As we continued our exploration of Idaho, we decided to head into the Sun Valley area to see what was up with this area. Sun Valley is a resort with a fairly famous ski area. The town of Ketchum is right next door and welcomed us with open arms by displaying a banner proclaiming a beer festival was going on Saturday. And the day we rolled into town happened to be the very same Saturday. Sun Valley was getting off to a great start!
We were targeting a very small (9 sites) campground just northeast of Sun Valley in the Sawtooth National Forest. Boundary Campground is on Trail Creek and happens to offer excellent access to Sun Valley, Ketchum, and the neighboring towns.
This Forest Service Campground is a first-come-first-served kind of place, so we were rolling the dice on availability. Especially on a Saturday. Turns out a few spots were open, so we snagged one, for two nights, that would give us good sun for the solar panel, as this campground doesn’t have utilities. Since I don’t have a generator, I have to be mindful as to park where I get plenty of sun for my solar or I’ll end up with dead batteries.
Wood River Trail
We couldn’t have planned the location of the campground any better. Turns out that a only a 1/2 mile from the campground is the top end of the Wood River Trail, a 30 or so mile paved bike path that winds through Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey, and down to Bellevue. There are spurs that take you thru Sun Valley and Ketchum.
As soon as we had setup the house, we hopped onto our bikes and rode the few miles downhill to the beer festival in Ketchum (more on this in a minute). The following day we rode much further, exploring the area. Kathy was kind enough to ride slowly so I could keep up with her. I am sure it killed her, but I was very appreciative!
We used out bikes during our entire stay. The Jeep stayed put, which was a nice change.
I enjoy beer, as does Kathy. So when we rolled into town and found out that a beer festival was happening that very same day, we knew what we were doing that afternoon! We rode the Wood River Trail to Ketchum on our bikes, found a place to lock them up, and proceeded to enjoy the 2nd annual Ketchum Brewfest put on by the local Rotary club.
For $20, you were given a wrist band and a pint glass. And, get this, access to as many samples of beer as you want, from 14 different breweries. As much as you can drink. Oh, yeah! I took full advantage of this (Kathy had more self control). Considering I am a lightweight, I was in no condition to drive afterwards. Fortunately we only had to ride our bikes back home. Uphill. I assume that went well as I didn’t receive any road rash. And from what I remember of the ride, it went smoothly. 🙂
We really liked Ketchum. Even though it definitely is a tourist town (probably more so in the winter when the ski resorts are open), it doesn’t come off as being kitschy or having the touristy vibe. Instead it seems to be a laid back town in a beautiful setting. A very nice place to spend some time.
Also turns out (spoiler alert, this kid isn’t a huge Hemingway fan, obviously) that Ketchum is the place that Ernest Hemingway purchased a home and committed suicide. I had no idea. But Hemingway’s presence became very clear once you wander around town.