I'm sure a lot of people already have plans for Labor Day, but here are some ideas in case you're still on the fence about what to do:
It's going to be crowded in many popular outdoor locations this weekend, so you might as well dive into the crowds in Ketchum/Sun Valley to experience the Wagon Days Celebration. This is a great outing for families. The Blackjack shootout is at 7 p.m. Friday on main street in Ketchum and the Big Hitch parade on Saturday begins at 1 p.m. The parade is billed as the largest non-motorized parade west of the Mississippi. Your kids will love seeing the covered wagons and people decked out in pioneer garb.
Check out the Ketchum/Sun Valley Chamber web site to look for the best deals on hotels, or you can camp out north of Ketchum or even in the Stanley area. Here's the calendar of events for the weekend.
On Friday and Saturday night, the "Wah-Hoo! Review" puts on a knee-slappin' foot-stompin' Wild West performance at the Sun Valley Opera House. You can do a BBQ and performance, or just the performance to save a little money. The performance costs $20 for adults and $15 for kids; BBQ and show costs $40 for adults and $30 for kids. Reservations: 208-622-2135.
While you're in Ketchum, you can ride the chairlift to the top of Bald Mountain and take a l-o-n-g gravity ride down the Cold Springs or Warm Springs trail on your mountain bike. Here's my writeup in Mountain Biking Idaho. It's 11 miles downhill the Warm Springs Trail or the Cold Springs route. If you don't bike, you can hike down. The descent is more than 3,000 vertical feet, so you'll get big views of the Pioneer and Smoky mountains and the Big Wood River Valley.
If you'd like to go mountain biking or hiking in the Wood River Valley, check out this web site for some trail ideas.
Some other possibilities:
- Go backpacking in the Sawtooth Wilderness, the White Clouds or near McCall, in the Payette Crest off of Lick Creek Road.
- It's the last weekend to go hiking or biking at Brundage Mountain. Take Elk Trail dowhill from the top of Brundage and enjoy an awesome trip through open meadows and deep forest to the bottom. On Monday, Brundage is offering a two-for-one special. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.
- Go camping in the Boise National Forest, Payette National Forest, Sawtooth National Recreation Area or along Owyhee Backcountry Byway in the Owyhee Mountains.
- Go flatwater paddling on scenic lakes in the Sawtooths. Statesman outdoor writer Pete Zimowsky wrote about this in the Idaho Outdoors section this week.