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Dozens of Telemark ski tracks wind through groves of burned timber on snow-ladened slopes just off Mores Creek summit, about 15 miles northeast of Idaho City.

The ribbons of ski tracks in the sun-glistened snow are in contrast to the blackened sticks of lodgepole and fir dotting the mountainside.

Even though wildfire ravaged the area in 2016, the area remains a snow playground. Located between Mores Creek Summit and Beaver Creek Summit, along Highway 21, the area got early snow and jumpstarted the winter-recreation season. It’s getting a lot of use from snowshoers, nordic skiers and snowmobilers.

The multiple-use recreation parking lot on Mores Creek Summit has a dozen skier cars and snowmobiler trucks and trailers each day, even during the week.

There’s about 27 inches of snow at the Snotel (snow-measuring) at Mores Creek Summit and that’s enough to lure winter recreationists.

Telemark skiers and snowmobilers are climbing the snow-covered road to 8,128-foot Pilot Peak and taking advantage of the higher-elevation and deeper snow.

Skiers and snowshoers also are using trails at Gold Fork, Banner Ridge and Whoop Um Up Park N’ Ski recreation sites and packing the trails. Snowmobilers are also blazing trails off the Whoop Um Up parking area.

Full-blown, official trail grooming isn’t expected to get underway until another snowstorm and snow conditions improve. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation ski trail groomer is poised and ready to go. Keep in touch by monitoring Idaho NonMotorized Trails Program Facebook page (

Still, there’s enough snow up there to have fun. Dozens of snowmobilers and nordic skiers can’t be wrong.

Pete has been writing about the outdoors in Idaho and the Northwest for decades. Give him a shout at

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