While you may want to escape the cold weather and head to the tropics come winter, there are plenty of destinations worth experiencing in the snow. One such vacation hot spot is Idaho, home to a wide range of outdoor, snow-centric activities. With multiple locations for skiing and snowboarding and some truly unique attractions, you’re bound to find plenty to love in the Gem State. With plenty of outdoor recreation options for all interests and experience levels, here are the five best Idaho destinations for you to check out this winter.
Take a Trip to Sun Valley
One of Idaho’s most popular ski destinations, Sun Valley is a city in Idaho featuring two different resort areas. For experienced skiers looking for an adventure, Bald Mountain is a great option. However, if you prefer less steep slopes or are just beginning to ski, a trip to Sun Valley Dollar Mountain is the perfect fit. Beyond skiing, Sun Valley also offers other attractions, like the Hemingway Memorial, which honors author Ernest Hemingway who had several unique connections to the state. You can also take in art, wine, and more at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, which offers a variety of events that draw thousands annually. If all this feels overwhelming, don’t worry: Sun Valley Resort has its own app. Make sure your smartphone is updated so that it can handle the app and to take beautiful pics. You can make sure your phone is in shape at one of the several AT&T Stores in Idaho—it’s worth the time to make the stop.
Unwind at Burgdorf Hot Springs
North of the city of McCall, Idaho, Burgdorf Hot Springs is the perfect place for you to unwind this winter. Accessible by snowmobiles during the winter seasons, you can visit these natural, mineral hot springs as part of a day pass or as an overnight guest in one of the resort’s rustic cabins. A large swimming pool is heated to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with two smaller pools averaging higher at 113 degrees. Each cabin’s simple accommodations, combined with the rejuvenating hot springs, allow you to fully appreciate Idaho’s natural splendor.
Share the Winter with Your Whole Family at Bogus Basin
Located in Boise County, Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area offers plenty of winter recreation for your whole family. With 66 separate trails, activities include alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and even winter tubing. Snowshoeing and tubing are perfect for families without as much experience skiing. Plus, Bogus Basin is a non-profit organization and has always operated as such, meaning that the money you spend on equipment rentals, food, and drinks go directly back to maintaining the facilities and making the resort more accessible to students and schools.
Experience McCall’s Winter Carnival
Dating back to the 1960s, and inspired by a series of winter games held in the 1920s, the city of McCall’s annual winter carnival is an experience you have to see to believe. Celebrating winter in all its various shapes and forms, the carnival offers plenty for attendees of all ages. If you’re a fan of live performance, you’re sure to enjoy music and comedy across the festival’s nine-day schedule. Plus, you’re bound to be impressed by the carnival’s famous snow sculptures which are featured as part of the Idaho State Snow Sculpting Competition, a highlight of the week.
Ski Big at Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Idaho’s largest ski resort, Schweitzer Mountain Resort is a must-experience if you’re interested in skiing or snowboarding. Located in Sandpoint, ID, and spanning a staggering 2,900 acres, Schweitzer has a total of 92 runs, with terrain spanning all skill levels. You’ll find plenty to enjoy besides the slopes at Schweitzer, too, from food, coffee, and beer to a relaxing massage at the Solstice Spa. With two separate lodges available to stay in, it’s easy for you to make Schweitzer a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation.
Idaho is the perfect destination for a winter vacation, especially if you’re into recreational snow activities. Check out any of the above pastimes and you are bound to have a great time, snow and all.
Photo by REVOLT