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Bogus Basin

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I have a trip booked to Sun Valley and am debating skiing there or at Bogus Basin the last day (flying out of Boise)  I’m thinking Bogus will allow us to ski more that day (flight at 4) and enjoy a new area.  I appreciate any help regarding the following questions:


1.    What’s the road to Bogus like?  Google is listing it at nearly an hour to go 18 miles which seems odd?  Is chain control ever an issue?  (I’m more than happy to drive my FWD rental in snow otherwise)

2.    Any opinions on the skiing quality?  Part of my group skis only groomers and I’m wondering if there would be enough for them.  I'll be sking the groomers with them and a handful of harder runs.

3.    Do they open at 10 on weekdays? (I’ll be there on a non-holiday Monday in Jan)  I'm thinking the area will be pretty empty on a weekday, which is good.  But, do they only run limited lifts on weekdays?

4.    Any other tips are appreciated

post #2 of 25
1 - road is terrible, it's about 16mi uphill, if there is snow or if it's snowing it might get tricky to go down back to the city, otherwise it's okay, but it takes at least 30 minutes to get down, I'd say 1hr to the airport.

2 - SV is much better, can't even compare. Bogus is small so the runs are short, you can't get too much speed! Not many grommed runs, but easy terrain.

3 - yes, 10am on weekdays, I think chair 5 and 6 won't be working, nice grommers on 5 and good off piste on 6. You most likely have the mountain for your group, but it's hard to wait in SV too...

4 - honestly a couple hours, maybe 3hrs skiing in SV is better than a full day at Bogus! SV is pretty big and you won't get bored in a few days!

The big issue is lack of snow, you can't expect good snow at Bogus and you might end up having a terrible day! When the snow is good it's a great little place, but it's almost never good! :-(

Let me know if you have more questions!
post #3 of 25
I thought they had good side country?

Edit.. Apparently I was getting it mixed up with Brundage.. Being told Bogus is well named.
Edited by sibhusky - 11/9/13 at 9:30pm
post #4 of 25
Depends on how many days you're planning at Sun Valley. If you get at least 3 days at SV then a last day of skiing at Bogus is a great idea. I like Bogus and it's good for at least a day of skiing, lots of variety, even if the longest vertical is around 1800ft as opposed to SV at 3000 or so.

You can leave from SV and stay the night at the Pioneer condos mid-mountain at Bogus, wake up in the morning at ski out your door. It's pretty affordable, otherwise lots of hotels in Boise.

Keep in mind that while SV is pretty lux, BB is a community-owned ski area. The facilities and dining and grooming aren't SV, but then the ticket prices are way less.
post #5 of 25
Wow. My son and I ski bogus every weekend that it's open. I get a weekday in every week or so. You're selling it short. We've had some fantastic days at bogus. Last year was about the worst I've seen in the last 15 years - January in particular was bitter cold, icy and thin so I guess that could be the source of the sour grapes from the other poster. It's weather and it can be a crap shoot anywhere. Occasionally they open thanksgiving weekend but more likely we hope it's open by Christmas break. Never been to SV so I can't compare the two. The road is a character builder. Depending on the weather it does take about an hour. Boise is about 2700 ft and bogus is about 6000. The road is twisty and it winds up the hill. I know a lot of people who drive it all the time with front wheel drives and it is not an issue. Chair 1, 3 and 6 are high speed quads and they are open if the coverage is there. There is a wide variety of terrain. There are enough groomers to keep the family busy. You can bail off the side of just about any groomer and meet up with the family at the bottom. I would give bogus a try rather than miss a day of skiing.
post #6 of 25
If you're wanting to ski on the day you fly out, then Bogus is your only real choice. The drive from SV to Boise can be easy, but can just as easily be white knuckle with blowing snow. Don't try to ski SV in the morning and fly from Boise at 4:00 that afternoon.

