Whoever first uttered the words “God’s Country” surely had summertime in the Wood River Valley in mind. An outdoor wonderland for people who like to play, the Valley is rife with fresh-air family opportunities. Here are a handful of suggestions to help you make the most of our glorious summer landscape:
Take A Dip
For those who yearn for slippery slides and poolside cabanas, the following are a few “cement ponds” with features galore for your swimming pleasure:
Aquatic Center-Blaine County Recreation District (BCRD)
Features include a kiddie pool, a standard pool, playground, snack bar, cabanas, umbrellas and a private party rental area. Lessons, swim team and Master’s swim are all available. Adults pay $5, while kids 17 and under and seniors are $4; and babies under a year are free. Open swim hours are weekdays, 1:15- 5:20 pm and weekends 12-5pm. Outdoor pool is open June-August. 1050 Fox Acres Road, Hailey. 208.788.2144
Easley Hot Springs
Located next to the Easley campground, 14 miles north of Ketchum on Highway 75, Easley Hot Springs offers a slightly-heated swimming pool, hot tubs and showers for a small fee. A small store is also located on-site. Only open during the summer. 208.774.3000
Featuring a 130-foot waterslide, saline lap pool, hot tub and splash pool which welcomes swimmers of all levels. Pool use is included in membership fees; family day pass for full facility use is $25. The Y offers lessons for swimmers ages “3 to 103,” water aerobics and Master’s swimming. Indoor pool, open year-round. 101 Saddle Road, Ketchum. 208.727.9622
Zenergy at Thunder Spring
Aquatic classes include everything from Mommy & Me to Masters, aquatic fitness and kid’s swim club. Pool use is included in membership fees; guest passes are available to members. If you’re not a member and would like to try Zenergy, 3-day and 1-week passes are available for purchase, or you can buy a spa treatment and receive use of the club on the same day at no additional cost. Indoor and outdoor saline pools, open-year round. 245 Raven Road, Ketchum. 208.725.0595
Pop a Wheelie
Ride the trails without actually leaving Hailey and Ketchum. The BCRD has built two Pump Tracks to practice your biking skills on dirt and clay rollers and berms. In Hailey, the smaller, skill-building track gives kids a chance to develop confidence and proficiency before graduating to the larger, more advanced track. Hailey’s Pump Track is at the BCRD Aquatic Center, 1050 Fox Acres Road. In Ketchum, the track is across from Hemingway Elementary on Second Avenue. 208.788.2144.
Just Roll With It
After a hard workout at the Pump Tracks, pedal over to the Wood River Trail system’s bike path where you’ll find more than 30 miles of paved trails that provide a scenic and leisurely tour of the Valley. Pick up the trail (it runs parallel to Highway 75, from Saddle Road southward) and follow it up to Sun Valley via Elkhorn and all the way back down to Bellevue. Call the BCRD for more information. 208.578.2273.
Keep Your Eye on It
Two regulation-sized sand volleyball courts are open from dawn to dusk and are free to the public courtesy of the Blaine County Rec. District. Situated right next to the Aquatic Center and the Pump Track in Hailey, you can wear out the kids and exercise every muscle group in the process. 1050 Fox Acres Road, Hailey. 208.788.2144.
Teach your kids the finer points of putting in a low-key, family-friendly setting at Sun Valley Resort’s 18-hole Sawtooth Putting Course. The course offers 52,000 square feet of family fun with gorgeous views of the mountains surrounding Sun Valley. Sun Valley Resort, 208.622.2251.
Every kid should have a Penny Lake in his life. A little more than four miles from Ketchum out Warm Springs Road, Penny Lake is stocked with rainbow trout and features a small pier, fire ring, picnic bench and vault toilet. Open year-round from sunrise to sunset, it’s a general regulation fishing area where you can keep what you catch. Kids under 14 must fish with a licensed adult. (Fishing licenses are $12.75 for non-residents and cost $6 for each consecutive day. Residents pay $25.75 for the season.) For more information, visit fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish.