Monday, November 20, 2023
HomeFamily Travel3 Superior Household Resorts for Snowboarding in Idaho

3 Superior Household Resorts for Snowboarding in Idaho

For some, snowboarding is all in regards to the mountain and terrain. However for me, a ski trip is in regards to the expertise. I wasn’t certain what to anticipate from snowboarding in Idaho once I headed out to discover three of the state’s ski areas in North Idaho.

Throughout my journey I visiting Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Lookout Move, and Silver Mountain Resort and discovered that every mountain has its personal distinct persona and cater to several types of skiers. If you’re trying to go snowboarding in Northern Idaho, let me break every one down with their professionals and cons so you’ll be able to determine which is the most effective match for your loved ones.

The brief model is:

  • Silver Mountain Resort: finest for households with expertise snowboarding that get pleasure from a wide range of on and off mountain actions reminiscent of snow tubing, snow shoeing, and indoor water park.
  • Schweitzer Mountain: greatest resort with path choices for all ranges, wonderful views, and nice facilities.
  • Lookout Move: superior affordability and no-frills snowboarding with wonderful terrain.

Snowboarding in Idaho: What to Anticipate

Skiing in Idaho at Silver Mountain

Notice: My journey was hosted by Ski Idaho and Silver Mountain Resort. I acquired complimentary ski tickets, leases, lodging, and meals. All opinions are my very own.

I visited Idaho as a part of a press journey with Ski Idaho (however all opinions are my very own.) Ski Idaho represents 18 totally different resorts, reminiscent of Solar Valley, Bogus Basin, Soldier Mountain, and others, overlaying 18,000 acres and 28,000 vertical toes. For functions of this journey, we have been targeted on the resorts in northern Idaho.

Ski Idaho additionally runs the thrilling fifth and sixth-grade passport program. For $29, fifth graders can ski 3 times in any respect 17 resorts and sixth graders can ski twice at 17 of the resorts. Fairly a deal!

The ski resorts in Idaho vary from the well-known Solar Valley to the smaller mom-and-pop sorts mountains like Lookout Move. There are steeps, timber, backcountry, cat snowboarding, newbie slopes, terrain parks, and every thing in between.

The distinction I discovered from my experiences snowboarding again east in locations is the welcome lack of crowds. Granted, I used to be snowboarding on Tuesday by Thursday, however not as soon as did I’ve to attend in a raise line. By no means did somebody whiz by me and throw me off my sport. I by no means had bother discovering a line down the path. And it was no drawback in any respect discovering a free desk within the lodge.

The individuals have been additionally so pleasant. I didn’t encounter any grumpy lifties. The individuals within the lodges have been completely satisfied to strike up a dialog. And the locals didn’t thoughts an excessive amount of clueing you in on a few of their favourite runs.

A few of the mountains have been even surprisingly reasonably priced. Even attending to Idaho wasn’t too laborious from the East Coast, only one cease in Seattle or Denver earlier than flying into Spokane. And Spokane has 17 direct flights from California and the Pacific Northwest.

So when you concentrate on a vacation spot ski trip, put Idaho in your radar.

Silver Mountain Resort

Silver Mountain resort gondola

At Silver Mountain, what stood out most for me was how superb the resort is for households. With snow tubing, snow shoeing, a three-mile lengthy gondola, beautifully-appointed village lodging, and an indoor water park that rivals the likes of the Nice Wolf Lodge, what extra are you able to ask for in a ski resort? To me the one disadvantage is that the terrain at Silver Mountain Resort is healthier suited to households that already ski than inexperienced persons, however extra on that later.

Silver Mountain Resort is barely about 30 miles from Coeur D’Alene and 70 miles from Spokane Airport. The resort is simply off Interstate 90 and really straightforward to seek out. Silver Mountain gives each ski and snowboarding over two mountain peaks and 1,600 skiable acres.

There’s a whole of two,200 vertical toes and 77 trails, the longest of which is 2.5 miles. Silver Mountain Resort will get over 300 toes of snow a 12 months and gives tree snowboarding, wide-open groomers, powder snow, and backcountry entry.

Whereas there’s a snow sports activities faculty and magic carpet newbie space, solely about 20 p.c of the paths are newbie. Silver Mountain is 40 p.c intermediate terrain, however a few of these intermediate trails have a reasonably good pitch so not nice for nervous intermediate skiers like me.

Silver Mountain bunny hill
Silver Mountain Bunny Hill

The opposite disadvantage to the newbie terrain at Silver Mountain is that to get again up the mountain, it’s worthwhile to use a reasonably slender cat monitor to recover from to Raise 5 or Raise 3 (since Raise 5 is usually closed throughout the week.) I discovered this path a bit terrifying as a result of regardless that it was a really gentle grade, there’s a steep drop off on one aspect that made me very nervous (and I’m not even terrified of heights.) I feel that is one factor I simply have to get used to when snowboarding in Idaho.

Because of this I feel that Silver Mountain is nice for households which might be skiers — not as a lot for pure inexperienced persons. The exception could be when you come to benefit from the different resort facilities.

Snow Tubing & Snow Shoeing at Silver Mountain Resort

Silver mountain Snow tubing

Silver Mountain gives 4 lanes of snow tubing on weekends and holidays. Tubing periods final for 2 hours however don’t fear, you gained’t tire your self out climbing again as much as the highest of the hill. The magic carpet will whisk riders and their tubes again as much as the highest for an additional enjoyable run.

Along with tubing, Silver gives a one mile out and again snowshoeing path. The path begins on the Mountain Home and traverses downhill by a winter wonderland of snow lined timber. While you attain the turnaround level, hike uphill to the Mountain Home, the place sizzling chocolate and heat meals is obtainable to buy. snowshoeing path by the woods. Entry to the path is free with a gondola ticket from the village to the bottom lodge and snowshoe leases can be found within the Silver Mountain Sports activities rental store.

On my final day of snowboarding, my toes have been actually hurting so after lunch, I traded out my skis for snowshoes and took to the path. They supply a path map (regardless that the path is pretty nicely marked) and an emergency contact quantity. You simply have to register with Ski Patrol earlier than you permit and once you get again in order that they’ll hold monitor of everybody on the paths.

Snowshoeing at Silver Mountain Resort

My trek by the woods was stunning and, whereas there have been some uphill elements, it wasn’t too difficult. I did work up a sweat however the hardest half was climbing again up the bunny hill on my return to the lodge.

Silver Mountain trees

The views have been undoubtedly well worth the work. Particularly once you get to a fantastic viewpoint overlooking the valley and slopes within the background.

Silver Rapids Water Park

Silver rapids water park

A significant spotlight of vacationing at Silver Mountain is unquestionably the Silver Rapids Water Park. The water park is barely open for company of the Morning Star Lodge within the Village. Admission wristbands are included in your keep.

After we visited mid-week, the water park was solely open from 4pm to 9pm, making it nice for aprés ski. I used to be actually shocked by how giant and what number of options Silver Rapids supplied.

Silver Rapids water park lazy river

There may be an in-park snack bar and two sizzling tubs, together with an upstairs lounge space and cabanas for hire. The non-adventurous can benefit from the North Fork lazy river, Miner’s Island with two physique slides, play areas, and an enormous tipping bucket.

Little ones will benefit from the Pollywog Pond with two kiddie slides and a bungee swing and the Cub Cove spray deck.

Journey seekers will get their thrills on the Moose Sluice household raft trip and two tube slides. Simply understand that these are fairly darkish at evening! You can provide the FlowRider a attempt to even take browsing classes.

Silver Rapids water park Flowrider

Children may even play basketball on the Hoop Lagoon or cross the lily pads at The Crossing.

Household Lodging on the Morning Star Lodge

Morning Star Lodge one bedroom suite living room and kitchen
Morning Star Lodge one bed room suite lounge and kitchen

Situated within the village, steps from the gondola, the Morning Star Lodge gives nice lodging choices for households. There are studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites which might be well-appointed and provide the facilities that households want like a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and double sinks within the lavatory with a deep soaking tub.

Every constructing additionally gives ski/bike storage, a sizzling tub, a enterprise heart, and loads of cozy public areas to hang around.

Morning Star Lodge one bedroom suite
Morning Star Lodge one bed room suite

I used to be actually impressed by the standard of the lodging. The one disadvantage was that the partitions between suites have been skinny (I may hear somebody clearing their throat subsequent door), so I’d be sure to maintain noise down, particularly throughout quiet hours. And when you have gentle sleepers, pack some ear plugs.

The Village

Silver Mountain Resort village

With a location proper off the freeway, at first look, Silver Mountain feels extra suburban than resort city. The benefit is that you may simply get to native eateries like Hill Road Depot.

After all, there are eating choices proper within the Village, together with Noah’s Canteen and Mountain Cafe. I used to be additionally impressed with the desk service choice at Mogul’s Lounge on the Mountain Home on the mountain. The meals was surprisingly good and recent for an on-mountain lodge.

