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Sun Valley’s Hot Springs Resorts Were a Big Draw
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The Guyer Hot Springs Hotel sat just beyond where the Wood River YMCA is today. Courtesy photo.
   
Sunday, September 8, 2019
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Idaho has been reputed to be a geothermal gem with more hot springs than other states in the Lower 48.

And hot springs were a big draw for the Wood River Valley dating back to the late 1800s.

Ketchum historian and author John Lundin will talk about the rise and fall of the Wood River Valley’s hot springs resorts at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Hailey Public Library.

Lundin says that two of the largest were developed into commercial resorts as the number of miners and businesses swelled in the 1880s.

Guyer Hot Springs, which was situated along Warm Springs Creek near Ketchum, and Hailey Hot Springs, situated at the mouth of Democrat Gulch west of Hailey, featured pools, hotels, dance halls and other amenities.

“It’s remarkable that these magnificent resorts have simply vanished from the landscape,” said adult program specialist Kristin Fletcher. “John will help us journey back in time using historic images and sharing stories of these popular resorts, which drew tourists decades before Sun Valley Resort was created.”

Lundin has lectured extensively about Wood River Valley history, inspired by the lives of his relatives who moved to the valley in 1881, operating one of Bellevue’s biggest hotels before moving to Shoshone where they operated the McFall hotel.

He also is the author of the award-winning “Early Skiing on Snoqualmie Pass” and is writing two more books: “Sun Valley: The Early Years Under the Union Pacific Railroad” and “The History of the Wood River Valley.”

 

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