioneer Saloon, Konditorei, and The Ram Restaurant & Brewery. Check out our blog for more recommendations on where to dine in Sun Valley.

Step 5: Consider Hiring a Local Guide

If you’re looking to explore Sun Valley’s natural beauty and outdoor activities, consider hiring a local guide. A guide can offer insider knowledge and take you to off-the-beaten-path locations you may not discover on your own.

At MVP Vacation Homes, we offer a variety of guided tours and activities to help you make the most of your Sun Valley vacation. Whether you’re interested in fly-fishing, horseback riding, or exploring the local trails, our experienced guides can show you the way.

Step 6: Pack Appropriately

What you pack for your Sun Valley vacation will depend on the season and the activities you have planned. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you leave and pack accordingly.

If you’re planning on skiing or snowboarding, be sure to pack warm layers, waterproof jackets and pants, and comfortable gloves and boots. If you’re planning on hiking or mountain biking, be sure to pack appropriate footwear, sunscreen, and plenty of water.

Step 7: Relax and Enjoy Your Sun Valley Vacation

After all the planning and preparation, it’s time to relax and enjoy your Sun Valley vacation. Take some time to explore the area, try new activities, and enjoy the local cuisine.

And if you’re looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay in Sun Valley, MVP Vacation Homes has you covered. With our variety of vacation rental options and local expertise, we can help you plan the perfect Sun Valley getaway.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Sun Valley vacation today and get ready to experience all the beauty and adventure that this incredible destination has to offer!

If you’re looking for the best restaurants in the area, you’ve come to the right place. As a vacation rental company in Sun Valley, MVP Vacation Homes, we pride ourselves on knowing the best local spots to eat in Sun Valley. Here is our local’s guide to the best restaurants in Sun Valley, Idaho:

  1. The Pioneer Saloon – Established in 1947, The Pioneer Saloon is a Sun Valley classic. The rustic ambiance and delicious food make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The menu features classic American fare, including juicy steaks, fresh seafood, and mouth-watering burgers. Be sure to try their famous Hula Pie for dessert.
  2. The Kneadery – For a hearty breakfast or brunch, The Kneadery is the place to go. This cozy restaurant is known for its homemade bread and pastries, as well as its hearty omelets and pancakes. The menu features classic American breakfast dishes, as well as some unique twists, like the black bean and sweet potato hash.
  3. Warfield Distillery & Brewery – If you’re looking for a spot to grab a drink and some appetizers, Warfield Distillery & Brewery is a must-visit. This local spot offers a variety of craft beers and handcrafted cocktails, as well as delicious small plates like charcuterie boards, flatbreads, and sliders. The outdoor patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny afternoon.
  4. Enoteca – Enoteca is a wine bar and restaurant located in the heart of Ketchum. The menu features Italian-inspired cuisine, including delicious pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and antipasti platters. The extensive wine list features wines from around the world, as well as some local favorites.
  5. The Roundhouse – The Roundhouse is located at the top of Bald Mountain and is only accessible by gondola. The stunning views and delicious food make it a must-visit spot for anyone visiting Sun Valley. The menu features upscale American cuisine, including delicious seafood and steak dishes.
  6. Bigwood Bread Cafe – For a more casual dining experience, head to Bigwood Bread Cafe. This charming cafe is known for its freshly baked bread and pastries, as well as its breakfast and lunch offerings. The menu features dishes like avocado toast, quiche, and sandwiches made with house-made bread. The atmosphere is bright and cheerful, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
  7. Grumpy’s – Grumpy’s is a classic dive bar that has been a Sun Valley institution since 1978. The menu features pub grub like burgers, fries, and onion rings, as well as some unique items like the Mexican hot dog and the infamous “Grumpy Burger” topped with bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. The laid-back atmosphere and affordable prices make it a favorite among locals.
  8. The Cellar Pub – The Cellar Pub is a cozy spot located in the basement of the historic Bellemont Hotel. The menu features classic pub fare like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and bangers and mash. The pub also offers a variety of local and regional craft beers on tap, as well as some unique cocktails.
  9. Barrio 75 – Nestled on the outskirts of downtown Ketchum, Barrio 75 boasts stunning views of Bald Mountain from its outdoor patio. This popular Latin American restaurant is known for its lively and creative approach to traditional dishes, with a particular focus on the beloved culinary duo of tacos and tequila. With over 40 different tequilas to choose from, Barrio75 is a tequila lover’s paradise. And paired with their insanely good tacos, it’s a match made in heaven.
  10. The Ram – The Ram is a popular spot for après ski, but it’s also a great spot for dinner. The menu features upscale American cuisine, including prime rib, seafood, and pasta dishes. The cozy atmosphere and attentive service make it a great spot for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.

