The 15 Best Winter Activities to Do in Idaho!

Idaho: the mountain country, characterized by river rafting, mountain climbing, biking, and any other outdoor activities you can think of. Sure, when it’s warm, it might be easier to capitalize on the scenic landscapes the state offers but don’t think for a minute that things slow down during the winter. From skiing, to skating, to camping, and winter carnivals, Idahoans keep things going all season long. These are the 15 best winter activities to do in the Gem State.

1. Bogus Basin, Boise, ID

Boiseans love their local ski hill. And what's not to love? After all, how does a mere 45-minute drive up to the top of Bogus Basin sound? The kids will just be at threshold of that complaining point, and voila, there you are! Bogus Basin offers a variety of ski and winter sport options. There is a snow tubing hill, ski lift, cross-country and even snowshoeing. Come out and join the fun!

1. Winter Camping, Harriman State Park, Island Park, ID

Idahoans love the outdoors so much that winter is merely another opportunity to take advantage of the Great Outdoors. Winter camping can give you a whole new perspective of not only roughing it, but also loving it! Make sure to check the weather ahead of time, and that all your camping equipment is up to snuff. Winter can be dangerous if you are not prepared, but it can also offer a unique opportunity to be one with nature.

2. Blue Moon Yurt, McCall, ID

Winters in Idaho can be truly magical. Imagine snowshoeing under a starry winter night to your remote destination-a cozy yurt, complete with gourmet dinner and the company of strangers and friends alike. This winter reverie does not just need to stay as a dream, make reservations now-winter is coming!

3. Bogus Creek Outfitters, Boise, ID

If you are looking for a little winter getaway, nothing says winter more than an old-fashion sleigh ride under a full winter moon! Bring back those picture postcard days of yesteryear when the family hunkered down under a cozy fur blanket and listened to the soft wheeze and whinnies of horses, the steely breath of metal treads cutting through fresh snow. Now imagine this entire breathtaking scene not only taking you on a trip of faraway nostalgia, but also to a cozy cabin, where a three-course gourmet dinner and an evening of cowboy poetry awaits. Book now-spots fill quickly.

4. McCall Winter Carnival, McCall, ID

Idahoans from near and far love to gather for this fun-filled, family tradition. The McCall Winter Carnival celebrates all things winter. The mountain town becomes emblazoned under a gentle canopy of fresh snow, ice sculptures, and a one-of-a-kind winter parade! Generally held in late January/early February the whole family will enjoy this weeklong celebration. Get your reservations soon though, hotels book quickly.

5. Sun Valley Nordic Festival, Sun Valley, ID

True, when one thinks of "Nordic" traditional Scandinavian costumes, Vikings or even herring might come to mind, however, in the quaint, mountain town of Sun Valley, each winter this world-renowned skiing respite celebrates the sport of Nordic skiing. Bring the whole family for a winter event to remember.

6. Idaho Kite Sports, Boise, ID

Stop by this shop to look into the latest winter sports craze: snow-kiting. Idaho has the perfect topography for snow-kiting-low-lying basins and miles of unobstructed flat land, high winds and the taste of freedom on your lips. Call or check about rental possibilities and the best place to try out your newest favorite pastime.

7. Christina Potters Ice Rink, Sun Valley, ID

Since the state of Idaho is tucked deeply in the great Rocky Mountains, it's no wonder that winter activities abound. Taking the family to an outdoor ice rink is the perfect Idaho winter sports activity. Open to the public and offers free equipment rental, you would be remiss to not check out this glorious winter event. Located in Sun Valley, make a weekend out of it, better yet, skate one day, and then plan to hit the slopes the next. Plenty of snow for everyone here.

8. Silver Sage Mushing, Ashton, ID

Perhaps you are looking for a little adventure in your winter routine, then look no further. Silver Sage Mushing offers a unique winter getaway. Bordering the beautiful Yellowstone Park, you'll have an unforgettable experience mushing your way through the scenic Tetons to boot. Call or check online for reservations/availability.

9. Silver Mountain, Kellogg, ID

The northern panhandle offers many varieties of winter activities. Among them is an awesome snow-tubing hill. Spend the weekend in the mountains at the Silver Mountain resort for a true taste of Idaho winter. Snow sports are plenty here with snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, and of course, skiing! Make your reservations now. Winter is just around the corner.

10. Snowmobiling, Salmon, ID

For those who love to get outdoors and feel that biting chill of winter on your face, then a trip to Salmon, Idaho should definitely be on your shortlist. Salmon offers stretches of pristine wilderness, perfect for a full day of snowmobiling on some of the country's most beautiful scenery. The winter offers a unique glimpse of Idaho as the snow allows access to often inaccessible areas during the warmer summer months. Bring warm clothes, food and water.

11. Ice Fishing Idaho, Lake Cascade, ID

For a small, mountain town, Cascade offers many opportunities for family winter fun. If you have never ice fished before, then bring an open mind, thermos of hot beverages, and the right equipment and plan on spending a day on the ice, fishing your heart away. If nothing else, the surrounding snow-capped mountain ridges will be worth the time. Call or contact the website to find out about schedules/reservations.

12. Stotts Adventure, Lewiston, ID

Winter in Idaho means snow, but it also means fishing, as in Idaho Steelhead. Not a trip for the faint-hearted but for die-hard anglers, this winter activity is a trip not to miss. Make your reservations now for a trip in the later winter months. Imagine how great your holidays will be sharing this one-of-a-kind trip like this. Might be the start of a new tradition.

13. Bruneau Sand Dunes, Bruneau, ID

One of Idaho's most unique and best-kept secrets, the Bruneau Sand Dunes are perfect for the adventurous family. Imagine miles of snow-covered sand dunes to dune-sled the day away. Open all year, this fun-filled venue will appeal to kids of all ages, and probably a few adults, as well.

15. Hailey Ice, Hailey, ID

Curling is an unusual sport, and if you are in the mountain town of Hailey, Idaho, it might be just the ticket to while away a winter day. Curling involves, ice, a large metal disk-like stone, and lots and lots of sweeping! Try it out, you never know where it might lead, after all, it is an Olympic sport.

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