Pin It

Winter Sports - Lookout Pass 

by Michael Bowen

Skiers and snowboarders can depend on Lookout Pass for a quality experience.

"We've been operating continuously since 1938," reports Lookout marketing director Phil Edholm. "Some say we're in a tie with Sun Valley as the oldest ski resort in Idaho. We're in a microclimate here near the crest of the Bitterroots, and we get more and drier and lighter snow than other ski areas in the region. That is what has made our business over the years. We're usually the first to open in the region, and we tend to get early and ample snow. You ask people about Lookout and they'll say that the snow quality is what sets us apart."

But they're not simply resting on their alpine laurels at Lookout. They've constructed five new runs - two of them advanced, three of them intermediate - giving the hill a total of 23 ski trails.

"We didn't start run-clearing and the lift construction until July 15," says Edholm. "Our new double lift allows us a capacity of 1,200 people per hour. And the double chair can be converted to a triple chair" serving 1,800 skiers per hour. This year's improvements are worth a half-million dollars.

Lookout's master development plan calls for $3 million in improvements over the next five years, including this year's chair lift and new runs, along with an expansion of the ski lodge next year. Between 2005 and 2008, the resort will add a third lift, four more runs, RV hookups, an expanded rental shop and a large guest services building.

So who's using all these new facilities? On a typical day, says Edholm, Lookout attracts about 400 skiers, though that increases to about 1,000 on a busy day: "We do about 30% of our business in those two weeks around Christmas.

"Our lift surveys show that 42% are boarders, up from 28% four years ago," Edholm explains. "Ten years ago, when snowboarding was just starting to catch on, there may have been a little tension" between established skiers and the new snowboarding kids on the block. "Whenever there's anything new, there can be a bit of resentment. But now there's a blending -- You get some guys saying, 'Hey, I've been snowboarding for 15 years, now I'll try skiing.' So there's a crossover there. And people are more accepting of it." After all, says Edholm, "It's just another form of snow-sliding."

If you think that despite all of Lookout's improvements and its cordial atmosphere, it's still a long drive out to the Idaho/Montana border, consider this. Lookout's adult season pass now costs $239. That figure has increased a total of $4 in the last four years.

At Lookout Pass, inflation has hit the facilities, not the finances.

Where: Wallace, Idaho

Phone: (208) 744-1301

Web Site:

Vertical Drop: 1,150 ft.

Average snowfall: 400 inches

Lifts: Two double, one rope tow

Hill info: 380 developed acres; 23 runs; 25% Beginner, 50% Intermediate; 25% Advanced

Hours: Open Thursdays-Mondays and holidays from 9 am-4 pm. Will operate seven days a week from Dec. 20-Jan. 5

Lift prices: Weekends and holidays: Adult (ages 19-61) $24; College student $22; seniors and juniors (ages 7-18) $16; children (age 6 and younger) free; rope tow $6; single ride $3. Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays: Adult $22; college student $20; juniors and seniors $15; children free; Boomers' Fridays (age 40 and older) $12

Major Events: "Club Vertical" Women's Skills Program, alternate Fridays, Dec. 5-April 2; Big Air Contest, Jan. 18; Special Olympics Winter Games, Feb. 1; Firemen's Challenge Cup, Feb. 8; Telemark Race Series, Feb. 21; Rider Cup, April 5

Publication date: 11/13/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • In Defense of Refugees
  • In Defense of Refugees

    In the aftermath of the presidential election, local residents seek ways to love and support their refugee friends
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • No License to Kill
  • No License to Kill

    Task force says officers should be held responsible for police shootings; plus, state auditor clears Spokane Valley firing of city manager
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trumped-up Education
  • Trumped-up Education

    Could the President-elect's support of school choice trickle down to Spokane?
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science

Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 6

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Michael Bowen

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • This Isn't Normal

    America has gone down this road before, and it's a dead end
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment


green zone


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Idaho's Oil Country
  • Idaho's Oil Country

    Idaho is poised to tap its fossil fuels; plus, Inslee signs pot reforms into law
    • Apr 29, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation