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Winter Activities in Idaho

Winter vacationers looking for fun in the snow – looks like Idaho has your answer. Encompassing more than 20,000 skiable acres, and home to winter wonderlands like the Targhee National Forest and the Sawtooth National Forest, the Gem State has more than a few diamonds in the roughs for you and your family this winter.

Winter fun in Idaho starts with a trip to Targhee National Forest. Set on 1,643,501 acres in beautiful northern Idaho, the Targhee National Forest is a gathering of stunning landscapes, exclusive wildlife, and winter recreation to fit the bill.

Just north of the city of Driggs, this national forest has become a hot spot for cold visitors looking to ski, snowmobile, and even skijor.

Bringing your skis to Idaho this winter? Be sure to check out Silver Mountain Ski Area just east of Coeur D'Alene – complete with Idaho’s biggest indoor waterpark – or make the trip to the famed Sun Valley Ski Area near Ketchum.

Had enough of the snow? Make your way to Hells Gate State Park neighboring the famed Hells Canyon and the city of Moscow in western Idaho. This state park is open throughout the year, and thanks to its mild winter temperatures, offers unforgettable recreation like hiking, biking and horseback riding – all with just a little crisp in the air.

Targhee National Forest

Winter Recreationthe Chill in Idaho
Winter visitors to Idaho, pay a visit to the 1,643,501-acre Targhee National Forest – the ideal spot for skiing, snowboarding, and even skijoring.

Cross-country ski down endless trails throughout the forest, gas up the snowmobile for an adventure through the snow, or stretch out for a classic snowball fight with family this winter in the Gem State.

Make your way to the 700,000-acre Ashton/Island Park Ranger District – home to 615 miles of roadway and 172 miles of trails for winter hiking. Winter recreation abounds in this little chunk of northeastern Idaho.

Downhill skiing and snowboarding can be found at the Squirrel Meadows Guard Station, while snowmobiling enthusiasts may roar down the endless miles of roadway in the Ashton/Island Park Ranger District – including Cave Falls Snowmobile Trail, Chick Creek Flat Snowmobile Trail, and Eccles Snowmobile Trail.

For those looking to get on their feet, check out the many cross-country skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the district. Zip your way down the Fall River Ridge Cross-Country Skiing Trail, or snowshoeing across the Parking Area Snowpark.

Back at the Squirrel Meadows Guard Station, you can try your hand at mushing, and even skijoring – a winter sport where a skier is pulled by dog, horse, or motorized vehicle. Find your favorite winter activity in the Targhee National Forest near Driggs and Idaho Falls.

Winter at Silver Mountain

Swim, Ski & Splash this Winter in Eastern Idaho
It’s all downhill from here this winter in Idaho. Skiers rejoice for a trip to the Silver Mountain Ski Area, just south of the Coeur D'Alene National Forest, and less than an hour from Coeur D'Alene.

Bundle up and hit the fresh powder encompassing 1,600 skiable acres of northern Idaho during your winter break in the Gem State.

Make your way to the top of Kellogg Peak – the highest spot in the ski area at 6,000 feet – and get a great view of that endless Idaho skyline through your goggles.

Take advantage of 67 runs ranging from beginner to expert, and gear up for a zip down the Centennial Trail – Silver Mountain’s longest run at 2.5 miles.

Snow tubing is another way to cut through the fresh snow in northern Idaho – so rent or bring a tube and make some memories at Silver Mountain.

Looking to get out of that puffy coat? Strip down at Silver Rapids – Idaho's biggest indoor waterpark found at the Silver Mountain Ski Area. Blow the dust off your swimsuit and make your way to the pool area, where it’s 84 degrees in your new favorite spot at Silver Mountain.

Sawtooth National Forest

Winter Sports in the Sawtooth Mountain
Neighboring the beautiful Sawtooth National Forest, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area is both a pride of Ketchum and central Idaho.

Adjacent to the famed Sun Valley ski area, this 778,000-acre Idaho playground boasts of cross-country ski trails, fabulous downhill skiing, and some unforgettable wildlife and scenery.

Gear up for a day on skis, snowboard or snowmobile, because we’re heading to the Sawtooth National Forest.

With available warming huts along the way, snowmobile enthusiasts may zoom through the Fairfield Ranger District, Ketchum Ranger District, and Minidoka Ranger District on groomed or marked trails.

