Sun Valley is tucked within the mountains of Idaho. The closest airport, called Sun Valley Airport, is in Hailey about 10 miles from Sun Valley. There is a reliable shuttle service from Hailey to Sun Valley that meets every incoming flight. In addition to the airport in Hailey, there are other several travel options. Many people prefer to fly to either Boise, Idaho or Salt Lake City Utah and drive to Sun Valley. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. When making travel reservations, please keep the following in mind:
Flying to Sun Valley (Hailey) – Flights to Hailey originate in Salt Lake City. The flight from SLC to Hailey takes about one hour. Hailey is a small mountain airport so you can expect to fly on a smaller turboprop airplane. All flights into Hailey are met by the Sun Valley shuttle, which will take you to the resort (about 15 miles) at no charge. Flying to Hailey is the most direct way to travel to Sun Valley but there are some drawbacks. The turboprop service between SLC and Hailey tends to be a bumpy ride and in hot weather, some luggage may have to be removed from the plane to allow enough lift for takeoff. The luggage typically will arrive on a later flight, but you run the risk of being without your luggage for a day. This risk is not great but travelers should recognize that luggage delays can occur in late July and early August.
Another option is to fly to Boise Idaho and then drive to Sun Valley. There is also a Sun Valley Shuttle service from Boise to Sun Valley for approximately $50 one way. The drive to Sun Valley from Boise takes about 2 ½ hours. There is also an option to take a scenic drive along highway 21 through Stanley, which takes about 4 hours. Be sure to check whether it is less expensive to fly to Sun Valley or rent a car and drive. Of course, if you rent a car, you will have one at your disposal for local touring.
A third option is to fly into Salt Lake City, Utah and drive to Sun Valley with one of the Salt Lake participants or someone else who wishes to do the same. It is approximately a 6-hour drive and could plan on driving back Thursday. For hotel arrangements in Salt Lake City, I recommend either the Shilo Hotel [(801) 521-9500, approximately $95 per night (double), high speed internet access and includes breakfast] or the America’s Best Inn & Suites [(801) 355-4567, approximately $59 per night (double), free wireless internet access, includes continental breakfast]. When making reservations, please tell them you are with the University of Utah and would like the corporate rate. Or another option is the University of Utah Guest House [(801) 587-1000 and $72 per night (double), free wireless internet access with a continental breakfast].