Mogul's Pub Poutine
Poutine at Mogul’s Lounge

Whereas there are different lodging choices round, the comfort of staying on the Morning Star Lodge within the Village can’t be beat.

The one method to ski Silver Mountain Resort is to take North America’s longest gondola trip to the bottom lodge up the mountain. The three-mile, 20-minute trip saves you from driving up a twisting mountain street and gives up some fairly views alongside the way in which.

Silver Throughout the Summer season

Enjoyable at Silver Mountain doesn’t finish in the summertime. Silver gives the most effective lift-served mountain biking within the Pacific Northwest. There are over 35 trails, two lifts, and loads of new mountain bikes to hire.

Along with mountain biking, households can get pleasure from mountaineering, disc golf, mountain prime barbecues, huckleberry selecting, wildlife viewing, and scenic gondola and chairlift rides.

If mountain biking isn’t your factor, it’s also possible to trip the Path of the Coeur d’Alenes, a 72-mile paved path with a trailhead within the Silver Mountain parking zone.

I’ve additionally heard nice issues in regards to the Galena Ridge golf course from my {golfing} buddy. And close by you’ll be able to have interaction in fishing, rafting, four-wheeling, tubing, scenic drives, and hikes.

Silver Mountain has every thing households are in search of in a four-season resort. See extra choices for the finest household ski resorts within the U.S.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Schweitzer ski resort

When you concentrate on massive ski resorts, what involves thoughts? Giant crowds? Lengthy raise traces? Once I heard that Schweitzer Mountain Resort is the most important ski space by acreage in Idaho, that is what I anticipated. However I used to be improper. It was really very approachable and cozy.

Of the three resorts that I visited, I’ve to confess that Schweitzer Mountain Resort was my general favourite. The mix of individuals, trails, facilities, and the close by city is simply what I search for in a ski vacation spot. And the shortage of crowds didn’t harm both.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort is positioned in North Idaho, about two hours from the Spokane Worldwide Airport. I used to be really fairly shocked to be taught that I’m not the one one from New England to ski Schweitzer. They really get a great crowd from the Boston space.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort view

Altogether, Schweitzer has 2,900 acres of skiable terrain and greater than 1,200 acres are tree snowboarding. The summit is at 6,400 toes and gives beautiful views of Lake Pend Oreille. Really, one of many good issues about Schweitzer is that you simply get these fairly views even from the highest of the newbie hill, so that you don’t should be an knowledgeable to expertise the great thing about the world.

The one powerful factor in regards to the location is that you simply do have to make your manner as much as the village, which is at 4,700 toes, and is reached by a winding mountain street that may get fairly slippy when it snows. It’s good to have pretty quick access although to the city of Sandpoint on the lake in case you are prepared to make the drive.

Sandpoint is a cute mountain city with boutiques, eating places, espresso outlets, a few native breweries, and even a vineyard. And due to the lake, the city is definitely busier in the summertime than the winter so the companies can actually flourish with year-round guests.

Snowboarding at Schweitzer

Schweitzer Mountain resort trees

Schweitzer gives 9 lifts overlaying two open bowls and 92 designated runs. There may be every thing from an old school T-bar, to comfy and quick doubles, triples, quads, and even a 6-pack.

Whereas solely 10 p.c of the mountain is newbie, 40 p.c is intermediate and that gave me loads of terrain to discover. I wasn’t going close to the 35 p.c that was superior and 15 p.c which might be knowledgeable. Ski Journal voted Schweitzer “The Finest Saved Secret in North America”.

Schweitzer ski lifts

Because it was my first cease in Idaho, and my first time snowboarding within the West, I knew it could take a little bit getting used to the variations in snow and elevation. I began off within the newbie space, which you really ski down from the village and are available again up on the Musical Chairs raise. It was a pleasant straightforward path to get my ski legs again and benefit from the view. After a couple of runs, I used to be feeling ok to bypass a lesson and actually hit the mountain.

Tamara Gruber We3Travel

One factor that I actually get pleasure from a few ski resort is when there are mid-mountain choices for inexperienced and blue terrain so I don’t have to go all the way in which to the highest till I really feel comfy. That was the case at Schweitzer so I spent the morning snowboarding the entrance Schweitzer Bowl. Every thing felt very approachable, not complicated or intimidating, and that actually helped put me relaxed.

