How to Spend Summer in Wood River Valley, Idaho

May 12, 2023 - Unseen

How to Spend Summer in Wood River Valley, Idaho

Tired of following the same old vacation routine year after year? This summer, ditch the crowded tourist hotspots and set your compass towards Wood River Valley in Idaho for an off-the-beaten summer destination. While summer in Idaho may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about your vacation plans, it is the ultimate mountain escape waiting to be discovered. Go off the beaten path, away from the crowds, and into a world of breathtaking natural beauty. Nestled in the heart of the mountains, this hidden gem offers a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With a plethora of family-friendly activities and breathtaking landscapes to explore, it’s the ultimate playground for both the young and the young at heart. Unleash your inner explorer, create lifelong memories, and discover why Wood River Valley is the ultimate summer playground you've been dreaming of, but have never really thought of. 


Here’s a rundown of all the fun things to do in Wood River Valley this summer:

Go Summer Ice Skating at Campion Ice House

How to get here


Is there a better way to beat the heat? Sure, but ice skating in the summer is an experience you just have to try. Short history: the Campion Ice House was built by a local community organization called Hailey Ice through their fervent fundraising efforts to build this fully enclosed ice arena. With the help of generous foundations as well as Lynn Campion and her family (whom the arena was named after), Campion Ice House fully opened in November 2015. 


Currently, they offer a range of programs. You can enjoy open public skating sessions and get skating lessons. Professional instructors will guide you through the basics, helping you gain confidence and technique on the ice. They also have a curling program and a hockey program.


So, whether you’re seeking a refreshing escape from the summer heat or simply want to indulge in a fun activity, Summer Ice Skating at Campion Ice House is an experience you won’t want to miss. 

Try horseback riding

How to get here


Experience the beauty of the Wood River Valley from the back of a horse with a guided horseback ride. Local outfitters offer trail rides for all skill levels, from short rides through scenic meadows to longer rides into the mountains. With experienced guides and well-trained horses, you’re assured a safe and fun experience while learning about the area’s history, flora, and fauna. You can just relax and enjoy the scenery without worrying about the details. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife along the way, from elk and deer to eagles and hawks.

Go further north of Hailey!

How to get here


Take a day off your stay at Hailey and head north to Stanley. Surrounded by towering peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and meandering rivers, it’s a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. 


Go whitewater rafting down the Salmon River, known as the “River of No Return,” for an adrenaline-pumping adventure. If not, spend a day casting your line in the serene waters of Redfish Lake, just outside of Stanley. This pristine alpine lake offers excellent fishing opportunities, with an abundance of trout waiting to be caught. Or just swim and hang out lakeside taking in the picturesque views. 

Bike along Wood River Trail

Biking along the Wood River Trail is just one of those quintessential things to do in Hailey or the Wood River Valley. You don’t have to complete the 20-mile trail that follows the Big Wood River from Ketchum to Bellevue, of course. Just do what you can with your time and energy. 


Along the way, you’ll pass through scenic forests and meadows, cross over the river on quaint wooden bridges, and enjoy views of the surrounding peaks. The trail is perfect for all skill levels, from families with young children to experienced cyclists, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take a break or have a picnic, so, maybe pack some snacks. 

Take a hike 


Hailey is breathtaking. With stunning landscapes and diverse trails suitable for all skill levels, it’s the perfect setting for outdoor adventures for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike. You won’t run out of trails to choose from and each is as beautiful as the next one. 


The trails are beautiful all-year-round, but spring is especially beautiful with wildflowers in full bloom all around, but there are much more limited activities to do. If you want to catch the wildflowers, come in early summer for that picture-perfect instamoment. 


There are plenty of trails to choose from, and it can get a bit confusing. Learn more about hiking in Sun Valley, Idaho and nearby in the summer here

Explore Bald Mountain for an exhilarating alpine experience

How to get here


If you’re feeling adventurous, go on a hike along one of the mountain’s trails. Enjoy the serenity and the views and discover hidden gems along the way. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, go biking instead and enjoy thrilling descents and exciting challenges for riders of all skill levels. If you prefer a more relaxed experience, hop on a scenic chairlift ride to the summit of Bald Mountain and take in the breathtaking views from the summit. 

