Besides skiing and snowboarding in all its glorious forms - backcountry, cross-country, downhill, you name it, Idaho’s mountains offer more surprises than the ordinary winter adventure. From relaxing in a cozy yurt to flying down the slopes, whether you are in search of a great family getaway or couples retreat, Idaho has something for everyone. Here are some fresh ideas to enjoy a snow-filled day.
Hello Rudolph. Fulfill every child’s Christmas wish to take part in a real sleigh ride pulled by a team of horses (no reindeer, sorry). Grab your loved ones, snuggle deep into the warm blankets and enjoy the picturesque scenery of a real life winter wonderland. Some tours even offer a real cowboy dinner after the ride.
Idaho has over 7,200 miles of snowmobile trails in 29 grooming programs located throughout the state. An off-road winter ATV, rev your engine combing Idaho’s backcountry or marked terrain. Whether you want groomed snow and paved routes or to venture out on your own, the snow is better here. The season stretches from November to April so there’s plenty of time to take it all in. Gas, food and lodging are always close by and many resorts and guest ranches welcome snowmobilers. Check out Sled the Rockies for more information.
Backwoods, anyone? Yurts are round, watertight semi-permanent tents that originated in central Asia. You’ll be amazed by the high-tech materials and resistance to extreme weather that allows you to camp in even the most severe of conditions. Ideally located surrounded by pristine snow and phenomenal ski or snoeshoe terrain, each hut is a little different in structure. Outfitted with a variety of wood stoves for heat, propane stoves for cooking, kitchens, bunks, games and entertainment, some even have saunas or hot tubs which make for a great group getaway.
Idaho has over 130 geothermal pools to soothe your wind-chapped skin, reportedly the highest density of any state. With a variety of accommodations, some of these special nature sites offer hydro-massages, spas, water slides and mineral pools for a perfect body cleanse.
With a plethora of both indoor and outdoor rinks, Idaho offers fun on the ice year-round. Take a skating lesson or pass around the hockey puck in a variety of classes. Equipment rental is available if you don’t have your own skates or gear.
Not just for the youngsters, a lot of Idaho’s adventure destinations offer hills of every size for the kid in all of us. Want a wild ride? The Idaho X-Sports Tubing Hill is the most elaborately designed tubing hill in the Northwest, with six 900 foot long lanes to keep the fun coming with different run levels from mild to extreme.
Always wanted to ski the pristine back country? A snowcat is an enclosed truck size cab designed to move on a rubber, aluminum or steel track. Typically used to groom the resort runs, a few areas also offer rides to spectacular off-trail runs on these beastly bad boys. Check out Brundage Mountain, Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Selkirk Powder Company or Soldier Mountain Ski Resort for the thrill of a lifetime.