While most people know Idaho for its potatoes, it is also home to a myriad of ski resorts. Idaho’s state capital, Boise, rests on the west side of the state near the Oregon border, but that hasn’t stopped the Gem State from creating their skiing haven!
This is a list of the best ski resorts within 3 hours of Boise. Many of these locations are within a few hours, while others are situated a little further east in the state.
Since Idaho isn’t the first destination that comes to mind for avid skiers, planning a winter trip to Boise might be the perfect option for a vacation without large crowds. Plus Idaho has hot springs, more than a hundred of them!
Below are the closest ski resorts near Boise, Idaho, in order of driving proximity.
Bogus Basin – Boise: 19 miles | 45 min
The Bogus Basin Ski Resort is truly a local favorite for Boise residents. It’s the type of place that many locals visit for a quick half-day of hitting the slopes.
It is also one of the few ski resorts in the country that operates as a 100% non-profit, putting all of the money they make back into the equipment and property. In addition to being a ski resort, it’s also a place where education and year-round outdoor activities take place for kids native to the area.
Bogus Basin’s base elevation is 5,800 feet, and the summit peaks at 7,582 feet, giving it a vertical drop of 1,800 feet. There are 2,600 skiable acres at Bogus Basin, 175 of which are groomed for night skiing. Of the 82 runs, about half of them are rated as intermediate, while a majority of the rest are for advanced and expert riders. Don’t worry, there are a few beginner slopes for newbies.
There are both Alpine and Nordic ski lessons available on the mountain, as well as any equipment a visitor would need at affordable rates. There are 11 lifts in total capable of bringing about 9,980 people up the mountain per hour, so even the most crowded day shouldn’t have much of a wait.
Additionally, the Pioneer Condominiums is a nearby, year-round lodging option within walking distance of the ski resort.
2600 N Bogus Basin Rd, Boise, ID 83702 (Map) | (208) 332-5100
Tamarack Resort – Tamarack: 95 miles | 2.5 hours
About two and a half hours north of Boise, Tamarack Resort is a place that most would identify as a true “ski resort.” The resort is attractive to out of state tourists as a spot to stay and have a lengthy ski vacation. Tamarack Resort has an annual snowfall of 300 inches, giving plenty of fresh powder to its 1,100 acres of terrain.
The slopes are situated towards the east side of the mountain, allowing guests to get the most snow action without much wind interference. The base elevation starts at 4,900 feet, and the summit is 7,700 feet high, making this resort home to a chilling 2,800 vertical drop. The majority of the 48 runs are rated as advanced and intermediate with six lifts bringing skiers to the beginner trails.
Tamarack Resort offers private ski lessons for both adults and children, and they do have ski and snowboard rentals available onsite. This four-season mountain resort is open all year long, but it is a refreshing getaway fit for the whole family during the winter. The accommodations on-site range from comfortable hotel rooms to luxury townhomes and cabins.
311 Village Dr, Tamarack, ID 83615 (Map) | (208) 325-1000
Little Ski Hill – McCall: 110 miles | 2.5 hours
For an intimate and charming ski experience, visit the local favorite, Little Ski Hill at Payette Lakes Ski Club in central Idaho. Built in 1937, and initially intended for forest workers, this site has served many within the community including former Olympian and World Cup alpine skier Patty Boydstun.
Little Ski Hill’s modest 50-acre resort has six ski runs and one T-bar lift, making this one of the smallest places in the state to get enjoy a day, or evening, on the slopes. While it is known to be more of a site for people with young families, it’s old fashioned vibes make it a popular place for parties of any age.
The base elevation at Little Ski Hill is 5,195 feet, and it has a summit elevation of 5,600 feet, providing a short but sweet vertical drop of 405 feet. Ski lessons are available at this resort and a terrain park, and a few miles of cross-country paths. It’s also important to note that Little Ski Hill is closed on Mondays during the open season but is open during the rest of the week.
3635 ID-55, McCall, ID 83638 (Map) | (208) 634-5691
Soldier Mountain – Fairfield: 112 miles | 2 hours
Soldier Mountain Ski Resort is another one of Idaho’s family-centric, local treasures with an exciting history. Two friends founded it in 1947 after being inspired by some nearby Olympic tryouts in Sun Valley. In the 1990s, movie star Bruce Willis bought the property and owned it until he donated it in 2012.
Today, it is held and operated by a group of investment skiers, snowboarders, and outdoor enthusiasts who dream of developing it further in the future. Soldier Mountain has a reputation for having affordable prices, making it a comfortable place to budget a visit.
There are 36 runs on Soldier Mountain’s 1,142 acres of skiable terrain, half of which are intermediate trails. This resort has a decent vertical drop of 1,400 feet, with a base elevation of 5,800 feet and a peak elevation of 7,200 feet. Guests to Soldier Mountain Ski Resort enjoy the ski village’s quaint atmosphere, where you can also rent your equipment and book ski lessons.
