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Unearthing Idaho - Sun Valley

Senior Airman Jaye Legate poses for a photo after fording several streams with his truck in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho July 15, 2015. The Salmon-Challis is one of many national forests surrounding Sun Valley. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Connor J. Marth)

Senior Airman Jaye Legate poses for a photo after fording several streams with his truck in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho July 15, 2015. The Salmon-Challis is one of many national forests surrounding Sun Valley. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Connor J. Marth)

A snowboarder poses for a photo in Sun Valley, Idaho, Feb. 25, 2012. Sun Valley is known worldwide for its lavish accommodations and historic slopes. (Courtesy photo by Jaye Legate)

A snowboarder poses for a photo in Sun Valley, Idaho, Feb. 25, 2012. Sun Valley is known worldwide for its lavish accommodations and historic slopes. (Courtesy photo by Jaye Legate)

Green Lake lies among mountains in Copper Basin, Idaho July 16, 2015. Many alpine lakes are scattered throughout Copper Basin and are stocked with rare fish, such as grayling and golden trout annually. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Connor J. Marth)

Green Lake lies among mountains in Copper Basin, Idaho July 16, 2015. Many alpine lakes are scattered throughout Copper Basin and are stocked with rare fish, such as grayling and golden trout annually. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Connor J. Marth)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- A snowboarder poses for a photo in Sun Valley, Idaho, Feb. 25, 2012. Sun Valley is known worldwide for its lavish accommodations and historic slopes. (Courtesy photo by Jaye Legate)In many ways Idaho is a forgotten state. Sometimes it's confused with Iowa or Ohio or just flat-out overlooked. When I tell people I live in Idaho, almost everyone asks "where is that again?" So, when I found out there was a place in this state known across the world and visited by thousands of people every year, I had to see it to believe it.

I jumped in my car and drove two-and-a-half hours to the renowned city of Sun Valley, Idaho.

Sun Valley has had a number of status changes over the years. It started out as a ski resort between the towns of Ketchum and Hailey. Today, it's a resort city visited by everyone from the rich and famous to local Idahoans.

The Sun Valley area has plenty of amenities -- shopping, theaters, opera houses, spas, dining, tons of outdoor activities, lodging and, of course, a pair of well-kept mountains.

The two peaks are Bald Mountain or 'Baldy' to skiers, and Dollar Mountain. These giants reach 9,150 and 6,638 feet in elevation respectively. Baldy and Dollar offer a unique range of slope gradients for all levels of skiers with very little wind, which is part of the reason they're so favored around the globe. The other part probably has something to do with the average 113 inches of snowfall the area receives each year according to U.S. climate data.

Senior Airman Jaye Legate poses for a photo after fording several streams with his truck in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho July 15, 2015. The Salmon-Challis is one of many national forests surrounding Sun Valley. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Connor J. Marth) Sun Valley may only have two mountains in its main resort, but it sits on the edge of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Salmon-Chalis Forest. These massive areas sprawl across much of Idaho, offering more than 730,000 acres of land with hundreds of peaks to play on.

Winter sports are no doubt the largest attraction of the area. However, the mountains are available year-round for mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking and many more activities. But, not everyone wants to get dirty and play 'mountain man.'

The surrounding cities of Ketchum and Hailey are quaint, family-friendly towns catered to folks visiting the area. If you find yourself looking for a few places that are easy on the pocketbook and offer some of the same charm as Sun Valley, these two towns are a perfect option.

Sun Valley is one of the most famous and popular areas of Idaho. Anyone who enjoys the outdoors, action sports or a luxurious resort lifestyle can expect to have a good time here.

Editor's note: This is the sixth installment of a weekly blog highlighting attractions and activities around Idaho. Stay tuned to learn more!

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