Thursday, December 14, 2017

Where to go, if you'd like to play in the snow - xc skiing, tubing & sleigh rides in SW Idaho

Fair weather skiing at Targhee means you get to enjoy big views of the Tetons! (Courtesy Grand Targhee)
Grand Targhee has the best, and most snow in the region right now. 
Brundage is offering sleigh rides at the Activity Barn in McCall for the first time this year! 
Hi all,

I've been cursing this blasted high pressure weather pattern that's been deflecting winter storms away from us for quite some time now. A small storm moving through on Friday is supposed to blow the inversion out of the Treasure Valley, with any luck at all. Let's hope!

But in the meantime, it's possible to find places where you can go play in the snow! I've got some recommendations on where to go downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, tubing or on a sleigh ride!

  • Best downhill skiing right now - Ski the man-made groomers at Sun Valley or hit the road and ski Grand Targhee! Look for pre-Christmas season lodging deals at Sun Valley via a ski-and-stay package. Or, pick a few days when you can break away to visit Grand Targhee, and stay overnight on the mountain. They've got the best snow in the region, with a 62-inch base at the summit, 52 inches at the base area. 
  • Cross-country skiing close to home - The Nordic Lodge and limited Nordic trails at Bogus Basin are open. You also could xc ski at Bear Basin in McCall or on limited trails at Ponderosa State Park in McCall. Bear Basin is reporting a 12-inch base, recommending classic skiing. 
  • Best cross-country skiing - Go to Ketchum/Sun Valley and ski the North Valley Trails, Prairie Creek Loop, Harriman Trail or the trails at Galena Lodge. The xc trails in the Wood River Valley have the most kilometers open and best conditions for skate skiing or classic skiing.
    Tubing at Bogus Basin 
  • Tubing - Bogus Basin's tubing hill is open on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, and Brundage Mountain is opening the tubing hill at the Activity Barn in McCall on Friday, Dec. 15, for the holiday season. Check the web sites for hours and pricing. You need advance reservations to go tubing at Bogus, so you need to plan ahead! 
  • Sleigh rides - Brundage is offering sleigh rides at the Activity Barn for the first time this year. It's a 90-minute ride in the outskirts of McCall with fetching views of the surrounding countryside. The sleigh holds up to 15 people. Cost is $30 for adults, and $12 for kids 17 and under. Be sure to dress warm! They have hot chocolate and coffee in the yurt. 
    Hap and Florence Points elk-viewing sleigh rides 
    • Another great option is going on a winter sleigh ride with Hap and Florence Points in Donnelly to see elk and enjoy the mountain scenery. The Points Ranch has been offering this service for many years! Call 208-325-8783 for pricing.
    • Sun Valley offers one-hour sleigh rides and also dinner tours to Trail Creek Cabin. Pricing is $20-30 for the one-hour ride, depending on dates, and $129 to $169 for the dinner tours. Contact Sun Valley for more information. 
    • It appears that Bogus Creek Outfitters is no longer in operation. Their phone is disconnected. 
      People have been skating on Little Payette Lake for a week. 
  • Ice skating - If you like to go ice skating, and you plan to be in McCall, locals have been skating on Little Payette Lake, which has been smooth as glass, perfect conditions! Things may change after it snows, so try to get there soon! There may be skating on ponds in the Boise Valley, but be careful! You also can go skating at Idaho Ice World, the Manchester Ice Center in McCall or Sun Valley. 
Hope you enjoy the snow! 
- SS 

No comments: