10 Fun Facts About Sun Valley, Idaho

For many, Sun Valley, Idaho, conjures images of white ski slopes and celebrity sightings at the lodges. This resort city welcomes visitors year-round to enjoy four seasons of outdoor adventure, a thriving arts and culture scene, and world-renown skiing. However, there’s more to Sun Valley than just providing a vacation escape. Here are some fun facts about Sun Valley that may just inspire a trip.

Facts About Sun Valley: 10 Fun Things to Know

facts about sun valley

The Name Says It All

A New York public relations agent gave the town its name. He thought Sun Valley fit perfectly, considering the town receives 300-plus days of sunshine annually.

It Feels Like You’re on the Moon

In 1971, when astronaut Jim Irwin set foot on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission, he radioed, “Oh, boy, it’s beautiful out here! Reminds me of Sun Valley.” He also remarked about the soil’s similarity to soft powder snow.

The First Woman Gold Medalist

Gretchen Fraser, the first woman to win a gold medal in the winter Olympics, was from Sun Valley. In 1948, she received the gold for alpine skiing and continued to work with other female champions, including Susie Corrock, Christin Cooper, Picabo Street, and Muffy Davis.

Facts Sun Valley ID

Snow Sports Greatness

The city has had a snowboarder in every winter Olympics since snowboarding became an Olympic sport. Sun Valley resident Kaitlyn Farrington even took gold home in 2014 in women’s half pipe. Additionally, nearly 40 living Olympians live in Sun Valley. Get Sun Valley tips for a successful ski trip.

It’s a Hot Spot

No really. Sun Valley has 13 known natural hot springs in the area, and many people know secret spots as well. These natural hot tubs give visitors an easy way to warm up.

The Art Scene is Hot, Too

With more than 20 galleries and events for art lovers, Sun Valley is a top small town for art. Museums, theatrical performances, and lectures celebrate local artists and history. Learn more about Sun Valley’s art scene.

A Golfing Paradise

The town has four golf courses, offering 81 holes in all, within 6 miles of Bald Mountain winding through the area. Guests can play during warm-weather months, providing a full day of outside bliss.

Fun Facts Sun Valley ID

Literary Greats Love Sun Valley

Author Ernest Hemingway rests in Ketchum Cemetery. Hemingway lived in Sun Valley until he passed, and guests can visit his last home, grave site and memorial. The annual Sun Valley Writers’ Conference is one of the most popular literary festivals of its kind, drawing some 1,000 guests.

Lucy Also Loved The Town

Legendary comedian/actress Lucille Ball considered Sun Valley among her favorite vacation spots. She brought the cast from I Love Lucy to film a comedy special at Bald Mountain in 1958. Ball was one of many Hollywood stars who not only vacationed here but also brought work with them.

A Movie Mecca

The town’s scenery and natural environment have inspired a number of films shot in the area. A few examples include: Sun Valley Serenade (Sonja Henie), Bus Stop (Marilyn Monroe) and Pale Rider (Clint Eastwood).