Skiing in AND around the Treasure Valley
Let's look at all the great options available to Skii within driving distance of the Treasure Valley.
One of the best things about being in the Treasure Valley is the fact that we have so many ecosystems around us. To the south, we find the Snake River Valley and Swan Falls, where there is spectacular viewing of birds of prey, and the Snake River Canyon, and to the north, we move into the foothills and mountains of Central Idaho. With all of this diversity around us, it’s little wonder that there are so many recreational activities within a few hours of driving. Whether you live here or are just visiting, within driving distance of the Treasure Valley, there are FIVE Ski Resorts you can visit! Each of them has unique slope offerings and advantages. Check out the list below to help plan your next visit to the slopes. Rates shown are for the 2022-2023 season.
And while you’re planning your next powder or shredding run, consider that Ridgeline Bike & Ski not only rents equipment for your excursion, but we also have demo equipment for those looking to upgrade, and even seasonal equipment leases for the whole family.
Bogus Basin Ski Resort:
Bogus Basin is located 16 miles north of downtown Boise and just 20 miles north of the Boise International Airport. This resort is not only close to the Treasure Valley, it offers a wide variety of snow experiences for the whole family. Alpine skiing & snowboarding, Nordic skiing, and Winter Tubing. There are 10 lifts serving 88 runs across 2,600 acres of mountain. For those looking for the thrill of the vertical, there are 1,800 feet to be found at Bogus. Alpine skiing and snowboarding pricing is based on both age and when you arrive. Day passes, late-day passes, evening passes, and “extended day” (into evening) pricing are available. There are even significantly reduced prices for Coach passes and conveyor lifts for those learning how to ski. Nordic skiing (including snowshoeing) prices are also based on age. Winter Tubing is based on the individual and a 90-minute session. Safe and fun for the whole family, the winter tubing provides a lift back to the top for repeated runs, while you slide along in the comfort of the tube (including with the ticket).
And while there’s an obvious bias toward snow activities, there’s something special about the lodge food at Bogus. The fries are just crispy in a way that can’t be found at lower altitudes. Even if you have a family group going up and some folks aren’t interested in snow activities, bring them along with a board game or a book, and get them some fries. They’ll be happy they came!
Moving outward from Boise, the next closest ski slopes are at the Tamarack Resort. At 101.7 miles, this trip takes about 2 hours, on ID 55, through Horseshoe Bend, along the beautiful Payette River, through Cascade, and taking a left at Donnelly to cross to the west side of Lake Cascade. Tamarack Resort is Idaho’s first year-round resort destination. Often featuring deep snow, Tamarack has Nordic and snowshoe trails, and Alpine skiing with 7 chairlifts and 50 runs. There is a 2,800’ vertical drop from top to bottom (over a half-mile vertical!), and lots of family-friendly terrain.
For those interested in making more than a day trip, there is lodging available at Tamarack with a variety of accommodations and dining options.
Day rates at the window are $115 for adults, $75 for teens and seniors [70+], $55 for juniors, and $95 for military.
Day tickets start at $55-$75 when you pre-purchase *recommended!
Unlimited season (called “boundless”) passes for adults range from $199 for mid-week college student passes, to $799 for adults. College students, teens, juniors, seniors [70+], and the military all have significant discounts.
The trail runs. Oh my gosh… The runs. In this list, if I had to choose a resort with the best runs, this would be it! There’s nothing quite like them, and stopping to look out from the slopes overlooking Lake Cascade and the valley… you’ve just gotta experience it!
Little Ski Hill:
Just north of the Tamarack Resort, on the same highway that takes you to McCall, ID, Little Ski Hill can be found! 108.3 miles, and just two miles from McCall, the Little Ski Hill originally opened in 1937 as a winter diversion for local forest workers. Since that time, it has served the local youth and skiing community. It is the 3rd oldest ski area in Idaho! While not the largest ski slope park in Idaho, it features 6 ski runs, 405 vertical feet of terrain, a terrain park, and claims to have the best night skiing in McCall.
Day passes are divided in cost between youth and adults and are inexpensive at just $20 and $25, respectively (for the 2022-23 season). Children are $80 for the season, adults $135 (with a $40 discount if you’re in college!). For those who like to ski with a dog, Little Ski Hill offers a season pass for your pooch for $25.
For those interested in a unique lift experience, Little Ski Hill utilizes a T-Bar setup. T-bars are placed behind your backside and pull you along on your skis up the hill. Unlike a swing setup, your feet never leave the ground! It’s a great way to introduce beginners to skiing who are a bit nervous about the idea of getting onto a swing ski lift, or who are afraid of heights. A bit of history is here, too. The original T-Bars were used for 50 years and were just replaced in 2022. New and expanded ski lights were also installed for this season.
112 miles from Boise, starting southeast on I-84, taking a left at Mountain Home, and just north of Fairfield, you’ll find Soldier Mountain.
Soldier Mountain is absolutely the best choice for world-class backcountry Snow Cat ski experiences and adventures. You can book directly from their website. Starting around $400, this adventure will create a lifetime of memories!
Soldier Mountain’s base is a mile up at 5,750 feet, topping out at 7177 feet. A vertical rise of 1421 gives plenty of great trail action down 35 runs from two major lifts. On the slopes, you’ll find 9 Green, 12 Blue, and 14 Black Diamond trails and a terrain park. Something for everyone, there’s even a magic carpet for beginners along with two slopes along the Miss Belle Lift.
Plenty of action for a day trip!
Soldier Mountain now uses RFID chipped cards, which are a one-time purchase multi-use system that can be carried over to the next season.
Advance purchase full-day tickets are $59, with half-day tickets at $44 for an adult. Prices are discounted for seniors, youth, military, and military service members’ youth, and $24 for youth.
Brundage Ski Resort:
Located 116.3 miles from Boise, also along Highway 55 going through McCall, Idaho, Brundage has literally locked in the idea that it has The Best Snow in Idaho™, and not only because they trademarked it! Brundage is my choice for “best snow,” hands down. Just wonderfully fluffy. Brundage averages about 320 inches of snowfall at the base!
For those looking for an amazing experience on a day trip, Brundage Mountain offers exceptional skiing and snowboarding and even has guided Snow Cat trips into 18,000 acres of backcountry terrain. You can book guided snowmobile tours, and snowmobile rentals are readily available.
Brundage base elevation is over a mile above sea level at 5,882 feet. Summit is 7,803 for a vertical drop of 1,921 feet. The total lift-accessed terrain is 1920 acres, with an additional lift-accessed backcountry terrain (which is unpatrolled and uncontrolled) of 420 acres.
There are 5 lifts, and with a capacity of about 7,900 people per hour, even on a busy day, you get plenty of runs in. There are 70 trails to choose from, with a distribution of 15 Green, 23 Blue, and 32 Black Diamond runs. Lots for everyone!
My favorite part about Brundage is the snow. It’s got the best, fluffiest snow. The lodge has undergone renovations this year, and I’m anticipating great service and excellent-quality food this year. Word on the street is the staff is top-notch!
Have a favorite run on one of the mountains? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below!