11 Idaho Ski Areas Will Be Offering Mountain Biking This Summer
BOISE, Idaho (May 24, 2022) — Eleven Idaho ski areas offer summertime mountain biking, nine of the operations are lift-served, most are debuting new trails this season, and two — Silver Mountain, and Soldier Mountain — are opening Memorial Day weekend. So is the Route of the Hiawatha, and the crown jewel of the nation’s rails-to-trails initiative, which is operated by Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area, is also celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Bogus Basin will open June 10, and most of the remaining Idaho ski areas boasting mountain bike parks will open June 17, including Brundage Mountain, Grand Targhee, Lookout Pass, Schweitzer, and Tamarack. Due to U.S. Forest Service elk-calving closures, Sun Valley will begin lift-service access to Bald Mountain for foot traffic only June 25 with bike access opening July 1. Kelly Canyon anticipates opening no later than June 30, but possibly earlier weather permitting. Pomerelle is only open one weekend this summer for lift-served mountain biking, but riders are welcome to pedal uphill under their own power to access the resort’s trails like at Soldier Mountain.
Although Pebble Creek does not offer mountain biking, it will host music festivals in June and September.
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 27. Considered the crown jewel of the nation’s rails-to-trails initiative, the family friendly bike trail is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer and will operate seven days a week through Sept. 18.
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 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 14, July 13, Aug. 11, and Sept. 10 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 open its ski area for the summer June 17. It offers lift-served mountain biking and hiking trails, scenic chairlift rides up and down the mountain, a mountain summit nine-hole frisbee golf course, a bungee jump, and huckleberry picking later in the season. This summer the resort will also operate a Euro Bungee, a multi-station super trampoline system supporting up to four participants that enables them to jump over two stories high.
Lookout Pass will operate Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Labor Day, Sept. 5.
Celebrating its third summer, the Lookout Pass mountain bike park offers impressive views of the St. Regis Basin and five top-to-bottom downhill mountain bike trails with more on the way. There are no jumps or wooden features on its family friendly trails, which vary from singletrack that winds through the woods and across ski trails to wider mountain-access roads.
Meanwhile, Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg will begin summer weekend operations — which include mountain biking and scenic rides on North America’s longest gondola — May 28. Daily operations commence June 17 and run through Labor Day, Sept. 5. At that point weekend operations will continue through Oct. 2.
Voted Best in the Northwest for four consecutive years in the MTBparks.com Riders’ Choice Awards as recently as 2017 and earning second place in 2018 (the most recent survey), Silver Mountain Bike Park sports nearly 40 singletrack trails that span 3,300 vertical feet.
Silver Mountain has a brand-new trail opening early this summer called “Ghost Pepper.” The black diamond jump trail will have a variety of machine-built and hand-groomed jumps that cater to more-experienced riders. However, the resort has also rerouted “Payday,” one of its best beginner trails, to make it smoother and friendlier, and this rebuilt run will be ready on opening day.
It added e-bikes to the fleet at Silver Mountain Sports last summer. The e-bike rentals allow guests to more easily explore sections of the nearby Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.
The resort also boasts 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.
Silver Mountain’s calendar is jam-packed with events this summer, including a 3D archery shoot June 25-26, Fourth of July fireworks, its annual Brewsfest Aug. 13, Negative Split’s Back to Nature Trail Run Aug. 21, and the three-day mountain bike festival Silveroxx Sept. 23-25. Plus, the North American Enduro Cup and Northwest Cup mountain bike races June 10-12 and July 15-17, respectively, and its Silver Kings Hard Enduro motorcycle race June 18-19 attract some of the best riders in the world.
Visit SilverMt.com for more details.
Biking season at Schweitzer near Sandpoint begins June 17, with daily operations continuing through Sept. 5. The resort maintains more than 40 miles of mountain bike trails, and it also offers a 2-hour hosted e-bike tour daily.
