Acres: 2,154 | Vertical: 3,400 | Snowfall: 250 | sunvalley.com
The first destination ski resort in North America heaves with superlatives. Its 3,400 unbroken vertical feet of 30- to 40-degree skiing sits less than two miles from the lodge that birthed Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. Sun Valley sees just 400,000 skier days per season, meaning zero lift lines, winter holidays excepted. Ketchum native Danielle Carruth (sister to pro skiers Zach and Reggie Crist, and possibly the family’s best skier) says, “The trick to Baldy is to follow or flee the sun and watch the temperature. Get to the top at 9 a.m. and take two runs down the sunny side off Christmas lift, before ducking into what the boys call the ‘Dark Side,’ or Warm Springs. These wide-open pitches are never crowded and always present an exposure with the perfect amount of sun or shade for great conditions.”
What’s New: The iconic Sun Valley Lodge reopens with refurbished restaurants and a bowling alley, along with a new 20,000-square-foot spa.
Down Day: Hit Sun Valley’s Outdoor Ice Rink, where you can twirl on the same ice as dozens of Olympic skaters. —Greg Randolph
From the Early Winter 2015 issue.