SunValley LadyShred 5

Photo by Hillary Maybery for Sun Valley Resort.

Once again the stoke is high in Idaho as 2022-23 ski season nears


BOISE, Idaho (Nov. 2, 2022) — All signs are pointing to another great ski and snowboard season in Idaho this winter.

For the first time in history, SKI Magazine named three Ski Idaho destinations to its list of the top 30 ski resorts in the West: Sun Valley earned no. 1 for the third consecutive year and was joined by Grand Targhee at no. 24 and Schweitzer in its list debut at no. 11. And Sun Valley and Brundage Mountain are in the running for the USA Today “10Best” top 10 best ski resorts in North America, the third such honor for the latter resort.

Up north, Lookout Pass is nearly doubling its terrain this winter with the Eagle Peak Expansion and Silver Mountain has added a legendary out-of-bounds pow stash to its in-bounds footprint. Plus, Schweitzer is opening a new spa and completing construction on the new slopeside hotel, Humbird, which Larry Olmsted at Forbes described as “skiing’s best new secret hotel” after staying there in February when it first opened.

In Southwest Idaho, Tamarack will open its new Seven Devils Taphouse and has boosted its snowmaking capabilities while Brundage Mountain has expanded and upgraded its grooming fleet and the Little Ski Hill has lit another trail. Meanwhile, Bogus Basin established two new trails, added 15 acres to its night-skiing terrain, more than doubled its snowmaking capabilities, and improved uphill capacity.

In Central Idaho, Sun Valley is opening up 79 acres of new gladed terrain this season.

On the east side of the state, Kelly Canyon added state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming equipment and is partnering with world-renowned snowsports pioneer Planet Snow Design to up its game. And just across the Wyoming border, Grand Targhee will open a new lift that adds 600 acres of terrain.

Amid all these improvements Ski Idaho, which counts 19 ski areas among its member destinations, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.


Near the historic town of Wallace and straddling the Idaho-Montana border and the Mountain and Pacific time zones, Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area is opening its highly anticipated Eagle Peak Expansion this winter.

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Unofficial Networks founder and CEO Tim Konrad enjoys a sneak preview of the Eagle Peak Expansion at Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area last winter. Photo by Matt Sawyer for Lookout Pass 

The 500 acres of new terrain nearly doubles the resort’s footprint to 1,023 skiable acres and adds 14 named runs, raising its total to 52 trails. With a summit elevation of 6,150 feet, Eagle Peak offers 1,650 feet of total vertical — 500 feet more than the original Lookout Pass summit. It is served by the new Chair 5, a 400-hp fixed-grip quad that stretches just under a mile at 5,640 feet and can move at least 1,500 people uphill per hour. Eagle Peak will deliver more and drier snow than Lookout’s already snowy reputation thanks to the 500 feet in elevation gain.

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Photographed last winter from the run Cloud 9 looking west by southwest, Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area's highly anticipated Eagle Peak Expansion debuts this ski season. Photo by Matt Sawyer for Lookout Pass.

Other improvements include a new deck between its main lodge and the rentals and ski school building with much wider steps for easier access plus additional parking on the Montana side of the maintenance building and in the lower parking lot. Lookout Pass also regraded its Success beginner learning terrain to offer a more consistent pitch ideal for learning to ski and snowboard. It upgraded its trail cameras to streaming video, too.

Idaho’s northernmost ski resort, Schweitzer, near Sandpoint, will open its new spa, Cambium, in the village in a new building adjacent to Selkirk Lodge. The 3,600-square-foot retreat features five treatment rooms, men’s and women’s changing rooms, and a relaxation and recovery room with outstanding views of the mountain. Cambium’s treatments are designed to help guests shorten recovery time and get back on the mountain faster and more comfortably with help from reflexology stations, sound loungers, and HaloIR saunas.

Schweitzer’s boutique, 31-room hotel, Humbird, which opened in February, will officially reach completion in the next couple months once the new 12-person rooftop hot tub opens. Humbird offers ski-in, ski-out access, breathtaking views, a 50-seat alpine-inspired restaurant and bar called Crow’s Bench, a co-working space, and a private lounge. Plus, the mountain’s 26-unit expansion at the White Pine Lodge is slated to open this winter.

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Schweitzer will complete construction on its new slopeside hotel, Humbird, when the jumbo rooftop hot tub opens in the next couple months. Photo by Jeremy Bitterman for Schweitzer. 

Its expanded children’s center — a fully licensed childcare facility serving guests ages 4 months to 6 years old with age-appropriate indoor and outdoor programming — will accommodate a 15 percent increase in Schweitzer’s children’s programs.

On the mountain, skiers and boarders will enjoy better access to the tree skiing and long groomers in The Outback Bowl thanks to 14 new chairs on the six-pack Stella. This will boost total uphill capacity on the lift by 25 percent, allowing it to carry 600 additional riders per hour.

Four new snowmaking machines will provide more consistent coverage early in the season, including its 100-yard tubing hill at Hermit’s Hollow. Schweitzer also purchased two new snowcats for its grooming fleet.

Construction continues on Schweitzer’s new $22 million employee-housing project in Ponderay. The resort broke ground on the first phase — which includes 84 apartments ranging from one- to three-bedroom units with full kitchens, washers and dryers, and access to ski and bike storage — in summer 2023. The first phase is slated to open this summer, with future plans including additional housing units, covered picnic areas, outdoor play areas, walking paths, workout facilities, and a full-service daycare facility for Schweitzer employees with young children in need of quality, affordable childcare.

Schweitzer debuted this year on SKI Magazine’s list of the top 30 ski resorts in the West at no. 11.

Silver Mountain Resort‘s South of the Border terrain is now within the borders, with the destination expanding its boundaries to include the popular pow stash. Off Chair 2 to left of Skyway Ridge just past Sunrise, SOB is naturally gladed, holds tremendous powder, and now boasts a new marked trail graded to get skiers and boarders back to the lift.

The resort, which resides in the historic North Idaho mining town of Kellogg, will also open the Jackass Snack Shack — a new food-and-beverage outlet located at Midway Chair 4. It is located on the original site of the ski lodge back when the mountain was named Jackass Ski Bowl in honor of Bill the $12 Million Burro, who accidentally assisted in founding the Bunker Hill Mine underneath Silver Mountain. The structure will have a restroom.

Silver Mountain has been using its Caterpillar D6 dozer to cut brush, which will let the resort open more terrain earlier in the season.

It will be offering big savings this winter with huge discounts for midweek lodging and skiing packages, which are available to book now. Between its Morning Star Lodge at the base of the gondola and the nearby Silver Inn, Silver Mountain offers guests 250 rooms with multiple floorplans and options available to accommodate families and groups of any size and on any budget.


The three destinations encircling the Camas Prairie — Bald Mountain Ski Area near Pierce, Cottonwood Butte Ski Area near Cottonwood, and Snowhaven Ski & Tubing Area near Grangeville — have not announced any upgrades for the 2022-23 ski season beyond usual maintenance and upkeep. They offer throwback experiences where it’s all about snow riding, family, and happy vibes with adult lift tickets costing only $20.


Renowned for its glade skiing, Lost Trail Ski Area on the Idaho-Montana border between Salmon and Missoula has thinned more than 80 acres of its intermediate and expert tree-skiing terrain served by Chair 2 and Chair 4. It also completed micro grooming on its beginner and intermediate runs to help ensure an early opening.

Three miles west of Hailey, Rotarun Ski Area is readying for its 74th ski season with key infrastructure improvements in place thanks to a strong collective of community and donor generosity and support. Its new 2,400-square-foot equipment garage has enough room to house two snowcats and will protect snowmakers and other equipment during the offseason. In addition, a new SMI PoleCat snow gun boosts the hill’s snowmaking capabilities, which have been integral to Rotarun’s early and late-season programming since its first snow guns fired in 2019.

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Rotarun Ski Area made key infrastructure improvements this summer, adding a new SMI PoleCat snow gun to amplify its snowmaking capabilities. Photo by Heather Foster for Rotarun Ski Area.

As the 2022-23 season gets underway, Rotarun continues to focus on its support of youth and families through affordable and inclusive learn-to-ski programming. It also celebrates winter sports and mountain-town culture with free public skiing under the lights on Wednesday evenings, “Friday Night Lights” skiing with local Mexican cuisine in the base area, an annual New Year’s Eve Party, and special community classes and events throughout the season.

For the third consecutive year, SKI Magazine named Sun Valley Resort — the birthplace of the chairlift and American’s first destination resort — the top ski resort in North America in its 2022 Annual Resort Guide. Sun Valley ranked no. 1 in the West for overall satisfaction, lifts, dining, and local flavor. The resort also ranked highly in the grooming, guest services, lodging, après, nightlife, and family friendly categories.

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A skier at Sun Valley Resort enjoys the glades on Big Bowl in 2019, which opened up during winter 2020-21 as the Sunrise region. Photo by Jon Mancuso for Sun Valley Resort. 

