In a lakefront, frontier Idaho town called McCall is a ski place called
Most skiers have never heard of Brundage Mountain Resort. That’s one reason
Brundage is so special. The fact that it gets “the best snow in Idaho” is
another. Brundage is an 1,800’ vertical ski area, family owned and operated
since 1961. Brundage is blessed with up to 400” of snow annually, and not too
many skiers and snowboarders to track it up.
On our Brundage visit we were among a handful of skiers at opening bell, which
is 9:30am (Idaho is more relaxed). With speedy seven-minute lift rides on the
Blue Bird Express quad, you can lap one great groomed cruiser after another. Fly
down Alpine, 45th Parallel and Engen – named after Cory Engen, the Olympic
jumper who started Winter Carnivals in McCall in 1924, the wonderful winter
tradition continues to this day with ice sculpture and dog sledding.
From Brundage’s summit of 7,640’ you can enjoy views of Payette Lake and the
surrounding Salmon River Mountains, you can even see into Oregon. And you can
drop off the backside to ski Lakeview Bowl’s 800’ vertical of well spaced glades
and sweet cruisers. There are plenty of off trail treats too - bribe a Brundage
The Bear Chair services beginner and intermediate terrain, with a Bear’s Den log
cabin for a cozy warm up. Brundage is an ideal family mountain, reasonable
rates, no crowds amid 1,500 sprawling acres, plus excellent learning terrain on Easy
Street. Brundage’s homey base lodge emanates from the authentic 1961 A-frame,
not fancy but friendly - great ski area grub with low prices. Thumbs up on the
Idaho potato bar.
If you want to go beyond Brundage’s ski area boundaries, take a cat ski trip.
Brundage’s cat skiing operation
offers daily trips to 19,000 acres of powder filled Payette National Forest. We
had a phenomenal day with our two guides, tracking 10 remarkable powder runs in
Brundage's backcountry. Another big thumbs up.
Up until a land swap was completed a few years ago,
Brundage Mountain Resort
was surrounded by national forest, so there is no slopeside lodging yet, stay
tuned. The Brundage Base Lodge is expanding by 1,000 square feet for the 2012-13
season, go upstairs and hit the Idaho Potato bar for a perfect post powder
morning lunch topped with bacon, cheese, chili, with a side of Idaho microbrew. Our editors recommend you stay at The Shore Lodge
in McCall, just 10 easy minutes away, located right on the lake and a
fabulous place to stay. You can also ski nearby
Tamarack Resort during
an Idaho ski vacation, even combine your trip with skiing at Sun Valley.