There are none better than the mountain towns of Idaho when it comes to exclusive wilderness retreats. With fresh, alpine air and close proximity to premier golf courses and ski resorts, some of Idaho’s best locales also feature the most high-priced real estate.
Read about Idaho’s most expensive mountain towns below.
Ketchum is nestled in the mountains adjacent to Sun Valley Ski Resort. Officially founded in 1880, its growth was significantly influenced by the discovery of precious metals, particularly silver. Fast forward to today, Ketchum and the surrounding Wood River Valley are home to some of the wealthiest individuals in the country.
It’s the most expensive community in Idaho, with an average home price of about $4.6 million. Celebrity sightings are common in this quaint little ski town, but the scenery is the main attraction. Outdoor adventure lovers can find plenty to do, like fly-fishing, hiking, golfing, horseback riding, skiing and mountain biking.
The town produces top-tier athletes who go on to compete for the U.S. Ski Team and the Olympic Games. But Ketchum isn’t just about outdoor sports. This town is also famous for its Trailing of the Sheep Festival, a weekend of sheep-themed fun and games. It features a parade of sheep herded through the center of town. And just like many expensive mountain towns, there is an assortment of high-end cuisine and boutique shopping.
Located on the banks of a serene mountain lake, McCall is as picturesque as it is expensive. Payette Lake, a glacial lake spanning over 5,300 acres, is the heart of the town. Native American tribes, including the Nez Perce, primarily inhabited the region. Tom McCall, a pioneer and entrepreneur, established a logging camp near the shores of Payette Lake in the early 1900s. The town is named after him.
Today, McCall is a vibrant resort town loved by visitors from nearby Boise and beyond for its natural beauty. Like other mountain towns, there is a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities to be had here. Along with hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowmobiling, McCall has cozy cafes, art galleries, and boutique shops in its downtown area.
Brundage Mountain Ski Resort is just a short drive away. Nearby backcountry trails are a haven for snowshoers and cross-country skiers, and there is an abundance of wildlife watching. Overall, McCall provides a serene mountain escape in a snowy wilderness.
At the foot of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, Victor, Idaho, is home to some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife in the United States. When the Oregon Short Line Railroad arrived in the area in the late 1800s, the little town transformed into a busy hub for agriculture and trade.
With snow-capped mountain peaks looming in the background, Victor is an alpine retreat just 45 minutes away from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Along with golfing, horseback riding, and world-class fly-fishing on the Teton River, Victor is close to two ski resorts. It’s only about an hour from both Grand Targhee Ski Resort and Jackson Hole Ski Resort. Victor is the kind of place where you can’t help but be in awe of the great outdoors.
Whether you’re tasting a beer at a local brew pub, watching a hockey game, or simply exploring the surrounding nature, you’ll find close community vibes in Victor. Not to mention the inspiring scenery and landscape rich with wildlife.
Hailey is just a short drive from Ketchum in the Wood River Valley. Its proximity to Ketchum and Sun Valley makes it another of Idaho’s most expensive mountain locales. The town is just as charming as Ketchum, with a slightly slower pace and fewer tourists. Visitors often fly into the Hailey airport in order to visit Ketchum, and many of the permanent local residents of the valley live in this quiet community.
Just like Ketchum, it’s easy to participate in a variety of outdoor activities in Hailey. From mountain biking to hunting, the town has no shortage of public land. Hailey also boasts a thriving arts scene, with galleries showcasing local artists’ work and cultural events happening throughout the year.
Just down the road from Victor is Driggs, Idaho, another one of Idaho’s most expensive mountain towns. Closer to Grand Targhee Ski Resort, the town has a busy main street with restaurants, bars, and shopping.
The west side of the Teton Mountain Range frames the backdrop in Driggs, with an assortment of residential neighborhoods, agriculture, and horse pastures dotting the foreground. Driggs is a mix of ski town and Idaho farming culture, complete with rodeos and county fairs. As in Victor, the culture here is warm and inviting, and there are lots of ways for locals to get involved in their community.
The Teton River winds through Driggs — a world-renowned destination for fly-fishing. There is also an abundance of wildlife in this area, such as deer, elk, grizzly, black bears, wolves, foxes, mountain lions, and large birds of prey.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Nathan McDaniel/ via Getty Images
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