NewsIdaho Back Roads


Idaho features many places to enjoy Nordic skiing and snowshoeing

Posted at 2:04 PM, Jan 21, 2021

BOISE, Idaho — The trails in the foothills continue to see more impacts during the muddy season, but people are still using them, despite signs and daily reports from Ridge to Rivers.

The Boise area features many other recreational opportunities in the winter, like riding on the Greenbelt, hitting the slopes, or enjoying one of the many off-leash dog parks.

For people who are willing to travel a little farther, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities are all over the place.

Steve Stuebner has written several books on the Idaho outdoors. He's also produced the television series "Life on the Range" and works in public relations.

After growing up in Minnesota, Steve developed a passion for winter recreation and is now an avid Nordic skier. Stuebner also runs a blog that offers more than a dozen suggestions for skiing and snowshoeing.

"It's a magical moment when you go out and you get some solitude on the cross-country trail," said Stuebner. "It is just absolutely beautiful and quiet."

Nordic centers are all over the region, from Bogus Basin to Sun Valley. There's the Park N' Ski area north of Idaho City and also McCall, where Stuebner has a cabin.

People have to pay more to go to a resort, but they get rewarded with fresh grooming. People can also create their own trail in the National Forest for free.

Nordic skiing and snowshoeing is a pretty cheap outdoor sport compared to others. Equipment can be found easily in the second-hand market, and it doesn't require a lot of equipment.

It does take some effort to travel from the Treasure Valley to find the snow, but during the pandemic, if you're looking for a place to get away and get some exercise, this could be the sport for you.

Bogus Basin offers some of the closest trails to Boise, and there are some other opportunities in the upper foothills.

"What I really love, it's a full-body exercise, so you are getting all the muscles even if you have a short period of time," said Stacy Galinat, who works at the Bogus Basin Nordic Center. "You can get a great workout, and I really like the solitude."