Introduction – Things to Do in Hailey!

Hailey is a small and fastest-growing town at an elevation of 5,300 feet in a magnificent Wood River Valley. It is a site of Friedman Memorial Airport. Here the airport for the resort area of Sun Valley/Ketchum is easily approachable on 12 miles.

The valley has mountains of the Sawtooth National Forest on both sides. Visitors can enjoy several outdoor activities in Haily, including mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding. Valley Resort is the top attraction famous for being the best skiing area to ski and snowboard in North America.

Ernest Hemingway came into the valley and lived for 20 years, where he did canoeing, fishing, and hunting. He got impressed by the mountainscapes around Hailey, presenting an undeniable romance. So, there are several best things to do in Hailey, Idaho.

What to Do in Hailey Idaho
What to Do in Hailey Idaho

Things to Do in Hailey, Id

Let’s discuss the details of the things to do in Hailey!

1- Visit the Sun Valley for Wagon Day

It is a significant cultural event in Sun Valley that lasts up to five days, just before Labor Day. The Wagon days is Festival Meadows on the north side of Ketchum. Moreover, you can expect a big crowd and a diverse pleasing program here. This festival holds art and antique shows, musical programs, riding demonstrations, a car auction, the barn dance, fun activities for children, and poetry readings.

The event takes place in the largest non-motorized parade in the Northwest in the ramps up to the Big Hitch. Here you can see the marching bands, Wagons, and Cowboys. You can also experience life in the late 1800s, being a part of this festival. Visitors can also enjoy the Ore Wagon Museum Big Hitch on Display.

2- Meet Hockey Rising Stars at Sun Valley

Sun Valley Sun semi-professional sports team for hockey in Hailey was founded in 1975. It is a hockey organization that competes in the Black Diamond Hockey league. However, it depends upon the Campion Ice House in downtown Hailey. This competition is growing fast and consists of Western United States teams competing out of Sun Valley, Idaho.

Sun Valley
Sun Valley

Since 2015, the Sun Valley Suns has won three consecutive competitions. Visitors can meet future Hockey rising stars or some veterans formerly playing in the AHL or NHL on the roster. You can join their skate sessions to get on the ice in Campion Ice House, which puts on causal stick & puck. Visitors can visit their website to be up-to-date on their upcoming hockey events.

3- Enjoy Nature in Draper Preserve

It is a beautiful, refreshing, and relaxing place, where you can come, walk and enjoy other activities. Draper Wood Preserve area came into existence over six years. Also, it consists of 124-acres of land present on the western side of Hailey on the bank of the Big Wood River. Instead of being on the town’s border, the Draper Preserve is a thickly forested area that seems like a slice of wilderness.

Visitors can see some animals like moose if they go silently. Its well-maintained boardwalk will bring you towards the Cory Creek Wetland while captivating Bow Bridge crosses the Big Wood River, spanning over 160 feet above the river. The valley’s mind-blowing mountainscapes are all around after stepping out of the cluster of trees.

4- Enjoy Birding at Silver Creek Preserve

It is a natural area that contains a thriving ecosystem and preserved over forty years, protecting about 881 acres of lush, flower-rich meadows on the banks of a clear stream. Visitors can approach the gentler landscape of Silver Creek Preserve through the short way by heading southeast to the Sun Valley. Silver Creek Preserve is one of the best places for birding in Idaho. Also, it contains more than 150 species of birds, bobcats, coyotes, and mammals like moose.

Silver Creek Preserve
Silver Creek Preserve

Visitors can see Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, American Avocets, Long-billed Dowitchers, Solitary Sandpipers, and Willets in the park. Moreover, you can also enjoy fishing in the park. Also, it is famous as a fly-fishing destination where you can see some rainbow trout and brown trout.

5- Visit Historical Society in Sun Valley Museum of History

Sun Valley Museum is an official museum of Ketchum Sun Valley present in Ketchum, Idaho. It is a Historical Society Heritage & Ski Museum founded in 1995, having an immense collection of Hemingway, mining Sun Valley, sheep, and skiing. It has a detailed history of skiing section disclosing how modern skiing equipment evolved.

Visitors can also watch some historical photographs and an archive of documents. Visitors can easily spend a few hours in the historical museum at Ketchum’s historic Forest Service Park. The museum also holds a temporary exhibition of publicity photography for the Union Pacific Railroad and some detailed stories on specific topics from Japanese internment in WWII to mid-century.

6- Try Snowshoe Trails Galena Lodge & The Trails

It is a local, breathtaking attraction in the Boulder Mountains off to the northwestern side of Sun Valley. Visitors can approach the site by the meandering State Highway 75 of Sun Valley. Galena was a mining community in the past. Moreover, one part of that community is alive in the form of this lodge. It is a base camp for hiking and biking in the summers.

Snowshoe Trails Galena Lodge
Snowshoe Trails Galena Lodge

On the other hand, you will get more than 30 miles of snowshoeing trails and cross-country skiing to discover in winters. This lodge celebrates several seasonal activities and events around the year. It is the first place for passes, equipment rentals and to book special tours and lessons.

7- Watch National Monument Craters of the Moon

The Craters of the Moon is the national monument of the United States preserved in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. This monument was established on May 2, 1924. Also, it is present between the small towns of Carey and Arco and is approximately 5,900 feet above sea level.

