Idaho ski areas offer fair-weather adventures like lift-served mountain biking

Ski Idaho this summer

Idaho ski areas offer fair-weather adventures like lift-served mountain biking

BOISE, Idaho (May 24, 2023) — Eleven Idaho ski areas offer summertime mountain biking, eight of the operations are lift-served all season, many are debuting new trails this season, and three destinations — the Route of the Hiawatha, Silver Mountain Resort, and Soldier Mountain — are opening their bike trails Memorial Day weekend.

The lifts will start turning at Brundage Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee Resort, Tamarack Resort, and Schweitzer June 16. Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area will kick off its summer season June 23, the same date the lifts start turning at Sun Valley resort for hiking and Roundhouse dining. Lift-served mountain biking at Sun Valley begins July 1, which is also when Pomerelle Mountain Resort opens to mountain biking, although riders must earn their turns at the later destination and pedal uphill under their own power except for two weekends. Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area has not announced an opening date, but it will not offer lift-served mountain biking this summer. And Kelly Canyon Resort, which typically offers lift-served mountain biking and other activities, will be closed this summer to focus on a series of repairs and upgrades.

Highlights this summer include a new three-story Aerial Adventure Course at Bogus Basin, a new mountain-biking school at Brundage Mountain Resort and a new trail connecting its network to Bear Basin, an additional 5 miles of trails and more self-loading chairlift bike trays at Tamarack, a weeklong Fourth of July celebration at Sun Valley, an MTB skills clinic at Pomerelle this fall, and Grand Targhee’s new Wildflower Race 10K and half-marathon trail runs July 8.

Although Pebble Creek does not offer mountain biking, it will host the 60th anniversary of its wildflower and music festivals towards the end of June.



The Route of the Hiawatha, which Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area operates under a special-use permit from the U.S. Forest Service, opens May 26. Considered the crown jewel of the nation’s rails-to-trails initiative, the family friendly bike trail celebrated its 25th anniversary last summer and will operate seven days a week through Sept. 17.

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Image courtesy of Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho

Close to the historic town of Wallace, the 15-mile Route of the Hiawatha’s gentle 1.6-percent to 2-percent, all-downhill ride straddles the Idaho-Montana state line, delves 10 tunnels, crosses seven sky-high train trestles, and has a shuttle service back to the top. Attracting just under 70,000 riders each summer, the Route of the Hiawatha is by far the most popular ski area bike trail in the country.

Full-moon night rides are planned for June 3, July 3, Aug. 1, and Aug. 30 by reservation only. In fact, the Route of the Hiawatha strongly encourages guests to make reservations for the day they want to ride — especially when renting equipment.

Meanwhile, Lookout Pass will offer scenic chairlift rides up and down the mountain, but the ski area will not offer lift-served mountain biking this summer. Its five family friendly woodland hiking trails and the mountain summit nine-hole frisbee golf course will remain open, and guests can pick huckleberries later in the season.

Lookout Pass will operate Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays through Labor Day, Sept. 4, but the ski area has not announced an opening date yet.

Visit and for more details.

In nearby Kellogg, Silver Mountain Resort will begin summer weekend operations — which include mountain biking and scenic rides on North America’s longest gondola — May 27-29. Daily operations commence June 16 and run through Labor Day, Sept. 4. At that point weekend operations will continue through Oct. 1.

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Image courtesy of Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho

Voted Best in the Northwest for four consecutive years in the Riders’ Choice Awards, Silver Mountain Bike Park sports nearly 40 singletrack trails that span 3,300 vertical feet. Readers of The Pacific Northwest Inlander just voted Silver Mountain the no. 1 place to mountain bike in its Best Of 2023 poll.

Silver Mountain has made some major improvements to its newest jump trail, “Ghost Pepper,” which debuted last summer. The black diamond jump trail has a variety of machine-built and hand-groomed jumps that cater to more-experienced riders. The bike trail maintenance team is constantly making small improvements to trails, including reroutes and new berms.

The resort also operates the state’s largest indoor waterpark, Silver Rapids, which opens for weekends over the Memorial Day holiday and begins daily operations June 17. Access to the waterpark is included in every lodging stay, plus a limited number of day tickets are available on the Silver Mountain website for those looking to enjoy the park for the day.