Schweitzer Sky House lodge

As laborious as it’s to get out of my consolation zone, I did head as much as the Sky Home on the summit to fulfill my group for lunch. I’m glad I did as a result of the views have been much more breathtaking from the very prime and the snow ghost timber have been eerily stunning.

The Sky Home is a good place to heat up and have a meal and beverage. I used to be impressed with the views, decor, ambiance, and the menu picks, which ranged from noodle soup to a chimichurri hen sandwich or racelette potatoes.

Sky House noodle bowl
Sky House inside

Getting down was a little bit more durable. Fortunately the connecting trails at Schweitzer weren’t almost as slender because the cat tracks that terrified me on the opposite mountains. I psyched myself out on one steep part and blew my confidence, then it’s all down hill from there (actually.)

Fortunately I used to be in a position to take my time and make it by. Total, I used to be fairly proud of how I did given it was my first time again on skis in over a 12 months, and on a brand new mountain, totally different snow, with fellow skiers that have been only a wee bit intimidating to me.

Schweitzer view from summit

Given how a lot the opposite skiers in my group additionally loved Schweitzer, I really feel comfy recommending it to all talent ranges.


Schweitzer village

Whereas Schweitzer isn’t a sprawling mountain resort, there are nonetheless loads of choices for meals and lodging each down within the city of Sandpoint, and within the village. We stayed within the Selkirk Lodge, proper on the base of the mountain within the village.

It isn’t fancy, and has the texture of a ski in/ski out resort, nevertheless it was comfy, cute, and really handy! The room sorts fluctuate and have choices for households, singles, {couples}, and teams. My double-queen room was fairly giant with a little bit of an odd form and loo configuration (sink and vainness on one aspect of the door to the room and a separate lavatory with bathroom and tub on the opposite aspect.)

Selkirk Lodge room

The lodge has all of the facilities you possibly can need although. A heated outside pool and two sizzling tubs in a Nordic Spa-like setting with views of the mountain, eating on the Chimney Rock Grill or Mojo Coyote Cafe, a exercise room, a altering room with a bathe for refreshing after snowboarding when you have already checked out, and even a mini-movie theater.

Selkirk Lodge pool

There are additionally different lodging choices within the village together with condos at White Pine Lodge and Pink Cricket condos, in addition to privately-owned mountain properties that you could find on VRBO.

There are definitely loads of household actions at Schweitzer Mountain Resort too. There may be snow tubing on Friday nights and weekends, village campfires, stay music, special day fireworks, child’s crafts and actions, and even three films day by day within the Selkirk Theater.

For adults that wish to unwind, there’s a spa, wine tasting occasions, yoga, and “wind down Wednesdays” with free appetizers and stay music from 4-10 pm.

Lakeview Lodge

Lake View Lodge is an alternative choice for those who wish to get pleasure from a brown bag lunch or benefit from the meals courtroom. Upstairs, you’ll be able to strive a neighborhood beer at Faucets Lounge. Altogether, there are twelve meals and beverage choices on the mountain, simply make sure to test what’s open when.

Lookout Move

Lookout Pass ski area

If the bar in Cheers was a ski mountain, that mountain could be Lookout Move. Full of colourful characters, it’s a spot for locals to frequent and guests to look at and revel in. Situated on the border of North Idaho and Montana at Exit 0 on Interstate 90, Lookout Move ski space provides you that uncommon alternative to ski in two totally different states (and two totally different time zones) in at some point.

Whereas Lookout Move is probably not well-known outdoors of the North Idaho area, I assumed it packed a great punch, making it an pleasurable day journey even for guests spending time on the different resorts within the space. First up, Lookout Move is understood for getting essentially the most snow of any ski resort in Idaho. With that quantity of snowfall within the space, it’s no surprise if it’s the second oldest ski resort in Idaho.

Lookout Pass Tamarack trail

Subsequent, snowboarding at Lookout Move is shockingly reasonably priced. Raise tickets vary from $55 midweek to $73 on holidays for adults. After all it’s even cheaper for youths, particularly these benefiting from the Ski Idaho Passport.

Snowboarding at LookOut Move

Lookout Pass Tamarack trail

If you’re in search of tremendous difficult terrain, you could be higher off at one other mountain. Nonetheless, since I’m an “superior newbie” to intermediate skier, I discovered Lookout Move proper up my alley. After all, 30 p.c of the mountain is rated black diamond or double black diamond and there are many glades and locations to scout out powder stashes (simply observe a kind of locals who know the place to go.)

