Carly Chandler, 208.651.1861, email@example.com
Tony Harrison, 208.880.9814, tony@COMMposition.biz
Ski Idaho this summer
60 percent of Idaho ski areas offer summer mountain biking adventures
BOISE, Idaho (June 14, 2021) — Eleven of Idaho’s ski areas offer lift-served mountain biking, and four — Lookout Pass (plus the Route of the Hiawatha), Silver Mountain, Soldier Mountain, and Tamarack — have already opened their trails for the season. Five more — Bogus Basin, Brundage Mountain, Grand Targhee, Kelly Canyon, and Schweitzer — open up their mountain biking trails this weekend.
Meanwhile, Sun Valley will open downhill mountain biking June 26. Although Pomerelle has not announced its plans yet, the resort typically is open weekends in July and August.
Close to the historic town of Wallace, Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area and the Route of the Hiawatha, which the resort operates under a special-use permit of the U.S. Forest Service, are open.
Considered the crown jewel of the nation’s rails-to-trails initiative, 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 more than 70,000 riders last summer, the Route of the Hiawatha is by far the most popular ski area bike trail in the country.
It opened May 28, is accessible daily through Sept. 19, and is offering full-moon night rides June 24, July 24, and Aug. 22 by reservation only. In fact, the Route of the Hiawatha strongly encourages guests make reservations this year for the day they want to ride — especially when renting equipment.
Meanwhile, Lookout Pass opened its ski area for the summer June 12. 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. Lookout Pass will operate Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Sept. 19 with the exception of July 9-11, when only scenic lift rides and bungee jumping will be offered during the three-day Mountain Archery Festival 3-D archery shoot.
New as of last summer, the Lookout Pass mountain bike park offers impressive views of the St. Regis Basin and offers 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 opened summer weekend operations — which include mountain biking and scenic rides on North America’s longest gondola — May 29. Daily operations commence June 19 and run through Labor Day, Sept. 6. At that point weekend operations will continue through Oct. 3.
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.
It recently added e-bikes to the fleet at Silver Mountain Sports. The new 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 opened for weekends over the Memorial Day holiday and began daily operations June 11. However, due to COVID-19 concerns, the resort is limiting waterpark access on such high-occupancy days as Saturdays and holidays to Silver Mountain lodging guests only. Regardless, the resort does not sell walk-up tickets to Silver Rapids — all tickets must be booked ahead of time online or over the phone.
Activities at Silver Mountain also 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.
The Stix and Stones Silver Mountain Xtreme Challenge returns June 19-20 after taking a hiatus last summer due to the pandemic. Hundreds of enduro motorcycle racers from all over the world compete on one of the gnarliest dirt bike courses in the country, racing up, down, around, and through some of Silver Mountain’s most popular ski runs.
The resort celebrated five years of hosting the North American Enduro Cup last weekend. The international event is a qualifier for the Enduro World Series and attracts a bevy of noteworthy mountain bikers each summer.
The resort will begin hosting its Friday evening Ride & Dine Series of mountaintop barbeques featuring live music and 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks June 25.
Silver Mountain will host its annual 4th of July fireworks show at 10 p.m., with the pyrotechnics display launching from the back of the resort’s gravel parking lot.
It will host Brewsfest, an annual mountaintop craft beer-tasting event, Aug. 14.
Negative Split is making Silver Mountain the second stop on its Back to Nature Race Series Aug. 22. Entrants can choose from 6k (3.7-mile), 9k (5.6-mile), and 18k (11.2-mile) courses.
And Silveroxx, its annual three-day mountain bike festival, returns Sept. 24-26.
Visit SilverMt.com for more details.
Biking season at Schweitzer near Sandpoint begins June 18, with daily operations continuing through Sept. 6. The resort maintains more than 40 miles of mountain bike trails, and it also offers a 2-hour hosted E-bike tour daily.
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 resort is hosting the Race the Wolf Ultra Trail Race June 27. Entrants can choose from 52k ultramarathon, 26k, and 8k courses.
The Northwest Winefest at Schweitzer is slated for July 17-18. Guests can sample upwards of 80 wines from 20 different Pacific Northwest wineries.
The family oriented Huckleberry Color Fun Run & Walk returns Aug. 8. Participants can choose between 5k and 2.5k courses.
Schweitzer hopes to hold Fall Fest again Sept. 3-6. The annual event offers four days of beer tasting and fun over Labor Day weekend, but the resort is still working through some of the event details.
All events are subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit Schweitzer.com for more details.
