A quartet of Inland Northwest ski and snowboard mountains within a couple of hours' drive from Spokane have new offerings as the 2022-2023 season gets underway.
The Lookout Pass trail map got longer this summer with the Eagle Pass expansion on the western edge of the mountain. New is nearly 500 more acres with the new Eagle Pass fixed-grip quad, reachable by a leisurely green run off the resort's main summit. Terrain includes mostly blue runs, plus a long lift-line black and a few other expert pitches.
Straddling the both the Idaho-Montana border and the Mountain and Pacific time zones, the expansion nearly doubles the ski and snowboard area's size to 1,023 acres, and it raises the mountain's vertical-foot drop to 1,650. Also this summer, crews regraded the Success beginner area and tweaked the base lodge, rentals and parking. Its season pass links with eight Western resorts, including Bluewood and Mission Ridge in Washington state.
Staying up north, Schweitzer expansive Outback Bowl got an upgrade with the Stella high-speed adding more chairs to reduce the ride time to acres of glades and blue groomers. The chairlift anchors the skier's right portion of the large basin on Schweitzer's back side.
Down below, the children's center got an upgrade, and a new spa has gone in next to the base Selkirk Lodge. Schweitzer honors the Ikon Pass for seven free days.
At 49 Degrees North (named for its latitude), the big news came last season with the opening of the mountain's first high-speed quad chair. The base-to-summit Northern Spirit takes skiers and riders to the high ground in seven minutes, clearing out base area clogs and improving access to the wide variety of trails off the 5,774-foot Mt. Chewelah summit.
Along with the Sunrise Basin and Angel Peak expansions in the recent years, 49 Degrees North has jumped from 1,500 to more than 2,300 acres. Its season pass reciprocates with Bluewood, Mission Ridge, Loup Loup and White Pass in the state.
Northern Idaho's Silver Mountain has opened more powder-stash terrain this season by pushing the ski boundaries off Chair 2 . Named South of the Border, it adds about 20 acres of glades and powder meadows -- plus a new trail back to the base of the lift.
On the other side of the mountain at the Chair 4 mid-station, Silver has opened up a new Jackass Snack Shack to commemorate the resort's first name, Jackass Ski Bowl. The resort is now a member of the Powder Alliance. And, Silver is the only mountain in the West that connects to town (Kellogg, Idaho) via a gondola.
With more resorts opening, chilly temperatures, and new snow for the Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest, we're officially calling it ski season. Let's dive into the weather outlook in this week's SnoCast.
Between the crest of the Cascades and western front of the Northern Rockies, a half-dozen ski and snowboard resorts stay open -- in varying degrees -- during the summer months for all to cool out a bit.
Summer activity menus ranges from the full-on "adventure park" concept to mountain biking and scenic lift rides to mellow hiking and meditating upon Nature.
Up near the Canadian border, Schweitzer Mountain looms above Lake Pend Oreille and Sandpoint, Idaho. A chairlift ride gets you to mountaintop restaurant Sky House for views, brews and food amidst the Kanitzu National Forest. There's a summit disc golf course, too, and more than 40 miles of MTB trails head down to the resort base -- home to dual ziplines, climbing wall, trampoline and more.
Jump across into Washington and check out 49 Degrees North, one of the northernmost resorts in U.S. It's old-school summer on Chewelah Peak: No lifts, no "attractions" other than a half-dozen MTB and hiking trails along service roads. Mid-summer mean huckleberry picking season all over the resort's three basins.
Still in Washington is Mt. Spokane outside the state's largest city east of the Cascades. The non-profit day hill is open for hiking and biking (no lifts), and Saturdays' Brews and Views at the summit's Vista House.
Back into Idaho, Silver Mountain above Kellogg boasts Idaho's largest indoor water park -- perfect for cooling down in a hot summer. Park has a dozen stations, including flow rider for surfing, lazy downriver tubing, Minor's Island for kids, and a overhead rope course. On the mountain, the nation's longest gondola runs carries lookie-loos, hikers and mountain bikers for fresh air at the summit.
Right at the Montana-Idaho border, Lookout Pass is a short drive from silver boomtowns Wallace and Mullan. Few bike routes compare with the famed Hiawatha Trail, operated by the resort. A premier rail-trail, the 15-mile, all-downhill ride straddles the state line with 10 tunnels, seven train trestles, interpretive stops and drop-dead views of the Bitterroots. At the resort, chairlift runs Friday-Sunday for hiking, mountain biking and soaking in the scenery.
All of Idaho's five Indy Pass destinations are a bit out of the way, but that's a good thing for short lines, long views, and uncrowded trails.
After a mild fall, we’re hoping December brings the colder and snowier change we’ve all been waiting for. Check out what’s in store in this week’s SnoCast forecast.
We’re approaching a huge week for ski country—Thanksgiving is upon us, often marking opening days from coast to coast. This week’s SnoCast has a delicious menu of powder, sun, and chill leading up to the big holiday week. Let's dig in!
Following the challenging winter of 2020-2021 when ski areas implemented measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic - including limited seating capacity on chairlifts - this season's outdoor operations will look much like they did prior to the pandemic. Ski areas plan to return to full chair lift capacity for 2021-2022.
With two Idaho resorts just added to Indy Pass -- Soldier Mountain and Pomerelle -- it makes sense to hit the road for a circumnavigation of the Gem State's off-the-beaten-track, unpretentious mountains that honor the Indy Pass.
The standard Covid-19 precautions are in place for this ski and snowboard season in the Gem State. Regional and local conditions may change, prompting changes in restrictions, but here's a look at some of the resorts' plans.
The half-dozen ski and snowboard resorts that sit east of the Cascade divide and on the western edge of the Rockies have begun to announce ticket policies for the upcoming season to comply with local and state Covid-related capacity caps in place.
In its second year, the Indy Pass aims to corral more skiers and riders who don't go enough times to warrant a major multi-resort pass -- and prefer the ambiance of smaller, independent resorts.
Many of the usual summer activities -- mountain biking, ziplines, hiking, scenic lift rides -- will be in place in the West during the warm months. But the Covid-19 pandemic has forced resorts to tone down or fully eliminate offerings for the time being.
The effect of the coronavirus has rippled across the U.S., and the domestic ski and snowboard industry is no exception.
March is here and, for most, it will come “in like a lamb” with limited storm systems and generally pleasant, Spring-like conditions to hit the slopes. A few locations will see a “Lion-like” start to the month, with heavy, fresh snow in the forecast. Here are the details on the conditions ahead.
Plenty of sunshine to go around both east and west this week, but the west will see the most snow days. This week's SnoCast outlines the best conditions and best bets to hit the slopes through the weekend.
We’re turning into mid-January with a busy and changeable weather pattern across North America. Two fast-moving (albeit mild) storms graze the East, while cold and snowy conditions persist for the West.
As we approach the final days of 2019, we'll have a pleasant mix of snow days, sunny days, and mild days to take in all that the weather has to offer on our favorite ski trails.
Summer in Idaho mountains has always been popular for folks who seek the remote and the cool of the western massif of the Rocky Mountains – and the 13 major ski and snowboard resorts that are up and running for the summer.