When is the best time to visit Central Idaho?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

There are lots of great reasons to visit Central Idaho throughout the year. It really comes down to what you like to do. In the winter, skiers enjoy the region’s numerous alpine ski areas and expansive Nordic opportunities. In the spring, steelhead and Chinook salmon make their way from the Pacific Ocean to the middle of Central Idaho, some 900 miles, drawing anglers from even farther away. In the summer, hikers, rafters, campers, and music and festival lovers (they come for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Ketchum-Sun Valley as well as the Music at the Shore Lodge series, the McCall Summer Music Festival and the Yellow Pine Music and Harmonica Festival in the McCall area) flock to the region like sheep called in from their mountain pastures. And in the fall, hunters and fly fishers come to cast and blast days away throughout the region.

Each season also offers a variety of family-focused events, such as the Trailing of the Sheep Festival each fall in Ketchum and Hailey, the Sun Valley Wellness Festival each spring in Ketchum-Sun Valley, McCall’s beloved Winter Carnival or the Sawtooth Salmon Festival at the end of each summer in Stanley.

The region’s growing locavore food scene — everything from fresh produce and dairy products to trout, game and beef is harvested in the area — also draws foodies to Central Idaho’s restaurants and festivals year-round.

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