Fall in Sun Valley is a truly magical experience. The leaves turn to magnificent hues of red and yellow, traffic loosens up, trails are less traveled, and the world seems to slow down a bit. The Idaho wilderness becomes just a little more beautiful, if that were possible. While we adore winter and summer in Sun Valley, here are just a few of the reasons that fall is our best kept secret.

Fall in Sun Valley Offers Vibrant Colors

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.

When & Where to Catch the Fall Colors in Sun Valley

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. This 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.

Fall Slack Season Means Great Atmosphere & Deals

What makes this season so special is not just the changing leaves, but the transformation of the valley itself. Early October is known in Sun Valley as the “Fall Slack”. The summer visitors have just checked out and skiing enthusiasts have not yet arrived to enjoy our skiing and snowboarding. It’s one of the only times throughout the year where locals can take some extra time off to enjoy their beautiful valley. There’s a sense of freedom and comradery in the air, and you will find excellent deals at the local restaurants and establishments.

The Celebrities Make Their Appearance in the Fall

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

Fall is the Most Magical Time to Visit Hemingway’s Memorial

A short drive east past the Sun Valley Resort will take you out Trail Creek. A turn off leads to a trail that opens up to a shaded, secluded paradise. Here lies the memorial of the great writer Ernest Hemingway. The babbling river pervades throughout the air, the wind subtly blows through the yellow leaves, and the rustling of the leaves creates a beautiful symphony. On the memorial below the bronze head of Hemingway lies a beautiful sentiment, “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 them forever.”

Hemingway's Memorial

Many people overlook fall in Sun Valley for the excitement of skiing in the winter, or hiking and biking in the summer. And while we agree that there’s nothing quite like après ski in Sun Valley, those who never make it to visit in the fall are missing out on a truly special nature experience. So pack your mittens and don’t forget a camera, Sun Valley in the fall is waiting for you.