Thursday, December 21, 2023

A few ideas for Christmas-New Year's break in SW Idaho - skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and hot springs!

The scene at the top of Deer Point Chair on Thursday afternoon in the sunshine. 

Hi all, 

Mother Nature has been quite stingy when it comes to delivering the snow so far this year. Ullr the Norwegian snow god may very well still be in a deep sleep!

So that makes it a little more difficult to find things to do this Christmas-New Years holiday break. Here are a few outdoorsy ideas that I've been thinking about:

  • Downhill skiing at Bogus Basin, Brundage, Sun Valley or Tamarack. All four resorts are open 7 days a week. Check on the latest conditions and see what runs and lifts are open to make your choices. 2-3" of new snow are forecast on Friday PM/Saturday. Sunny skies are forecast on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 
    • I skied the front side of Bogus on Thursday, and Ridge and Showcase seemed to have the most continuous snowpack thanks to snow-making and north-facing slopes. Bogus may reopen the backside this weekend. Warm temperatures above the inversion are making things challenging. It was 44 degrees up there today. Felt nice! 

    • Sun Valley just opened the Warm Springs side of the mountain with top-to-bottom skiing. The River Run side of the mountain was open to start off the season. 
      People skiing on lower Warm Springs when the new lifts opened
       on Wednesday. (Courtesy Sun Valley)  

    • Brundage is waiting for more snow before opening the new Centennial quad chairlift, but it's operating 7 days a week with the Bluebird Express, Bear Chair and bunny hill. 
    • Tamarack is running the Summit chair for 1,000 verts on the upper story of the mountain and the Discovery beginner chair.     
  • Go find your own hiking adventure on snowshoes, snow boots or hiking shoes and trax for gripping in the ice. Head for a mountain pass where you can find access to your own adventure. I saw that Mores Creek Summit has a snow depth of 17 inches as of today, 2 less than several days ago. It's been warm up there too ... 44 degrees today. I've seen people hiking Mt. Cervidae over by Lucky Peak (go early when the trail is frozen)  
  • All-weather trails on Ridge to Rivers trails or my expanded list of all-weather trails in the region. My list includes Bruneau Dunes State Park and Eagle Island State Park trails. 
    Gold Fork Hot Springs on a quiet day. 

  • Go soaking in a hot springs ... Gold Fork is accessible by vehicle (vax cards are required), you need a snowmobile to reach Burgdorf (rentals can be arranged in McCall), and there are others to consider such as Zims near New Meadows, Miracle Hot Springs near Hagerman, Mundo Hot Springs near Cambridge and the Springs in Idaho City. Reservations are required for many of these developed hot springs. And then there are other primitive springs such as Kirkham and Bonneville and others in the Boise National Forest. 
There you have it! Hope everyone has a marvelous Christmas holiday! Here comes 2024! 
- SS  

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