Activities at Silver Mountain include trail hiking and running, and the resort’s exquisite nine-hole Galena Ridge Golf Course is tucked away in the mountains of the Silver Valley. Plus, its e-bike rental fleet allows guests to more easily explore sections of the nearby Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.

As usual, Silver Mountain’s calendar is jam-packed with events this summer, including the North American Enduro Cup June 16-18 boasting a pro prize purse of $12,000, and the Silver Kings Hard Enduro, one of the premier hard enduro motorcycle races in the country, June 23-24. New this summer at the latter race: The resort will close Bunker Ave. in Kellogg for a straight rhythm race on Friday night similar to downtown Nashville’s Tennessee Knockout Race.

The resort will stage its Ride & Dine Series, a weekly BBQ and live music event at the top of the mountain presented by Spokane Teachers Credit Union, every Friday night from June 30-Sept. 1. The Shootout at Silver Mountain, a 3D archery shoot, returns July 8-9. Other events include Fourth of July fireworks, the Northwest Cup downhill mountain bike race Aug. 4-6, and its annual Brewsfest Aug. 12 featuring more than 20 breweries, two live bands, and food trucks atop the mountain.

Visit for more details.

Summer at Schweitzer near Sandpoint runs June 16-Sept. 4 this year, with details about daily operations and highlights yet to be announced.

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Image courtesy of Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho

The resort maintains more than 40 miles of mountain bike trails and offers a 2-hour hosted e-bike tour daily.

Schweitzer’s summer visitors also can play disc golf on its nine-hole summit course and enjoy scenic chairlift rides on the Great Escape Quad to the summit. Both serve up breathtaking views of Lake Pend Oreille and the Selkirk and Cabinet mountain ranges.

Other summer activities include hiking and trail running, geocaching, bungee trampolines, a 25-foot climbing wall, gold panning, huckleberry picking, and horseback riding.

Community Day is scheduled for June 18, with $10 lift tickets and 100 percent of the proceeds going to Bonner County Human Rights Task Force. Race the Wolf returns June 24-25 with four different trail races all over the mountain.

The Northwest Winefest at Schweitzer is slated for July 15-16. Guests can sample upwards of 80 wines from 20 different Pacific Northwest wineries. And Fall Fest returns Sept. 1-4. The annual event offers four days of beer tasting, 10 bands, and more than 80 different beers, ciders, seltzers, and even a handful of wines over Labor Day weekend.

Visit for more details.


Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area near Boise intends to open for summer June 23. Daily operations will continue through Aug. 20, with the ski area open Fridays-Sundays Aug. 25-Sept. 1 and Saturdays-Sundays Sept. 9-Oct. 1.

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Image courtesy of Bogus Basin

The 20-plus miles of trails at The Basin Gravity Park and Bogus Basin have become a regionally renowned mountain bike destination and include “Around the Mountain,” Idaho’s top mountain bike trail as ranked by The nation’s largest nonprofit ski area, Bogus Basin will unveil several miles of new trails this summer.

Standing 42 ft. tall , the new three-story Aerial Adventure Course at Bogus Basin serves up a variety of obstacles and challenges, as well as three ziplines.

Other summertime activities at Bogus Basin include scenic chairlift rides, the Glade Runner mountain coaster, a climbing wall, a bungee trampoline, a tubing hill, and food and beverage services. It is also staging a free Music on the Mountain concert series every other Saturday June 24-Sept. 2 and hosting free Yoga on the Mountain and free music on the patio every weekend all summer long. The ski area will also host guided weekend nature hikes throughout the summer and a six-week-long Community Race Series of fun and friendly competitions for trail runners and cross-country and downhill mountain bikers.

The Boise Mountain Bike Festival is partnering with Bogus Basin and Eagle Bike Park on June 30 and July 1. Activities include group rides (cross country, trail, downhill, and gravel), skill demonstrations and a big air jam by pro riders, a slalom challenge, small group coaching sessions, a raffle, swag giveaways, and more.

Visit for more details.

Early in the season, Brundage Mountain Resort, in the West Central Mountains near the resort town of McCall, will open Fridays-Sundays June 16-18 and June 23-25. It will open Wednesdays-Sundays during the regular season, June 28-Sept. 3, with bonus days on Monday July 3, Tuesday July 4, and closing day Monday Sept. 4.

