By Expedia, on January 31, 2020

10 Things to Know When Planning a Skiing Trip to Idaho

Idaho gets some of the highest snowfall in the whole country, making it an outdoor paradise for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts. If you’re planning a skiing trip to Idaho in winter, check out these travel tips for traveling in Idaho and advice to make the most of your ski visit.

Snow-covered mountain ski field
Mountain ski field

The weather is perfect for skiing

Idaho has 3 months of cold weather, stretching from November 21 to February 27. The average daily temperature is below 40°F for the best possible skiing conditions. You will normally experience lows of 14°F and highs of 28°F. There’s an average of over 500 inches of snow each year, most of which occurs between December 21 and January 31. The snow is cold and dry, which is ideal for skiing and other winter sports. The days are mostly sunny and clear as well, and it can be warm enough at night for skiing.

The mountains are free of crowds

One of the best things about being out in nature is the solitude, which can be easily disrupted if you’re spending time outdoors with throngs of people. Though many of the top ski areas in the country experience heavy crowds for the winter season, Idaho remains a pristine wilderness without a bunch of tourists. No matter which ski area you plan to visit, you usually won’t have long waits to get to the mountain, so you can spend most of your time enjoying the slopes.

The idyllic mountain towns are beautiful

Idaho has charming mountain towns near the ski resorts that are perfect for a quiet wilderness retreat. One of the best travel tips is that you could stay in places like Coeur d’Alene, Sun Valley, and Wallace, which give you the best of the solitude of the mountains with proximity to the ski resorts. These are great places to stay during your trip, especially with the many shops, bars, and restaurants in town. If you need a change of pace from skiing, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do like sightseeing, biking, and hiking in the area.

You’ll have your choice of ski resorts

Idaho is home to over 20 ski resorts, ensuring you have any type of winter sports you’re looking for. One of the top resorts is Tamarack, a fantastic resort with black diamond slopes, a terrain park, zip-lining and other top-notch amenities. There’s also Pomerelle Mountain, a world-class resort that receives over 500 inches of snowfall each year. This resort is great for both beginners and experienced skiers, thanks to its lower-tier runs and black diamond runs with narrow tree gaps.

People on a mountain with a ski lodge
Mountain ski resort

You can ski at America’s original ski resort

The Sun Valley Resort is home to the world’s first chairlift and was the first destination ski resort in the country. Once a hotspot for Golden-Age Hollywood elite like Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, the resort is now the ideal mix of modern amenities and historic charm. Sun Valley Resort was also used as a training ground for aspiring Olympians, making it a top choice for a memorable ski experience and a bit of nostalgia. What to know is that Sun Valley Resort offers a mix of ski options, so it’s appropriate for all skill levels.

You can heli-ski

Idaho has a lot of opportunities for heli-skiing, which is the ultimate in adrenaline-fueled winter adventures. Deep in the American Selkirk Mountains, you can ski 14,000 feet above the backcountry and drop down onto virtually untouched areas of the wilderness. Selkirk Powder is one of the top adventure companies in the state, which provides a range of experiences like heli-skiing, cat skiing, snowmobiling, and snowcat tour options. You don’t have to worry about equipment, either, since they have all you need for your tour onsite.

Bring the kids to Bogus Basin

If you’re planning a ski trip with family, it’s good to find ski areas that are good for children to know before you go. The Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is one of the best ski areas for kids, giving you a chance to get in some great skiing while the kids enjoy the family-friendly amenities. The Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area offers kid-friendly attractions like an alpine mountain coaster, a tubing hill, terrain parks, and snowshoe trails, as well as night skiing, backside terrain, Nordic trails and other adventure options for experienced skiers.

Skiers on a slope at night
Night skiing

Take the kids to the indoor water park

While you’re busy tearing up the slopes all day, the kids can enjoy some summer fun in the Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark in the Morning Star Lodge. The spectacular park is climate controlled and offers an array of fun kid attractions, such as water slides, splash areas, a lazy river, and kid-only play zones, so your kids will have a change of scenery and great memories of the trip to Idaho. Best of all, you can get individual or group tickets for the indoor waterpark online if you’re not going to be staying at the lodge.

How to get there

Idaho has many airports that offer domestic, regional, and international service. The main airport is the Boise City Airport, but you can also travel to Lewinston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport, Idaho Falls Regional, Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional, and Pocatello Regional. You could also drive to Idaho, and depending on where you’re traveling from, you can take a bus or train to Idaho’s major cities. If you’re planning to visit multiple ski areas or enjoy other attractions near your accommodations, it may be best to know before you go and choose to rent a car when you arrive.

What to pack

Whether you’re an experienced skier or a beginner, packing the right clothes and equipment is vital to enjoying your experience. It’s important to anticipate the weather and pack plenty of medium- and heavy-weight layers to prepare for weather changes, as well as waterproof layers, gloves, and shoes. You’ll wish you knew where you could rent equipment as well, so be sure to check the ski areas to see if they can provide you with the gear you need for adventures like heli-skiing or Nordic skiing.

Plan your adventure

With this essential information to know before visiting Idaho to ski in winter, you’re ready to plan the trip of a lifetime. Take a look at winter adventures in Idaho and check out deals on Idaho vacations so you can make the most of your trip!