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Idaho Resorts and Information

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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

Schweitzer

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

Review(HoboMaster):

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.

Silver Mountain

Distance from Spokane: 70 Miles (1h 10m)
Closest Town: Kellogg - Gondola Base in town
Acres: 1,600
Vertical: 2,200
Runs: 73
Annual Snowfall: 300"
Terrain Parks: 1
Adult Lift Ticket: ~$55
Extras: Can ride off the mountain and Gondola ride back up on an big powder day. Indoor Waterpark w/ Flow Rider (Thing is a blast after a day of boarding…I am not really any good but this will give you an idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPXcddfVl_U )

Review(Ballistic_BW):

Silver Mountain is the Mid-Sized Mountain in North Idaho. It is the middle child of our resorts up here. Lookout Pass is the smallest mountain but has the best snow in our area. Schweitzer Mountain is the biggest and has the best terrain, but like Hobo said their weather is really hit and miss due to being right on Lake Ponderay.
Silver has a good mix of terrain although they mostly cater to intermediate/advanced riders. They have very little expert terrain. Silver has 3 peaks to ride but one of those is only accessible by a skier traverse or a short 15min hike to the peak (well worth it towards the end of a powder day as most people are too lazy to hike it.)
They have some solid glades ranging from 5ft – 15ft spacing and their run the “North Face Glades” has some of the steeper trees in our area, and you can find decent powder stashes days after the last dump.
Some of the major perks to this mountain are:

• Warner Peak - this is the 3rd peak that you have to hike as a snowboarder, but has some great riding on the back side and can find nice powder most the time.

• The Gondola – It makes getting up to the mountain super easy as its freeway driving all the way to the base and then 20min ride up the gondola.

• The Gondola (again) – On a good powder day you can ride from the top of the mountain all the way to the base lodge in Kellogg. It is a looong powder run and is a blast. It is a solid 45min run from top to bottom and you can just ride the gondola back up to do it again.

• Flow Rider – After a long day shredding in the snow, surfing in the indoor waterpark down at the base in 84 degree temps is pretty damn nice. Plus the hot tubs and bar inside.

The bunny hill has a nice grade and is just the right length in my opinion. It also has a magic carpet which is nice for new riders as they don’t have to fight with a tow rope or try to learn how to use a chair lift at the same time they are figuring out how to snowboarding.
The park is in a good spot with their main chair right next to the upper half of it. It has gotten a slow start this year but usually they have a good mix of hits, tabletops, rails, boxes, etc.
Mountain is very low key, with a good mix of boarders and skiers. Board theft is not really an issue as you have to bring anything down the gondola with you.

TL;DR

Great Family Mountain with great accessibility and a few unique perks that make it well worth checking out if you are in the area.

~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.


Tamarack:

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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Brundage is still great man, went on a day trip today and there was plenty of fresh snow.
Good to hear. I had to do something else today. I need to make it up there tomorrow. I was up there a week after the first major storm of the season and was suprised at the amount of fresh areas. I am pretty jacked. If nothing else it has to be better than the snowbake at Tamarack two weekends ago.

How is the back side of Brundage? I was with a couple of beginner skiers so only hit a few of the blues with my buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
If you want the full experience, there is no other way then first chair :thumbsup:
or go during the week when there are zero lift lines:D

as far as the backside goes, it is pretty fun, just like the rest of the resort its pretty much all glades and bowls and trees. It just didnt seem as intense as the front side. Its also not quite as steep as my liking, a few times i lost the fall line in the dense trees and ended up almost cutting across the hill instead of going down like i wanted. but when the trees get thick enough it can also be a bit disorienting. So i would certainly hit the backside to check it out, i still did 3 runs back there even though it wasnt as exciting as i hoped. i think the front is more fun. Especially hidden valley, i could probably spend my whole day back on that part of the hill.
 

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After the mountain closed yesterday due to insane winds, Schweitzer was absolutely incredible today. There was a 6-inch wind blown butter layer, which meant you could hall ass with total control. I've never ridden trees so hard and fast, today was easily in my top 2 best days of the season.

While the rest of the country has been hurting for snow, central and northern Idaho has been the place to be this year. The snow just keeps falling.
 

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After the mountain closed yesterday due to insane winds, Schweitzer was absolutely incredible today. There was a 6-inch wind blown butter layer, which meant you could hall ass with total control. I've never ridden trees so hard and fast, today was easily in my top 2 best days of the season.

While the rest of the country has been hurting for snow, central and northern Idaho has been the place to be this year. The snow just keeps falling.
Why can't Brundage get dumped-on on a Friday? This midweek stuff is annoying. Damn'd work! Getting out both days this weekend. Hopefully forecast is correct and it continues to fall.
 

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Silver's a cool mtn, but the main reason we went to Silver, was to ride powder at Peak Adventures Cat skiing, until the state of Idaho decided to not give them a permit to use the terrain that Steve, Terry and Scotty had been using with no problems for 16 years.

That was a yearly trip for us and doubt we'll ever come across a group of cat owners that loved riding powder as much as their customers. Steve left the number of runs up to you and your group. They guaranteed you at least 8, but we consistently were getting between 15 and 20, with no complaints from Steve or Scotty.

Anyways if you plan on staying in Kellogg, look up Kelloggvacationhomes.com, every time we went, we rent one of her houses. They're older homes but at $60-70 a night, hot tubs, sleeping 4-6, full kitchens, privacy (no crowded hotel) and within a mile drive. The last year we went the tram almost went over our roof and we could walk to the base lodge for beer and pizza
 

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I had no idea they got shut down man =/

Peak has been on my bucket list for years...


Silver is a nice mountain tho...Lookout pass has the best snow, Schweitzer has the best terrain...silver is a nice mix of both. And it's super convenient. 40mins of freeway from my house to the gondola up.
 

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I'd be happy to post up your reviews of Silver & Lookout Ballastic, just send me a PM with the content and I'll add it to the top, thanks!

In other news, I live in Portland, OR now and horribly miss my Idaho powder. This winter has been terrible here, I feel like Mt. Hood has received 60% of it's precipitation as rain, waaaaay to warm out. Enjoy those Idaho freshies for me.
 

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I do, but not usually too frequently. Too busy enjoying the other summer sports while they last. Timberline is relatively flat, but can be pretty fun to visit once or twice during the summer for the hell of it (or more if you're a park rat, that's the main appeal).
 

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Curious if anyone has been to Brundage or Tamarack recently?

Heading there from Seattle for a couple of days this weekend and are wondering if the snow that is falling is heavy and wet or is holding up well.

thanks.
 

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Can't comment on those resorts in particular but the shitty conditions that have been plaguing the rest of the country caught up with us in northern Idaho...lost like 3 feet of snow in last few weeks, conditions worse now than opening day.

I'd check their snow reports real close before making the trek.
 

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FWIW we had already committed to the trip and decided to go this past weekend.
Brundage has a decent snowpack still and was fun running groomers the whole day on Sunday. Monday we went to Tamarack where it was pouring rain on the lower mountain in the morning. We got soaked but warmed up in the lodge a couple of times before heading up for a couple of hours on the upper mountain. The rain had stopped and we had a great time cruising wind distributed snow. It was almost like riding fresh snow and there was only one other group of three boarders on the whole upper mountain.

The lower part of Tamarack is very spotty and you have to pick your way down to avoid bare patches. Without some significant snow in the future both places could be in trouble. Still a fun trip with good dinners in McCall at night.
 
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