Choosing the Best Idaho Ski Resort for Your Next Ski Trip

Judy Antell Avatar

Snow skiis
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Once you’ve narrowed down your ski destination to Idaho, there are a wealth of Idaho ski resorts from which to choose. There are big ski resorts with thousands of skiable acres and backcountry access for adventure-seekers. There are family-friendly ski areas that cater to all skill levels. And there are winter resorts that have extras like terrain parks for snowboarding, night skiing, cross-country trails, easy ski-in ski-out options and plenty of apres-ski possibilities.

Even better, Idaho ski resorts measure their annual average snowfall in hundreds of inches, so you are all but guaranteed fresh powder and backcountry paradise.

Sun Valley and the other major resorts are easy to access since most are clustered around Boise. If you want to be more remote, Schweitzer, Silver Mountain and Lookout Pass are close to Canada.

Many of the Idaho ski resorts are also year-round destinations, with hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding to keep you busy during the months between snowfalls, otherwise known as summer.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Did you know that you can rent your ski gear? The Ski KITs are rented at 90% off of the retail cost and shipped directly to your destination with free shipping and returns. This is a great option for families with kids who grow out of their ski gear each season. Kit’s include jackets, pants, goggles, gloves, and optional snow boots. See all rental options here.

Check out the top ski resorts in the Gem State to find the right fit for you.

Sunset on Bogus Basin Ski Resort near Boise, Idaho.
Sunset on Bogus Basin Ski Resort near Boise, Idaho. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Bogus Basin

2600 N. Bogus Basin Road
Boise, Idaho 83702
(208) 332-5100

Bogus Basin, 16 miles north of Boise, has the third most skiable acres in Idaho…2600! There are 88 runs, some open for night skiing, four high speed quads and 10 chairlifts

Bogus Basin also has lots to offer  non-skiers:

  • 16 miles of cross country ski trails
  • Mountain coaster during the winter holidays and summer
  • 800-foot-long snow tubing hill with a conveyor lift
  • Snowshoeing on snowshoe-specific trails and shared Nordic trails
  • Fat tire winter biking
  • Here’s where to find lodging near Bogus Basin
3 kids skiing at Brundage Ski Resort in Idaho
Photo credit: Visit Idaho

Brundage Mountain Resort

3890 Goose Lake Road
McCall, Idaho 83638
(208) 634-4151

Brundage Mountain Resort has 70 ski trails, two terrain parks and 400 acres of lift-accessed backcountry terrain. There is even more guided backcountry terrain with Snowcat Adventures.

This central Idaho ski resort guarantees its snow. If you aren’t happy within one hour of purchasing your lift ticket, you get a voucher for another day.

Brundage Mountain also offers:

Kelly Canyon

5488 Kelly Canyon Road
Ririe, Idaho 83443
(208) 538-6251

Kelly Canyon has an unlimited pass that includes mountain biking in July. The family-friendly resort also offers less expensive lift tickets than many larger ski resorts but access to huge amounts of fresh powder.

Though Kelly Canyon has varied terrain, it does not have any expert trails. However, it does offer:

Snow sculpture of a train engine at the winter carnival in McCall Idaho.
Snow sculpture at the winter carnival in McCall Idaho. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Little Ski Hill

3635 ID-55
McCall, Idaho 83638
(208) 634-5691

The Little Ski Hill has lots of snow, but lower priced lift ticket prices than the other ski resorts in this section. The non-profit, locally-owned ski area actually has only one T-bar and no chair lifts.

The dog-friendly ski area allows you to bring your dog in the morning, when uphill ski travel is also allowed.

  • Groomed cross-country trails
  • Airbag at the terrain park for beginning snowboarders
  • Nearby McCall hosts a winter carnival each year in late January/early February
  • Here’s where to find lodging near Little Ski Hill
Sun shining through tall pine trees on a snowly landscape
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Lookout Pass

I-90 Exit 0
Mullan, Idaho 83846
(208) 744-1301

With 400 inches of snow every year, beginner to expert trails and two terrain parks, Lookout Pass appeals to the whole family. Lookout Pass, on the border of Idaho and Montana, has many north facing slopes, so snow stays dry and light.

Lookout Pass offers a free ski school, with free skiing lesson for ages 6-17 and free snowboarding lessons for ages 7-17.

Magic Mountain Ski Resort

Forest Road 499
Kimberly, Idaho 83341
(208) 736-7669

Magic Mountain has 11 trails, from beginner to expert, plus a terrain park. The family-friendly ski area emphasizes its affordable lift ticket prices.

The Southern Idaho ski area gets plenty fo snow, so it also has cross-country and snowshoe trails.

Pebble Creek Ski Area

3340 E. Green Canyon Road
Inkom, Idaho 83245
(208) 775-4452

Pebble Creek ski area features a 2,200-foot vertical drop, 51 ski trails and two terrain parks.

There is varied terrain for all skill levels.

Pomerelle Mountain Resort

961 E. Howell Canyon Road
Albion, Idaho 83311
(208) 673-5599

Pomerelle Mountain Resort boasts the “deepest snow in Idaho.” The ski area averages 500 inches of snow annually. It has 24 named runs, with 80 percent of those for beginner or intermediate skiers. There are two terrain parks.

