Biking Sun Valley with Kids

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.

Sun River Bike Path
Biking Sun Valley with Kids. Photo by Paul Mayne.

Galena Lodge

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.

Galena Lodge Mountain BIking
The patio at Galena Lodge. Photo by BJ Hansen.

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.

White Clouds Trails in Sun Valley, ID
Taking a break from biking the White Cloud trail system with my son on his very first ride

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.

Ketchum Pump Track

Bald Mountain

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.

Update: Since the initial writing of this article we have since returned to Bald Mountain and ridden the bike park trails several times. It is one of our favorite bike parks, but is not intended for small wheels.

The bike park trails are very rocky, steep and technical. There are purpose built jump lines and drops strewn between the aforementioned tech riding.

Sun Valley Bald Mtn Collage
Bald Mountain has close to 3500 vertical feet of change from top to bottom. It is awesome!

Bike Rentals

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:

Other Resources

Here are some other resources to help you with trip-planning and route-finding:

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2 thoughts on “Biking Sun Valley with Kids”

  1. I loved this read, we had a blast riding Sun Valley area with our nephew and niece last year!

    I believe it is Bald (no y) Mountain and it is a super fun system, even though it has a limited number of trails, it still offers very long downhill runs. Last year we tested many bikes here during 2019 and tested out over 10 bikes on this trail system. We did walk away with some Esker Elkat’s so I suppose the test was worth it.

    If you’re looking to rent only for the DH park, then Pete Lanes is a great option but if you want to ride around the area, I would compare all the shops and find the one that works for you in town.

    If you have some extra time, make your way up to Stanley, Idaho as well, but its a bit of a hike.


  2. Lef ty s Bar and Grill : Yummy burgers and subs with a huge outdoor deck and lots of beers on tap. Order at the counter and grab a seat. » Kid Friendly : Totally 40, they even have video games. Power House Pub and Brewery Local grass-fed burgers, handmade fries and homemade ketchup all in this bike shop turned pub. We love to ride our rides down to Hailey from Sun Valley and stop in here for lunch. Bonus: there is usually a bike video or race on the TV. » Kid Friendly: Yes, they have large tables inside or spots outside. They also have a kids menu.


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