Idaho has a rich history of skiing. While it may not be as well known for the sport as say Utah, Wyoming or Colorado, Michigan can still hold its own. Featuring 16 ski resorts, Idaho should definitely be on the short list for your next ski vacation.
The Idaho Ski Season
The ski season in Idaho typically runs from November through April, depending on the weather and snow conditions. Idaho is known for its cold winters and ample snowfall, which make for excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions.
In general, the ski season gets off to a slow start in November, as the mountains are often still covered in snow from the previous season. The snowpack builds throughout the winter, and by January and February, the ski resorts are usually operating at full capacity and the skiing and snowboarding conditions are at their best. March and April can also be good months for skiing and snowboarding in Idaho, as the weather tends to be more stable and the snowpack is often well established.
The Most Popular Ski Resorts in Idaho
Idaho is maybe not as well known for skiing as it’s neighboring states, but it has an impressive roster of popular ski resorts, including:
Sun Valley Resort
Located in Sun Valley, Idaho, Sun Valley Resort is known for its challenging terrain and beautiful mountain views. The resort offers a variety of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing, which are all a part of the largest ski resort in Idaho.
Brundage Mountain Resort
Located in McCall, Idaho, Brundage Mountain Resort is known for its deep powder and challenging terrain. Brundage covers 1,500 acres of skiable terrain and offers a variety of trails for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, including groomed cruisers, moguled black diamond runs, and terrain parks.
Tamarack ski resort, located in Donnelly, Idaho, is worth visiting for a variety of reasons. It offers a variety of trails for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, including groomed cruisers, moguled black diamond runs, and terrain parks. The resort is known for its diverse terrain, which offers something for everyone. Tamarack also offers a variety of other activities, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Located in Sandpoint, Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain Resort is known for its challenging terrain which makes it the most difficult ski resort in the state. The resort offers a variety of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing, as well as a range of amenities such as ski and snowboard rentals, dining options, and a variety of après ski activities.
Silver Mountain Resort
Silver Mountain ski resort, located in Kellogg, Idaho, is known for a variety of features that make it a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. Silver Mountain is located in the heart of the Idaho Rocky Mountains, which means that skiers and snowboarders can enjoy beautiful mountain views while they are on the slopes.
Silver Mountain ski resort is located just off of I-90 in northern Idaho, which makes it easily accessible from many major cities in the Pacific Northwest. The resort is just over an hour from Spokane, Washington, and about three hours from Missoula, Montana.
All Idaho Ski Resorts
The ‘Pass’ column below identifies if the resort is associated with one of the two major ski passes in the country. IKON and EPIC each have dozens of slopes in their system that will allow you to ski at any one of them if you hold it. Within Idaho, each pass only is associated with one ski resort.
Smaller ticket system INDY is associated with four resorts and Power Alliance is associated with two.
Explaining Our ‘Difficulty Score’
Parks & Trips created a proprietary Difficulty Score that is generated by looking at the number of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort.
Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then gives each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.
The Most Difficult Idaho Ski Resorts
Schweitzer Mountain comes out on top as the most overall difficult ski resort in Idaho. It just barely inched out Pebble Creek Mountain. They are both very similar when it comes to the amount of expert trails and overall vertical drop.
The Easiest Ski Resorts in Idaho
Snowhaven and Little Ski Hill are both very small ski slopes with less than 50 acres and 10 trails to their name. Snowhaven comes out on top because it has zero difficult trails. The other three resorts that round out the top 5 here are all fairly large sized slopes (500+ acres), it’s just that they have an equally large amount of easy runs.
The Largest Ski Resorts in Idaho
Choosing the largest ski resorts is a bit of a tricky proposition. Do you look at just the summit elevation? How about the total acreage, most trails, or steepest vertical drop?
Well, we decided to combine all four of those metrics into one ranking to get the best idea, although we fully admit this is completely subjective. We’ve given you all the data in the following table to make your own decision.
With that said, Sun Valley wins as the largest ski resort in Idaho. It has the highest summit elevation and the steepest vertical drop of any ski slope in Idaho. It’s also no surprise that a resort of this size is owned by the same company as Vail, and is associated with the EPIC ticket pass.