There's plenty of time — and snow — to plan a road trip to destinations beyond our local five resorts. Here are three great choices in Idaho

click to enlarge Head east across the state line to enjoy some of the best skiing in the West. - JON CONTI/BRUNDAGE MOUNTAIN RESORT PHOTO
Jon Conti/Brundage Mountain Resort photo
Head east across the state line to enjoy some of the best skiing in the West.

McCall, Idaho •
1,921 vertical feet • 67 runs, 6 lifts

The resort, located on the Payette National Forest, encourages riders to explore the snowfields and glades between its runs, where 320 inches of average annual snowfall translates to long stretches of untracked powder. And this year already, the snowfall has been epic, with record-setting totals in December. Among its various health and safety protocols, Brundage requires masks indoors, and will be managing the total number of skiers on the hill, so guests are encouraged to pre-purchase lift tickets. Stay in McCall and take the 30-minute free shuttle to the mountain. In McCall, just under five hours from Spokane, you can access miles of nordic ski trails, dine and sample local brews along the McCall Ale Trail, and try some snow tubing Fridays through Sundays at the McCall Activities Barn, just south of town.

click to enlarge Keep an eye out for celebrities when you hit the slopes at Sun Valley. - HILLARY MAYBERY/SUN VALLEY RESORT PHOTO
Hillary Maybery/Sun Valley Resort photo
Keep an eye out for celebrities when you hit the slopes at Sun Valley.

Ketchum, Idaho •
3,400 vertical feet • 122 runs, 18 lifts

This resort, nestled above a once-remote Idaho valley, epitomizes all the glamor of skiing. Opening in 1936 as a destination resort of the Union Pacific Railroad, it really hit the public consciousness in 1941, when Sun Valley Serenade hit the big screen. Starring Norwegian superskier Sonja Henie and featuring the Glenn Miller Orchestra, exterior scenes were shot in Sun Valley and a legendary ski resort was born. It's a long trip from Spokane, so it'll need a multiple-day commitment — and it's worth it. Not only are the resort's 2,054 acres of long corduroy descents and steep open bowls world-class, but the apres ski scene is among the best in North America, with too many great dining options to try in one visit and live music at the Ram and the Duchin. Both Sun Valley and the town of Ketchum require face coverings indoors.

Tamarack, Idaho •
2,800 vertical feet • 50 runs, 7 lifts

Sitting high above scenic Lake Cascade, Tamarack Resort hits all the right buttons for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Harrowing steeps give way to long winding groomers, with plenty of trees to duck into for the occasional face shot. Powderhounds can also access a bevy of off-area bowls boasting an annual average of 300 inches of snow. And if you're looking for fun beyond the downhill slopes, Tamarack has you covered, with guided ice fishing, fat tire snow biking tours, snowshoeing and nordic trails. To fill your belly, Tamarack has combined four great dining options under the Rendezvous Food Hall roof. For alpine-inspired Northwestern cuisine, try the brand-new bistro, The Reserve. Tamarack is about four-and-a-half hours south of Spokane, on Highway 95, south of Riggins. ♦

Banff Mountain Film Festival @ Panida Theater

Sun., Jan. 23, 6 p.m.
  • or

About The Author

Ted S. McGregor Jr.

Ted S. McGregor, Jr. grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga Prep high school and the University of the Washington. While studying for his Master's in journalism at the University of Missouri, he completed a professional project on starting a weekly newspaper in Spokane. In 1993, he turned that project into reality...