Idaho has been quietly emerging as the new dream destination for winter sports activities.
Its uncrowded slopes and various snow-capped terrains make it appealing to enthusiasts with different levels of ski expertise. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert- read on to learn why you should grab your ski and snowboard and head to Idaho this season.
Why Visit Idaho For Skiing And Snowboarding?
1. Extensive Terrain And Weather Conditions
Unless you have the right terrain and weather conditions at your disposal, you will be likely headed for an uneventful winter sports outing. But that’s not the case in Idaho!
With about 28,000 vertical feet of snowy slopes and mountain ranges spread across 18,000 acres, you don’t have to worry about running out of space. And the short lift lines mean you don’t have to wait for ages to travel up and down the slopes.
Besides, the state witnesses plenty of snowfall almost every year, which is more than enough to help you enjoy (and ace) your preferred winter sport.
2. The Best Ski Resorts
Idaho is home to as many as 18 ski resorts, including the country’s first destination ski resort that facilitates both Idaho skiing and snowboarding activities.
Your winter trip to Idaho would be incomplete without a visit to Sun Valley, placed over 5,000 meters above sea level. The location receives an average of more than 200 inches of snow during the season, which pairs with the resort’s 18 ski lifts and 121 runs to get your adrenaline rushing.
You can also head to Tamarack, one of the newest additions to Idaho’s ski resort line that will welcome you with 50 runsof powder filled slopes. The trails and snow-pack here are suitable for all skiers, no matter their experience level.
Then, there’s the Brundage Mountain with the best snow in Idaho which is tucked in neatly in one of the premier Alpine ski zones of the state. If you’re just starting on the journey of skiing or snowboarding, this is the place to be at.
3. Easy Access
Thanks to Idaho’s strategic location, it’s surrounded by Utah, Montana, and Wyoming on three sides, making the state easily accessible from most of the country. Even if you were to fly in from another country, like Australia, you could easily do so via San Francisco or Los Angeles.
Once you’re in Boise (the capital of Idaho), take a shuttle or rent a self-drive car to reach your preferred resort while exploring the region. You may even get a direct flight to Sun Valley from LAX (Los Angeles International Airport).
4. Heli Skiing And Cat Skiing With Expert Guidance
Sun Valley Heli Ski, the initiator of commercial Heli skiing in the country, has been operational since 1966. A trip here will give you unobstructed access to 3 mountain ranges with different terrains that cater to the experience level of everyone from beginners to pros.
Apart from that, you can book tickets to Selkirk Powder (from the base village of Schweitzer Mountain resort) for expert-guided cat skiing, Heli skiing, and snowmobiling tours. Or, plan your stay at the Teton Springs Lodge and Spa for Heli skiing on over 300,000 acres covered by the Teton range.
5. Free Lessons At Lookout Mountain Pass
If your kids are enthusiastic about winter outdoor sports, then Lookout Pass is just the place for them. The expert team here has introduced more than 75,000 children to the world of skiing and snowboarding, and children between 6 and 17 can sign up for free lessons.
What’s more, the experts can even guide your little skier in buying the best sports gear like poles, skis, etc.
6. The Longest Gondola In The States
The Silver Mountain Resort offers direct access to a 3.1-mile-long gondola that takes you up to a “winterland” for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and many such activities.
Skiing Vs. Snowboarding – Which Should You Try in Idaho?
Your Idaho visit during the winters should ideally comprise plenty of sightseeing and outdoor sports, but only if life was so fair! We understand that some people may be short on time, and their already hectic itineraries may mean they won’t have the time to (somewhat) master either snowboarding or skiing.
Any new sport can be difficult to catch up with, especially the ones which require learning a lot of technicalities, like snowboarding and skiing.
However, it has been observed that skiing is comparatively easier to learn, as each of your legs will move independently. This will help you have more control over your movements and attain the right balance faster. Your task will be further cut out if you have learned the art of balancing from other sports.
Besides, spending more time on their feet in a straight stance (forward bend with parallel feet placement) is usually more comfortable for beginners. That said, learning how to navigate your way with the weight of skies and poles can take considerable time.
Likewise, learning how to curve and stop by turning on the side and angling the skis is a very technical skill that can be challenging to master.
Snowboarding, on the other hand, can appear to be difficult from the get-go, as it relies heavily on the “grip” you create with your heels and toes. Since both your feet will be on one board, achieving balance will generally be difficult, and so will stopping or turning. So, be prepared to tip and fall- a lot!
But the good news is that once you learn these skills, learning more complex moves will be easier compared to skiing.
Ski Adventures Await in Idaho
We say almost because there’s one important tip we can’t let you leave without- always pay attention to the safety instructions provided by the ski patrol, no matter which sport you choose. And try to experiment, especially if you’re on your first skiing or snowboarding trip.