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3 Best Budget Idaho Ski Resorts (With 2023 Pricing)

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Here are three great Idaho ski resorts in our home state. All three resorts are family friendly and economically priced. Bonus, for the 2022-2023 ski season, all three resorts had lift tickets that are under $100.

Some of the links in this blog are affiliate links. If you click and purchase, we will receive a commission at no extra charge to you.  We only recommend activities or places we have experienced, and all opinions are our own.

Let’s be honest–skiing is often about the privilege. And even though we have some great tips for skiing on a budget, it is expensive.

According to Powder Magazine, “Of the 9.4 million skiers in the United States, 72 percent are white. More than half earn a salary higher than $100,000.” And with single-day lift tickets topping over $200 in places like Park City and Vail, it makes sense why skiing is the playground of the economically privileged.

If your family wants to have a great ski vacation, but not break the bank, these Idaho ski resorts are for you. 

Matthew, Faith and O on a lift
Bring on the powder!

Lift Ticket Prices

First let’s talk about lift ticket prices. And let me be even more honest: most local skiers don’t pay window ticket prices.

We have a season pass that gives us free days at other resorts or we buy ticket deals in advance, like Brundages 4-pack deal, which is typically sold out by early November. 

However, for some families that just want a week to try out skiing in the Mountain West, passes don’t make sense and there may not be an opportunity to plan a ski trip in advance. So below is a list of three resorts where walk up, no discount lift tickets for the 2022-2023 ski season are under $100. 

While these three resorts may not have particularly fancy lodges or ski-in/ski-out luxury accommodations, what they do have is great skiing.

All of these resorts have a minimum of 5 ski lifts and at least 1,500 skiable acres. So let’s go.

Budget Idaho Ski Resorts 

Bogus Basin in Boise, Idaho

Number of Lifts: 11

Skiable Acres: 2,600

2021-2022 Lift Ticket Prices (2022-2023)

  • Adult (18+): $79*
  • Teen (13-17): $57
  • Junior (17-12): $32
  • Child (6 and below): $10

*all 3 resorts offer discounted senior tickets

Our number 1 pick for inexpensive Idaho ski resorts is our very own Bogus Basin. Located just 18 miles from Boise, Idaho, Bogus is great for all levels of skiers.

The front side of the mountain is great for beginners and the backside offers more challenges. The mountain also has a Nordic ski and snowshoeing area, a tubing hill, and Idaho’s only mountain coaster — The Glade Runner — for family members who don’t ski but still want a winter adventure.

Faith and O at Bogus
Ski selfie before boarding a lift on the backside of Bogus

One of the best parts of Bogus Basin is that it is a non-profit, which means the whole vibe of Bogus is about making skiing accessible. As season ticket holders for nearly 20 years, we have raised O on this mountain and can not say enough about how much we appreciate it.

However, just because it is a nonprofit don’t lower your expectations. In 2018, Bogus installed snow making machines, which allows for a more predictable opening date around Thanksgiving. Bogus also has night skiing until 10 p.m. for those night owls. 

Bogus Basin is also a great place for beginners. Bogus offers private and semi-private lessons. For your littlest skier (ages 4-6), a one-hour and 45 minute ski lesson is $89. And the same length of lesson for 7-adult is just $69. The mountain has two “magic carpets” for beginning skiers. 

Getting to Bogus: 

The largest airport is Boise Municipal Airport. If you are driving, Boise is roughly 5 hours from Salt Lake and 8 hours from Seattle. For the 2021 season, Bogus has cancelled their public transportation due to Covid so you will have to rent a car to access the mountain. 

Where to Stay: 

Bogus does have a very limited number of condominiums at Pioneer Lodge. But the truth is, most people who ski Bogus commute from Boise. Now, I ain’t going to lie, the road up to Bogus, with its switchbacks, is not ideal. Every Saturday, Matthew packs the skis and I pack a lunch and a hot mug of chamomile tea for O and I as we are both prone to motion sickness. But for a budget-minded family, there is no better place than Bogus. 

Brundage Mountain in McCall, Idaho

Number of Lifts: 5

Skiable Acres: 1,500

2022-2023  Lift Ticket Prices: 

  • Adult (18+): $86 (regular season), $94 (holiday)
  • Teen (13-17): $62 (regular), $64 (holiday)
  • Junior (7-12): $40 (regular), $42 (holiday)
  • Child (6 and below): FREE

Brundage’s tagline “The Best Snow in Idaho” is very often the case. If we are not skiing at Bogus–and there is white on the ground–chances are we will be here. Brundage is located just 16 miles from the quaint, Idaho town of McCall. With long runs and beautiful views, especially on the Lake View Bowl side, Brundage is tough to beat.

A beautiful long run at Brundage Mountain Resort

McCall in itself is definitely enough. This is our favorite town in Idaho no matter the season. With little coffee shops, local restaurants and a gorgeous lake, McCall could not be more quintessential Idaho. And McCall + Brundage Ski Resort feels like a real winter wonderland package.

Our son, O, had his first lessons at Brundage. In addition to an amazing, 1,800 vertical drop, Brundage also has a lovely beginner’s area.

Like Bogus, Brundage offers private lessons. However, this Idaho ski resort also has a unique program called 4X4 lessons. 4×4 lessons are 4 days of private lessons, 4 days of ski or board rentals, 4 intermediate lift tickets and a 2022-2023 pass upon completion of the program.

The cost of the program is $499. And while that may feel steep, it breaks down to just $125/day, which doesn’t even take into account the season pass. Remarkable! Skiers have to be 7+ to utilize this program.

O learning to ski at Brundage
O learning to ski at Brundage

Getting to Brundage: 

The nearest commercial airport to Brundage is Boise Municipal Airport. McCall is 100 miles from Boise, approximately a 2-hour drive on Hwy 55. If you are driving, McCall  is roughly 7.5 hours from Salt Lake and 8 hours from Seattle. There is no public transit to Brundage.

Brundage Parking Lot Perfect for Picnics
Brundage lower parking lot has the coolest vibe. Simply ski up to your vehicle, pull out your lunch and a camp chair and you are at the most happening spot on the mountain

.

Where to Stay: 

Brundage does not yet have any accommodations on the mountain (there is a big expansion coming). For now, there are numerous hotels and apartment-style rentals in McCall. For those who want to invest what they save skiing in their accommodations, Shore Lodge is pretty perfect.

Brundage Parking Lot
Walking to first chair at Brundage

McCall is not only our ski place; it is our winter getaway. When we aren’t on the slopes, we have lots of other recommendations for winter activities in McCall.

Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg, Idaho

Number of Lifts: 6

Skiable Acres: 1,590

2022-2023 Lift Ticket Prices*: 

  • Adult (18+): $71
  • Youth (7-17): $55
  • College Students: $64
  • Under 6: Free

* Silver Mountain has a pretty elaborate pricing breakdown. We’ve listed a basic weekend price. But the mountain also has mid-week and holiday prices.

Silver Mountain is definitely an overlooked resort. The mountain has plenty of skiable acres, but a very low lift ticket price. And one of the best features of Silver Mountain is its 3.1 mile Gondola.

For those who love time reading a book in the lodge next to the fireplace, Silver Mountain sells Gondola-only tickets to enjoy the view. There is also a tubing hill to enjoy.

Matthew and I reading for their first run
Ready for run #1

Lessons are also a good deal at Silver Mountain. A 1-hour private lesson is $99. Group lessons are only $65 per person,

Getting to Silver Mountain: 

The nearest airport to Silver Mountain is Spokane International Airport. The resort is 75 miles from Spokane, Washington and an easy 1-hour drive.

Unlike Bogus with its windy road, Silver Mountain is just 1 mile off of I-90. Greyhound has a stop right in front of the Gondola office. So, for those who want to forgo the car rental, Silver Mountain is perfect. 

Where to Stay: 

Okay, here is the bonus of Silver Mountain Resort: In addition to very good, inexpensive skiing, Silver Mountain has on-mountain lodging, The Morning Star Lodge.

And you know what is even better than on mountain accommodation…on-mountain accommodations that features an indoor water park. Yep, you heard me right–an indoor water park. With numerous slides, a lazy river, and flow rider to perfect your surfing skills, Silver Mountain could be the perfect ski (and surf) family vacation.

We love these 3 Idaho ski resorts. They offer great skiing at an affordable price. You can definitely pay more to ski in Idaho, but I guarantee you that you won’t necessarily have a better time or have better powder than right here.

FAQs for Budget Skiing in Idaho


How many ski resorts are there in Idaho?

Idaho has 18 ski resorts.
The intensity of Idaho resorts range from a massive 3,450 feet vertical drop at Sun Valley. To just at 400 feet at Snowhaven in Grangeville.

Are there ski resorts open in Idaho?

A typical ski season in Idaho runs from late November until mid-April.

What are the famous ski resorts in Idaho?

Sun Valley is Idaho’s most famous ski resort. Sun Valley is not only known for its famous residents (think Demi Moore and Tom Hanks), it is also Idaho’s oldest ski resort.
In addition to its fame, the resort also boast 120 out of 150 days of sunny skiing, which is hard to beat.

What is Idaho’s largest ski resort?

With over 2,700 acres of skiable terrain, Schweitzer is Idaho’s largest ski resort.

At at just 80 miles from Spokane International Airport, Spokane is easily accessible from much of the Pacific Northwest.

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We have other helpful recommendations for where to ski in Montana and Oregon to get great skiing on a budget. Or if you want are a beginner skier and have your heart set on the iconic front range of Colorado, we have the best ski resorts for beginners.

11 Comments

  1. Hannah

    This guide is great! Skiing is so expensive! It is great to know that there are more affordable options available so that more people are able to enjoy skiing. Thanks for the great guide!

    • Cosette

      Wow, so many great budget ski resorts in Idaho. Ski resorts can be pretty expensive and things can add up quickly. We’ve only been to Austria, Germany and Czechia for snow fun (we live in the Netherlands) and have done it budget friendly also.

      • Faith

        Cosette, I would love to hear more about where recommend. We are currently working on a post about skiing at Brauneck in Germany. But we have done most of our skiing (so far) in the US.

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