Tamarack Resort near Donnelly opened for the summer May 28 and expects Sept. 12 will be the last day of the season. The big news this summer is the resort is operating seven days a week for lift-served mountain biking and hiking and scenic chairlift rides. Its new Summer Express Card provides guests with discounts on summer bike park tickets.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association created Tamarack’s 27-mile trail system, which the resort is expanding this year. It will complete a new one-mile intermediate flow trail by midsummer that features wide berms and jumps designed to be most fun for advanced riders while still being friendly to less-experienced riders.
The resort will host the Northwest Cup Downhill Race June 25-27 billed as a rough, raw, fast single-stage downhill race. Twisted Turtle Racing is staging the Tamarack Twister cross-country and Tamarack Enduro races Aug. 7 and Aug. 8, respectively. And the Trail Party Aug. 21 features 100 percent downhill racing with participants able to ride each stage as many times as they like.
Resort guests also can rent motorized and nonmotorized boats at its Waterfront Cabana on Lake Cascade. Waverunner rentals are now available in addition to surf and pontoon boats, kayaks, and paddleboards.
New amenities also include an outdoor axe-throwing facility in the Village and a nine-hole disc golf course just steps away from the Village at the base of West Mountain.
Tamarack also offers zip line canopy tours that explore 3,500 feet of terrain, including eight different zip lines, two suspension bridges, and a 105-foot-high tree house. Plus, it conducts guided whitewater rafting trips on the Cabarton stretch of the North Fork of the Payette River.
The resort’s outdoor Sunset Concert Series on Thursday evenings kicks off July 1, and it will stage a fireworks celebration July 3.
Visit TamarackIdaho.com for more details.
Bogus Basin near Boise began opening for weekends over the Memorial Day holiday, but only for scenic chairlift and Glade Runner Mountain Coaster rides and gem panning due to unseasonably wet conditions. Daily operations — including lift-served mountain biking — begin June 19 and continue through Aug. 15.
Beginning June 19, all hiking and biking trails and a nine-hole disc golf course will be fully accessible. The mountain coaster, climbing wall, bungee trampoline, food and beverage services, chairlift, and tubing hill open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The nonprofit recreation area completed the first phase of The Basin Gravity Park, a new and robust downhill-only mountain bike trail network off its Morning Star Express chairlift. The Basin Gravity Park offers nine new downhill trails to challenge riders with a range of skill levels. In addition, Bogus Basin maintains 18 cross-country trails in partnership with Ridge to Rivers.
MTBproject.com ranks Around the Mountain, an intermediate cross-country trail at Bogus Basin that offers spectacular views over 10 miles, as the number-one mountain bike trail in Idaho. The recreation area also serves as the main access point to the Mahalo and Dry Creek trails, collectively ranked number two in the state.
Bogus Basin plans to host 70 events on the mountain this summer, including the Boise Mountain Biking Festival on Sept. 18 to bring the local MTB community together and raise awareness for local shops, services, teams, and groups.
Its popular Music on the Mountain series returns after being on hiatus last year. The free events are slated for June 26, July 24, Aug. 14, and Sept. 4 from 3-6 p.m. Additionally, free Yoga on the Mountain and a local Farmer’s Market on the Mountain are scheduled throughout the summer.
Limited summer operations begin Aug. 16 with the mountain only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays besides Labor Day. It will shift to limited fall operations Sept. 7, opening Saturdays and Sundays through early October.
Visit BogusBasin.org for more details.
In the West Central Mountains near the resort town of McCall, Brundage Mountain will commence summer operations June 18. The BlueBird Express lift will operate Friday-Sunday for the last two weekends of June and then Wednesday-Sunday from July through Labor Day, with bonus days Monday and Tuesday July 5-6, and Monday Sept. 6.
Brundage continues to expand its mountain bike park, ensuring its 26-mile trail system has a fresh experience to offer all types of mountain bikers. This summer the trail crew will add a section to the popular four-mile Lakeview Vista Trail, which the resort opened in 2019 to rave reviews.
The mountain 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. Highlights for summer 2021 include the return of the Fourth of July Music Fest and the free TGIF Concert Series, which is slated to run from late June through Labor Day weekend.
Other events on the calendar include the Fourth of July Cat Track 10K/5K foot race, Twisted Turtle Racing’s July 10 Brundage XC and July 11 Send it @ Brundage enduro races, and the 10th Annual McCall Trailrunning Classic July 17.
Visit Brundage.com for more details.
SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO
World-famous Sun Valley Resort will begin lift-served mountain biking June 26. The trails Mind Bender and Saddle Up will open after being closed for the 2020 summer season due to major forest-health projects and the construction of the Broadway lift.
