"Ski" Idaho this summer

Mountain biking is among the activities now open at the Tamarack Resort near Donnelly.

Support Local Journalism


In concert with Gov. Brad Little’s Idaho Rebounds phased approach to reopening the state economy in the wake of COVID-19, 10 Ski Idaho resorts will offer summer mountain biking adventures and more. In fact, some were open just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Here are some of the resorts in Southwest Idaho that are perfect for day trips this summer.

Tamarack Resort in Donnelly began scenic chairlift rides May 21, has opened its Waterfront Cabana for motorized and nonmotorized boat rentals and has begun lift-served mountain biking — depending on mid-mountain snowmelt. The lift will operate Thursdays-Sundays for scenic rides and mountain biking through Sept. 13 and on holidays. The International Mountain Bicycling Association created the resort’s 25-mile trail system.

Beginning June 6, also depending on mid-mountain snowmelt, Tamarack will offer 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. The resort’s guided whitewater rafting trips on the Cabarton stretch of the North Fork of the Payette River will kick off mid-June.

Brundage Mountain, near McCall is targeting June 20 for its opening day this summer. The BlueBird Express lift will operate the last two weekends of June and then Wednesday-Sunday from July through Labor Day.

Brundage Mountain Bike Park has a fresh experience to offer all types of mountain bikers this year as trail crews improve and expand options for downhill and cross-country riders. Last summer, the resort completed Lakeview Vista, a new 4-mile XC trail at the top of the mountain, as well as a base-area XC trail, Hammerhead, bringing the bike park’s total mileage to 26 miles.

This summer, work will focus on creating a new XC trail that connects to Thorn Creek and a new downhill trail, Wildcat, off the existing Elk trail. Crews will also break ground on a new stretch of trail that skirts around the mountain linking Lakeview Vista on the south side with Grouse near Sargent’s Peak and traverses the entire bike park area.

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.

Bogus Basin plans to open for the summer June 27. It will operate seven days a week through Aug. 16 and will remain open Fridays-Sundays through Labor Day weekend. From that point, the resort will open Saturdays and Sundays through the first weekend of October, weather permitting.

MTBproject.com ranks Around the Mountain at Bogus Basin 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.

The nonprofit recreation area currently maintains 23 mountain bike trails, but it is developing a new bike park off its Morning Star Express high-speed quad chairlift. Alpine Bike Parks, the world-renowned Canadian bike trail developer that assisted Kelly Canyon, will construct four new downhill trails designed to serve a range of skill levels that are scheduled to be complete for use this summer.

Bogus Basin has spent nearly $22 million on infrastructure improvements over the past four years, transitioning the area into a year-round destination for recreation and education.

Beyond biking, Bogus Basin operates the Glade Runner, the Pacific Northwest’s first mountain coaster. The recreation area also offers scenic chairlift rides, summer tubing, gold panning at the Shafer Butte Mining Co., and trail hiking and running.

Bogus Basin has currently suspended its Music on the Mountain series for this summer as a precautionary measure. In addition, the area’s climbing wall and bungee trampoline will not operate — at least for the beginning of the summer.

Ski Idaho resorts have collaborated with the Idaho Ski Areas Association to create and implement COVID-19 operational and safety guidelines to address the spread of the novel coronavirus and to ensure the safety of staff and the public. The sources for these protocols are CDC-guided policies and best management practices along with OSHA guidelines, state and federal rules and guidelines, and guidance from the National Ski Areas Association.

Visit skiidaho.us for more details on all of Idaho’s 18 family friendly resorts that offer non-skiing activities throughout the summer.

Load comments