However the knowledgeable skiers I used to be with discovered the mountain a little bit mellow. Once more, mellow makes me completely satisfied.  As a result of then I can ski comfortably and confidently and really work on my method as an alternative of focusing my psychological vitality simply on staying in management.

Lookout Pass ski trails

As a sophisticated newbie, I loved the terrain on the Montana aspect a bit extra. Tamarack and Rainbow Ridge have been good straightforward blue trails the place I may let go and revel in myself with out stress. Particularly since, when snowboarding midweek, I actually had these trails to myself and didn’t want to fret about individuals whizzing by me and throwing me off my sport.

Slicing again over to the Idaho aspect on Quicksilver gave me some coronary heart palpitations because it was a slender cat monitor with a steep drop off on one unguarded aspect. There are additionally undoubtedly some more difficult blues and blacks for these with a bit extra talent and daredevil angle. However for me, I’d be completely satisfied snowboarding Tamarack all day lengthy.

Lookout Pass ski lodge

Navigating the time zones will be tough. If you happen to plan a time to fulfill the remainder of your celebration, be sure to specify when you imply Mountain or Pacific, and know which aspect of the mountain you might be on once you have a look at your cellphone as it is going to robotically change between the 2. Fortunately the lodge gives clocks in each time zones to assist hold it straight.


Route of the Hiawatha

Snowboarding doesn’t finish at Lookout Move till the top of April, however in the summertime the resort serves on the gateway for the Experience the Hiawatha Path. Experience the Hiawatha is the crown jewel of America’s rails-to-trails venture.

This all downhill path is 15 miles a technique, with a return shuttle to Lookout Move. Riders cease at Lookout Move to select up path tickets, in addition to hire bikes, helmets, lights, and even trailers or tagalongs for youthful children.

The mild 1.6% grade is ideal for households that don’t wish to wrestle with hills, but additionally aren’t in search of the joys of mountain biking.

The Hiawatha path travels alongside Loop Creek Canyon throughout the Bitterroot Mountains. Alongside the trail, riders will go over 7 sky-high trestles and thru 10 tunnels — so maybe not the most effective for these with a powerful concern of heights or of the darkish. There’s no lighting within the tunnels (besides that literal “gentle on the finish of the tunnel”), so headlamps are required and are to be saved pointed on the floor to gentle the trail.

The trail makes use of the deserted Milwaukee Railroad grade between the historic previous city web site of Taft, Montana and the North Fork of the St. Joe River close to Avery, Idaho. It has been known as one of the vital scenic stretches of railroad within the nation.

WHERE TO STAY Close to Lookout Move

Wallace Idaho downtown

The most effective place to remain close to Lookout Move is the close by city of Wallace, Idaho. This quirky however quaint little city is about 20-minutes (all Interstate) from Lookout Move. Since this area has produced 25 p.c of the world’s silver provide, it has a colourful historical past as a mining city.

Apparently to maintain the miners completely satisfied, the federal government regarded the opposite manner on many minor infractions to the purpose that bordellos and playing have been a going concern till 1988 (yup, that’s not a typo!)  These have earned Wallace the nickname of Lawless Wallace.

Right this moment you’ll be able to take a mine tour, go to the bordello museum (now there’s one for the bucket checklist), or take your image on the Middle of the Universe. They’ve declared that since it may well’t be confirmed improper, Wallace, Idaho is the Middle of the Universe and there’s a manhole cowl commemorating this honor.

Wallace Center of the universe

The city heart is a quaint, misplaced in time form of place, however it’s also possible to discover all kinds of eating places and brew pubs, together with the Metropolis Limits Brew Pub, which provides Lookout’s residence brew, the Loft Honey.

You gained’t discover higher hospitality than on the Wallace Inn. Situated simply off the freeway and walkable to the middle of city, the Wallace Inn gives an on-site cafe, plus an indoor pool and sizzling tub for a put up ski or using soak. Run by the self-appointed Prime Minister of Wallace (I advised you it was quirky, proper?), the Wallace Inn additionally gives shuttle service to and from the Hiawatha path and a few nice ski-and-stay packages.

Wallace Inn pool

If you’re heading to North Idaho for snowboarding or biking, be sure to add Lookout Move to your plans. Even when you cut up your time between Schweitzer Mountain Resort or Silver Mountain Resort, plan a day at Lookout to get pleasure from all that recent snow and the mother and pop, old-timey vibe. And hold your eyes peeled for  Cramer, he’s a neighborhood legend.

Newest posts by Tamara Gruber (see all)

Discover this handy? Share it!

Supply hyperlink



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments