SantaSkiDayAtTamarack2020 1Photo courtesy of Tamarack Resort


14 Idaho ski areas open during the holidays

BOISE, Idaho (Dec. 21, 2023) — Despite Mother Nature being pretty stingy so far this winter, at least 14 of the Gem State’s 19 ski areas will be open during the holiday season.

All three ski areas in North Idaho — Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area near Mullan, Schweitzer near Sandpoint, and Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg — are open daily. Skiers and snowboarders dressed from head to toe as Santa can purchase a lift ticket at Lookout Pass for only $20 on Saturday Dec. 23.

SantasDescendOnLookoutPass 2020
Photo courtesy of Lookout Pass

All three North Central Idaho ski areas — Bald Mountain near Pierce, Snowhaven Ski & Tubing Area in Grangeville, and Cottonwood Butte Ski Area near Cottonwood — have been forced to delay opening.

Three of the four ski areas in Southwest IdahoBogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area near Boise, Brundage Mountain Resort near McCall, and Tamarack Resort near Donnelly — are open daily. Although the Little Ski Hill in McCall cannot spin its lift yet, it will open a hike-to rail park and sell food and beverages in the lodge on Dec. 26 from 2-7 p.m. Visit Tamarack dressed up in your best Santa or holiday costume on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, and receive a free lift ticket while enjoying the VIP Santa Soiree at mid-mountain from 9 a.m. to noon sponsored by Monster Energy.

Sun Valley Resort in Central Idaho has been open since Thanksgiving, and Lost Trail Ski Area on the Idaho-Montana border near Conner, Mont., is open daily throughout the holidays from Dec. 21-Jan. 1. However, Rotarun Ski Area in Hailey has been forced to delay its opening.

SantaSkiDayAtTamarack2020 7
Photo courtesy of Tamarack Resort

In Southern Idaho, Magic Mountain Ski Resort near Hansen is open daily Dec. 22-Jan. 2 and Pomerelle Mountain Resort near Albion is open daily for the season, although both are closed Christmas Day. Soldier Mountain near Fairfield will spin both chairs Saturday Dec. 23 with lift tickets at half price. The resort will open four trails — North Ridge on Chair 1, a.k.a. the High Trail Express, and Atomic, Bruno, and Coaster on Chair 2, Bird’s Eye. North Ridge is in decent shape from top to bottom thanks to the resort’s recently restored snowmaking system. Although the trails on the Bird’s Eye lift will get prettier they are definitely skiable and there’s some nice powder to be found if you’re willing to explore a bit. Soldier Mountain has not announced any other dates beyond that.

The two ski areas in Eastern IdahoKelly Canyon Ski Resort in Ririe and Grand Targhee Resort in “Wydaho,” a.k.a. Alta, Wyo. — are open daily. So is Gateway to Kelly Canyon, a brand-new snow-tubing park in Idaho Falls that Kelly Canyon operates in partnership with Eagle-based Gateway Parks.

Southeastern Idaho’s sole ski area — Pebble Creek Ski Area near Inkom — is open daily, although it is closed Christmas Day.

Check the ski areas’ websites for more details and operating hours.

Early season conditions exist at many of these destinations, so skiers and riders should use caution.