The resort will unveil three new bike trails this summer. Its in-house trail crew created “Shenanigans,” a partially machine-built, partially hand-built mile-long expert trail that has some fun, natural rock features and drops. Montana-based Terraflow Trail Systems and Sandpoint-based Collaborative Trails designed the other two trails. Both are machine-built intermediate trails that will have great flow, berms, and potential for jump options.
Schweitzer’s summer visitors also can play disc golf on its 18-hole course and enjoy scenic chairlift rides on the Great Escape Quad to the summit. The latter serves up breathtaking views of Lake Pend Oreille and the Selkirk, Bitterroot, 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.
The Northwest Winefest at Schweitzer is slated for July 16-17. Guests can sample upwards of 80 wines from 20 different Pacific Northwest wineries. And Fall Fest returns Sept. 2-5. The annual event offers four days of beer tasting and fun over Labor Day weekend.
Visit Schweitzer.com for more details.
Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area near Boise will open June 10. Seven-days-a-week operations will begin then if conditions allow and continue through Aug. 21, with the ski area open Fridays-Sundays Aug. 26-Sept. 2 and Saturdays-Sundays Sept. 10-Oct. 2.
The nonprofit ski area built 4.5 miles of trail last summer and fall and continues to establish The Basin Gravity Park and Bogus Basin as a regionally renowned mountain bike destination.
“New to This,” a 1.1-mile beginner cross-country trail, features playful, nonthreatening berms geared for riders completely new to the sport while appealing to mountain bikers of all skill levels.
“Around the Mountain Extension,” a new trail that descends off the tail end of “Around the Mountain” — the top mountain bike trail in the state as ranked by MTBprojects.com — has the first of several planned sections opening this summer. This includes “Dirty Bob’s,” a section of trail with a rating of more difficult (blue square). Test riders likened the one-third-mile trail to a roller coaster for bikes designed to challenge the rider’s ability to corner successfully. Meanwhile, “Sunday Stroll,” a three-quarter-mile trail described as down country, provides cross-country riders a trail option that introduces them to bike-park-style riding in an easy-to-comprehend manner. Plus, Bogus Basin will introduce a new technical downhill trail, “Loam Star,” to The Basin Gravity Park, which debuted last summer.
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 and hosting Yoga on the Mountain Saturday and Sunday mornings throughout the summer.
Visit BogusBasin.org for more details.
Daily lift service at Tamarack Resort near Donnelly will begin June 17 and continue through Aug. 21, but zipline, waterfront, and whitewater activities will commence Memorial Day weekend depending on weather.
This summer the resort is opening additional mountain biking and hiking trails, offering new amenities, and expanding its recreation fleet while investing millions into building out its master plan.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association created Tamarack’s 27-mile trail system, which the resort continues to expand as part of its long-term plan, with new options to summit and descend this summer. It will open two new intermediate mountain biking flow trails, “Sky Pilot” and “Hot Shot,” as well as a loop trail to ascend the summit.
The resort is growing its rental fleet, too, with Tamarack Outfitters adding Knolly full-suspension bikes, e-bikes, Jamis and Kona cross-country bikes, and kid’s lift-served bikes.
Getting gear onto the mountain will be easier with the addition of self-loading bike trays on the Tamarack Express lift that allow for e-bike access to the downhill trails.
The Northwest Cup Downhill Race, the premier downhill single-stage mountain bike series in the West, returns to Tamarack June 24-26, with hundreds of riders showing up to show off their skills and speed.
The resort’s Waterfront Cabana on Lake Cascade has expanded its fleet, too. In addition to kayaks, paddleboards, more pontoon boats, and new jet skis, the marina also offers three new surf boats for rental, including the 2022 Malibu M220.
Tamarack’s amenities also 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, work is underway to restore and reopen the award-winning Osprey Meadows championship golf course, with the driving range slated to open later this summer.
Its zipline canopy tours explore 3,500 feet of terrain, including eight different ziplines, two suspension bridges, and a 105-foot-high tree house. 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 Village — which boasts the Rendezvous Food Hall with a variety of options, a coffee shop, a fine-dining establishment called The Reserve, and a market — will feature live music three nights a week in the plaza.
