With over 20,000 skiable acres, Idaho should be at the top of your winter ski vacation list. Besides the world class ski resorts, there are almost a dozen state parks with ski trails, 5 of which have amenities for planning an overnight trip. And with the purchase of an Idaho State Park Passport, you can have a yearly unlimited access to over 30 state parks all over the state.
Here's our list of top 5 state parks in Idaho to pack your skis and hit the trails.
Ponderosa State Park
Located in one of Idaho's most popular vacation spots, McCall, Ponderosa State Park is about 100 miles outside of Boise and set on Payette Lake. With snowshoe trails along the Payette River and luxury cabins right on the lake, this makes for the perfect family vacation. This really is a great spot no matter what type of camping you want to do, with cabins complete with full kitchens and Wi-Fi to some more rustic spots, but all with the luxuries and conveniences of McCall right near by.
Harriman State Park
Once owned by the railroad investors and later turned into a cattle farm, Harriman State Park is located about 30 miles from Yellowstone, Montana, and has an elevation of 6,210 feet. The area is known for cross-country skiing and for great snowshoeing trails, and elk, moose and swans are common animal sightings. If you're looking for a really unique vacation, consider renting out one of the two Mongolian style yurts that are available near Silver Lake.
Winchester State Park
Is ice-skating or ice fishing on your winter bucket list? If so, plan a trip to Winchester State Park, about 140 miles from Spokane, Washington. Known for catching rainbow trout on the lake and for the chance to see Bald Eagles and White tailed deer, this is a great spot for the wildlife lover in your family. If you plan your visit right, make sure to stop by the visitor’s center and join a guided tour of the lake.
Castle Rocks State Park
Are you looking for ice climbing, Nordic skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing? Then Castle Rocks State Park is where you should go! Book the Lodge (the perfect spot for an inexpensive family reunion) for only $159 dollars a night for a space that sleeps up to 8. If you need even more room, they have an additional spot right next door called the Bunkhouse that sleeps 8-12.
City of Rocks National Reserve
Yes, not technically a state park, but the City of Rocks National Reserve is a must for any one interested in extreme rock formations, outdoor adventures and solitude. The crazy rock formations create excellent skiing and snowshoe trails during the winter. Rustic camping is available, but there might not be running water, so plan before you go.