Bald Mountain Ski Area in Idaho is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Bald Mountain Ski Area, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsBald Mountain Ski Area, which is located in the Clearwater Mountains of north-central Idaho, is the ideal destination for snow lovers seeking traditional, nostalgic-style skiing. Not to be confused with Sun Valley's similarly named but much flashier Bald Mountain -- or Baldy -- to the south, the Bald Mountain Ski Area is a small resort that is only open on weekends and run by volunteers. This ski destination is located about 70 miles from Lewiston, Idaho, and about 185 miles from Spokane, Washington. Once a private skiing club, Bald Mountain Ski Area is now an excellent economical choice for families and those looking for an inexpensive way to ski on the weekends.
The MountainBald Mountain tops off at 4,800 feet and boasts a vertical drop of 684 feet. Because the ski area is closed during the week, lucky weekend warriors are often met with an untouched accumulation of powder just waiting to be carved up. All of this snow is natural, with the ski area receiving an average of 100 inches during the season. Bald Mountain's slopes, which are a nice mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced, are typically open from December until March.
Trails And LiftsThe Bald Mountain Ski Area has 15 trails spread out over 140 skiable acres. Its longest run is 7,920 feet long. Though not a huge resort, it offers trails for all levels, with 25 percent rated as beginner, 40 percent as intermediate, 20 percent as advanced and 15 percent as expert. Skiers looking for a challenge can tackle the aptly named, expert-level Roller Coaster trail. Bald Mountain is a traditional skiing hill that still tugs its skiers up the slopes via one rope tow and one T-bar lift. Snowboarding is allowed, but there is no terrain park or night skiing available at the Bald Mountain Ski Area.
In The NewsBald Mountain Ski Area is proud of its reputation as a family-oriented, low-key skiing destination. Its snack bar is not run by a celebrity chef, but by a friendly local volunteer. Instead of flashy ski competitions, it offers a free ski program for fifth- and sixth-graders. Still, the little mountain occasionally gets mentioned in a blog or two by happy visitors, and Peak Video Productions recently shot a video about this old-time ski hill that really shows off Bald Mountain Ski Area's excellent powder and terrain.
CostBald Mountain Ski Area offers some of the most reasonable rates in the nation. A full-day pass is $20, while half-day passes cost $15. Senior citizens older than 70, children younger than 6 and those in the fifth and sixth grades (who have a special passport) ski free. A tow-lift-only pass is $5. For those planning on making multiple trips to Bald Mountain Ski Area, there is a five-day pass for $68.90, a 10-day pass for $116.60 or a family season pass for $397.50. Rentals are currently unavailable at Bald Mountain Ski Area. The resort offers ski or snowboard lessons, which cost $15 per hour.
Apres-SkiResort visitors can relax with a fast, hot meal at the on-site Day Lodge and Cafe. While the Bald Mountain Ski Area does not have any hotels on-site, it's just a short drive away from the town of Pierce, which has several small lodging options, including the five-room, rustic Timber Inn. Bald Mountain Ski Area is also linked by a free bus to Orofino, which is 28 miles to the northeast. Orofino is also home to several small hotels, including the Best Western Plus Lodge at River's Edge. Both small towns have a few bars and restaurants as well.
WATCH: Bald Mountain Ski Area
Explore the cozy and rustic atmosphere at Bald Mountain Ski Area.