Board Northern Idaho's Top 3 Resorts Idaho, USA
Idaho will surprise most Aussies who love to ski or snowboard in the northern hemisphere winter. Apart from the old Hollywood glamour of Sun Valley though, there are three other top (but not as well known) resorts in Idaho’s northern panhandle to delight even the choosiest alpine adventurer.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort in the rugged Selkirk Mountains near Sandpoint (only 130 kilometres from Spokane International Airport and 105 kilometres from the Canadian border), is the largest ski resort in Idaho. Boasting some of the best powder in the northwest, it is renowned for its expert bowl chutes and glades, as well as nearly 1,200 hectares of skiable terrain, 610-metre vertical drops, 92 runs and three terrain parks. If that is not enough to get you waxing your skis, there is twilight skiing and 32 kilometres of cross-country trails. Oh, and most importantly, the amenities are first class with slope-side ski village accommodation and a lively après ski scene.
Silver Mountain, near Kellogg, just over an hour’s drive from Spokane on the I-90, is best known for its superlative tree skiing and long-lasting powder. There is a gondola village at the base, and you can enjoy a scenic ride on North America's longest gondola to access the upper mountain slopes. For the kids, four runs of tubing fun with a carpet ride will provide hours of entertainment.
Lookout Pass, located on the Montana border near Wallace, is a cool, more local-style mountain that receives the most snow in all of northern Idaho. Great for learners, it also has progressive terrain parks and an unspoiled national forest setting.
All three resorts average more than 7.5 metres of that coveted powder snow per year. And because they are all relatively unknown, it means they are uncrowded, there are no lift lines, more skiable hectares per person and easy access through Spokane International Airport.
- Uncrowded, undiscovered and easy-to-access resorts.
- More than 7.5 metres of fresh powder each year.
- No lift lines.
- Ski-in, ski-out accommodation.
- Schweitzer is now on the IKON Pass.
- These resorts are more for those willing to discover new terrain and try out less popular ski locations.
- Not too many Aussies at these resorts (which may actually be a good thing!).
Flights to Idaho from Australia are available via all the main entry points into the USA (e.g. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas/Fort Worth), with seamless connections to Spokane International Airport (GEG). The ski resorts are all an easy drive from Spokane so you can be there on the same day of departure from Australia.
Getting to Idaho may seem difficult, but it’s actually pretty easy from most western gateways into the USA. Whether you’re a beginner or expert there are skiing and snowboarding runs to suit you, along with plenty of other activities.