Thursday, January 13, 2022

Head for the mountains to go play in the snow for MLK holiday weekend!

Happy xc skiers enjoying the Idaho Park and Ski trail system. (Courtesy Tom Helmer, IDPR) 

Hi all, 

Last week at this time, Idaho's ski areas and mountains were getting hammered by heavy snowfall - to the point where ID 21 was snowed shut, the Idaho City Park and Ski Areas were smothered with snow, avalanche conditions were high to extreme, and powder skiers and snowboarders were having a great time shredding powder at alpine resorts. 

Following one of the snowiest Decembers on record, a high pressure weather system that's dominating Idaho and the West at the moment is bringing clear skies and bluebird weather conditions in the mountains for a long 3-day weekend. For many, Monday is a holiday observed in memory of the great civil rights activist, Martin Luther King. 

Courtesy Tom Helmer, IDPR 

So my outdoor tip this week is to get out and play in the snow! 

  • The Idaho City Park and Ski Areas have been freshly groomed this week along with the parking lots north of Idaho City on Idaho 21 between Mores Creek Summit and Beaver Creek Summit. That'll be a great option for xc skiing, snowshoeing or snow-biking on groomed trails. Remember to purchase a Park and Ski parking sticker online before you go.  
    Carving turns on freshly groomed slopes is a treat (courtesy Tamarack Resort).  

  • Our downhill ski areas have plenty of snow and they're 100 percent open. If you don't have a season pass, try to buy day tickets in advance at Bogus Basin, Tamarack Resort or Brundage Mountain. In Sun Valley, you might have the best chance of a discounted lift ticket if you purchase a sky and stay package. See the Sun Valley web site for more information. If you have trouble finding a day ticket, another option could be Soldier Mountain in Fairfield. 
  • Nordic skiing and snowshoeing at Bogus Basin, McCall, Galena Lodge and the Wood River Trail system will be stellar.   

    North Valley Trail is open to xc skiing, snowshoeing and snow biking 

  • Snow-biking - Bogus Basin, Jug Mountain Ranch, the North Valley Trail in McCall and the Idaho City Park and Ski areas allow snow-biking. Conditions are excellent right now because the trails are freezing hard at night. Bogus has bikes available for rent.    
If you're heading to McCall or Sun Valley, look for a place to stay overnight in advance through VRBOAirBnB or book a hotel. Check with the McCall Chamber or Sun Valley Chamber for more lodging options. 

If you're staying close to home, the Ridge to Rivers trails are kind of treacherous right now because of the mix of snow, ice and mud that you'll find in the afternoon. Be sure to use the trails in the morning when they're frozen to avoid causing damage. Always check the Ridge to Rivers Facebook page for the latest advice before you go. 

Boise River Greenbelt is plowed and dry for walking, running and biking.

The Boise River Greenbelt is fully plowed and dry, BTW ... I did an hour-long ride from Veterans Park to the orange ParkCenter bridge and back yesterday, and it was impressive how well the pathway was cleared of snow and ice. 

When you're out and about, please be mindful of the omicron coronavirus spreading right now and respect local masking requirements/recommendations.

Have a great weekend! 
- SS 

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