The Powder Highway or the Powder Pilgrimage might be headline worthy ski road trips, but the little known Southern Idaho Ski Road Trip is a hidden gem. Idaho has 18 resorts of all sizes and snowpacks spread across its expansive mountain ranges but down south is the coveted loop. Circling the Snake River plain this road trip stops by the 6 best mountains that offer everything you could want in a ski road trip with easily accessible mountains paired with reasonably safe roads. These 6 resorts offer up everything that skiing has to offer all in one convinet loop.
Right outside of Boise is this non-profit mountain that offers up 2,600 acres and a vertical drop of 1,790ft serviced by 7 chairlifts and 4 magic carpets. Bogus Basin has been operating for 78 years and still holds some of that homegrown vibe, but still provides a modern experience with some of the best night skiing in the state and a newly installed mountain coaster.
Many thousands of skiers drive by the town of Fairfield, Idaho on their way to Sun Valley without even knowing there is a great little ski hill tucked away in the mountains to the north. After a wildfire damaged some equipment during the summer 2020 Soldier Mountain has rebuilt and installed a new magic carpet. With 1150 acres serviced by two lifts and a vertical drop of 1425ft soldier has plenty to keep you entertained. But if that is still not enough, their cat skiing is the most extensive in the state and access some of the best terrain around these parts.
SKI Magazine ranked Sun Valley the #1 resort for the 2020 season and if you have ever skied here you know why. It isn’t the 2,434 ski able acres and 3,400 vertical feet, “What seems to capture the hearts of most visitors right off the bat is the authentic Western town of Ketchum that anchors the ski resort” said SKI Magazine. Sun Valley has a rich and storied history, but also looks forward with recent investments and innovations including a terrain expansion this season of over 380 acres of expert terrain, featuring chutes, glades and bowls, called Sunrise, and new high-speed quad chairlift named Broadway. Sun Valley has terrain for everyone from the beginner slopes over on Dollar to the leg burners on Baldy as well as plenty off mountain activities to keep everyone entertained no matter how long your stay.
Although technically within the State of Wyoming the only way to access Grand Targhee is driving from the Idaho side of the Tetons. Much like its sister on the other side of the Tetons, Targhee gets loaded with snow and has great terrain. But unlike Jackson, Targhee doesn’t have the crowds and is much more of a homegrown laid back mountain where skiing is all that matters. With 2602 acres serviced by 5 lifts and a vertical of 2270ft Targhee is the second largest mountain on this list and boasts a ridiculous snowfall at at over 500 inches annually.
Pebble Creek classifies over 53% of its terrain as either advanced or expert and if you’ve ever skied there you’d agree. Pebble Creek is an extreme skiers dream as it has all the terrain you could want paired with none of the hype and crowds of the bigger “extreme” resorts. At other resorts jeans will draw a chuckles and finger pointing but at Pebble Creek there is a good chance that the denim danger will drop a bigger cliff than you. Although one of the smaller mountains on this list with 1100 acres serviced by 3 lifts and a vertical of 2200ft come prepared because this is no beginner bunny hill.
The smallest mountain on the list with only 500 acres and a vertical of 1002ft serviced by 2 lifts, Pomerelle is the quintessential Idaho ski hill. But don’t pass up Pomerelle on your return route as it boasts the most snowfall on this list at over 500 inches annually. Pomerelle has terrain to fit everyone and is a great stop for families with younger ones.
This loop can be done clockwise or counter-clockwise starting anywhere along the route including Boise, Twin Falls, or Pocatello. Remember to prep your gear and your rig for this road trip and while you’re out there check out the other resorts Idaho has to offer below.