Bogus Basin Ski Resort is just sixteen miles from Boise Idaho, is a great resort for residents of that city, but it has much to offer out-of-state visitors too. Its 2,600 skiable acres makes Bogus Basin the biggest ski area in Idaho, bigger than the more famous Sun Valley.
Bogus Basin Idaho is named after a pyrite ("fools gold") mine that fooled local merchants. Bogus Basin Ski Area dates back to 1942, when a 500-foot rope tow was installed on the side of the hill. Since opening its first chairlift in 1961, Bogus Basin Ski Resort has grown to seven chairlifts and a magic carpet. From its summit, Bogus Basin boasts 360-degree skiing down Shafer Butte and more terrain on Deer Point. In all, there are over 50 runs with a vertical drop of 1,800 feet.
Beginners can test their skills at the Easy Rider magic carpet area and on Coach's Corner, a beginner slope serviced by its own double chair. For more advanced novice terrain ride Mourning Star lift from the Bogus Basin ski base and come down Sunshine or Silver Queen.
Bogus Basin Ski Resort has intermediate terrain spread across its peaks. Most of the runs on Deer Point are labeled blue, including Alpine, Shaker Ridge, Showcase, Ridge, and other side trails. On frontside of Shaker Butte, Morning Star run is a nice cruiser, on the backside Paradise mellows out after a steep beginning and Upper Nugget is smooth all the way down. Further back, Bonanza winds all the way to the bottom of the Superior lift.
Superior services some great advanced terrain. Two black diamonds here, Night Hawk and Triumph are open for Bogus Basin ski evenings, which run until 10 pm nightly. Pine Creek lift, on the back of Shafer Butte, runs between some more challenging terrain; Lightning and Lucky Friday being the most extreme of a bunch of black diamond trails.
Five of the eight lifts at Bogus Basin Ski Resort stay open at night, so the 165 acres of skiable terrain open after dark is enough for an enjoyable evening. All three of the mountain's terrain parks are lighted.
Bogus Basin Idaho has some quality accommodation, the Pioneer Condominiums and Pioneer Inn, near the ski slopes, but most visitors will want to stay in Boise itself. The 5-star Grove Hotel is the best downtown hotel.
Lift tickets, especially season passes, at Bogus Basin Ski Resort, are reliably affordable. Day passes are about $46; night passes are as low as $20. For this reason Boise residents love Bogus Basin. The only downside is limited snowmaking facilities that mean the resort relies on natural snowfall. In most winters, however, Bogus Basin Idaho is a good, cheap bet for a ski vacation.