These are just a few of the many exceptional restaurants in Sun Valley, Idaho. As a vacation rental company in Sun Valley, MVP Vacation Homes is committed to providing more than just beautiful Sun Valley vacation rentals. We want our guests to have the best possible experience, and that includes helping you discover the best local spots. We hope this guide helps you plan your next meal out in Sun Valley.

If you’re planning a trip to Idaho and looking for a truly unforgettable experience, you should consider visiting Stanley. This small town is a hidden gem that offers breathtaking views and plenty of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. And what better way to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Stanley than by staying in one of MVP Vacation Homes’ stunning cabins? In this article, we will guide you through a four-day itinerary to make the most of your Stanley, Idaho vacation while enjoying the comfort and convenience of our top-rated accommodations.

 Day 1: Arriving in Stanley, Idaho

After arriving in Stanley, check into your hotel or vacation rental. Then, head out to explore the town. Start your day by visiting the Stanley Museum to learn about the history of the area. The museum showcases the region’s natural resources, the mining industry, and the local wildlife.

After the museum, grab lunch at the Stanley Baking Company & Cafe. This charming cafe serves homemade baked goods, sandwiches, and soups. Their outdoor seating area provides a fantastic view of the Sawtooth Mountains.

In the afternoon, head over to the Redfish Lake Lodge. This lodge is located on the edge of the pristine Redfish Lake and offers a variety of activities, including boat rentals, guided fishing trips, and horseback riding. Enjoy the stunning views and take advantage of the lodge’s amenities.

 Day 2: Hiking in the Sawtooth Mountains

Spend the second day of your Stanley, Idaho vacation exploring the Sawtooth Mountains. The Sawtooth Mountains are part of the larger Rocky Mountains and offer some of the best hiking trails in the country. Here are some of the best trails to hike in the Sawtooth Mountains:

  • Alice Lake Trail: This trail is 11 miles round trip and is considered one of the most scenic hikes in the Sawtooth Mountains. The trail takes you through forests, meadows, and past several alpine lakes.
  • Iron Creek Trail: This trail is 5.5 miles round trip and is perfect for hikers who want a shorter hike. The trail leads to Sawtooth Lake, which offers stunning views of the mountains.
  • Hell Roaring Lake Trail: This trail is 6.5 miles round trip and is known for its wildflowers and views of Hell Roaring Creek. The trail leads to Hell Roaring Lake, which offers fantastic fishing opportunities.

Day 3: Rafting on the Salmon River

On the third day of your Stanley, Idaho vacation, experience the thrill of rafting on the Salmon River. The Salmon River is one of the longest undammed rivers in the United States and is known for its world-class white-water rapids. Here are some of the best rafting companies in Stanley:

  • The River Company: This company offers a variety of trips with some of the most seasoned guides in the area. They provide great lunch options with food sensitivity options.
  • Sawtooth Adventure Company: This company offers half-day and full-day rafting trips on the Salmon River. They provide experienced guides, top-of-the-line equipment, and transportation to and from the river.
  • White Otter Outdoor Adventures: This company offers a variety of rafting trips on the Salmon River, ranging from half-day to multi-day trips. They provide experienced guides, camping equipment, and meals on their multi-day trips.

