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Fall in Sun Valley

22 Aug 2016
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In Sun Valley, Idaho, as the weather changes, so do the leaves. Fall in Sun Valley is known for incredible and dramatic color changes that make nearly any outdoor activity not only surreal, but at times overwhelmingly enchanting.

In order to optimize viewing of the beautiful aspens and cottonwoods, one of the best times you can visit Sun Valley is in early October as that is when the vibrant and colorful foliage begins to fall off the ends of the Aspen and Cottonwood branches. These leaves create an almost unimaginable wonderland filled with bright yellow and flaming orange that makes up the harmonious season of autumn.

There are a number of incredible hikes around the valley which best enhance your intake of fall foliage. Some of these include Proctor Mountain, Chocolate Gulch, and Adam’s Gulch.  Yet what makes this season so amazing and fabulous is not just the changing leaves, it is the valley changing itself. This season is known here as the “Fall Slack.” Summer tourists have just checked out, and skiing enthusiasts have not yet arrived to swarm the hill. It’s one of the only times where the valley can relax, and show its true colors. (I shouldn’t be telling you this, but rates are also the lowest at most restaurants during this time.)

It is also rumored that during this time, you can see some of the famous people who frequent the valley. Maybe they're buying a frap at the local Starbucks, or passing you as you ride down the bike path. Who knows, maybe that bald guy you saw the other day walking nonchalantly away from you was Bruce Willis. I myself just recently saw Mark Zuckerberg (Creator of Facebook) sitting outside one of the best Mexican places in town, Desperados.

Although fall may not be the most exciting time of the year, or even the one with the most activities, it is still beloved by all locals for its natural beauty and the awesome opportunities that it brings. Business gets to be a little slow, traffic loosens up, trails are less traveled, and the world almost seems to stop spinning. Not only that, but being out in the Idaho wilderness becomes just a little more beautiful, if that is even possible.

There is one place within the valley which truly exemplifies this phenomenon. A short drive east past the Sun Valley Resort will take you out Trail Creek. There, a turn off leads to a trail down a hill to a shaded, secluded paradise. Here lies the memorial of the great writer Ernest Hemingway. The babbling river pervades throughout the air, and the wind subtly blows through the yellow leaves, and the gurgling of the water and rustling of the leaves creates an odd yet beautiful symphony. Below the bronze head of Hemingway, written is this: “Best of all he loved the fall, the leaves yellow on the Cottonwoods, leaves floating on the trout streams, and above the hills the high blue windless skies. Now he will be a part of the, forever.”