1043 North, Soldier Creek Rd, Fairfield, ID 83327 (Map) | (208) 764-2526
Brundage Mountain – McCall: 116 miles | 2.5 hours
Less than three hours away from Boise, Brundage Mountain Ski Resort boasts some of the most premium, wide manicured runs, snow-filled glades, and “the best snow in Idaho.”
Brundage Mountain Ski Resort has 1,920 acres of skiable terrain that include 52 runs and six lifts. Half of their trails are considered to be for those with intermediate skills, with a large portion being rated advanced to expert. The base elevation is 5,840 feet with a summit height of 7,640 feet and a vertical drop of 1,800 feet.
There are ski programs for adults and children as well as a daycare center for youngsters who aren’t old enough to hit the slopes.
Brundage Mountain is one of the best ski areas around, offering snowmobiling tours, snow tubing, four delectable restaurants, and five terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders. There are also lifts going up to their 19,000 acres backcountry and guided SnowCat Adventure tours for those who live life on the edge.
Brundage Mountain has four eateries, including the resort’s “indoor food truck,” Smokey’s Bar & Grill. Equipment is available to rent or purchase, while accommodations are off-site as little as eight miles away in town. Additionally, a hotel is located in New Meadows, which is ten miles from the resort’s base.
3890 Goose Lake Rd, McCall, ID 83638 (Map) | (208) 634-4151
Rotarun Ski Area – Hailey: 144 miles | 2.5 hours
Affectionately known by locals as “the little mountain with the big heart,” Rotarun Ski Area is a small, non-profit alpine skiing resort that has been open since 1948.
Rotarun Ski Area’s one lift takes guests from a base elevation of 5,420 feet to a summit height of 5,895 feet, giving this modest resort a vertical drop of 475 feet. The only downhill runs are designed for alpine skiing on their 15-acre property, so this is not a choice for hardcore skiers. However, travelers looking for a relaxed, easy day with the family on a sizeable, treeless hill won’t find a better or cheaper option.
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation operating the site offers budget-friendly rates as well as low-fee, or free, skiing lessons to local kids ages 5-11. Rotarun Ski Area labels itself as family-friendly and is open on Wednesdays, Fridays, Weekends for both day and night skiing.
25 Rodeo Dr, Hailey, ID 83333 (Map) | : (208) 788-6204
Sun Valley Ski – Sun Valley: 154 miles | 2.75 hours
Rated as one of the world’s best resorts by Forbes magazine, Sun Valley Ski Resort is about three hours away from the state’s capital and prides itself on being a perfect winter vacation destination. The resort opened in 1936, and soon after, became the first ski area in the world with a chair lift, which completely revolutionized the sport.
These days, Sun Valley is still a place full of the hustle and bustle, bringing in thousands of visitors each year. Staying on the property is a luxury alone, as it marries the best parts of European culture with western American life.
Sun Valley Ski Resort is made up of two mountains, Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. Dollar Mountain is the one geared for less experienced skiers and terrain park enthusiasts, while Bald Mountain is more for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders.
There are 2,054 skiable acres at Sun Valley, with a base elevation of 5,750 feet, a summit elevation of 9,150 feet, and a vertical drop of 3,400 feet. There are 120 runs, 42% of which are rated intermediate, with a majority of the rest being for beginners. There is a good amount of advanced and expert runs as well.
With 18 total lifts and snowmaking capability for 645 acres, there’s always a lot going on at this resort during the winter. The resort is less like a ski village and more like a big town inside one resort with comfortable accommodations, dining options, shopping, and dining options.
1 Sun Valley Rd, Sun Valley, ID 83353 (Map) | (800) 786-8259
Magic Mountain – Kimberly: 160 miles | 2.75 hours
Many locals consider Magic Mountain to be “Idaho’s Best Kept Secret,” as it’s a neat little ski area that is perfect for a day hitting the slopes. The scenery at Magic Mountain has been referred to as a winter wonderland, combining layers of fresh powder amongst the steep, tight runs nestled in the trees.
One of the reasons this resort is so popular is because of its affordable and competitive rates for passes and tickets. Additionally, individual and group lessons are also provided for anyone who’s just getting introduced to skiing or snowboarding.
The base elevation of Magic Mountain is 6,500 feet, and it peaks at 7,240 feet, giving this resort a vertical drop of 740 feet. Three lifts service the resort, and the slopes typically see about 240 inches of snowfall each year.
While there are only 120 acres of skiable area, Magic Mountain promises that its 11 runs will pack in enough excitement to keep visitors returning. It is one of the few resorts where expert level runs take the majority, claiming one-third of all the trails available. The rest of the runs are evenly split between beginner, intermediate, and advanced slopes.
Magic Mountain offers top of the line equipment rentals for affordable prices. While there are no accommodations directly affiliated with the resort, there are a few lodges and motels less than a mile away that is highly rated. Another critical piece of information about this resort is they are typically only open Thursday through Sunday, but you can call to confirm.
Forest Rd 499, Kimberly, ID 83341 (Map) | (208) 736-7669
From Boise, Idaho, those are the closest 8 ski areas you can reach. Safe travels on wintery roads of the Gem State!