The resort will stage fireworks celebrations Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends.
Visit TamarackIdaho.com for more details.
In the West Central Mountains near the resort town of McCall, Brundage Mountain Resort will commence summer operations June 17. The BlueBird Express lift will operate Fridays-Sundays June 17-19 and June 24-26 and then Wednesdays-Sundays from June 29-Sept. 5. Bonus Days include Monday and Tuesday July 4-5 and Labor Day, the last day of the season.
Its 30-mile trail system offers plenty of variety and appeals to all types of mountain bikers. “Rock Garden,” which opened last summer, connects to “Lakeview Vista” to complete a 360-degree loop around the mountain.
The resort also offers scenic chairlift rides that 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.
Brundage also boasts a 2,500-foot-long, nine-hole disc golf course in the base area, outdoor dining at Smoky’s Bar & Grill, and a grassy amphitheater that provides a charming, spacious, fresh-air environment for summer concerts. Its free, weekly TGIF Summer Concert Series runs July 8-Sept. 2. And its free Yoga Wednesday will be staged every Wednesday this summer June 29-Aug. 31.
Other events on the calendar include the Fourth of July Music Festival & Cat Track 10K/5K foot races, Twisted Turtle Racing’s July 23 Brundage XC and July 24 Send it @ Brundage enduro bike races, and National Interscholastic Cycling Association Youth Bike Races July 19-20.
Visit Brundage.com for more details.
SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO
Seven-days-a-week lift access to hiking and mountain biking trails at world-famous Sun Valley Resort begins June 25 for hikers and July 1 for mountain bikers via the River Run Gondola and the Christmas Chair. Meanwhile, the resort’s three championship golf courses and area driving ranges are already open daily.
America’s first destination ski 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 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 Roundhouse.
Events abound at Sun Valley this summer, including the popular Sun Valley On Ice shows and the Sun Valley Symphony. Sun Valley On Ice will dazzle guests and light up six evenings this summer at the iconic outdoor ice rink with many of the best figure skaters in the world headlining the performances. The 2022 season kicks off with reigning U.S. Gold Medalist and Olympic team member Mariah Bell July 1. The Pavilion and lawn will host 14 free symphony concerts brought to the community by Sun Valley Music Festival July 24-Aug. 18. Tickets for all shows at the Pavilion and River Run are on sale now, and more information can be found on the Sun Valley events calendar.
Sun Valley Resort is teaming up with many local nonprofits to host a myriad of concerts this summer, including the country rock bands Cadillac Three and the Powell Brothers at the open-air Sun Valley Pavilion June 18 and three-time Grammy Award nominee the Avett Brothers July 13 at River Run.
Other events include the Sun Valley Wellness Festival June 10-13, Ballet Sun Valley June 24-25, Yoga on the Mountain, and free Yoga at River Run Plaza and on the Pavilion lawn.
Visit SunValley.com for more details.
The mountain bike park at Soldier Mountain will open for the season May 28. However, the lifts will not turn this summer except for a few special events, so riders must pedal under their own power uphill. Mountain biking will not be allowed during those special events, which include a 3D archery shoot June 11-12 and two disc golf tournaments, the details for which are forthcoming.
Besides the special events, the resort is open to riders Saturdays, Sundays, and major holidays through the end of September depending on weather. Soldier Mountain is charging riders $10 per day, although it is free for 2022-2023 ski season passholders. Riders must purchase their tickets on its website. The resort will publish full details on its website and social media channels.
Soldier Mountain added a 1.5-mile hand-cut intermediate trail last fall, bringing its network of trails to five spanning a total of 9 miles. One of those will be 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. Soldier Mountain also boasts a skills park.
The resort will inspect and maintain the trails and skills park on a weekly basis. It stated riders must understand there is no emergency personnel on the mountain.
Hailey-based Titus Trails and Apex Trail Construction from Park City, Utah, designed and built the bike park with generous help from Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association, Wood River Trails Coalition, and other volunteers.
