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downhill skiers
There are some who can't wait for the snow to fall. Many of them grab their skis and head for one of Idaho's 16 ski areas, including Idaho's most famous resort, Sun Valley. Patterned after European resorts, Sun Valley was developed in the 1930's by Union Pacific Railroad in an effort to boost passenger traffic during the Depression. The railroad no longer serves Sun Valley, but people still flock to the resort. Today, it attracts a mix of Hollywood stars, wealthy industrialists, world class athletes and average citizens.

cross country skiersMany ski resorts also have groomed cross-country ski trails. Hundreds of miles of groomed trails are also found in Idaho State Parks and on Forest Service land. One note, however. Many areas require a valid Park-and-Ski permit. Money raised from sale of the permits goes to improve cross-country skiing opportunities in Idaho. An annual permit costs $20. Temporary, three-day permits are also available.

backcountry skier
While some head for the slopes, others head for the hills. Away from the crowds, they carve turns in Idaho's backcountry — getting there under their own power or with help from a helicopter or a snowcat. No matter how they get there, it's well worth the effort. Backcountry skiing offers incredible scenery, solitude and the chance to ski or snowboard in untracked powder. Try to find that at a ski resort!
With millions of acres of public land, Idaho has a lot to offer snowmobile enthusiasts. Idaho has more than 7,200 miles of groomed trails, the fifth largest trail system in the country. Residents and non-residents alike must pay a trail user fee. Nearly all of the money goes to groom and maintain snowmobile trails.
ice sculpture
Ice climbing, dog sled rides and ice fishing are just a few of the recreational opportunities during the winter. And, for the less adventurous, the McCall Winter Carnival offers the chance to see artists turn blocks of snow and ice into masterpieces. Crews spend hours chipping and shaping the ice into elaborate sculptures, only to see them melt away when spring comes.


Cross Country skiing
Idaho Ski Resorts
Idaho Snowmobile Trails
Idaho Cross Country Trails

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