I've had season passes at Bogus and Brundage for 30 years, and started skiing the Valley when a half day pass cost $9.00. I think that for a change of pace, you'll enjoy Bogus. Check the snow conditions first, but if the snow is decent you'll have a good time. The name "Bogus" doesn't do it justice - it is a quality local hill.
post #7 of 25
ALSO, although Baldy (SV) is a much better mountain, to say that Bogus is so small that you "can't get too much speed" isn't correct. It's big enough and steep enough to run Speed Events.
post #8 of 25

I think that some are selling Bogus a little short. It's not a bad hill; not Sun Valley but not a bad hill for a day while going to or coming from Sun Valley. Here is a clip from there that shows it a bit:


post #9 of 25

Guys don't get me wrong, I really love Bogus and I literally go there every chance I have... but the lack of snow has been a killer in the past two seasons. Last season, when talking to some friends of mine instructors and lift guys about why there wasn't any gromming done recently, it was because of the lack of snow, there wasn't enough snow mid to late January to use snow cats for gromming.


I think it could be a nice last day skiing, but it's really risky to sign up for that early and take a chance with the snow conditions.

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips everyone.  If weather is Bad, bogus is really our only option to ski and still make a 4 pm flight.  Do they ever 4x4 restrict the bogus road?  Is wind a concern driving back from SV even if it hasn't recently snowed?


If weather is clear, I’m not sure what we’ll do.  We could ski SV 9-11:45 and then go directly to the airport.  Other option would be to get up early, drive to bogus, ski 10-1:30 and then go directly to airport.  I’m thinking Bogus makes more sense due to more skiing time and better price.  Do you think this is sound thinking?


Of course, I’m assuming Bogus has decent snow cover.  I can keep options open until day before and keep an eye on the snow report.

post #11 of 25
We could ski SV 9-11:45 and then go directly to the airport. Other option would be to get up early, drive to bogus, ski 10-1:30 and then go directly to airport. I’m thinking Bogus makes more sense due to more skiing time and better price. Do you think this is sound thinking?

That's only 45 minutes more skiing than you'd get at SV, but you're going to do...what, about 3 hours extra driving vs what you'd do if just going from SV to BOI (if just the access road will be an hour each way)? That makes BB sounds like a bigger hassle, to me, especially given that the road has been called "character building." But I am also highly biased toward SV. My trips are never long enough, so I wouldn't ever choose to make them shorter. smile.gif
post #12 of 25
Assuming BB has decent snow cover, I think I'd leave Ketchum after a day of skiing SV (the day before the flight) and drive to Boise, stay in a hotel for the night rather than drive the BB road at night. Get an early start at BB, ski ski ski, go catch your flight.

Bogus is a lot less expensive for a half-day or so of skiing than SV.
post #13 of 25

OP--you didn't mention when your trip is scheduled. The later it is in the season, the better because we get a later start than most areas because of our lower elevation. I'm a 15 year season pass holder who skis between 20-30 days a year there. Despite what some said earlier, Bogus is a great local mountain and I think your plan to spend your last day there is a good one. Lots of good intermediate groomers for your group and some fun more advanced runs all over the mountain that parallel the groomers so you can separate and then meet up at the lift. Bogus surrounds Shafer Butte and allows you to ski every exposure. Even in the worst snow years like last year there is usually one aspect that is decent. 


You didn't mention what day you'd be flying out. If it's a week day you will feel like it's your own private mountain. There will be no lift lines. Even on the weekend, it isn't bad compared to many other places.


Regarding the road, it's fully paved and in good condition. The rub is that ii is very winding.and there is usually about a mile stretch where it is slick as you ascend and leave the warmer valley and hit the zone where the temperature drops below freezing. The resort does an excellent job of plowing and sanding so a front wheel drive will more than suffice. If you have any in your party that are susceptible to car sickness, a dose of dramamine would be a good choice.


Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions about Bogus or Boise. 

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

My flight out is on a Monday in late Jan.  A private mountain experience sounds great.  Bogus does mean 2 more hours of driving that day, but that’s ok with me.  (as long as bogus has decent snow coverage)


Lodging in Sun Valley is paid for so staying in Boise is not an option.


