Thursday, November 18, 2021

Snow situation looking ahead to Thanksgiving, Christmas tree permits, Steelhead in the Boise River

I took this pic on Tuesday on the River Run side of Bald Mountain in Sun Valley.

Hi all, 

The snow situation leading up to Thanksgiving next week is looking a bit thin, according to the weather forecasts, and on-the-ground conditions in the mountains. 

I did an update last night on the Idaho Daily Snow on, and this was my summary:

"Much-needed cooler temperatures since Tuesday are allowing Idaho's ski areas to make snow in hopes of a Thanksgiving opening. The next storm on Thursday night-Friday offers some glimmer of hope, with 4-7" possible at Tamarack and Brundage, and 6" at Schweitzer, Silver and Lookout. Sun Valley and Bogus Basin are forecast to get 1-2." Another storm next week may bring another 3-8." 

However, the weather/snow forecasts for the Thursday night/Friday/Saturday storm event vary quite a bit, and the quantity of snow associated with that storm event may not be as much as predicted. See the Idaho Daily Snow to see the snow forecast maps and details. There's another snow storm coming next Tuesday, but it may not have much quantity.

The upshot is that the ski areas with robust snow-making equipment will have the best chance of providing some skiing/snowboarding on Thanksgiving Day. Sun Valley and Bogus Basin are planning to open on Thanksgiving. Bogus will have the Mountain Coaster open as well. Other ski areas like Tamarack and Brundage are hoping to open on Friday, Nov. 26, weather permitting. See the Idaho Daily Snow for a full list of ski area projected opening dates. 

Update: Bogus Basin's Hike Park with terrain park features opens Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Access is FREE. Double R Ranch BBQ Smokehouse will be open as well.  

The reality of the situation is that the Idaho mountains had more snow depth two weeks ago than we have now, especially if they depend on Mother Nature for snowpack. The major warm-up that occurred in the second half of last week melted a lot of the mountain snow, unfortunately. Hence, it may be more promising to think about other outdoor activities while we wait to get more snow for xc sking and downhill skiing/riding. 

Fun to get kids involved in picking out a tree in the national forest.

Here are some other suggestions: 

  • Grab a permit from the Boise, Payette or Sawtooth National Forest and go cut your own Christmas tree. Fun activity. The permits are available on The permits cost $10/tree. The permits stipulate that Christmas tree cutting begins on Saturday, Nov. 20. Be sure to bring a good saw for cutting the tree and some straps/ropes for lashing the tree to the top of your rig, if you don't have a pickup truck. 

    Steelhead photo courtesy IDFG
  • Go steelhead fishing on the Boise River. Idaho Fish and Game will be releasing about 250 steelhead into the Boise River today (Thursday, Nov. 18) at the typical spots, Barber Park, Broadway Bridge, Americana Bridge and Glenwood Bridge. Make sure you have a fishing license and a steelhead permit. See IDFG article about the special steelhead season on the Boise River. 
    Snow biking on the Deer Point road, which is a good place to go boot hiking too, early season.

  • Go boot-hiking or fat biking in the snow in the mountains for fun after the snow storm on Friday or hit the Ridge to Rivers trails after they dry out. Be sure to layer up for colder weather. 
  • Road biking or a Greenbelt ride will work great when the trails are muddy as an alternative. I rode the Cartwright 4 summits loop yesterday afternoon, and it always delivers a major workout! 

    Boot hike on the trail to Stack Rock on a previous Thanksgiving Day.

  • Go for a hike in the Owyhees. See my recent post about hiking Sage Creek or another post about three must-do hikes - Black Magic Canyon, Leslie Gulch or Mary's Creek and Sheep Creek canyons.

There you have it! Have a nice Thanksgiving and count your blessings with your family, friends and loved ones.


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