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Image courtesy of Dave Bingaman

Its 30-mile trail system offers plenty of variety, appeals to all types of mountain bikers, and includes a 360-degree loop around the mountain. New this summer is an 8.4-mile trail the U.S. Forest Services calls “BMR2BB” (for “Brundage Mountain Resort to Bear Basin”) that, while not technically *in* Brundage Bike Park, connects its network of trails to the popular Bear Basin trail system.

The new trail — the result of public-private-nonprofit partnerships spearheaded by CIMBA, the Central Idaho Mountain Bike Association, and assisted by Brundage and the One Track Mind Foundation — has been in the works since 2009. Crews completed construction last fall, so the trail had the opportunity to winter under the snow. The trail’s grand opening will likely take place in early July after the snow melts and crews can clear brush and debris from the singletrack trail.

Also new at Brundage this summer are mountain bike lessons through the Mountain Sports School. Brundage Bike School’s team of certified mountain bike instructors offer private lessons, learn-to-ride group lessons, and social group rides. Visit for more details.

Meanwhile, the resort’s scenic chairlift rides afford a 360-view at the summit that includes silhouettes of Idaho’s Seven Devils Wilderness, Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness, and sweeping vistas of the Payette Lakes. Hikers can take the chairlift to the top and explore short, scenic trails from the summit or choose longer multi-use routes to soak in more of the mountain’s beauty.

In addition, Brundage offers outdoor dining at Smoky’s Bar & Grill and maintains a 2,500-foot-long, nine-hole disc golf course in the base area and a grassy amphitheater that provides a charming, spacious, fresh-air environment for dog-friendly summer concerts. Its free, weekly TGIF Summer Concert Series runs Fridays July 7-Sept. 1 with the exception of Aug. 18 when Brundage hosts its National Interscholastic Cycling Association youth mountain bike race.

Other events on the calendar include the Fourth of July Music Festival & Cat Track 10K/5K foot races on Tuesday July 4, as well as some additional bike races in July.

Visit for more details.

At Tamarack Resort near Donnelly, summer operations will begin May 27, with daily lift service starting June 16 and continuing through Sept. 10. Zipline, waterfront, and whitewater activities will commence Memorial Day weekend depending on weather.

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Image courtesy of Sherri Harkin for Tamarack Resort

This summer the resort is opening additional mountain biking trails, adding a sweets shop to its food and beverage offerings, and introducing new amenities like a summer camp and Adventure Pack lodging add-ons.

Tamarack will debut nearly 5 miles of new mountain biking trails this summer, expanding its International Mountain Bicycling Association-created network to nearly 33 total miles of lift-served downhill and cross-country trails. Plus, the resort is adding more self-loading bike trays on the Tamarack Express lift to easily accommodate both downhill bikes and e-bikes.

Summer amenities include scenic chairlift rides, an outdoor axe-throwing facility in The Village and a nine-hole disc golf course just steps away at the base of West Mountain. Plus, The Waterfront on Lake Cascade offers kayak, paddleboard, pontoon boat, surf boat, and jet ski rentals. Work to restore and reopen the award-winning Osprey Meadows championship golf course continues, with the driving range completed last summer and opening Memorial Day weekend.

The resort’s zipline canopy tours explore 3,500 feet of terrain, including eight different ziplines, two suspension bridges, and a 105-foot-high treehouse. Plus, Tamarack conducts guided whitewater rafting trips on the Cabarton stretch of the North Fork of the Payette River and guided fishing excursions on Lake Cascade.

The new Camp Tam summer camp will offer kids various mountain, meadow, and lake activities. And its new Adventure Pack lodging add-on will provide guests with discounts on activities such as biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, pickleball, disc golf, and axe throwing via an RFID wristband.

Sugarloaf Creamery has joined the array of establishments in The Village, which includes the Rendezvous Food Hall, a fine-dining establishment called The Reserve, a market, and the new Seven Devils Taphouse, which opened this winter. The new sweets shop offers 18 ice cream flavors plus milkshakes, bulk candy, and a signature sweet of the day.

Seven Devils will stage concerts on the patio every Saturday from 5-8 p.m. beginning June 3. And the Northwest Cup Downhill Race, the premier downhill single-stage mountain bike series in the West, returns to Tamarack June 23-25, with hundreds of riders showing up to show off their skills and speed. The annual Bikes, Brews & Bluegrass Festival is slated for Sept. 30.

Fireworks will be visible from The Village on May 27 and July 1.

Visit for more details.


Seven-days-a-week lift access to hiking trails and the Roundhouse restaurant at world-famous Sun Valley Resort begins June 23 via the Roundhouse Express gondola and the Christmas Chair, and lift-served mountain biking begins July 1. Meanwhile, golf season at the resort has begun with the opening of White Clouds and the back nine holes of the 7,214-yard-long Elkhorn Golf Course. The front nine of Elkhorn and the 6,986-yard-long Trail Creek championship course will open later this spring.

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Image courtesy of Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho

America’s first destination resort and birthplace of the chairlift, Sun Valley sports a dozen biking and hiking trails, including the longest purpose-built downhill mountain-bike trail in the U.S., dropping 3,350 vertical feet. Plus, riders can access more than 30 miles of paved, car-free bike paths and over 400 miles of singletrack throughout the Wood River Valley.

In addition, the resort offers an array of activities, including scenic gondola rides, horseback trail rides and horse-drawn wagon rides, bike rentals for bike path or trail riding, and a full menu of pampering options at the Sun Valley Spa. The resort also boasts numerous indoor and outdoor dining options, including The Ram, Gretchen’s, Konditorei, Sun Valley Club, Village Station, and The Roundhouse (which opens June 23).

Sun Valley is staging a weeklong Independence Day celebration July 1-7. In addition to kicking off the mountain biking and hiking season July 1, the resort will host a free one-hour yoga class at River Run Plaza. The Dutch National Ballet will perform at the Sun Valley Pavilion July 1-2. And the resort will host its official summer kickoff party July 2 at River Run Plaza with live music, yard games, and food and beverages.

On July 3, the first Sun Valley On Ice show features U.S. Olympic team member and gold medalist Mariah Bell. Shows featuring medal-winning headline skaters alongside a talented cast are planned for every Saturday between July 22-Sept. 2.

The Marcus King Band will headline a concert at the Sun Valley Pavilion July 4 with Tylor & The Train Robbers followed by fireworks.

The River Run Summer Series featuring live music, family fun, and extended lift hours begins in late July.

Other events include the Sun Valley Wellness Festival June 10-13, Ballet Sun Valley June 24-25, Sun Valley Writer’s Conference July 22-24, Sun Valley Music Festival July 30-Aug. 24, Yoga on the Mountain, and free Yoga at River Run Plaza and on the Pavilion lawn.

Visit for more details.

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The mountain bike park at Soldier Mountain will open for the season May 27. However, the lifts will only turn this summer on holiday weekends, so riders must pedal under their own power uphill most days. Holiday weekends include May 27-28, July 1-2, and Sept. 2-3. In addition, the resort will host a National Interscholastic Cycling Association youth mountain bike race Sept. 15-16 and will spin the lifts Sept. 17 for participants and the public.

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Image courtesy of Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho

Mountain biking will not be allowed during special events like weddings, a 3D archery shoot June 10-11, and disc golf tournaments, so the resort recommends checking the events page on its website when making plans.

Lift tickets will cost $25 on the days they turn. Otherwise, Soldier Mountain is charging riders $10 per day, although it is free for 2023-2024 ski season passholders. Riders must purchase their tickets on its website.

Soldier Mountain’s network of five trails spans 9 miles. One of the trails is designated as an uphill route that riders ascend to access the other trails, which include easy, intermediate, and advanced hand-cut trails and an extreme machine-cut jump trail. The resort also maintains a skills park.

Staff will inspect and maintain the trails and skills park on a weekly basis. The resort points out riders must understand there is no emergency personnel on the mountain.

Beverage service will be available Saturdays and Sundays at the bar’s pass-through window, but otherwise the lodge will be closed. However, the resort’s outdoor bathrooms will be open 24/7 to accommodate riders and campers, who are welcome to dry camp in the parking lot at no cost.

Visit for more details.

Pomerelle Mountain Resort near Albion is booked for many private events this summer and fall and only plans to open to the public for lift-served mountain biking and hiking two weekends this summer and fall.

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Image courtesy of Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho

The first weekend is July 28-30 during the Pomerelle Pounder, one of the oldest mountain bike races in the Gem State. The 2023 Utah Gravity Mountain Bike Series will stage the races that Saturday and Sunday, with racers practicing there Friday. Pomerelle will open the Slopeside Grill and its lodge and cafeteria that weekend, as well.