It is about 40 miles to the southeast and sets as one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the United States. Moreover, visitors can discover the full gamut of basaltic lava formations like tree molds (created by burned-up trees), spatter cones, fissure cones, and lava trees in this strange landscape.

You can also observe its nearest features reformed just 2,100 years ago. After starting from the center, visitors can head out onto the seven-mile loop road in a series of trailheads for cones, lava tubes, and much more.

8- Visit The First Gold-Tier Dark Sky Preserve

It is a dark sky reserve area expanded on 1,416 square miles of dark sky preserved close to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in the U.S. state of Idaho. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is one of the best places in North America for conceiving. Also, it is the first gold-tier dark sky preserve in the United States that begins from Ketchum and extends Northwest into a massive swath of the Sawtooth Range.

Gold-Tier Dark Sky Preserve
Gold-Tier Dark Sky Preserve

The cities coved under the dark sky were seeking to compete for the consequences of pollution, and establishing this reserve in 2017 is the next step. Visitors can watch the galaxy looking up with naked eyes.

9- Float On the Air Through the Fly Sun Valley

You can visit the Sun Valley to enjoy the natural beauty from height in the air if you want to do something exceptional in Hailey. Moreover, it seems like you are floating on the air or thermal currents as the Fly Sun Valley offers to combine paragliding flights. It is one of the best points to enjoy paragliding because you don’t require any training to enjoy your sky flight because you will be a co-pilot.

After launching from the Bald Mountain, it will be surprising to see the smoothness in your ride, and you will be free to watch the mountainscapes at your leisure. So, never forget to take your Go-Pro camera and binoculars when moving towards the Fly Sun Valley.

10- Watch the Beauty of Sawtooth Botanical Garden

It is a high-altitude botanical garden situated at 11 Gimlet Road, Ketchum, Idaho, United States. Visitors can reach the botanical garden by Highway 75 as it presents 10 minutes along the Highway. The botanical garden was developed gradually and founded in 1994, and it is open for local and native visitors.

Sawtooth Botanical Garden
Sawtooth Botanical Garden

Expanding over 5 acres of land, the botanical garden has several sub gardens, including a lava rock garden, a xeriscape garden, a sage steppe garden, a streamside garden, and a montane garden.

One of its most visited gardens is landscaped by a Zen Buddhist monk. Also, the alpine species is known as Garden of Infinite Compassion. It is a historical sub garden because the Dalai Lama visited to bless this garden in September 2005.

11- Learn the History of Ernest Hemingway Legacy

It is clear why Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) fetched and drawn to the untamed landscape around Sun Valley. In 1939, the writer chose this place for his residence after the resort had just been created. The writer wrote the Bell Tolls during this time. Hemingway distributed his time between Cuba, Spain, and Ketchum. Moreover, he used to go to that places to hunt, write, canoe, fish, wine, and dine.

You can withdraw an itinerary of sites relating to the writer from the Sun Valley Visitor Center (or website). Moreover, you can learn about the Ketchum Cemetery, the places where he would drink downtown. You can also learn about the night before he died in 1961 when he was in a restaurant and where he had dinner with his wife, Mary.

12- Visit Rotarun Ski Area

The Rotarun Ski area is an up-to-date skiing area in the heart of Idaho. It is present in Blaine County, less than three miles away from the Hailey. Moreover, it is approximately 5,895 feet above sea level, having a vertical down of 475 feet on its northern slopes of Art Richards Mountain.

Rotarun Ski Area
Rotarun Ski Area

It is a solid alternate of the Sun Valley, and you can’t beat its convenience when it comes to the Rotarian Ski Area. Since 1948 its a local winter sports hub for Hailey that offers reasonable access to high-quality runs. There are several free entry programs for children, and you can enjoy night skiing on Wednesday and Friday nights.

13- Visit the Sun Valley Resort

A few things were incorporated to make Sun Valley a top-class place to ski and snowboard. Bald Mountain is a region of 3,400 vertical feet of fall line terrain, characterized by the consistent pitch and a noticeable absence of wind with powdery snow.

There are 75 runs between the green circle, the blue square, and black diamond that are equally weighted, and visitors can access them by the highly-efficient system of 14 lifts. There is also a gentle pitch to adjust younger and less experienced skiers and snowboarders in the Dollar Mountain family-friendly terrain park.

14- Explore Things at the Blaine County Historical Museum

Blaine County Museum is a mine of information for Blaine County, Hailey, Ketchum, and Sun Valley. Visitors can learn the history of the Union Pacific Railroad, the Shoshone, Bannock tribes, the poet Ezra Pound’s early childhood, and the origins of the Sun Valley Resort and the pioneer days. One of its astonishing exhibits covers the last decades of the 19th century, related to the Blaine County was riddled with mines for silver, galena (lead ore), and gold. 

Blaine County Historical Museum
Blaine County Historical Museum

15- Visit Old Railroad Wood River Trail (WRT)

It is the oldest trackbed of the Grand Union Railroad. Also, it became a 20-mile multi-use path through the Wood River Valley. This trail comes with a stunning mountainous view around the valley with worth visiting locations. The visible signs along the route speak about the early days of tourism at Sun Valley. So, visit the Railroad wood river trail to see natural scenic views and learn the history of Sun Valley.

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