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Snow-soaked backcountry, legendary steeps, and 28,000 vertical feet of terrain stretching over 18,000 acres make Idaho one of the most sought after ski destinations in North America. You could race down a new mountainside every weekend during the winter and still not hit every major run the Gem State has to offer. If you are looking for the most unique, shreddable, powder-filled runs, look no further. Here are my top ten ski runs in Idaho.

#10 Upper Serenity – Tamarack

Skiing at Tamarack
Skiing at Tamarack. Photo courtesy of Tamarack Resort.

The view from the summit alone would put this run in the top 10 on my list. Upper Serenity drops off from atop Tamarack at a whopping 7,700 feet. Known for being an intermediate run, Upper Serenity challenges riders and boarders alike. Be sure to grind out Serenity all the way to the bottom past the Packer’s Station until you finish at the Waltz.

#9 Lookout Bowl – Bald Mountain

Ski at Sun Valley
Earning turns at Bald Mountain in Sun Valley.

Lookout Bowl is a black diamond run that stems from the peak of Bald Mountain at 9,150 feet. On your way down you can ski past the Roundhouse restaurant or along the ski lift for a more challenging ride.

#8 Liberty – Bogus Basin

Ski at Bogus Basin
Soaking in the views on top of Bogus Basin.

Running off the face of Shafer’s Butte is Liberty, one of Bogus Basin’s most challenging runs. This double black diamond is not for the faint of heart. Flat-out, wide open drops await those who venture here but be weary of trees as you’ll have to dodge a few on your way down.

#7 Ridge Run – Schweitzer

Schweitzer Mountain Ski
One of the amazing views at Schweitzer Mountain Resort.

Ridge Run is an intermediate run that whips alongside the Basin Express. You’ll have to take the Great Escape Quad to the top of Outback Bowl and ski along Gypsy until you come to the head of the trail. On your second go-around take a hard right halfway down and explore Primetime, the run on the other side of Headwall.

#6 Dobber’s Dream – Brundage

Snowcat skiing in the backcountry near Brundage Mountain.
Brundage Mountain Snowcat Skiing.

On the backside of Brundage lies one of my favorite areas to explore, Dobber’s Dream. This run is less of a “run,” in the sense of the word, more like a maze that twists through trees and piles of powder.

#5 Instructor – Pomerelle

Taking a breather and admiring the beauty at Pomerelle Mountain Resort.
Taking a breather and admire the beauty at Pomerelle Mountain Resort.

Instructor is a black diamond trail that stems off of the Bull run. Accessible via the triple chair lift, Instructor will challenge every rider that drops down the slope. There are few twists and turns, and a straight shot between the trees at maximum speed.

#4 Lucky Friday Glades – Lookout Pass

Ski Lookout Pass
Carving through powder at Lookout Pass.

Lucky Friday Glades is a double black diamond that would give even the most experienced riders a run for their money. Similar to #6 on the list, Dobber’s Dream, Lucky Friday Glades is a minefield of trees with pools of fresh powder. Riders beware.

#3 Wardner Peak – Silver Mountain

Ski Silver Mountain
Emerging from a plume of Silver Mountain’s finest.

Silver Mountain is easily one of the best-kept secrets in Idaho and possibly the entire Northwest. That’s why picking one run from this skier’s paradise is hard to do, so I chose an entire mountain. Any run you choose to ride down Wardner’s peak will surely give you goosebumps. Take your pick of single and double black diamonds and put your skis to the test.

#2 Tiger – Bogus Basin

Enjoy beautiful scenery from the slopes of Boise Basin. Photo Credit: Boise CVB.
Enjoy beautiful scenery from the slopes of Boise Basin. Photo Credit: Boise CVB.

A mountain so nice it made the list twice. Tiger is a double black diamond that runs between Liberty and Shindig with a wide open drop that gets significantly slimmer towards the base. Make sure your boots are nice and snug when you drop in as you’re sure to fly down the slope right out of the gate.

#1 Wildwood Bowl – Tamarack

Hitting the slopes at Tamarack. Photo courtesy of Tamarack Resort.
Hitting the slopes at Tamarack. Photo courtesy of Tamarack Resort.

I started my list with Tamarack, and I’m ending it with Tamarack. Easily one of the most underrated ski hills in the Northwest with over 1,000 skiable acres. Wildwood Bowl is accessible from the summit chair lift and gives riders many different escapes down the mountain. Wind through towering pine trees, catch some air coming out of the bowl, or take your time and soak in the view with a scenic slow coast down the outskirts of the mountain.

Featured Image courtesy of Tamarack Resort.
This author is a paid content writer for Idaho Tourism.

Published on February 16, 2016