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Destination: Idaho!?!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey Bears,

Every year I get together with the gang and plan 1-2 trips out west...and around this time I begin planning for next season...I (we!) have never been to Idaho (for skiing or anything else). I'm considering checking out Idaho as next year's ski destination. Is it worth it? I know it has some nice posh resorts (Sun Valley), I'm sure it's pretty but my concerns are 1. Snowfall..doesn't get the same snow as the rest of the west (and with lower elevations I imagine mid winter rain and Ice is a concern...is it?) 2. Fancy resort features mean nothing to me (After all, I can drive 2 hours to Stowe and get a good meal, quality massage and a glass of Macallan's)-I'm forking over money and time for the west's terrain-where are the goods in Idaho (and how good are they)? How Do they stack up with the other ski-Meccas (JH, Alta, Taos, Tahoe, etc.)?

Basically, Tahoe and Salt lake have been our mainstays, but I love checking out something different-what's the rap on Idaho? Again, I kow almostt nothing about the ski scene in that big state.

post #2 of 11
Quick thoughts, if it is snow and terrain you are after, why not J.H....? Taos is coming off an amazing snow year, will next season be as fat, odds are against it but it would have been a killer year to ski there.

Sun Valley is a great resort, good terrain, reliable snowmaking, a lot of skiing history. If you want to hit multiple resort areas, Idaho is a limited destination unless you are willing to drive a LOT! compared to UT or Tahoe.... There is alway SW Montana....
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I figured basing at Jackson and hitting Targhee for a day was a way into Idaho skiing. BUt like I said, I am curious about other approaches to an Idaho ski trip (other bases of operation, etc).
post #4 of 11

It'll be better next year, and Targhee's a hoot!
post #5 of 11
YOu could do Silver Mountain/Schweitzer Idaho and Red Mountain BC. It would make a loop from Spokane Washington. Schweitzer gets rave reviews....

post #6 of 11
Stay at Targhee (WY actually) and make some side trips to Sun Valley, Big Sky and/or Silver/Schweitzer. Targhee is one of my all time favorite resorts to ski. It's smallish compared to JH or other big Western resorts, but I could easily spend a week there with a couple days at JH or other places. Like Alta, you will NOT be dissapointed with the snow/powder.
post #7 of 11
The skiing in Idaho is too widely distributed to give you a Summit County/Wasatch/Lake Tahoe sort of experience. A "side trip" to Sun Valley from Targhee is a five-hour drive one way; a side trip to Silver Mountain from Targhee would be about eight hours one way.

Sun Valley is a little over the top as far as amenities go, but it is a real Idaho experience. You just gotta look past the mink coats, the facelifts, and all the starter castles in the Wood River valley and see Baldy for what it is: one of the finest natural ski mountains on the planet. Sun Valley doesn't get a lot of natural snowfall, but when it does get the cover, it's hard to ask for more. There are no liftlines and 3400 vertical feet of consistent fall line skiing.

You could just redefine the experience and approach an Idaho sampler as an epic road trip with some skiing thrown in. You could go from Targhee to Sun Valley, then up north into Montana to ski Lost Trail and the Missoula Snow Bowl, then across back into Idaho to ski Silver Mountain and Schweitzer, then down to Brundage and Bogus Basin, and back to Soldier Mountain (if it's still in business) and then back to Targhee.

I like Alfonse' suggestion: Schweitzer and Silver Mountain in Northern Idaho, with an excursion into B.C. and maybe Mount Spokane also.
post #8 of 11
If you do Sun valley, also try to make it a trip where you can ski the little local areas of Idaho. My fav is Brundage, in Mccall. 2 hrs norh of Boise.
When they have the snow Bogus Basin, 16 miles and 86 curves later is a fun place. Dead on the weekdays, every one is in school or at work.
Haven't been but hear decent storeis, Pebble Creek so. east of Pocatello is also a fun place to try. Ski Mag did a story a few years ago, about the little places that rocked, and they mentiond Pebble Creek.
Yes do both Targhee, and JH. I like both, but Targhee i liek more so, again not many people go there. I skied there this past Jan, on a suny Saturday and there only may of been 1,500 people.
As for Sun Valley,, only been there in off season, so i cant comment.
post #9 of 11
Have skied Bogus, Brundage and Sun Valley. SV is great in all respects, Everything one could ask for in terms of vertical, ease-difficulity, etc. Brundage is a fine mountain with lots to offer and now getting more snow. Bogus is fine too (my season pass is here) and convenient to Boise, but runs are shorter. Again, we ski Bogus first for convenience but I prefer Brundage as my local hill. But for a real experience it has to be SV.
post #10 of 11
I think you are looking at two different loops between northern and southern Idaho.

In southern Idaho you would be looking at Jackson Hole, Targhee and Sun Valley. Targhee is great, big wide open bowls with nicely spaced trees and when it is fresh it is awesome. But it is best combined with Jackson Hole and maybe a stretcher to Sun Valley. If you were doing this loop you would fly in to Boise.

Northern Idaho is a long ways away (like 6 hours) over some pretty gnarly roads to drive, especially in winter. Better to fly into Spokane. Schweitzer, Silver and Red Mountain are doable in a week, but you have some driving to get to Red. Red is also a great mountain, usually not too busy and masses of vertical (like 3000 feet, if you are not in shape you can easily kill yourself there). Plus its Canada, so it's cheap. Schweitzer is also good and Sandpoint is a really nice little town. When it's clear at the peak at Schweitzer it can remind you of Tahoe, with lake Pend Oreile in the distance.

Either way you can't go too far wrong, there is some great skiing up there.
post #11 of 11
Went to Sun Valley two years ago and it was one of my favorite trips. High speed lifts, no crowds, lots of groomed cruisers, plenty of bumps, bowls, etc. I was initially concerned about their lack of snowfall as compared to some other western resorts, and the year I went the locals told me that they were having a below average snow year, but everything there was open, including the bowls, and the cover was very good. Stayed at the Sun Valley Inn. Really classy without being snobbish, and a good deal, besides. If you stay there, don't miss the horse drawn moonlight sleigh ride to the Trail Creek Lodge for dinner. Sure to be a big hit with the wife/girlfriend.
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