Sun Valley Altitude Sickness: Must-Read Guide & 6 Steps To Avoid It

Sun Valley Altitude Sickness

As a popular tourist destination in Idaho, the high altitude of Sun Valley can cause altitude sickness, a common problem for visitors. As a high-altitude based company, we'll share with you everything you need to know about Sun Valley altitude and our top steps to avoid Sun Valley altitude sickness.

Sun Valley altitude

Sun Valley altitude sits at 5,945 feet above sea level. The town is named after the Sun Valley Resort, which was built in 1936 and is considered the first destination ski resort in the United States, which also includes the sister town next door Ketchum.

  • Sun Valley altitude - 5,945 ft (1,812 m)
  • Ketchum altitude  - 5,853 ft (1,784 m)

The highest point in Sun Valley is Bald Mountain, which has an elevation of 9,150 feet (2,789 meters) above sea level. The second ski resort in Sun Valley, and lower one, is Dollar Mountain at 6,638 feet.

  • Bald Mountain altitude - 9,150 ft (2,789 m)
  • Dollar Mountain altitude - 6,638 ft (2,023 m)

Tourist and adventurers can also explore high-altitude destinations drivable from Sun Valley including Craters of the Moon National Monument, Sawtooth Mountains, and Yellowstone National Park.

In the winter, Sun Valley is known for its world-class skiing. Sun Valley is a popular destination for many other outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and golfing. Overall, Sun Valley is a beautiful and exciting destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a luxurious vacation experience.

What Is The Base Elevation Of Sun Valley Ski Resort?

Sun Valley Ski Resort base elevation sits at 5,750 feet above sea level. The peak elevation at the summit goes to 9,150 feet high.

  • Sun Valley Ski Resort base elevation -  5,750 ft (1753 m)
  • Sun Valley Ski Resort summit elevation - 9,150 ft (2,789 m)

Is Sun Valley Considered High Altitude?

Yes, Sun Valley is considered high altitude.

Mountain Medicine stipulates high altitude to begin at 4,900 feet.⁶ Sun Valley ID, at 5,945 feet, well exceeds this height. 

Is Idaho considered high altitude?

Yes, the state of Idaho is considered high altitude. Idaho is the 6th highest state in America, and has a mean elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level.⁷

Sun Valley Altitude Compared To Boise

Sun Valley ID elevation is over twice the height than Boise elevation.

Boise altitude sits at 2,730 feet while Sun Valley altitude sits at 5,945 feet, which is significantly higher.


Can You Get Altitude Sickness In Sun Valley?

Yes, you can get altitude sickness in Sun Valley Idaho.

Scott Gallagher, MD writes that altitude illness ca start around 5,000 feet.⁸ By comparison, Denver has an estimated 10% of visitors feeling altitude sickness, yet sits at 5280 feet which is lower than Sun Valley.⁹

Furthermore, if you're hiking or skiing, elevations can get as high at 9,150 feet which can cause much more severe symptoms of altitude sickness.

Sun Valley Altitude Sickness

Sun Valley altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness, is caused by a lack of oxygen at high altitudes.

As you climb higher, the air pressure decreases, which can cause a decrease in the amount of oxygen in the air. Your body may not be able to adjust to this decrease in oxygen, while combating oxidative and physiological stress leading to altitude sickness.

Sun Valley Altitude Sickness can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling ill
  • Difficulty sleeping

These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can occur within a few hours to day of arriving at high altitude. To avoid the altitude sickness from ruining your Sun Valley trip, you should be well prepared.

6 Steps To Avoid Sun Valley Altitude Sickness

If you're planning a trip to Sun Valley in Idaho, it's best to be prepared for the elevation changes as altitude sickness can put you on your back.

Being based in high altitudes of Colorado, we'll share with you our top 5 steps so you can be better prepared on your trip.

Here are 6 steps to help you avoid Sun Valley altitude sickness:

1. Drink Plenty Of Water

High altitudes leads to increased fluid loss. Wilderness Medical Society estimates that you can lose water twice as fast than at sea level, which puts you at risk of dehydration.¹⁰

One of the most important things you can do in Sun Valley is drink plenty of water before and during your trip. Experts typically recommend drinking half your body weight in water each day.

TIP: Add sea salt (electrolytes) to your food to help hydration, and take Zaca hydration chewables to maximize water absorption.

2. Avoid Strenuous Activities

Get acclimated to the altitude before you overwhelm your body. Avoid strenuous activities like hiking uphill or skiing until you're acclimated.

Resting can also help your body adjust and reduces fatigue, which makes it easier for you to breathe when there's less oxygen in the air. Overall, take it easy until at least a day or two into your Sun Valley trip.

3. Maximize Your Sleep

Rest and sleep are vital to adjusting your body and recovery. Sleep has also demonstrated to increase blood flow and oxygen.¹¹

While insomnia can be a problem at high altitudes, attempt to get 7-9 hours of sleep. To help, get plenty of natural sunlight during the day which can improve your circadian rhythm.

4. Gradual Acclimatization

Give your body time to adjust to the altitude. Plan your trip so that you have a few days to adjust to the elevation before going to elevations beyond Sun Valley or Ketchum.

If you're coming from sea level and planning to ski, 9150 feet mountain peaks will create havoc on your body. Sudden jumps in altitude are problemsome, but once you're acclimate to Sun Valley it'll be safe to go higher such as skiing.

5. Limit Alcohol

Alcohol is detrimental to your body's ability to adjust to altitude, and can produce similar symptoms like headache and nausea. Dehydration, decreased sleep quality, and lowered oxygen saturation can all be a result of alcohol consumption.¹²

Although maybe difficult to do, limiting alcohol on your first 1-2 days in Sun Valley will boost your body's ability to adapt. Only drink once you feel free of any signs of altitude sickness.

6. Supplement Antioxidants

Antioxidants have been shown to play a key role in the body due to high elevations causing oxidative stress.¹³ ¹⁴ One study out of India found glutathione, the body's master antioxidant, to deplete up to 45% in high altitude conditions.¹⁵

Supplement antioxidants including glutathione to raise your levels and equip your body to fight free radical damage.

In conclusion, you should follow these top researched steps to avoid Sun Valley altitude sickness — which includes drinking plenty of water, avoiding strenuous activities, maximizing your sleep, gradually acclimatizing, limiting alcohol consumption, and supplementing antioxidants.

Top Altitude Antioxidant Supplement

Sun Valley Altitude Sickness
Available as a chewable, Zaca is the perfect supplement for mountain adventures. Formulated to support your body's antioxidant levels including glutathione — you can rehydrate, replenish, and recover quickly. These chewables combine a blend of powerful and natural ingredients that can deliver what you need to sustain your lifestyle and bounce back faster. Whether you’re flying in an airplane, climbing or skiing mountains, or doing intense workouts, you can take Zaca with you anywhere in convenient on-the-go packets. Try Zaca chewable supplement today and fuel your mountain trips.







1. Sun Valley Idaho Elevation,_Idaho
2. Bald Mountain Elevation
3. Dollar Mountain Elevation
4. Ketchum Idaho Elevation,_Idaho
5. Sun Valley Elevation
6. Effects of high altitude on humans
7. State Elevation Mean - Idaho Elevation
8. Patient education: High-altitude illness (including mountain sickness)
9. Don’t let altitude sickness ruin your trip to Colorado
10. Why Do You Need to Drink a Lot of Water at a High Altitude?
11. Sleep: The Secret Ingredient of Injury Recovery
12. Effects of Alcohol
13. High altitude and oxidative stress
14. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure
15. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione