Backcountry and Nordic Skiing
Guides and Avalanche Education
Welcome to the extraordinary town of Stanley, Idaho! Nestled at the intersection of the adventure-packed Sawtooth Mountains, White Cloud Mountains, and Salmon River Mountains, our charming town offers an unbeatable skiing experience for beginners and aficionados.
About Skiing in the Sawtooths
Day trips into the Sawtooths with Stanley as base camp offer an abundance of quality snow and a variety of killer terrain. Skiers and snowboarders can also utilize the Sawtooth Yurt System, which brings backcountry travelers deep into the range for the full spectrum of experiences. Little known, hewn from the granite of the central Idaho batholith, the Sawtooths are riddled with thousands of couloirs. From meadow skipping to intermediate glade skiing to full-on avalanche chute hunting, the Sawtooths are the real deal and one of the best-kept secrets anywhere.
It's no wonder why the Stanley Basin and neighboring Sun Valley are home to a passionate community of Nordic skiers. This area is ideally suited for kick and glide with some of the best terrain and conditions for Nordic skiing anywhere. Stanley has two groomed Nordic trail systems, with one at Alturas Lake 20 minutes south of Stanley on highway 75 and the other at Park Creek less than 10 minutes to the west on Highway 21. Approximately 32 kilometers of groomed trails loop through the meadows and timber at the base of the Sawtooths in an incredible, picturesque amphitheater of mountains and snow-draped stillness.
What to Know Before You Go Backcountry or Nordic Skiing in Stanley, Idaho
Before you hit the slopes in the Sawtooth Mountains, here's what you should know to make the most of your adventure:
Terrain and Trails
From gentle slopes to challenging backcountry ski trails, The Sawtooth Mountains, which bump up against Stanley to the south and west, hold some of the most aesthetic and radical ski terrains in the western United States. Please look at our trail maps to explore available options and choose the routes matching your skiing abilities.
Safety is paramount when it comes to Nordic and backcountry skiing. Please familiarize yourself with the Skier's Responsibility Code and always abide by it. Pay attention to signage, ski within your abilities, and be aware of other skiers. Additionally, carry essential safety equipment, such as a helmet and avalanche gear, and know how to use them properly.
**We remind you that you are traveling in the backcountry, and hazardous snow conditions can exist on all aspects and at all elevations all season. So take appropriate precautions and be safe out there!**
Check the Snow Conditions and Weather
Stanley receives abundant snowfall, creating ideal conditions for backcountry or Nordic skiing. Stay updated on snow conditions and weather forecasts to plan your trip accordingly. Remember to dress in layers and pack appropriate gear for varying weather conditions. You can ski and explore a little longer during late spring and early summer, with more hours of sunlight and typically more stable conditions.
Book a Backcountry or Nordic Skiing Expedition with a Chamber Member
For an unforgettable skiing experience in Stanley, we recommend booking a skiing expedition with one of our trusted Chamber members. Our local guides and outfitters know the area better than anyone, are trained to ensure safety, and offer you an unforgettable time on the slopes. If you need lessons, just let your guide know! Our Chamber members offer various skiing packages tailored to your needs and skill.
Take an Avalanche Safety Course Before Skiing
Exploring the backcountry can be an exhilarating experience, but coming prepared is essential. Before anyone ventures out into the untouched powder of the Sawtooth Mountains, they should take an avalanche safety course. Our Chamber members offer expert-led lessons that will teach you essential skills, such as assessing avalanche risk, using rescue equipment, and understanding snowpack conditions. Equipping yourself with the knowledge and skills to navigate avalanche terrain will ensure a safer and more enjoyable backcountry skiing experience.
Rent Skis and Equipment from a Chamber Member
If you don't have your own skiing gear or prefer to travel light, our Chamber members provide convenient ski and equipment rentals. You'll find everything you need to hit the slopes in style, from skis and snowboards to boots, poles, and safety gear. Our rental partners offer high-quality equipment suitable for all skill levels, ensuring a comfortable and seamless skiing experience.
Ready to Embark on Your Stanley Skiing Adventure?
Stanley, Idaho, is the perfect destination for your next skiing getaway! Whether you're a beginner or an expert, our Chamber members are here to make your skiing experience in Stanley unforgettable and safe. Book your skiing expedition, take an avalanche course, and rent top-notch equipment from our trusted partners. Get ready for an adrenaline-fueled adventure amidst the stunning beauty of the Sawtooth Mountains!