Sun Valley, ID was the very first place we ever took our son mountain biking. He was a few weeks shy of his first birthday, and we couldn’t wait any longer to share our love of singletrack with him. Right across the street from the Sun Valley Lodge is the White Cloud trail system, a short and easy ride perfect for kids, beginners, and those short on time.
We buckled the baby into the iBert, briefly questioned our sanity, and started rolling. My husband, the bravest among us, rode with him up front, cautiously pedaling up the hill and chatting at the same time. As would become the case for all rides over the next several years, the two talked about the trail, about the clouds, about the cars driving the roads far down below us. We fell in love with family mountain biking.
Three years later, we recently returned to Sun Valley (and area) for another visit. This time, our nearly 4 year-old was on his own bike, ripping it up at the Ketchum pump track and the bike paths. Just like on our first visit, we made some fantastic memories there.
It turns out that this scenic pocket of Idaho is the ideal place to take your family to ride. If you are looking for an active family vacation, consider heading to Sun Valley. Here are a few of the fantastic offerings in the area.
The Best Family Bike Rides in Sun Valley
Wood River Bike Path
Whether you want to head out for a full-day of exploration, or just want to bike to dinner, the Wood River bike path can get you there. This 32-mile paved multi-use trail runs thru the towns of Bellevue, Hailey, and Ketchum and then continues north all the way to Galena summit. Stop along the way for swimming, ice cream, and fishing.
This twisty, fun trail system is perfect for all skill levels. Located 23 miles north of Ketchum, the Galena Lodge is a beautiful destination in the Sawtooth mountains. Ride to your heart’s content and then enjoy lunch on the outdoor patio.
White Cloud Trails
This is my favorite family ride. There’s some climbing involved but it is short-lived, the views are fantastic, and you can stop at the top and do some cartwheels on the golf green. (That’s our favorite part anyway). Download the Sun Valley trails map here.
Ketchum Pump Track
What this little pump track lacks in size, it makes up for in atmosphere. Gorgeous views of Baldy might distract you, but probably won’t grab the attention of your kids because they will be ripping it up. When they are done riding, there is a playground and splash pad right across the street.
If lift-served mountain biking is your thing, head to River Run plaza to catch the Gondola. You will be rewarded with a 12-mile decent on the Warm Springs trail. While this ride requires minimal pedaling, it does demand intermediate technical skills, so save this adventure for older, more experienced kids.
If you aren’t bring bikes with you, no problem. There are plenty of places to rent some. Pete Lane’s Moutain Sports, at Sun Valley resort, has an enormous fleet and even rents trailer-cycles and other family cycling gear. Other options include:
Here are some other resources to help you with trip-planning and route-finding: