Alternative Ski Areas for the Holiday Season

Santa ski down mt. Rose
Santa Ski-Down at Mt. Rose, NV. PC: mt rose

The week between Christmas and New Years is the busiest ski week of the season. The combination of school breaks, work vacations, and the start of winter is the perfect combo to bring the crowds to ski towns. Below are a handful of lesser-known resorts that are in proximity to some of the most popular ski areas in the western United States.

Bogus Basin: North of Boise, Idaho

bogus ski trail map
Bogus Basin, Idaho trail map. PC: Bogus Basin

Bogus Basin is the most accessible resort in Idaho! It is just 16 miles uphill from Boise, and has a great community feel with a brand new high-speed quad! Many of the ski areas in Idaho and just over the border in Wyoming area quite isolated and can be hard to get to, but not Bogus Basin!

It is a non-profit resort with 2600 acres on 1800 vertical feet. Day tickets are only $67 and it includes night skiing until 10 pm. Boise has plenty of affordable accommodation and food options as well!

ski views from bogus basin
Great views of Boise from Bogus Basin, ID. PC: Bogus Basin

Copper Mountain: West of Denver, Colorado

ski trail map copper mountain
Copper Mountain, Colorado trail map. PC: Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain lays 70 miles west of Denver. It is on the infamously congested Interstate-70 that gets a bad reputation for getting clogged up on weekends. A pro skier from Vail, Colorado once told me that Copper is his weekend escape from crowds at more popular resorts.

They have a new 3-pack lift named Three Bears that brings riders to a new summit to access exclusively double black terrain. It is even rumored to be opening today (December 27th) for the FIRST TIME!! Lift tickets are a little pricy at $190, but you can save upwards of 25% by booking online!

New ski chair at copper mountain
Brand new Three Bears chairlift. PC: Copper Mountain

Snowbasin: North of Salt Lake City, Utah 

ski trail map of snowbasin
Trail map of Snowbasin, Utah. PC: Snowbasin

Salt Lake City, Utah resorts proclaim they have the “Greatest Snow On Earth.” Although the snow is amazing there, some of the most known resorts attract quite the crowds. This resort has 3000 skiable acres on 3000 vertical feet.

Snowbasin Ski Resort is a 30-minute drive from Ogden, Utah and also has plenty of amenities on-mountain. They are famous for being one of the oldest continuously operating ski areas in the US and features the famous 2.9-mile long blue run, Elk Ridge.

ski snowbasin chair lift
A foggy powder day at Snowbasin, Utah Christmas day 2019. PC: Snowbasin

Mt. Rose: Reno, Nevada 

ski trail map mt rose
Trail map of Mt. Rose, NV. PC: mt rose

The Lake Tahoe Area in California is home to 15 Ski resorts. A handful of resorts definitely get the attention for Tahoe, and Mt. Rose sadly gets left out. Its most unique attribute is the elevation: Base starts at 8,260 ft. and it peaks out at 9,700 ft!! The snow stays real cold and the terrain is fun.

Mt Rose is on the Nevada side of Tahoe. Day tickets cost $145 (very competitive for the Tahoe area), and close to Reno, NV for affordable accommodation!

ski mt rose view
Beautiful views from Mt. Rose, NV. PC: mt rose