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Seeking Info: Idaho, when and where to go?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Planning a trip to Idaho this year for 7-10 days. Tentative plan:

Fly into Boise.

Sun Valley: Few days
Bogus Basin
Maybe Tamarack, only because we would be close to it. No descriptions on here make it sound too worth it, but I don't know how often I will make it out there.

(Suggestions on which places to avoid on weekends also appreciated)

When: The past few years, we have gone west in early February, before school vacation weeks and prices start going up. This works well in Utah, Colorado and Tahoe, as the weather is fairly mild compared to New England. I am slightly concerned about taking this approach in Idaho, as it seems like it might be a lot colder. I'm not averse to cold, but we prefer slightly warmer temps on vacation. Should we wait and go in March instead? Price and crowds both a concern.

Where to stay:
Any thoughts on where to stay? I have seen McCall listed for Brundage area. We have friends in Boise this year, but I'm not sure if we can stay there. Either way, they are only there for this winter, so I kind of need to go there this year.

Any options near Sun Valley? This is a place I feel like I have to try since I'm out there.

Tickets: Thoughts on Discount tickets to any of these places?

Rental car: 4WD needed? I'm guessing yes.

Anything I am missing? Recommendations for other areas? Any advice is appreciated. I have read through all the other Idaho-related threads.

post #2 of 5
None of these resorts will blow you away, but I think you'll find the overall experience to be laid back, unassuming, relatively inexpensive (except SV), and a ton of fun. I'd stick with February. The snow that time of year is much more consistent, and Southern/Central Idaho is no colder than CO/UT (and almost never the bitter cold that you can get in NE). I'm not much of an expert on Sun Valley, but I can offer some advice on the Highway 55 portion of your trip.

McCall is a fun town with a charming little downtown area right on the lake. Depending on your budget, you can stay at one of a few new chain style hotels (Best Western/Holiday Inn/nothing special), the Hotel McCall right downtown, or the luxurious new Whitetail Resort (used to be called Shore Lodge before it was remade by the loved/hated local real estate mogul). Brundage is a great mountain, imho, and I would highly recommend looking into one of the cat skiing trips (http://www.brundage.com/the-mountain...dventures.aspx). Great deal for a backcountry-style experience through some pretty solid but not too intimidating terrain.

Although I posted a not-so-glowing review of Tamarack a few days ago, I'd probably include it on your trip if you're going to be in that part of Idaho for 7-10 days. Midweek there won't be a soul around, and its a surprisingly nice little development. The mountain isn't steep at all, but the views are great.

Bogus makes a great case for Boise being the best mid-sized city to live in in the country, but its not much of a ski vacation destination. If it has snowed recently, the Pine Creek and Superior chairs offer some pretty solid terrain, and if you haven't spent much (or any) time night skiing, that's a fun way to spend an evening. Otherwise, I wouldn't spend too much of your trip in Boise.

Have fun!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for the input. We are all about the skiing really, so hopefully it will work out. I've always thought Boise would be a cool place to live as well, maybe because no one else seems to want to move there?

I think I will start putting together the plan now and post it up when I get it set. I will use Tamarack as a "rest" day based on the other reviews I've seen, including yours. McCall sounds like a good place to start, along with the SV area.

If anyone has input on cars, the drive from Boise to Sun Valley, how many days to stay any one place. We prefer to settle into one area, but I'm guessing we will have to stay loose on this trip compared to easy locations like PC/SLC/Summit County.

Sounds like discount tickets might be hard to come by? It's going to be hard to eat the $74 per day a SV, so we'll take any suggestions there if anyone has spent time there.

Thanks for the suggesting on the Bundage snow cat as well, I'm interested in something like that.
post #4 of 5
In my opinion, Sun Valley is head and shoulders above the other resorts and in a beautiful area to boot. If you can afford it, ski there as many days as possible. You can stay in Ketchum but for cheaper lodging, Hailey is less than 10 min south and quite a cool town also with many dining options.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks hiski, I appreciate it. I was just looking at a map and thinking Hailey might be cheaper, so I'm glad you confirmed it as a viable alternative. I have been thinking of only two days at Sun Valley, but perhaps three would be better? Of course, you pay for it. I really only will fit six days in this week, so that's where I get jammed up every time.

Thanks again!
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