Free skiing and snowboard lessons at Tamarack? Maybe the first snow of the year wasn’t so bad.

Cold temperatures and the first signs of snowfall can only mean one thing, Idaho: it’s time to ski, snowboard or take to the tubing hill.

A handful of mountains and resorts open this weekend, including Tamarack Resort, which offered free skiing and snowboarding lessons to 300 lucky people ages 13-and-up for Idaho Learn to Ski Day. Reservations for that deal are full, but you can still enjoy the slopes.

Bogus Basin

Bogus Basin’s Pepsi Gold Rush Tubing Hill, Frontier Point Nordic Lodge and the terrain park near Deerpoint Chairlift No. 1 will be open this weekend. The J.R. Simplot Lodge will be open for the first time this season as well for food and beverages.

The Gold Rush Tubing Hill will be open at 9 a.m. both days and will offer its final runs at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. The Frontier Point Nordic Lodge is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at Bogus Basin or here.

McCall’s Activity Barn

Want your own horse-drawn sleigh ride? McCall’s Activity Barn is the place for you. Starting Friday, visitors can begin booking sleigh rides and using a pair of 800-foot tubing lanes. The Moon Rider lift will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with few exceptions. Two-hour tubing sessions cost $18 on peak days and $15 on non-peak days. Sleigh rides hold 15 people and cost $30 per adult and $12 for children.

The Activity Barn will be open every day from Dec. 15 through Jan. 7.

Nick Rowley posted this video of his daughter, Cash Rowley, snowboarding for the first time just days before her first birthday at Bogus Basin near Boise, Idaho. The Rowleys' video has been shared around the world.

Brundage Mountain (McCall)

Brundage announced Thursday that it will open its Easy Street lift for the season beginning Saturday. Lift tickets for Easy Street are free, and the chair will run every day from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional lifts will open as more snow falls. Brundage has 8 inches of snow at the base and 24 inches at the summit. You can buy buy tickets through Feb. 17.

Gateway Parks at Eagle Island

Eagle Island tubing and terrain parks opened Dec. 8. Two-hour sessions cost $15, and a season pass goes for $199. Tubes are provided with a ticket.

Sun Valley

Sun Valley’s Baldy and Dollar Mountains are open. Baldy Mountain has 27 runs and six lifts open, while Dollar Mountain has six trails and three lifts operational. Warm Springs is open as well.

You can purchase lift tickets here. The on-site ticket office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Tamarack opened for the season Dec. 8. For Saturday, Tamarack gave away 300 skiing or snowboarding packages that included rentals, lifts tickets and lessons to celebrate Idaho Learn to Ski Day. Packages were completely free but were reserved for riders 13-and-over with no prior skiing or snowboarding experience.

Tamarack is open every day and has three lifts (Tamarack Express, Summit Express and Discovery) and 18 runs in service. Tickets are $49 for adults, $24 for teenagers, $10 for juniors and seniors and free for children six-and-under.

Michael Katz: 208-377-6444, @MichaelLKatz