I’ll be keeping an eye on the weather and we'll probably make a last minute decision.  Can't really go wrong either way.  Thanks for all the tips.

post #15 of 25

Stay in Sun Valley......thats a no brainer

the drive is no big deal, I have done it many times

post #16 of 25

I've skied at Bogus a few times. The road is steep, curvy, and has very steep drops (not vertical, but steep enough your car will slide or roll a few hundred meters if you go off the road) with no guardrails along a lot of it, hence why it takes so long. I was there once in December and once in March. The snow was very good one of the times, not that good the other time (barren patches, etc). I believe December is when the snow was good, but I don't remember for sure. They have lots of groomers and lots of off-piste, but nothing too intense or steep. If you're an expert looking for a challenge it won't have much for you, but it is a nice big place and would probably be good for the purposes of what you described, I'd recommend it. Some of my favorite off-piste areas are Liberty, Lightning, and Mary's Ridge (or Mary's Bowl, forgot which), make sure to check them out (Mary's Ridge/Bowl isn't marked on the map) and for groomers I like War Eagle. I haven't been to Sun Valley so I can't compare. Check their website for hours.

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 

Anyone been to Sun Valley or Bogus recently?  I know the snowfall has been pretty weak.  It looks like quite a bit is open at Bogus and SV has very few non-groomer runs open.  The below shot of the SV summit with grass showing sure isn’t good news.



post #18 of 25
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post

Anyone been to Sun Valley or Bogus recently?  I know the snowfall has been pretty weak.  It looks like quite a bit is open at Bogus and SV has very few non-groomer runs open.  The below shot of the SV summit with grass showing sure isn’t good news.



The bowls are still closed in SV, Bogus is okay. The last storm brought about 10+ inches to bogus which made things better, but the coverage is still far from ideal. 


Best place in southwest Idaho right now is Brundage in McCall, good coverage, good off piste skiing in most of the resort, good grommers. Sun Valley is good if you are looking for grommers, but to me if the bowls are closed I don't think it's worth it. I will be skiing Bogus this weekend and can give you an update Tomorrow evening.

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks mfa81

post #20 of 25

Sawtooth Mt Guides just started doing guided backcountry trips for only $120, for intermediates and up. It's new this winter and I haven't had a chance to do it, but it sounds like a great option for Ketchun/SV based skiers who want something besides groomers. Remember that just about everywhere around SV gets more snow than SV, so where they take you is probably pretty decent.


And they do tours for the same price for more advanced skiers.


SV also got 10.75" in that last storm cycle but obviously it's not enough.

post #21 of 25
I had been there this weekend and things don't look good!

Think about late April/May skiing conditions in a resort with good snowfall, that's the best way i'd describe Bogus conditions right now!

The best areas are superior/pine creek and chair 5. Right now there are very few grommed runs, think they don't even have enough snow to do that so most of the runs are as is!

It's been high 30's / low 40's which is helping but as soon as the temperature drops if we don't see a new storm Bogus will be unskiable with rock hard ice conditions all over!

Right now I would still prefer the man made snow at SV or Brundage which is skiing the best of these 3 places.

and don't forget, don't bring anything but rock skis :-)
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips everyone.  We got locked into a good lodging deal at Sun Valley a while back and we're going to make the best of meager snow.  With our SV base of operations, I don't think any other ski areas are really within range other than Bogus which we will strongly consider for the day we fly out.  I'm sure SV would be better with more snow but I'm sure we'll still enjoy this trip.

post #23 of 25
Actually I think Soldier Mt is closer to Sun Valley than Bogus, if you're looking for a day trip alternative. Though not sure if they're open.
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

Actually I think Soldier Mt is closer to Sun Valley than Bogus, if you're looking for a day trip alternative. Though not sure if they're open.

Soldier is closer but closed due to low snow.  Bogus is on way to airport so that works ok driving wise.

post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for the tips everyone.  We ended up skiing Sun Valley every day and it was a lot of fun.  Report at:

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