In partnership with the National Forest Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and members of the local community, Sun Valley Co. continued the Bald Mountain Stewardship Project to improve forest health, reduce fuels and associated fire risk, and preserve the recreational experience on and around Bald Mountain. As a result, the resort will open up 79 acres of new gladed terrain in the Warm Springs area in advance of two new lifts being constructed this summer — including a six-pack chair — that are slated to open for winter 2023-24.

The Warm Springs area will see a lot of action the next two winters. U.S. Ski & Snowboard recently announced a two-year deal with Sun Valley Resort to host the Alpine Skiing National Championships for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons.


Visitors to Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area near Boise, Idaho’s capital city, will enjoy two new trails this season — Independence and Blackbird — that offer 11 acres of additional terrain. Blue and black runs, respectively, the new trails return riders from the backside of the mountain to the frontside.

The nonprofit ski area has also expanded its night-skiing terrain by 15 acres, lighting the Sunbeam and Superior runs off the Superior Express lift and bringing the total number of lit trails to 21.

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Cyrus Corbet enjoys night riding at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area last winter. Photo by Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho. 

Bogus Basin also widened and improved several beginner runs and cat tracks — including Buttercup Cat Track, Shamrock, Sleepy Holly, and Sunshine — from top to bottom to foster a smooth learning progression, Plus, it regraded the lower section of Sunshine to make it much more beginner friendly.

New and extended snowshoe trails have doubled the distance of mapped snowshoe trails, and Bogus Basin will offer regularly guided and special-themed snowshoe tours.

The ski area installed additional chairs on the Morning Star and Superior Express lifts, which will increase uphill capacity on those lifts by 30 percent.

It is also introducing RFID ticketing technology to allow guests to access lifts hands-free through Axess Smart Gates with their season pass or lift ticket in the pocket of their jacket. Guests can purchase RFID lift tickets online and pick them up at electronic kiosks outside Simplot Lodge and inside the Pioneer Lodge foyer. Season passes and lift tickets are reloadable, yielding a seamless guest experience.

The rental shop sports a brand-new fleet of rental gear from Rossignol.

Bogus Basin also more than doubled its snowmaking capabilities. The ski area added top-to-bottom snowmaking on Sunshine, a novice run off the Morning Star Express chair. Moreover, the ski area doubled the water-pumping capacity of its snowmaking system from 1,500 gallons per minute to 3,000 gpm, allowing Bogus Basin to use all 50 of its snow guns to make snow on two top-to-bottom trails at the same time.

Its ability to move large piles of machine-made snow and to groom on steeper pitches has improved, too, with the addition of a new PistenBully 600 snowcat to its fleet. And Bogus Basin purchased three electric snowmobiles as part of a long-range plan to transition its fleet to electric and reduce carbon emissions.

It also paved and striped the main parking lot over the summer and added 50 new paved parking spots near the top of Pioneer Rd. between the ski-in, ski-out Silver Queen and Pioneer parking lots.

Brundage Mountain Resort between McCall and New Meadows made numerous infrastructure improvements over the summer in preparation for this ski season as part of the ambitious 10-year Mountain Improvement Plan it announced last year.

The most noticeable addition is the 2,800-square-foot ski and bike patrol first-aid facility Brundage built over the summer next to the existing Ski & Ride School at the base of the BlueBird Express. Plus, the resort replaced an older snowcat with a new PistenBully 400 boasting the latest clean-exhaust technology, and it bought another PB 400 to allow the terrain park crew to construct a larger variety of features.

Winter 2022-23 is the final season for nostalgia-minded visitors to ride the Centennial Triple Chair, a fixed-grip lift installed in 1990. A new Doppelmayr CTEC high-speed detachable quad will debut in its place next winter, cutting the ride time from 14 minutes to 6 minutes and offering riders two high-speed quads on the front side of the mountain.

The resort also purchased and transformed a historic building in New Meadows into its newest employee-housing facility. In excess of 10,000 square feet, the stucco structure was built in 1940 and served as Meadows Valley High School into the early 1970s, It will house up to 18 workers in nine bedrooms, each with a private bathroom, and there are shared kitchen and laundry facilities and a spacious common area. Brundage plans to turn the large gymnasium into a multipurpose room.

The resort is a contender for USA Today’s “10Best” top 10 list of North American ski resorts for the third year in a row, finishing in seventh place last year and in second place in 2020.

