A Few of Our Favorite (Winter) Things

The groomers are groomed and the powder is fresh…it’s time for winter sports in McCall, Idaho! The McCall area has always been a haven for snow seekers. From ski jumping competitions held at Blackwell Ranch in the 1920s to the development of three ski areas – the Little Ski Hill in 1937, Brundage Mountain Resort in 1961 and Tamarack Resort in 2004 – a love of winter sports has always been at the heart of the community.

And River Ranch sits in the middle of it all.

With so many winter playgrounds to choose from, we have rounded up a few of our favorite features at each resort.

 

Brundage Mountain Resort’s Beartopia Fun Zone

Photo Credit: McCall Area Chamber of Commerce

For families just starting out on their alpine adventures, the Beartopia Fun Zone at Brundage Mountain can’t be beat. Newbies start on the gentle terrain surrounding the Easy Rider Conveyor, then step up to the Easy Street Triple Chair which allows them to practice skills and build confidence on any of five short beginner runs. The best part? Both the Easy Rider Conveyor and the Easy Street Triple Chair are absolutely free. Once a skier or boarder can stop and turn consistently, the next step is the Bear Chair. This opens up a world of adventure on 100 acres of terrain featuring four mid-length beginner runs, two freestyle runs with terrain park features and a sampling of intermediate/advanced runs.

Front Side of Brundage Mountain Resort

Photo Credit: Brundage Mountain Resort

You think you’re ready to try the powder, but what’s the best approach? This is where the front side of Brundage Mountain truly shines. Off to the side of any of the main groomed runs – North, Main Street, Alpine, Engen, 45th Parallel – you’ll find a generous swath of ungroomed snow. Frequent storms refresh Brundage Mountain with some of the softest, most forgiving snow you’ll find anywhere in the Northwest. Fresh snow and easy access make it a breeze to ‘dip in’ for a few low-angle powder turns to work on your technique – without getting committed to a path with no easy exit.

Night Skiing at the Little Ski Hill

Photo Credit: The Little Ski Hill

When the sun goes down, the skiing heats up. There is something special about hitting the slopes under the stars. A quiet settles in, the temperature drops and the same runs you took during the day take on a whole new look. The Little Ski Hill is McCall’s only area for night skiing (and the third oldest ski area in Idaho!) and the experience is one you won’t forget. Jump on the T -bar for a lift to the top then head down one of the trails lit with floodlights. At the bottom, warm up in the Lodge with a bite and a beer. Night skiing is open until 8pm Tuesday through Thursday and 9pm on Friday and Saturday.

Tree Skiing at Tamarack Resort

Photo Credit: Tamarack Resort

When you look up at West Mountain in the fall from Highway 55, it’s hard to miss resort’s namesake. On the resort’s northern edge grows a large grove of Western Larch, also known as tamaracks, which turn a brilliant gold as temperatures drop. As one of the few deciduous conifers, the tamaracks then drop their needles and leave behind a glade of pines with striking view lines for skiers and riders. With no pine needles to obscure your view, stellar visibility creates better lines for tree skiing. No pine boughs mean little to no tree wells. When crowds tear up the powder elsewhere on the mountain, the gladed terrain off Wildwood holds on longer for the ultimate tree skiing experience.

 

Want to find more ways to get out an enjoy the snow? Visit our Recreation Map.

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