Local Freshies worked in partnership with Visit Idaho to create this Travel Tip.
In this day and age, there’s a clear focus on statistics. Snowfall, acreage, lift capacity… so what’s the problem? Numbers lie. Big time! Until you experience a place, you really have no clue what to expect. With your eyes open and an unbiased mind-state, we recommend exploring these three untapped ski destinations. What they may lack in size or snowfall, they more than make up for in charm, character, and authenticity.
Pomerelle Mountain Resort
Best known as the “place to learn” for the Magic Valley in south-central Idaho, the terrain is forgiving and the snow quality is off the charts! Besides receiving some of the highest snow totals in the state at over 500”, this destination also takes grooming seriously. By waiting till the last minute to manicure their slopes, it translates to the softest corduroy you’ll EVER feel in your life. And, if you’re an intermediate skier or rider, the perfectly cut fall-line trails will keep you entertained all day long. What about experts? Well, with an avalanche certification and backcountry experience, expect to find some of the best steep powder stashes in the country.
Things to Do & See
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can stay at the infamous Albion Mansion just a few miles down the road. It’s the LARGEST Haunted House in the Pacific Northwest. Looking for lots of options on your vacation? We recommend staying in Twin Falls. You’ll find high-class dining at locations like Elevation 486 and local hot spots like the Buffalo Cafe which makes its own jams & jellies. Muscles sore from all the skiing? Then take a trip out of town and head for a soak at the Miracle Hot Springs. Lastly, don’t forget to take a gander at the “Niagara of the West”, Shoshone Falls is the real-deal and taller than Niagara Falls!
Pebble Creek Ski Area
Jackson, Wyoming might be the ski resort that first comes to mind for steeps but Pebble Creek should be on your radar if you want to visit a place without the machismo stigma or crowds. Nicknamed the “Rock”, expect to find challenging slopes that are as tough as you’ll find anywhere in the country. Nearly 53% of Pebble Creek’s trails are marked expert or higher and they aren’t lying. And, if that wasn’t enough to entice you, the amount of backcountry access surrounding Pebble Creek will keep you occupied for weeks after a storm. More of a beginner? Don’t worry… they’ve spent a lot of time upgrading their beginner zone called the Aspen Area. It has a dedicated lift to make sure you have a place to learn without any speed demons flying past you.
Things to Do & See
The Rock Bottom Saloon in the ski lodge is a MUST for anyone that heads to Pebble Creek. With $2 Montucky’s and an assortment of other local affordable brews on tap, this is one of the few remaining ski bars left that has not gone corporate.
So, where’s the best place to stay? Depending on the type of vacation you’re looking for, you have a couple options. You can stay in Lava Hot Springs, where you can soak in the city’s amazing hot pools after a hard day’s vacation. Or, lodge in Pocatello for access to a variety of dining and après options. No matter what town you pick, we HIGHLY recommend making a journey to Sumisu Sushi. Serving some of the best sushi ANYWHERE, we personally would travel hundreds of miles just to eat one dish here. We highly recommend the “Dozo-Domo” which loosely translates to chef’s choice. The chef will create a sushi roll that’s specifically tailored to you. Expect to have your mind blown.
Kelly Canyon Ski Resort
The hallmark of Kelly Canyon Ski Resort is its night skiing. Nearly two-thirds of its terrain is lit up at night. Expect to find your “inner child” re-born! As hundreds of local kids from the area laugh, crash and sometimes ski their way down the slopes no matter what the conditions, you’ll remember why you started skiing or snowboarding in the first place… not because of powder but for the pure joy of being on the snow.
Things To Do & See
Idaho Falls is home to a historic downtown filled with shops, restaurants and a scenic walkway past the enchanting falls it’s named after. Right smack dab in the middle of it all is a nondescript restaurant called Snakebite. From having the biggest list of Idaho brews we’ve ever seen to their legendary fish tacos made with a lightly crisped tortilla, you’ll be “wowed” at everything they serve. Don’t forget to leave room for the ONLY dessert – the chocolate cake. The density is more like a brownie but with a robust flavor of a cake with the perfect chocolatiness. It’s like nothing you’ve ever had in your life.
What you’ll find in Idaho is unlike anywhere else you’ll visit. If you come here with preconceived notions of your likes and dislikes, you’ll miss EVERYTHING these towns and ski resorts have to offer. Show up with a clean slate and willingness to explore and you won’t be disappointed. They might say “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” but in Idaho, it’s “What’s happens in Idaho, can only be experienced in Idaho.”
Local Freshies is about sharing the passion for skiing, snowboarding and mountain town culture. We specialize in providing news, stories, and event coverage while supporting local businesses in ski towns throughout North America. Our goal is to give everyone an opportunity to experience what locals get to cherish every day. To be a Local where ever you go!
Published on November 1, 2018