Hemingway in Idaho's High Desert - TravelStorys

Hemingway in Idaho's High Desert

Sponsored by The Community Library | Ketchum, Sun Valley, Idaho

  • Location: Idaho
  • Travel Type: Driving/Walking
  • Trip Time: 1 hour
  • Language:

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The rural town of Ketchum, Idaho, nestled between the Pioneer, Boulder, and Sawtooth Mountain ranges, is home to over 2,800 people and sits 5,840 feet above sea level.

Ketchum has worn many hats since it was founded in 1880. It was originally a small, yet booming, silver mining town; after the silver market crashed, it survived by becoming the largest sheep-shipping center in North America by the 1920s.

Today, Ketchum is known because of its famous neighbor: Sun Valley, a resort town of 1,400 residents, lauded for its world-class skiing, fluffy powder and more than 200 days of sunshine per year. It is also part of the nation's first Dark Sky Reserve, which occupies 1,400 square miles and offers some of the best stargazing in the lower 48.

The idyllic surroundings, numerous outdoor pursuits, and friendly people brought Ernest Hemingway to Sun Valley for the first time in the fall of 1939. Thus, began a love affair with Idaho that was to endure for the rest of Hemingway’s life.

Though Hemingway visited the Wood River Valley over the course of more than twenty years with three children and two different wives, and settled here for the last two years of his life, he almost never brought pen to paper to write about Idaho. Nonetheless, it's clear by the lasting friendships he made and the grave marked "Ernest Miller Hemingway" in the Ketchum Cemetery that this place was special to him.

There are twelve stops on this tour: nine in Ketchum and three in Sun Valley. The stops are connected by a purple line indicating a suggested driving route from Highway 75 along Sun Valley Road. But feel free to enjoy them in any order you prefer. The audio stories will trigger automatically as you approach each site.

There are also two flagged locations on the map that are not part of the tour but are well worth seeing: the Hemingway Memorial on Trail Creek Road, and the "Hemingway at Home in Idaho" exhibit at the Regional History Museum on Ketchum's 1st Street.

Tour Sponsors
This tour is brought to you by the Community Library of Ketchum. Its mission is to bring information, ideas, and individuals together to enhance the cultural life of the community.

Find More Tours Near You
If you are interested in more audio tours in the region, check out Idaho National Laboratory. To find more tours throughout Idaho or wherever your travels may take you, visit TravelStorys.com. Every place has a story.

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Tour Excerpts

About This Tour

9. Ketchum Cemetery

7. The Casino