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Old 01-29-2012, 05:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
Land of the Potato
IdahoFreshies's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Boise Idaho
Posts: 1,228
Default Idaho Resorts and Information

So being the only consistently active member from southern Idaho, every now and then I get PMs asking about the local hills. I have grown tired of writing long detailed novels for replies so I am making this thread to link to anyone needing some tips on that one obscure state in the PNW that grows potatoes and sugar beets.

~Northern Idaho


Distance from Spokane: 90 Miles (1 1/2 - 2 Hours)
Closest Town: Sandpoint (9 miles)
Acres: 2900
Vertical: 2,400
Runs: 92
Annual Snowfall: 300"
Terrain Parks: 2
Adult Lift Ticket: $67
Extras: Night Skiing, Sidecountry, Cat Skiing


Schweitzer is huge. With 2900 acres spanning two mountain faces, it will take you some time to truly explore this terrain. If you're into long clean groomers, Schweitzer has an insane amount of nightly groomed trails spanning from steep (have to use a Cat-wench to groom) to fairly mellow. Where Schweitzer really shines though is off the beaten path. Two large powder bowls grace the front and backside of the mountain with a nearly unlimited amount of tree skiing in-between. Glades range from sparse (20+ ft spacing) to tight (5-ft spacing) and most everything is ridable. If you are willing to venture into the tighter trees, you are almost always guaranteed some powder stashes. Terrain on the mountain consists of mainly Blues and Black/Double-Black Diamonds, with some fairly gnarly chutes and cliff drops if you look in the right places. If you're not at that level though, the bunny hill is LONG and has just the right slope (not too flat). One of the best parts about Schweitzer is that due to the mountain being huge and the amount of people that come here, the place is almost never crowded. A powder day midweek means fresh lines all day long and 10 second lift lines. Weekends are only marginally worse. Most of the chairs are high-speed as well, meaning more tracks in a day.

If you crave sunshine and bluebird days, Schweitzer probably isn't the place. They do happen, but this mountain is well known for it's cloudy flat light and occasionally super dense fog. If you're into park, Schweitzer has the biggest park in this region with features that range from big booters and rails to mellow boxes and small jumps. These features are split into two different areas, one consisting of small features and then a big park. As far as mountain ambiance goes, it's very laidback and non-Aspeny. I've never had to worry about someone stealing my board here. Employees are very friendly, easy to joke with and have a good time. You may even catch an off-duty lifty to ride with.

If the conditions are right, Schweitzer is worth the expensive ticket all the way.

~Central Idaho

Brundage Mountain

Distance from Boise: 120 Miles (2 1/2 Hours)
Acres: 1500
Vertical: 1800
Runs: 46 "named runs"
Annual Snowfall: 350"
Terrain Parks: 3
Adult Lift Ticket : $50
Extras: 19,000 acres of cat skiing, Brundage is fucking awesome

My Review:

I don't know what it is about this place that has mystified me and caused me to love it so much, but Brundage is the west's best kept secret. It is up a 2 lane mountain road 2 1/2 hours in good conditions from Boise Idaho, so the crowds are usually at a minimum. This resort is fully up in the mountains, so it gets great snow and a lot of it, powder days are frequent and great. Brundage truly is the best snow in Idaho. On top of that the terrain is just fucking awesome. You can ride the entire resort and not touch a groomer. Just trees and glades and bowls and shit everywhere. Along with the variety of greens to blacks there are some good natural drops off cliffs, some mini chutes, and the occasional pillow lines. Its heavenly. When the snow is falling, Brundage is where I go.


Distance from Boise: 95 Miles (2 Hours)
Acres: 900
Runs: 32
Vertical: 2800
Annual Snowfall: 300"
Terrain Parks: 2
Adult Lift Ticket : $50
Extras: Not too Busy, pretty good park

My Review:

Tamarack is a pretty cool place. It has the 2nd most vertical out of all of them, but on the down side there only is 900 acres. There is some cool glades and cool terrain, and they also have a pretty impressive list of features on their park roster. But over all its just average. Its about as good as Bogus, it would be better but its size is a big downfall, but not as good as Brundage.

~Southern Idaho

Bogus Basin

Distance from Boise: 16 Miles (45 minutes)
Acres: 2600
Runs: 53
Vertical: 1800
Annual Snowfall: 240"
Terrain Parks: 2
Adult Lift Ticket : $48
Extras: Night Skiing

My Review:

Bogus is so great for one because it is so close to Boise. While the snowfall is not like Brundage, it is still pretty good and off piste you can find fresh snow days after. With 2600 acres there is plenty of off piste/trees once you start getting on the backsides. The only down side is the parks are not that big. I get a season pass to Bogus every year and I am still having fun there. Its nothing really extreme per say, its just all around great fun and a very wide range of terrain. If you want to just test the waters riding trees and off piste you will be fine. If you (the average person) wants a challenge or wants to push yourself there is also plenty of that. There are a number of spots (especially when the snow is falling) where you will want to be a pretty good rider to enjoy yourself. Otherwise you could be falling and getting stuck a lot. Bottom line: If you are in Boise check out Bogus, even if its for a day. It is a pretty big place, a lot of fun, and i guarantee you will have a good time there.

Sun Valley

Distance from Boise: 160 Miles (3 hours)
Acres: 2000
Vertical: 3400
Runs: 75
Annual Snowfall: 240"
Terrain Parks: 3 + Superpipe
Adult Lift Ticket : $80
Extras: Resort town, Phenomenal park and a Pipe

My Review:

I have not been to Sun Valley much, but it has not impressed me. The first turn off was the $80 list ticket (season passes were 1800). They had quite a bit of terrain, and a good amount of it was fairly steep, and in good snow it would be a lot of fun. But they dont usually get much more snow than Bogus does. And when there is no fresh snow the entire resort turns to moguls and ice. Also the off piste was not great either, much of it was almost too dense to ride). out of 2000 acres there are 75 groomed runs, so most of the mountain is groomed. On dollar mountain, which is a short drive away and where the park is, has a pretty big super pipe and the park set up is pretty killer however. They have all of the jibs and jumps. When pros go to Idaho they usually end up at sun valley to use their sandbox of a park. For the average person Sun Valley is a typical ski town and people go there for the history, the name and the atmosphere, but as far as the mountain terrain goes, I would rather go to Brundage.
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Last edited by IdahoFreshies; 02-13-2012 at 01:26 PM.
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