Back in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, you may cross-country ski and snowshoe across several snowy areas, including the Redfish Lake Recreation Complex and the Wood River Valley Area.

Just northeast of Ketchum and practically next door to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, the Sun Valley ski area can be reached from the Sawtooth Scenic Byway.

This stunning alpine ski area is a famed spot in Idaho, and attracts skiers and snowboarders from across the globe, including a few famous ones. Advanced skiers may take to the slopes of the well-known Bald Mountain, while beginner level and traveling families may shred their way down Dollar Mountain.

Bogus Basin Ski Area

Hit the slopes in Idaho. The Bogus Basin Ski Area boasts more than 2,600 skiable acres, north of Boise, on the edge of the Boise National Forest. The groomed trails are perfect for skiers and snowboarders to practice their best moves in the snow. This incredible ski area also features the largest solar-lit night skiing acreage in the Northwest.

Beginner skiers and snowboarders can learn how to master the sport by partaking in a lesson at the Bogus Basin Ski and Snowboard School, before hitting the slopes. The Bogus Basin Black Diamond Shop also offers rental equipment for those needing it.

Those ready for a break from the slopes, stroll into JR Simplot Lodge or Pioneer Lodge for their favorite beverage and meal. While traveling in Idaho, make the most of your stay in Boise.

Grand Targhee Resort

Making use of over 500 inches of annual snow, the Grand Targhee Resort is located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, accessible through Teton Valley, Idaho, near Driggs. Situated between Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, the Resort offers a wealth of winter activities.

Skiing and snowboarding lessons are offered by professional instructors at the Resort, while beginners and pros alike can gear up at Pro Tune Shop before Powder Day On-Mountain Photography captures the snowy fun. In addition, the grounds host music festivals like the Annual Targhee Fest and Targhee Music Camp.

Little Ski Hill

Located two miles west of Mccall, Little Ski Hill offers 50 acres of skiing in western Idaho. Serviced by a T-bar lift, the hill offers 405 feet of vertical elevation ski trails and views to the north and west.

Popular with families, the area offers a Nordic ski jump, a terrain park and an airbag to learn aerial tricks. Adults will also enjoy the 18 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails and a biathlon range.

Pomerelle Ski Resort

Plan a winter visit to Idaho. The Pomrelle Ski Area is an exceptional family ski destination located near Burley. The resort is one of Idaho's premier ski and snowboard destinations, located in the Sawtooth National Forest. The resort has 24 trails on 500 acres, with 3 ski lifts covering a 1,002 foot vertical drop.

Riders are free to take on two terrain parks filled with jumps, rails, and freestyle runs, while the base lodge provides plenty of rental opportunities and an outdoor grill. Those who are just learning to ski and snowboard can take advantage of the on-site snow school, which offers daily and private lessons.

Silver Mountain Ski & Summer Resort

Plan for a day if skiing in Idaho. Silver Mountain Ski & Summer Resort, located 30 miles east of Coeur d'Alene, offers year-round family fun. Winter-time skiing, snowboarding and tubing on Kellogg and Wardner mountain peaks' 73 runs, can't be beat.

Beginners can also practice their skills on the 700-foot moving carpet. The resort's Snow Cat can also take extreme skiers to terrain, not included in the normal runs. Summer-time fun is just as fun! Some of the country's best road biking, cross-country biking and downhill biking is done at the resort.

Get your gear ready for the 73-mile Trail of the Coeur d'Alene that runs along lakes and rivers. Bring your clubs for a round of golf or enjoy a scenic gondola ride to the mountain peak. The indoor water park, Silver Rapids Waterpark, is the largest in Idaho.

Sun Valley's Bald Mountain

With an elevation of 9,150 feet, Sun Valley's Bald Mountain is set alongside the Big Wood River, near Ketchum, Idaho. Affectionately known as "Baldy," its long, gradient runs make it the primary ski mountain for the Sun Valley Ski Resort.

In addition to an annual 220 inches of snowfall, Sun Valley Ski Resort provides the mountain with 645 acres of snowmaking, which lengthens the skiing season while making some courses easier for beginner-level skiers. Ideal of avid skiers and the novice alike, Bald Mountain is always a great option in Idaho.