A summer chairlift ride includes eye-popping views. (Schweitzer Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Idahoans and visitors alike escape the summer heat down below by heading into the mountains of the Gemstone state.
Nearly a dozen Idaho resorts crank their lifts back up for the summer, and the things-to-do list is both familiar and unusual. Here’s a look at some of the activities you’ll find if you make the ride into the Idaho high country:
Schweitzer. For those who didn’t get the chance this winter, the new Sky House mountain lodge is open for lunch at the top of the Great Escape chair. Some 20 miles of mountain bike trails crisscross the northern Idaho resort property – on the mountain and the gentler terrain below – for all skill levels.
Sun Valley. “Guided tours” come in many shapes at the Idaho resort. Hikers can find the nooks and crannies around Bald Mountain with experienced guides. Mountain bikers get instruction and a tour of downhill and uphill rides with varying technical requirements. There’s even a moderate bike ride around the resort that ends with a glass of wine.
Tamarack. Sitting on the shores of Lake Cascade, this western Idaho resort can get visitors onto the water for activities not offered by many resorts. Rent a paddleboard, sailboat or kayak and produce your own power. Or, step up to water skiing, wakeboarding or tubing behind a motorized pontoon or wake boat.
Brundage. Many winter resorts crank up their lifts for summer scenic rides, and Brundage Mountain has some spectacular scenery to enjoy. Open Thursdays through Sundays this summer, the Blue Bird Quad whisks visitors to 7,600-foot summit for views of Payette Lake down into Long Valley, all the way up to the Seven Devil’s Wilderness, and even to Oregon’s Blue Mountains on the far horizon.
Silver Mountain. Pedal around the Idaho resort if you want, but add in a motorized adventure too. Bring your own ATV and hit the trails in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Silver Mountain has linked up with a local ATV shop to offer rentals, plus group and private tours.