Best of Boise: The Bogus Backcountry

Venture into the backcountry from Boise’s local ski resort.

Resort Ski Touring, Ski Touring Easy, Moderate, Difficult

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Ski touring the Mores Mountain meadows
Ski touring the Mores Mountain meadows Photo: Jesse Weber

Description

Idaho’s capital city prides itself on a wealth of outdoor access near the urban center. Not least among these opportunities is skiing at Bogus Basin, which is Idaho’s nonprofit winter resort. Chairlifts and maintained runs occupy some of this terrain atop the Boise Mountains, but the outskirts remain a backcountry playground for those wanting to leave the resort behind.

While it’s true that Boise may not top anyone’s list of backcountry ski destinations in Idaho––a state chock-full of wilderness ranges––it’s a handy escape for locals and visitors to get their fix close to the city. A 45-minute drive up Bogus Basin Road puts you at the resort, where you can start skinning right away or take a lift assist to start your tour.

The best and most popular zone is Mores Mountain, located just north of the resort bounds and accessed through a backcountry gate. It has everything from a beginner-friendly out and back to technical lines with cliff drops, and any route can make a loop back toward the ski lifts. Mores generally has the most reliable snow, as well as a range of aspects to choose from.

There is also the sidecountry, plus farther-out terrain on Deer Point and Doe Point, accessed from the front side of Bogus Basin. An inbounds skin track goes up toward the top, as does a chairlift, and from there, you can choose to leave the marked runs for a variety of touring options. Deer Point’s elevation and largely southern exposure make the snow more fickle than in other zones, but the range of mellow terrain offers something in almost any condition.

The map shows some of the best options for ski touring and splitboarding outside the resort. Most of these are best done with a lift pass, but others start directly from the road. Please respect the uphill policy if you plan on skinning through the resort, and as always, treat the backcountry with due respect.

Routes included