Summer Events in Wood River Valley in 2023 

Aside from the spectacular outdoor adventures that await in Hailey, there are also plenty of events happening this summer in Hailey, Sun Valley, and Ketchum. From cultural events to music festivals, this small slice of paradise gets a little busy and festive too. Also, the events are almost all local, so, they’re a great way of immersing yourself in the local culture. Plus, everyone is friendly and welcoming! 

Sun Valley Brewfest

When: June 17, 2023 12nn to 5:00pm

Where: Sun Valley Festival Meadow – How to get here


Now on it’s 9th year, sample a wide array of delicious brews from over 35 brewers from across the Rocky Mountain Northwest. There’s be fun games and live music in this family-friendly event, too. 

Sun Valley Music Festival

July 30 – August 24  |  Sun Valley Pavilion 300 Dollar Rd, Sun Valley, Idaho – How to get here


Three weeks of free-admission classical concert featuring a star-studded lineup of guest artists set in the open-air Pavilion, surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas. Now on it’s 39th year, it’s a Sun Valley tradition you dare not miss.

Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival

When: August 11-13 | 10am to 5pm, ends at 4pm on Sunday

Where: Atkinson Park, Ketchum, Idaho – How to get here


Stroll through rows of booths in this juried outdoor fine arts show showcasing an impressive array of artisanal creations, including jewelry, ceramics, paintings, textiles, and more. 

Sun Valley Writers’ Conference

Every summer, some of the best authors and intellectuals in the nation and the globe, including journalists, playwrights, politicians, poets, and filmmakers, convene to discuss today’s top issues and the best in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.


This year, from Saturday, July 22 through Monday, July 24, Sun Valley Writers’ Conference is back again at the stunning Sun Valley Resort and Pavilion with an all-star line-up of five Pulitzer Prize winners, two National Book Award finalists, six “New York Times” bestsellers, and a former U.S. Poet Laureate.


Widen your horizons and get inspired this summer and join this meeting of brilliant minds. It’s three days of talks, readings, interviews, and sometimes performances or demonstrations. Passes are already on sale. Start planning and get yours now.

Wagon Days

When: September 1 – September 3

Where: Various locations across Ketchum – How to get here


The Wagon Days is a beloved Sun Valley tradition celebrating the region’s rich history. Watch as horse-drawn wagons and carriages parade through the streets, witness thrilling competitions, and enjoy lively entertainment that captures the spirit of the Old West. Check out the full schedule of Wagon Days events here

Sun Valley Tour de Force

When: July 20 – July 22

Where: Various locations at each event


Admire beautiful cars and support a good cause at the Sun Valley Tour de Force. Now on it’s 6th year, this annual event features a car show, a fundraising event called Cars & Comedy, and high-speed runs on a closed course, all benefiting The Hunger Coalition.

You can find a full list of events around Wood River Valley here. Find one that you like and add it to your itinerary!



Make sure your trip is nothing short of extraordinary by staying at the Mountain Valley Lodge in your Idaho summer vacation.

Located in the heart of Hailey, this charming lodge offers a welcoming atmosphere and a range of amenities to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. With spacious rooms, breathtaking mountain views, and easy access to the area’s attractions, Mountain Valley Lodge is the perfect base for your Hailey adventures.


At Mountain Valley Lodge, we prioritize your well-being and aim to provide you with the utmost comfort during your stay. Unwind and rejuvenate with our array of amenities, including an indoor pool, hot tub, in-room massages, sauna, and aromatherapy treatments. From reducing stress to enhancing relaxation, every aspect of your stay is designed to elevate your well-being and ensure a truly rejuvenating experience.


We also have a fitness center for those who want to keep up with their fitness regimen while on vacation and an in-house restaurant and a 24-hour convenience store so you don’t have to go far when you’re hungry after a day of exploring the valley. Aside from our in-room kitchenette, you can also use our outdoor grilling areas if you feel like throwing an afternoon barbie with your crew. 


Hailey, Idaho may not be a renowned summer destination, but its allure lies in its unspoiled beauty, vibrant community, and wealth of activities waiting to be explored. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, this mountain escape promises a memorable vacation filled with fun, beauty, and relaxation. Plan your trip today and let the charm of this idyllic destination captivate your heart.


Book Today!