Idaho winter fun

Idaho winter fun

Idaho is a winter wonderland full of outdoor activities. Perhaps this is your first trip to Idaho or your first foray into the state’s winter terrain. In any case, this book will provide first-rate activities and attractions that should not be missed, no matter how you choose to spend your winter in Idaho.

Idaho is one of our favourite destinations to visit any time of year, and the winter in Idaho has it all. It’s a terrific area to visit during the snowy months for a winter adventure, with everything from backcountry skiing to hot springs to little mountain communities.

Dog sled through the mountain landscapes of Idaho

Most people associate dog sledding with Alaska or Canada, but Idaho has a rich history of mushing as well. Ashton’s annual American Dog Derby, which began in 1917, is the longest-running all-American dog sled racing in the lower 48.

Every year in the third week of February, the greatest dog sled teams in North America compete in a 55-mile race from Ashton, Idaho, to the west corner of Yellowstone National Park. Dog owners who want to attempt mushing can compete in the 100-yard Mutt Race.

Area of recreation on Bogus Basin Mountain

Bogus Basin, located 16 miles north of downtown Boise, provides an immersive mountain trail experience without having to drive too far. Snowshoe routes along the ridgeline provide views of the steep, snow-capped mountains and the Treasure Valley below. Snowshoes and other equipment are available for rent at the Bogus Basin Mountain Nordic Center.

Idaho’s stunning frozen waterfalls.

Waterfalls are breathtaking at any time of year, but especially in the winter when they are frozen solid. Many people are astonished to learn that Idaho has a plethora of waterfalls. The Shoshone Falls, for example, is taller than Niagara Falls. However, there are dozens of beautiful, lesser-known waterfalls scattered around the state. The sight of these frozen waterfalls in the winter is truly breathtaking.


Idaho’s most valuable winter asset is its almost 20 ski and snowboard resorts. Each of these ski resorts has its own personality and terrain. Every local has a favourite location to shred, and a few Idaho ski resorts are popular with skiers from all over the world.

Sun Valley Resort is one such ski resort. This relaxed mountain resort spreads over 2,000 skiable acres across two mountains. The resort, which includes lodgings in adjacent Ketchum, also provides nice spots to remain warm on a long winter weekend.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort is another good ski and snowboard destination. Schweitzer is located in northern Idaho, near Sandpoint, and has ten chairlifts that serve over 2,900 acres. With so much open area to explore and a rather secluded location, Schweitzer turns into a massive powder stash in the winter.

Tamarack Resort, located twenty miles south of McCall, adds to the state’s excellent skiing reputation. This full-service mountain resort offers slopeside dining and hotel in addition to over 1,100 acres of skiable terrain.

Thermal Springs

Idaho boasts more hot springs than almost any other state combined. The middle mountainous portion of the state has various wayside soaking baths excellent for winter. The same area also has commercial establishments with enormous soaking pools and places to stay.

There are many natural hot springs in Idaho in the area around Stanley. Boatbox and Sunbeam Hot Springs are located about 15 minutes east of Stanley on the Sawtooth Scenic Byway. The roadway is only a short distance away from these wayside hot springs. The short journey might become slick in snowy circumstances.

West on the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, Bonneville and Kirkham Hot Springs provide plenty of shoulder room for winter soaking. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, visitors flock to these hot springs near Stanley. Expect some seclusion in the snowy scenery during the winter.

In Southwest Idaho, three hot springs resorts surround McCall. In the winter, Zims, Burgdorf, and Gold Fork Hot Springs all have large pools and indoor facilities to enjoy. Visitors can drive to Gold Fork and Zims, but Burgdorf is only accessible this time of year by snowmobile. Before travelling, visitors should check the local road conditions.


In Idaho, nearly every day is hunting season, as long as you are well-versed in hunting and gun safety. There are numerous large game seasons open right now and into 2016. Because of the various rules and regulations governing seasons, tags, and areas, it’s essential to check with Idaho Fish and Game to see what’s in season and what isn’t. The site features elk territories, which can be found throughout the state.

Boise’s Winter Garden aGlow

Over 600,000 lights are scattered across the Winter Garden aGlow in Boise, Idaho, making it a lovely site throughout the Christmas season.

Along with the beautiful light display to wander around and enjoy, children may also enjoy writing letters to Santa, visiting Santa’s cottage, and a variety of other fun holiday activities. This is probably one of the top winter downtown Boise, Idaho, activities to do!


The Trinities Mountains and the surrounding area near Fairfield provide miles and miles of snowmobile opportunities. If you’re seeking for things to do in Twin Falls, head south to the Diamondfield Jack region, which includes more than 200 miles of groomed and designated Sawtooth National Forest and Bureau of Territory Management land. I-84 provides easy access to the trails. Mount Harrison, accessible through Howell Canyon and located near Pomerelle Ski Resort, offers spectacular panoramic views of the valley below as well as consistently deep snow. Of course, you may always go off-trail – all those groomed trails have lots of areas to play! But don’t be concerned about vying for space: Because just 3,500 snowmobiles are registered in Southern Idaho each year, you’ll have plenty of space to roam.

What is the winter weather like?

The winters in Boise are mild. The average daily high temperature in the winter is less than 47°F. The coldest day of the year usually falls on January 1, with an average low of 24°F and a high of 36°F. In December, the average high temperature in Boise is 30.7 °F, with temperatures dropping to 0 °F or lower on about three nights every year.

Winters in Boise are considered to be cold and snowy, yet the city is not always as snowy as you might anticipate (depending on where you come from in the US).

Boise receives 18 inches of snow per year, which is less than the national average of 28 inches. The average rainfall in Boise between the end of November and the beginning of February is 18 inches.

A foot and a half of snow may appear excessive to those unfamiliar with the area, but it is not.

Still, pack warmly and check the weather forecast for your destination to determine if you’ll be having a snowy trip.