When the first snow falls in Stanley, Idaho, we know that a winter wonderland is on its way. The stunning colors of fall shift to gorgeous white landscapes. If you’re thinking about a winter getaway to Centra Idaho, you’ll most likely want to add backcountry or cross-country skiing to your itinerary! Here is what you need to know about skiing in Idaho. Don’t forget to access our complimentary Vacation Guide for the inside scoop on things to do and see in the area!
About Skiing in Idaho
The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is full of opportunities for backcountry and cross-country skiing. A dedicated group of locals groom trails throughout the area for locals and visitors to enjoy cross-country and snowshoeing during the snowy season. If you prefer backcountry skiing, the Sawtooths are your paradise. Here, you will find everything from meadow skipping to challenging avalanche chute hunting.
Consider a Backcountry Skiing Guide
With countless slopes to explore, it can be a challenge to even know where to start! Consider going on an excursion with Sawtooth Mountain Guides. They know where all the best fresh powder can be found and will even give you lessons on traveling in avalanche terrain. We recommend starting out with a guide to learn the ins and outs of the area, then venturing out on your own when you feel comfortable.
Where to Go Cross-Country Skiing in Idaho
Park Creek Ski Trails
The Park Creek Ski Trails is one of the two trail systems maintained during the winter months by the Sawtooth Ski Club. This group of volunteers keep the trails here groomed for all to enjoy. During your time at this trail system, you’ll see gorgeous views of the Sawtooth Mountains. You’ll have the opportunity to travel throughout the 10 miles of trails or opt for the shortest half-mile loop. You can look at the map here!
Alturas Lake Ski Area
The Alturas Lake Ski Area is the only other groomed trail system in the Stanley Basin. The 10 miles of trails twist and turn next to Alturas Lake, Perkins Lake, and along the Alturas Lake Creek for great winter views. Consider taking a detour onto the ungroomed cross-country ski routes to see the lake if the weather permits! Plan your ski route with the map here.
Your Winter Getaway Awaits
Even though Redfish Lake Lodge is closed from the beginning of October until Memorial Day, you can still enjoy the wonder of the Sawtooths during the winter months. You have three amazing options to stay at!
The cozy cabins at Triangle C Cabins will be your home base during your time skiing in Idaho; you can even add a Backcountry Skiing or Avalanche Training Bundle to your reservation. The Stanley High Country Inn is a combination of rustic Idaho with a touch of elegance and is in a great location downtown. The Redfish Riverside Inn is perfectly connected to the area by three scenic byways, the Ponderosa Pine, Salmon River and Sawtooth Scenic Byways, so you can get to wherever you need to go. No matter where you choose, you’ll love coming back and warming up in your comfy accommodations after your day in the snow!