The lifts will turn a second weekend Oct. 7-8 during Pomerelle’s two-day co-ed skills clinic for mountain bikers. Certified instructors from A Singletrack Mind, which offers fundamental workshops for all abilities, will conduct the event, with registration and other information available at

During both events, the rest of the mountain will be open to the public for mountain biking, hiking, scenic trail rides, and hamburger eating.

Otherwise, riders can bike uphill under their own power and ride the trails beginning July 1, but they must understand there is no emergency personnel on the mountain, according to the resort.

Pomerelle also maintains an 18-hole disc golf course.

Visit for more details.


Despite incredible challenges brought by an unprecedented snow season, Kelly Canyon Resort in Eastern Idaho near Ririe and Idaho Falls is gearing up for a promising summer. With 3-4 ft. of snow still gracing Old Man Flats, the resort has decided to focus on a series of upgrades and repairs to ensure an unforgettable experience for all visitors.

The resort owners have announced a range of significant construction projects that will take center stage this summer. Kelly Canyon is replacing Lift 4, along with its communication line, to enhance efficiency and guarantee a smooth ride for skiers and snowboarders. As an added bonus, the resort is installing a new surface lift between the top of Lift 2 and Lift 4, granting visitors even more accessibility for exploring the east side of the mountain.

Kelly Canyon is also designing snowmaking ponds to ensure ideal snow conditions throughout winter and guarantee an early opening. And infrastructure development for idyllic glamping sites and charming treehouses is well underway, promising a one-of-a-kind stay amidst nature’s beauty.

While this means the resort won’t open for the summer (the Half Cab Grill will be closed, too), the resort’s owners said it’s clear the upcoming winter season will be nothing short of extraordinary. And with all the upgrades and repairs on the horizon, they said the stage is set for creating unforgettable adventures in a four-season playground.

Visit for more details and updates.

Just across the border in Alta, Wyo., Grand Targhee Resort affiliates with the Idaho Ski Areas Association because the resort is only accessible via Driggs, Idaho. It will open for downhill mountain biking June 16 — weather and conditions permitting — with the Shoshone and Dreamcatcher lifts running daily through Sept. 17.


Image courtesy of Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho

Grand Targhee offers 2,200 vertical feet of lift-serviced downhill, 17 miles of downhill trails, more than 70 miles of multi-use trails for biking and hiking and running, and a mountain bike school. Riders’ Choice Best Bike Parks Awards ranked its bike park among the Northwest’s top five for six consecutive years.

It will host the GTR Downhill Mountain Bike Race July 22. The Pierre’s Hole 50K/100K Mountain Bike Race returns Aug. 5. And Ladies All Ride two-day mountain bike camps for women of all ability levels are slated for July 19-20 and July 22-23.

Summertime activities at Grand Targhee also include scenic chairlift rides, hiking and trail running, a nature center, horseback riding, swimming in the outdoor pool, a bungee trampoline, a summer kids camp, the GTR Mining Co., and an 8,000-foot-long, 18-hole disc golf course.

The resort will introduce the Wildflower Race, its first trail run with 10K and half-marathon options, July 8. The Wrun for Wray, a 3-mile uphill run that starts at the base of the Dreamcatcher chairlift and climbs 1,840 ft. to the top of Fred’s Mountain, returns June 24 and benefits the Wray Landon Legacy Fund.

Targhee Music Camp will celebrate its 15th anniversary Aug. 7-10. And the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival returns for its 33rd year Aug. 11-13 after a three-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Family Fridays events are slated for June 30, July 28, Aug. 25, and Sept. 1 with the Shoshone Lift open until 7 p.m. and music and fun for the whole family.

In addition to slopeside lodging, Grand Targhee Resort boasts a parking lot camping area that can accommodate pull-behind trailers, sprinters, and camper vans.

Visit for more details.

Pebble Creek Ski Area in Inkom is staging the 60th annual Pebble Creek Wildflower & Music Festival June 24 when the blooms are expected to be at their peak. A fundraiser for the National Ski Patrol, the event features live music by regional and local touring artists, scenic chairlift rides from 4-7 p.m., and tasty BBQ served by Pebble Creek Ski Patrol members.

The resort is booked most weekends for private events, and the lodge is available to rent as a venue for weddings, corporate events, family gatherings, and other functions.

Visit for more details.

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