Just outside McCall, the Little Ski Hill has lit a third trail, Race Run, and added more lights to the base area and lodge face. The Payette Lakes Ski Club will finish lighting the ski area’s terrain park next summer. Only the top quarter of the terrain park is currently lit.

The après ski scene at Tamarack Resort near Donnelly is getting a boost this winter with the opening of Seven Devils Tap House. Located next to The Village’s grand staircase, the 5,000-square-foot restaurant and bar will host more than 300 guests with ground-floor indoor seating, a mezzanine for more intimate dining, and covered and uncovered outdoor seating overlooking the snow front and West Mountain. The restaurant will serve fast-casual fare, and guests can enjoy an automated tap wall offering 40 regional beers, ciders, and hard seltzers.

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Growth of The Village at Tamarack Resort continues with the four-season destination resort opening the Seven Devils Tap House this winter. Photo by Sherri Harkin for Tamarack Resort.

Getting on the lift will be quicker and easier thanks to a regraded snow front and improvements in the resort’s direct-to-snow experience. Guests can save time and money by pre-purchasing day tickets with 24-hour advance online purchase — only $55 for midweek and $75 weekend tickets — and through Tamarack’s expanded system of ticket-pickup kiosks and automated ticket-scanning lift gates. New features include RFID-enabled snow-front ski check and heated seasonal lockers along with paid seasonal access to prime ski-in, ski-out parking via RFID gates.

Modernized and improved snowmaking capabilities across the mountain will support a longer and more consistent ski season. In addition to miles of new waterlines, an upgraded water-management system, and a new well, Tamarack installed five new automated TechnoAlpin TT10 tower snow guns that take advantage of the best conditions to make enhanced-quality snow in a resource-efficient manner.


Although Magic Mountain Ski Resort near Kimberly has not announced any major upgrades for skiers and snowboarders this winter, it is promoting a new Kosmik Tubing experience on Friday and Saturday evenings. Private group bookings are available on those evenings and other nights, and weekday afternoon group tubing will be available on a limited basis by reservation only. The mountain’s Saturday and Sunday daylight tubing will continue as normal.

The slopes at Pomerelle Mountain Resort near Albion will have the look and feel of velvet thanks to the new PistenBully 400 Park Pro it added to its already impressive fleet of PistenBulley snowgroomers. The rental shop sports a brand-new fleet of ski and snowboard gear from Rossignol and Burton, respectively. Beyond general maintenance, Pomerelle reported it has put a fresh coat of paint on EVERYTHING.

New adventures and an improved on-mountain experience will greet guests at Soldier Mountain near Fairfield this winter. The tubing hill the resort opened midseason last winter will return this season. Plus, Soldier Mountain hired a contractor this summer to mow key runs at the top of Chair 2 that tend to get overgrown with brush and are windblown. This will allow the snow to stick better and enable the resort to open trails earlier and keep them open longer.

In addition, Soldier Mountain deployed three SNAPD action cameras — one at the top of the magic carpet, one as skiers and riders unload Chair 1, and a third near the top of Chair 2 with a picturesque mountain backdrop. The camera systems are designed to work like those at amusement parks that automatically capture guests as they pass by. They leverage RFID technology to identify guests and allows them to access their pictures online or via a smartphone app. SNAPD day passes at Solder Mountain will cost $10 and a SNAPD season pass will run $25.

The resort also upgraded its WiFi network, improving reception throughout the base area from the lodge to the magic carpet.

Soldier Mountain is already booking seats on the snowcat for its renowned backcountry experiences, and staff are gearing up for a busy season. They are also taking reservations for the resort’s “My Mountain” package. For $6,000 this package allows you to privately book the mountain during nonoperational days (Mondays-Wednesdays) for corporate retreats or personal events.


Grand Targhee Resort — which lies four miles across the border in “Wydaho” and affiliates with Ski Idaho because the only way to reach it is through Driggs, Idaho — will debut the brand-new Colter Lift on Peaked Mountain this winter.

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Grand Targhee Resort debuts its brand-new Colter Lift on Peaked Mountain this winter. Photo by Jill Gaylord for Grand Targhee Resort. 

The new lift will transport up to 2,000 people per hour, gain 1,815 vertical feet in just over 5 minutes, and provide 30 percent more skiing and riding with the addition of the new terrain on Peaked Mountain.

Opening these 600 acres, which used to only be accessible via snowcat or by bootpacking when the gates were open, gives guests the ability to spread out on the mountain even more and access varying types of terrain, including awesome tree skiing and steep pitches. This is the first major terrain expansion at Grand Targhee since 2001, when it opened the Sacajawea lift.