Pomerelle is part of the Indy Pass. It offers group lessons to anyone 7 and older.

Schweitzer Mountain Idaho.
Schweitzer Mountain Idaho. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Schweitzer Mountain Resort

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Road
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
(208) 263-9555

With 92 trails, plus open bowl skiing and three terrain parks, Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers the most skiable acres in Idaho. There are 10 lifts, including a high speed, six person chair lift, so lift lines aren’t long.

In the northern Idaho panhandle, 80 miles from Spokane, WA, Schweitzer Mountain Resort gets more than 300 inches of snow every year.

Skiing gondolas at Silver Mountain Ski Resort in Idaho.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Silver Mountain Resort

610 Bunker Ave.
Kellogg, Idaho 83837
(866) 344-2675

Silver Mountain has ski in, ski out condos for easy access to the 73 trails and two terrain parks. The ski resort gets 370 inches snowfall and has a 2,200-foot vertical drop.

Gondola Village has several restaurants and a spa.

Soldier Mountain Ski Area

1043 Soldier Creek Road
Fairfield, Idaho 83327
(208) 765-3437

Soldier Mountain Ski Area has 25 ski trails and a huge amount of backcountry skiing. There are beginner through expert trails.

Since the ski area is usually not open Monday – Wednesday, Soldier Mountain has a special program where you can rent out the entire place for a private party. Family reunion, anyone?

Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley, Idaho. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Sun Valley Resort

1 Sun Valley Road
Sun Valley, Idaho 83353
(888) 490-5950

Sun Valley has 121 trails, the most ski runs in Idaho. And it has 11 terrain parks, the most terrain parks in Idaho. It also has the biggest vertical drop in Idaho at 3,400 feet.

As the biggest, Sun Valley Resort also has the highest priced lift tickets. But the 18 lifts ensure that you are not waiting on long lines. Uphill skiing is allowed in the early morning and early evening, when the lifts are closed.

Tamarack Resort

311 Village Dr.
Tamarack, Idaho 83615
(208) 325-1000

Tamarack Resort has the second biggest vertical drop in Idaho, three terrain parks and 50 ski runs.

The ski resort has a variety of lodging options, a spa and plenty of places to eat. A year round pass gives you access to chair lifts in summer for mountain bikig.

Less Snow (But Still a Lot!) and Smaller Prices

These ski areas are great for day trips. They still get lots of snow – you are in Idaho after all – but they cost a lot less and aren’t the huge investment a week of skiing at a big resort requires. These local ski areas offer old fashioned family fun and you won’t be stressed out about the price.

Bald Mountain Ski Area

2738 Bald Mountain Road
Pierce, Idaho 83546
(208) 464-2311

Bald Mountain, in the Clearwater Mountains, has low priced lift tickets, with trails from beginner to expert. Open Saturdays and Sundays only.

The family-friendly ski area also offers low cost rentals. There are free buses from the town of Orofino to the Bald Mountain Ski Area.

Cottonwood Butte Ski Area

490 Radar Road
Cottonwood, Idaho  83522
(208) 962-3624

Cottonwood Butte has six ski runs, a rope tow and a T-bar. It is open weekends and holidays.

The small ski area has low-priced lift tickets and equipment rentals for a value-priced family ski trip.

Snowhaven Ski Area

225 W. North St.
Grangeville, Idaho 83530
(208) 983-3866

Snowhaven Ski Area has nine ski trails and a terrain park. You can get an extremely low-priced private ski lesson at Snowhaven.

The city-owned ski area is open weekends and holidays only.

Just Over the Border

If all the ski resorts in Idaho aren’t enough to choose from, these places are so close that it’s easy to trek to them from your base in Idaho.

Grand Targhee

3300 Ski Hill Road
Alta, Wyoming 83414
(307) 353-2300

The year-round Grand Targhee Resort averages an astonishing 500 inches of snow annually, with ski season from mid November to mid April. The ski resort guarantees satisfaction with its snow conditions with a free lift ticket if you aren’t happy that day.

Grand Targhee, near Driggs, Idaho, also offers:

  • Snowshoeing and guided snowshoe tours
  • 15 miles of Nordic skiing
  • Six miles of fat tire bike trails
  • Here’s where to find lodging near Grand Targhee

Lost Trail Ski Area

9485 US Hwy-93 South
Sula, Montana 59871
(406) 821-3211

Lost Trail Ski Area, on the Idaho-Montana border in the northern Rocky Mountains, offers views of the Continental Divide. It has five chair lifts and three rope tows leading to 60 trails and two terrain parks, so you won’t encounter long lift lines.

You can access backcountry skiing with a $13 one-ride lift pass. The two terrain parks include a progressive learning park with man-made and natural features and a more traditional terrain park.

  • The ski school offers an intro to skiing program for kids ages 3-6
  • “Old School Mondays” offer heavily discounted lift tickets (not on MLK Day and Presidents Day Mondays)
  • Here’s where to find lodging near Lost Trail Ski Area

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