Idaho: Sun Valley
8 Day Inn Tour
Known best as being the home of a ski resort for the rich and famous, Sun Valley happens to sit on the edge of the Sawtooth and Challis National Forests. This vast wilderness sets the stage for our bike tour through the beautiful, unworn rocky peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains and along the Salmon River. Known locally as the River of No Return, its fast moving water has created one of the deepest canyons in the world. Come join us as we explore this beautiful country.
Flat sections with long climbs and descents. Moderate to advanced cycling level.
7 nights lodging, 6 breakfasts, 4 picnic and sack lunches, 6 dinners, snacks, raft trip by White Cloud Rafting, detailed cue sheets, van support & trained guides.
Fly into and out of the Sun Valley, ID airport (located in the town of Hailey) and take a taxi or the hotel’s shuttle to our starting hotel. Or drive to Ketchum and leave your car at our starting hotel for the week. We will shuttle you back to your car at the end of the tour.
DAY 1: We meet in the charming town of Ketchum, Idaho for a rental bike fitting at 3:00pm, an orientation meeting at 5:00pm, and then dinner at 6:30pm.
Ketchum, once an isolated mining and ranching town in the wilds of central Idaho, now calls itself a resort town for those visiting Sun Valley or heading into the Sawtooth Mountains. It’s the perfect jumping off point for our bike tour. If you arrive early, hike one of the nearby trails or enjoy the many shops, art galleries and restaurants the city has to offer.
DAY 2: We start our bicycling with a gradual ascent up Galena Summit at 8701’. We’ll catch our first view of the stunning Sawtooth mountain range and have lunch near the headwaters of the Salmon River, also known as the River of No Return. It’s the longest, un-dammed river in the lower 48 states. Then it’s all downhill to the small town of Stanley, our home for the next three nights. 38 or 60 miles.
DAY 3: Stanley is arguably one of this country's most picturesque cities. Unaffected and pristine, Stanley sits on the Salmon River completely surrounded by mountains, making for some spectacular views.
Today's ride is a gentle climb to Banner Summit at 7200’. We will meander through peaceful Challis National Forest. It’s so quiet that you’ll be able to hear the creeks running beside you as you cycle. Be sure to take the optional detour to Stanley Lake for a gorgeous view of the Sawtooth Mountains reflected in the alpine lake. 50 or 57 miles.
DAY 4: We take a day off from our bicycles today to enjoy a beautiful raft trip down the Salmon River. Later, we’ll soak our bodies in the natural hot spring pools at the Sunbeam Dam. The 170 degree water mixes with the river for a delightful dip. 0 miles.
DAY 5: We say good-bye to Stanley this morning and start out on a beautiful ride along the River of No Return to Challis. Keep your eyes peeled for wild mustangs and big-horned sheep. The downstream ride will allow plenty of time for more soaking in the natural pools at Challis Hot Springs. 66 miles.
DAY 6: Our ride today takes us through the Big Lost River Valley to the Wild Horse Creek Ranch, where you’ll be treated to the ultimate in western hospitality. Along the way, we’ll pass by snow-capped Borah Peak, the highest mountain in the state. You’ll see few people and little traffic through this stunning terrain. 59 miles.
After breakfast, we’ll shuttle out of our hotel, stopping at Craters of the Moon National Monument. We’ll explore the fascinating landscape that was formed thousands of years ago from volcanic eruptions.
Then we’ll drop everyone off in Bellevue at the start of the beautiful Wood River Trail. The 32-mile, paved trail was once a railroad line transporting gold from the Deer Creek mines. You’ll pass the internationally renowned Sun Valley ski resort and Idaho’s own “Little Hollywood.” Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway wrote part of For Whom the Bell Tolls in a room at the Sun Valley Lodge. You can see a statue of the author on the trail. We’ll cycle all the way to our hotel and celebrate our accomplishments tonight at dinner. 19 – 32 miles.
DAY 8: Our tour ends this morning. You are free to take the hotel’s complimentary shuttle back to the airport at your leisure. If you drove to the tour, WomanTours will drive you back to your car in Ketchum. 0 miles.