Central and Southern Idaho

With extensive trail systems maintained by state, county and community organizations, Central and Southern Idaho is a mecca for cross country skiing.  Sun Valley/Ketchum bills itself as “Nordic Town USA”  and the Blaine County Recreation District (BCRD) is justly proud of its nordic trail systems in the Wood River and Sawtooth Valleys.

These listings are for Idaho south of the Salmon river, the part of Idaho on Mountain time.

Nordic Resorts

Community Areas

Sun Valley Area Weather


State Areas

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation offers a Park’n’ski program with affordable annual permits, including groomed trails at:

  • 18 to 25 miles north of Idaho City off route 21, are four areas with interconnected cross country skiing trails:
    • Beaver Creek Summit offers backcountry skiing on steeper slopes.  Dogs allowed.
    • Banner Ridge offers 22 miles of groomed track.  Dogs not allowed on groomed trails.
    • Gold Fork offers groomed trails.  Dogs not allowed on groomed trails.
    • Whoop-Um-Up.  No grooming, dogs allowed; snowmobiles allowed.
  • North of Boise, Lake Cascade
  • Near McCall, Ponderosa State Park offers 12 miles of nordic trails on the shores of Payette Lake. Dogs allowed on one mile of trail.

McCall Area Weather


Other Areas

The loop road at Craters of the Moon National Monument is ungroomed.  The several cinder cones in the park provide some slopes to test your turning skills.   Map.

Below I-84:


Due to the great number of groomed nordic trails in the area, many lodges and inns at Sun Valley, Ketchum and along the Wood River valley provide skiing opportunities from – or almost from – your front door.  The swankier spots include:

  • Sun Valley Lodge and Sun Valley Inn

Wilderness Lodges

  • Idaho Department of Parks and Recreations offers six backcountry yurts near Idaho City, at the Banner Ridge, Gold Fork and Whoop-Um-Up Park N’Ski areas.  Each sleeps six and is a 2 to 3 mile ski in.
  • The Galena Lodge  north of Sun Valley offers three yurts each sleeping 4 to 8 persons, near pass, adjacent to its day lodge.
  • Sun Valley Trekking operates six backcountry huts in and near the Sawtooth National Recreation Area that each sleep up to 14 bunk house style.  Individual bookings
  • Ponderosa State Park  near McCall has cabins.


Rental Shops

Guide Services

Other Links

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