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Tricia Scott explores terrain on Peaked Mountain at Grand Targhee Resort in 2019. Photo by Ryan Zimmer for Ski Idaho. 

Another big opening at The Ghee this winter: Half of the slopeside Teewinot Lodge underwent a major renovation over the summer. Starting this winter, new Teewinot Premier Rooms will be available. These freshly appointed rooms will offer options for two queen beds or one king bed and handsome new furnishings that add comfort to a stay while maintaining the personality of Targhee.

The Teewinot Lodge’s lobby also underwent a major renovation, updating the layout to provide a comfortable common space with cozy couches so guests can relax alongside its large stone fireplace. The resort will renovate the other half of the lodge next summer, with the second phase slated to open for winter 2023-24.

Grand Targhee is also introducing RFID ticketing technology to allow guests to access lifts hands-free via smart gates with their season pass or lift ticket in the pocket of their jacket. Guests can purchase RFID lift tickets online and pick them up at three electronic kiosks in the plaza and at lodging check-in. Season passes and lift tickets are reloadable, yielding a seamless guest experience.

Readers ranked Grand Targhee no. 24 on SKI Magazine’s 2022 list of the top 30 ski resorts in the West in its Annual Resort Guide.

The new snowmaking capabilities at Kelly Canyon Ski Resort near Ririe will be in full swing this winter. At the end of last ski season, the resort installed an innovative Latitude 90 snowmaker in the base area that can run 24/7/365 as long as temperatures are under 65 degrees. And over the summer it installed four brand-new TechnoAlpin snowguns also focused on the base. As a result, Kelly Canyon may be able to open by Thanksgiving for the first time in the resort’s history.

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Rory Mehen rides Upper Bowl onto Old Man Flats off Lift 2 at Kelly Canyon Ski Resort last winter. Photo by Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho.

It also upgraded its trail lighting system over the summer to yield an unparalleled nighttime snow experience.

The new owners have made many upgrades to the lodge and transformed its cafeteria into the Half Cab Grill with an expanded menu that now includes beer and wine.

They also recently entered into a new partnership with Planet Snow Design, appointing founder Ryan Neptune — an Idaho native, the first-ever U.S. Boardercross Champion, and a world-renowned snowsports pioneer — as Kelly Canyon’s chief operations officer. Neptune and his team at Planet Snow Design have been building pipes and parks since 1998 at some of the best snowboarding venues on the planet, including the U.S. Open, High Cascade Snowboard Camp, the Grand Prix Series, and the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics Superpipe.

Pebble Creek Ski Area, near Inkom has not announced any major upgrades for the 2022-23 ski season, although it replaced the haul rope on the Skyline Lift and gave the rental shop a facelift. Beyond that, Pebble Creek conducted brush cutting, painted structures around the base area, and completed routine inspections, maintenance, and upkeep.


In addition to Ski Idaho celebrating its 40th birthday this winter, Bogus Basin is turning 80, Soldier Mountain is turning 75, and Silver Mountain is turning 55 this season.


Sun Valley has joined Schweitzer as partners with the IKON Pass. The Indy Pass has a new, seventh Ski Idaho member with Kelly Canyon joining Brundage, Lost Trail, Pomerelle, Silver Mountain, Soldier Mountain, and Tamarack. Grand Targhee and Sun Valley are members of the Mountain Collective. Lost Trail joins Bogus Basin and Silver Mountain as partners in the Powder Alliance. And Sun Valley offers a Sun & Snow Pass with Snowbasin in Huntsville, Utah, that allows up to three days at each resort.


A La Niña weather pattern has been developing thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean for the third consecutive winter, meaning Idaho and the Northwest should expect a cold, wet winter with heavy mountain snow.


Founded in 1982, the Idaho Ski Areas Association, a.k.a. Ski Idaho, is a nonprofit association funded in part by the Idaho Travel Council via the state’s 2 percent lodging tax paid by travelers and collected by hotel, motel, private campground, and vacation rentals owners. Boasting 29,000 feet of vertical spanning more than 21,000 acres, Idaho is home to America’s first destination ski resort, the birthplace of the chairlift, and often considered the soul of skiing. Its 19 family friendly alpine ski areas offer trails and backcountry for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and skill levels, breathtaking views, hundreds of inches of fresh powder, affordable passes, and short lift lines. Many Ski Idaho destinations open for the summer season, as well, to provide lift-served mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, hiking and trail running, disc golf, horseback riding, and more. Visit for more details.