Sawtooth Botanical Garden

#5 in Best Things To Do in Sun Valley
Sawtooth Botanical Garden picture
kathy hipsher photography/Flickr

Key Info

11 Gimlet Rd

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Parks and Gardens, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.6

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

A showcase of natural beauty and high-altitude plants, the Sawtooth Botanical Garden is a must-stop for any plant lover or gardener. The 5-acre garden showcases both native and cultivated plants that represent the five biomes of south-central Idaho. What's more, there are art installations and educational exhibits interspersed among the plants. The crown jewel of the garden, though, is the interactive Tibetan prayer wheel in the center of the Garden of Infinite Passion. Featuring a handmade, free-spinning wheel imported from India, the exhibit contains about one million hand-printed prayers on individual pieces of paper. Visitors can spin the wheel themselves and learn about Tibetan traditions of meditation and religion. 

Access to the Sawtooth Botanical is free (though donations are welcome). Plus, the gardens remain open to the public from dawn to dusk year-round (the visitor center has hours that vary by season). Past visitors provide positive reviews of the garden, with many people saying that it's ideal for a quick and relaxing stroll. To access the garden from downtown Ketchum, drive about 4 miles south on Highway 75.

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If you're visiting Ketchum in the winter, it's hard to resist the powder and astounding vistas offered by Sun Valley Resort, where about 220 inches of snowfall accumulate every year. Experienced skiers and snowboarders will love the nearly 100 trails at Bald Mountain. From groomed runs to glades to bowls to terrain parks, this massive winter wonderland will keep you entertained for days. And if you're just starting out, you'll find easy trails and group lessons at nearby Dollar Mountain.

But even if you aren't here to downhill ski, you can still have a great time. Cross-country skiers can enjoy more than 25 miles of Nordic trails, and ice skaters will love the outdoor rink. Plus, you can book a sleigh ride with your family or just relax in the lodge with a hot drink. Recent visitors applauded Sun Valley for its fast-moving lift lines and said it's a great family destination thanks to its variety of runs. The ski season generally begins in late November and continues until late April.

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