Our Adventures RV'ing

Our Adventures RV'ing

Thursday, August 4, 2016

IDAHO: Ketchum/Sun Valley and a chance to do some glam camping @Lowman

July 23-26, 2016: Ketchum/Sun Valley, ID

We've been to Sun Valley twice but only in the winter for ski trips. I always enjoy going to ski resort towns in the summer, it gives one a totally different perspective. We stayed at the one and only RV park in the area but it's also the closest to the towns of Ketchum, Hailey, and the Sun Valley Resort. A good base camp with hookups if you want to explore the Sawtooth recreational area.
The park was great for our short stay in the area, despite that the sites are very close together and you share a small green space with the RV next to you. We were there to be out and about so it didn't matter to us.

The Meadows RV Park Ketchum ID http://www.themeadowsinketchum.com/rv/

Small green area shared between 2 sites
The term "Sun Valley" is used more generally to speak of the region surrounding the city, including the neighboring city of Ketchum and the Wood River Valley area winding south to Hailey. The region has been a seasonal home to the rich and famous since first being brought to public attention by Ernest Hemingway in the late 1930s.

There's lots of hiking and mountain biking in the area. Close to our park is the Wood River trail which is an easy, paved path that runs all the way to Ketchum in one direction and Hailey in the other.

We only did one hike while we were here, Bald Mountain Trail. http://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7000004

Quite a hike, 5.0 miles and a 3,229 feet elevation gain. It took us 2 hours and 40 minutes. Beautiful views the entire way and there were still some wildflowers at the upper elevations. Base at the start was 5,764' and the top was at 8,993'. Average grade 12%. It was a slow and steady climb the entire way. The nice part of this hike is there is free lift service down. Christmas lift takes you to Roundhouse where we stopped and had lunch, then it was a gondola ride down to the bottom.

Another awesome view

A few wildflowers left

View of Ketchum
Skied those runs

Selfie on the lift ride down to Roundhouse

This is how the bikes get up

Lunch at Roundhouse- half way down.

Thank you Sun Valley for the ride down.

Ski Runs in the background

River Run Lodge, Base at Sun Valley Ski Resort
We went to a free concert to listen to the Sun Valley Symphony perform IN FOCUS SERIES
Baroque Beginnings: Bach at the Sun Valley Pavilion on Sunday evening. It was outside on the grass and dog friendly, we found a nice spot in the shade.

We also went to the Sawtooth Brewery tap room in Hailey, ID. They don't serve food here so it was very dog friendly.

We found only one indoor dog friendly establishment

July 26-28, 2016: Lowman, ID

On the day we left Sun Valley we heard there was a fire (Pioneer Fire) that started around Idaho City and had closed Highway 21 south of Lowman to Boise. Our route was going to take us to Cascade by way of the Banks-Lowman Highway(ID-17) which was open, so that was good news, but we were worried about smoke. On our arrival to the campground we checked at the forest ranger station and the winds were moving the fire NE of us and there was little chance the Banks-Lowman Highway would be closed. There was no smoke in the area and since we were only going to be there 2 nights we decided to stay and monitor the situation.

Finally a chance to get our feet wet and do a little glam camping. I chose a campground just outside of Lowman on the Payette River, Mountain View campground, Boise National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/boise/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=5196&actid=29. A small campground of 14 sites, no electric or water hookups but there is drinking water, trash bins and 2 vault restrooms within the campground. The campground has a camp host on-site.  We had, by far, the best site in the campground, a pull-through right next to the Payette river. Walking around the campground I am not sure we could fit in any other site. Many of the sites are back-in and not level. We had no problems driving in and out of the campground but we did unhitch the tow vehicle first and went slow. I was able to reserve this site on-line; I booked it in early June and made sure we timed our visit midweek when it wouldn't be as busy. The campground was quiet the entire time we were there.

Site 9

Can't get any closer to perfect
We did have to deal with some smoke from the fire, mornings were clear then heavy smoke would move in from 11am to 1pm. We would move into the coach until the winds would pick up in the afternoon and push the smoke out. We would see the smoke plume in the late afternoon and build up over the ridge but then recede.

Smoke building

Smoke plume above ridge line
There was a lot of activity at our site, at around 6:30pm it was a daily pull-out area for this rafting company.

I took some photos of an angler from the campsite next to us fly fishing. He was catching something every 15-20 minutes. The trout must have been too small because he was releasing most of what he was catching. It looked relaxing and fun,  I am seriously thinking of taking up fly fishing as a hobby.

Fly fishing

UPDATE 8/4/16:  After we got home from our Idaho trip I saw this news report http://www.ktvb.com/news/local/pioneer-fire-continues-to-threaten-homes-in-lowman/287280379. It looks like the fire has moved a lot closer to Lowman, which is sad, the area is beautiful. The forces of nature can be relentless.

"Fire is never a gentle master" Proverb Quotes

Next: Cascade, ID

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