Soldier Mountain will host National Interscholastic Cycling Association youth bike races in September and other bike races throughout the summer.
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 SoldierMountain.com for more details.
Pomerelle Mountain Resort near Albion is booked for many private events this summer and only plans to open to the public for lift-served mountain biking and hiking Aug. 12-14 during the Pomerelle Pounder. The 2022 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.
Otherwise, riders can bike uphill under their own power and ride the trails beginning Fourth of July weekend, but they must understand there is no emergency personnel on the mountain, according to the resort.
Pomerelle will stage the Minidoka Bow Shoot, which is open to the public, June 26-27, and the resort will stage its annual Farm to Table Dinner July 9-10.
Visit Pomerelle.com for more details.
Kelly Canyon Ski Resort near Ririe will celebrate the grand opening of its new restaurant, the Half Cab Grill, May 27. The restaurant, which also serves beer and wine, will be open for lunch and dinner Wednesdays-Sundays until July 1, when it begins operating seven days a week.
Owners anticipate commencing lift-served mountain biking Thursdays-Sundays no later than June 30, but hopefully earlier. Dean Lords and the mountain crew are working hard developing the 18-mile network of lift-served trails. It also sports a 4-mile loop designed especially for National Interscholastic Cycling Association teams to practice their riding skills.
New this summer at Kelly Canyon will be side-by-side UTV rentals. Great trails that lead to waterfalls, huckleberry patches, and other landmarks are available, and as advocates for safety Kelly Canyon will also stage workshops for UTV and motorcycle riders.
Kelly Canyon anticipates upwards of 350 UTV riders from across the country will join its KLIM Cow Tag Off-Road Ride June 25. The event is a fundraiser to support off-road recreation and trail preservation.
Construction will be underway on a zipline that will be operational in summer 2023. The dual zipline will accommodate two riders at a time and boast four different sections — including a high-speed zipline on the last length. Between sections guests will navigate the course via a network of swinging bridges in the trees, and they will rappel 50 feet to the forest floor at the end.
Visit KellyCanyonResort.com for more details.
Just across the border in Alta, Wyo., Grand Targhee affiliates with the Idaho Ski Areas Association because the resort is only accessible via Driggs, Idaho. It will open for downhill biking June 17, with the Shoshone and Dreamcatcher lifts running daily through Sept. 18.
The resort is opening a new intermediate downhill flow trail from the summit called “Nice Marmot” that offers 2 miles of machine-built trails and is perfect for progression. And “Sticks and Stones,” an expert downhill trail, will reopen this summer after getting rebuilt last year.
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. MTBparks.com 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 No. 1 and No. 2 on July 23 and Aug. 20, respectively. Pierre’s Hole 50K/100K Mountain Bike Race returns Aug. 6, and Grand Targhee will host MBT’s Teton Dirt Series July 27.
Grand Targhee will also host one of eight Cirque Series mountain running races Aug. 27. Each race in the series starts from the base of a world-famous ski resort.
Other events include the 2022 Wrun for Wray June 25, National Interscholastic Cycling Association Bike Festival July 2, Ladies All-Ride Mountain Bike Camps July 16-17 and July 19-20, Ninja Mountain Bike Performance Camp July 23-24, and the Wydaho Rendezvous Mountain Bike Festival Sept. 2-4.
Summertime activities at Grand Targhee also include scenic chairlift rides, 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.
In addition to slopeside lodging, Grand Targhee Resort boasts a parking lot camping area that can accommodate pull-behind trailers, sprinters, and camper vans. If vehicles and trailers exceed a combined length of 25 feet, guests must purchase two spots.
Visit GrandTarghee.com for more details.
Pebble Creek Ski Area in Inkom will open for two special events this summer and fall: the Idaho Music & Wildflower Festival June 18 and the Inkom Village MountainFest Harvest & Music Festival Sept. 10. Both are fundraisers, the former for the National Ski Patrol and the latter for the resort’s hometown benefitting the Inkom Revitalization Commission.
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 PebbleCreekSkiArea.com for more details.