Day 4: Fishing in the Salmon River

Spend the last day of your Stanley, Idaho vacation fishing in the Salmon River. The Salmon River is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout, steelhead, and Chinook salmon. Need some gear or lessons? Visit the Stanley Fly Shop for all your fly-fishing needs! Here are some of the best places to fish in the Salmon River:

  • Torrey’s Hole: This is a popular fishing spot that offers fantastic fishing opportunities for rainbow trout and steelhead.
  • Sunbeam Dam: This dam is located on the Salmon River and is known for its Chinook salmon fishing. The area around the dam offers excellent fly fishing opportunities.
  • Lower Stanley: This area is known for its fly fishing opportunities and offers easy access to the river. The area is stocked with rainbow trout.

At MVP Vacation Homes, our hospitality is an extension of our own home. As a family-owned business, we provide an experience that truly feels like family. Enjoy this special article, written by Karson Paige, recounting her early years at the Spence home.

When I think of home, I’m there again.

I’m there at that little blue house with the red door. I feel my shins bumping along a labyrinth of lawn chairs, beach cruisers, and surfboards – otherwise known as the side yard.  “Hey, I’m here,” I call to the air around me, assuming position on the brick stoop that leads up to the wood plank porch. The railing looks cleaner than it did last time I was here. Dan must have put a fresh coat of white paint on it. Before leaning my back against the rail, I reach out with a hesitant fingertip to make sure it’s dry.


When the ocean breeze asks my hair for a dance, the smell of salt twirling around reveals it coyly whispered yes. Just as the warm sun gently rocks my eyelids to a close, the chain link fence announces good company has arrived. I open my eyes to see my best friend (most people call her Sarah) arriving home with the last few ingredients for dinner in a brown paper bag. Dinner. My mouth waters at the thought of Rachel’s lemon roasted chicken served with sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and a salad – a Sunday staple around here. Sarah isn’t the slightest bit phased that I’m at her house without notice. It has become a part of me, calling this house, this family, my own. I peer through the open dutch door. In a household of two parents and four kids, there are seven place settings. A seat for me at their table.

I bet you would hardly believe me if I told you how much things have changed since the days we went in and out of that house like it was a revolving door for summer or the nights we took shelter by a crackling fire during the frigid winter…okay it was 65 degrees outside, but, hey, California doesn’t give much material for a story about changing seasons. You’d also probably think I was bluffing if I said that despite the change, so much has remained the same.

I remember when Dan and Rachel told me they were moving to Idaho. It felt like a rug was ripped out from under me, except beneath the rug wasn’t a dusty floor, but a dark hole I would keep falling down forever. They were the people who laid with me on the couch during my battle with depression and were also the first standing on their feet to cheer me on at my dance performances. They taught me to laugh about how I can’t hit a baseball with a bat to save my life, but made me feel like grating cheese was an integral part of dinner preparation that only I, in all of my expertise, could pull off.?? The truth was I just couldn’t be trusted with any other task in the kitchen, though no one ever uttered a word about that.

The Spence’s were my shelter.

I wasn’t the only one devastated to see them go. People kept saying how the town would never be the same without them. What they were really saying was we would never be the same. Naturally, our old friend Nostalgia moved in and we unpacked memories of laughter bouncing off their home’s walls and life-altering conversations ricocheting amongst the walls of our hearts. Meals to both celebrate and comfort. Gatherings around a guitar and harmonica on the porch. Breakthroughs that came during conversations had while repairing that temperamental stove. The lamp by the front door sure to be on in the dark of night. One testimony after another of people who came to the Spence’s empty-handed, yet left with something to hold onto.

It was indisputable: pure, genuine hospitality lived in that house, but it wasn’t the four walls that gave hospitality a place to rest its head. It was the family who loved that little blue house with the red door into a home for all. So I knew they had to go to Idaho, making houses into homes and strangers into family – which is exactly what they’ve done through MVP Vacation Homes. Through all that has changed, who they are and what they do has remained the same; then and now, they are quality people who do quality work.

Come on in and see for yourself. There’s always a seat for you at their table.