Top 5 Best Ski Resorts in Idaho

Idaho is home to several mountain ranges and excellent snow conditions in the winter. The ski resorts in the state have a lot to offer, and there are fewer crowds than other destinations in the west. 

I’ve been an avid skier for decades. I grew up on the slopes and have had the opportunity to travel to various ski locations worldwide. I’ve been at most of the top resorts in Idaho and know what makes up a quality location. 

This post will highlight all of the best ski resorts in Idaho. I’ll explain what makes each resort so good and provide other information to help you understand what they each have to offer. 

Let’s get started. 

1. Sun Valley

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 25 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 10 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Lack of crowds, epic bluebird days, winter/summer events

Sun Valley is probably the most well-known ski resort in Idaho, and it’s also one of the best. You can expect excellent snow conditions without hordes of skiers here, making it a solid choice if you just want to get on the slopes and cruise. 

The resort is pretty expansive, and you can find just about any type of skiing terrain here. There are plenty of long groomers for beginners to learn on and up at the top of Bald Mountain, you can access steep bowls with a good chance for powder. 

Bluebird days are the norm here, so be sure to remember sunscreen. But if you catch one of these after a storm, the conditions will be fantastic. If you get to the slopes early, you are likely to have a few runs mostly to yourself as well. 

The Village at the base of the mountain has many good lodging and dining options. Several lodges offer near ski-in/ski-out convenience and quality food that will keep you fueled up and ready to go. Rental equipment is also easily accessible here. 

Like many resorts in Idaho, Sun Valley takes some effort to get to. Some smaller regional airports are nearby, but you can expect a few hour car ride from the Boise airport to the slopes. 

2. Brundage Mountain

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 5 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 10 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Wide groomers, fun glades, lack of crowds

One of my favorite ski resorts in Idaho is Brundage Mountain. This one is located in the central part of the state and is well worth the effort involved in getting here. I’ve experienced the best snow conditions in Idaho here on several occasions. 

Brundage Mountain averages well over 300 inches of snow a year, making it an ideal location to score fresh tracks and enjoy a bluebird powder day. The resort is also well known for having epic glade runs between trees and wide groomers that are perfect for cruising. 

This location is a winter-sports enthusiast’s dream. The resort has many different amenities that cater to people who really love the snow. There is a lot of backcountry access with guided SnowCat Trips, and snowmobiles are easy to find too. 

It’s easy to set up a ski lesson here, and there are qualified instructors to work with any skier’s ability level. There is also a full rental shop that will set you up with any equipment you need for a great day on the mountain. 

One downside to Brundage is that there isn’t much lodging or dining right at the mountain. You’ll need to drive about 10 miles into the nearest town to find a place to stay for the night. 

3. Schweitzer

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 10 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Largest resort in Idaho, small crowds, consistent snow

Schweitzer is the largest ski resort in Idaho, and it offers nearly 3000 acres of skiable terrain for anyone who ventures here. It also gets reliable snowfall well over 300 inches a year, so the conditions are almost always good during a regular ski season. 

There is a little bit of everything at Schweitzer when it comes to terrain. You can find wide-open groomers if you want to cruise, bob and weave through rolling glades or take your freestyle skills into one of several terrain parks. 

This is another location that takes some effort to get to, but you’ll have everything you need when you arrive. There are several solid dining options right on the slopes, and lodging is available right at the base of the mountain as well. 

You can also camp in the parking lot if you are dedicated to getting first tracks in the morning. This is great for anyone with an RV or an extra warm sleeping bag. And if there is a small crowd, this will get you on the slopes before anyone else. 

The nearest town is about 30 miles away from the resort, so you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need before your arrival. 

4. Lookout Pass

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 10 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 15 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Most snowfall in Idaho, no crowds, free lesson for kids

If you are looking for the best chance for powder in Idaho, Lookout Pass gets more snow than any other ski resort in the state. The resort boasts an average of over 33 feet of snow every season, which is pretty impressive!

This fresh snow makes for ideal ski conditions that will please experts and newbies alike. The glades on Lookout Pass are well-known in local ski circles and well worth exploring if you have the skills to do it safely. 

There are also many groomed runs that are better suited to beginner and intermediate skiers. And if you have kids, the resort offers free lessons for children between 6 and 17. You just need to make sure to sign up for them ahead of time. 

Lookout Pass is a pretty small resort, so there aren’t as many amenities here as you would find at a larger operation. There is a ski shop for rentals, but you’ll have to drive to a nearby town for accommodations. 

5. Bogus Basin

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 25 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 10 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Close to Boise, affordable, reliable snow conditions

Bogus Basin is one of the most affordable ski areas you’ll find in Idaho or any other location. It is actually set up as a non-profit entity, which helps keep the costs down for the resort and its skiers. 

The resort is also very close to Boise, Idaho’s capital city, and home to the airport. You can be on the slopes in under an hour after arriving here. This convenience makes it a popular choice for locals and visitors alike. 

Bogus Basin also gets reliable snowfall of around 300 inches every year. This leads to quality snow conditions all season long, and you can expect powder and soft conditions nearly every day throughout the heart of winter. 

The resort has a ton of different food options, with nearly a dozen restaurants and dining locations scattered around the slopes. There is also a tubing hill, snowshoeing, and even a winter roller coaster for anyone who doesn’t want to ski. 

Being closer to Boise and affordable brings out more crowds than other resorts in Idaho. I still wouldn’t call this an extremely crowded location, but you can expect more crowds than at different spots in the state. 

Additional Tips to Skiing in Idaho

Many of the resorts in Idaho require a decent drive to get to. If you are flying in from out of town, you’ll want to rent a car with good tires and ideally 4-wheel or all-wheel drive. Remember to drive slow and respect the road conditions to keep everyone safe. 

The video below has some good winter driving tips to keep in mind if you aren’t familiar with navigating in the snow. 

And because bluebird days are so common in Idaho, always remember to wear your sunscreen and bring along darker lenses to reduce sun glare while you ski. 

Final Words

Idaho is a great location to go skiing, and the resorts on this list give you access to some of the best terrain and conditions in the state. The region is highly recommended if you want to avoid crowds and enjoy bluebird powder days.

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