The resort’s three championship golf courses and area driving ranges are open daily.
America’s first destination ski resort and birthplace of the chairlift, Sun Valley boasts hundreds of miles of singletrack and more than 3,000 vertical feet of descent. Riders also have easy access to 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, a spa, a shooting range, bowling, fly fishing, hiking, trail running, ice skating, tennis, horseback rides, three outdoor swimming pools, and concerts at the Sun Valley Pavilion.
The popular Sun Valley on Ice shows and the Sun Valley Music Festival return this summer. Other events include the Sun Valley Wellness Festival June 25-28, Ballet Sun Valley July 12-13 and July 22-23, Yoga on the Mountain, Yoga at River Run Plaza, and its Movie on the Lawn series.
Visit SunValley.com for more details.
Soldier Mountain opened its new mountain bike park May 21 after the Phillips Fire prevented the resort from opening it last summer. It is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays through the end of October depending on weather.
Soldier Mountain boasts 7.7 miles of gravity mountain biking on four new trails. 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.
The trails are made for all skill levels and consist of easy, intermediate, advanced hand-cut, and extreme machine-cut jump trails. Soldier Mountain also boasts a skills park and plans to add a longer, hand-cut intermediate trail this summer.
Ketchum-based Idaho Cycles will have its mobile bike studio on hand for guests who have bike repair or tune-up needs.
The resort’s restaurant and bar are open during operating hours.
Soldier Mountain has limited mountain bike rentals due to current mountain bike and bike parts supply chain issues that have persisted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit SoldierMountain.com for more details.
Pomerelle Mountain Resort near Albion is booked for many private events this summer and at this time only plans to open to the public for lift-served mountain biking and hiking July 30-Aug. 1. The 2021 Utah Gravity Mountain Bike Series will stage the Pomerelle Pounder that Saturday and Sunday, with racers practicing there Friday. Pomerelle will open the Slopeside Grill and its lodge and cafeteria that weekend, as well.
Visit Pomerelle.com for more details.
Kelly Canyon Ski Resort near Ririe will open for its third summer on June 18. It will offer lift-served mountain biking Thursdays-Saturdays.
This summer Kelly Canyon plans to make improvements to the lodge and landscaping to enhance its mountain bike park experience.
Meanwhile, the resort continues to smooth and refine its 18 miles of trails. Riders also can explore less-steep trails at the foot of the mountain without using the lift. World-renowned bike trail developer Alpine Bike Parks out of Whistler, B.C., provided initial design consulting.
Citing a growing number of National Interscholastic Cycling Association teams and hundreds of local youths joining, Kelly Canyon created a four-mile loop last summer designed especially for NICA teams to practice their riding skills on days the lifts are not turning in the bike park.
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 on June 18. The Shoshone and Dreamcatcher lifts will run daily through Sept. 19.
The resort is opening a new intermediate trail from the summit called Nice Marmot that offers two miles of machine-built trails and is perfect for progression. And the new cross-country trail Double Dipper connects the trails Andy’s and Action Jackson.
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 has ranked its bike park among the Northwest’s top five for six consecutive years, and it won a silver medal for best biking in the 2021 Best of Jackson Hole contest.
It will host the Pierre’s Hole 50/100 Mountain Bike Race Aug. 7. Participants can choose from 100-mile, 100k, and 50k courses.
Ninja Mountain Bike Performance will stage a variety of camps July 24-25. Plus, the Teton Dirt Series of mountain bike races will return to Grand Targhee July 21 and Aug. 18.
Other activities at Grand Targhee include scenic chairlift rides, a nature center, horseback riding, 105-minute sessions 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.
Camping and overnight parking at Grand Targhee Resort have been suspended until further notice due to staffing issues and parking lot construction.
Visit GrandTarghee.com for more details about the resort.
About Ski Idaho Founded in 1982, the Idaho Ski Areas Association, a.k.a. Ski Idaho, is a nonprofit association funded in part by the Idaho Travel Council via the state’s 2 percent lodging tax paid by travelers and collected by hotel, motel, and private campground owners. Boasting 28,000 vertical feet of terrain spanning more than 20,000 acres, Idaho is the birthplace of lift-assisted skiing, home to America’s first destination ski resort, and often considered the soul of skiing. Its 18 family friendly Alpine ski resorts offer trails and backcountry for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and skill levels, breathtaking views, hundreds of inches of fresh powder, and short lift lines. Many Ski Idaho resorts open for the summer season, as well, to serve up lift-served mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, hiking and trail running, disc golf, and more. Visit skiidaho.us for more details.
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