Best Cross Country Skiing in Idaho

Trying to find the best cross country skiing in Idaho? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.

1

Idaho, Boise County

07 :10 hrs
7.1 mi
105.937256 ft
Moderate

This outing starts off Highway 21 in Boise County, and the route follows along Grandjean Road and the South Fork Payette River to Grandjean Campground. Be aware that avalanche areas may exist away from the trail during certain conditions. The Sacajawea Hot Springs are located along the river nearby, and elk reside in the area during the winter months. Expect to observe some really great scenery of the surrounding Sawtooth Range & Wilderness. You should be prepared to use proficient skills in both Nordic skiing and winter survival before entering the wilderness here. Also, the trails are not groomed.

2

Idaho, Boise County

01 :03 hrs
1.1 mi
11.570679 ft
Hard

Parking is limited at off Highway 21, and the route heads northwest past Bonneville Campground to Bonneville Hot Springs. The destination includes one small bathhouse and an individual tub, plus extraordinary canyon views. Be cautious of the very hot water (180+ degrees). There is a $5 day use fee to use the springs.

3

Montana, Beaverhead County

01 :57 hrs
3.6 mi
102.57056 ft
Moderate

Birch Creek ski and snow shoe trail is intermittently groomed and is a great trail to access the foothills of the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. This can be done in a loop or there are several marked trails varying in skill levels available.

4

Montana, Glacier County

09 :52 hrs
10.9 mi
82.78845 ft
Extreme

This scenic route begins at the east entrance of the park and follows the Going-to-the-Sun Road which is closed to vehicles in the winter. Remember to maintain separate tracks for skiing and snowshoeing when possible. If planning to make this a backcountry camping trip, be sure to obtain backcountry permits from the Hudson Bay District Office.

5

Montana, Flathead County

06 :04 hrs
5.8 mi
171.46655 ft
Expert

This Cross Country Ski trail follows the Bowman Lake Road which is closed to traffic during the winter. Take a left at the first junction and a right at the second. There are some hills along the route that may be difficult when icy. The trail travels through the 1988 fire which resulted in a thin forest, but some spectacular views from the edge of Bowman Lake.

6

Montana, Flathead County

02 :28 hrs
5.5 mi
266.6006 ft
Hard

Autumn Creek Trail is a popular ski route in the area. Be sure to plan ahead as this is a one-way trail. The route is for more advanced skiers because of some steep hills and creek crossings. The beginning of the route is a gradual climb until you reach the open meadows. Beginners may want to ski an out-and-back section of the first part to explore the open areas around Three Bears Lake. The views here are amazing and worth the trip. The trail then heads back to the railroad tracks to a steep access road. Pull off at mile marker 193.8 on U.S. Highway 2.

7

Montana, Flathead County

04 :58 hrs
5.6 mi
62.07257 ft
Hard

This popular route begins at the Lake McDonald Lodge and follows along Going-To-The-Sun-Road, which is closed at this point during the winter to vehicles. The trail is gentle and follows right along McDonald Creek. The winter scenery is spectacular with the lake and amounts of snow the area receives.

8

Montana, Flathead County

04 :59 hrs
10.4 mi
221.55817 ft
Expert

This scenic trail follows along the Inside North Fork Road, which is closed to traffic during the winter. Once reaching the meadow, ski along the northern edge of the meadow until you see the opening for the car pullout on Camas Road. This will take you back to where you started. This loop can be done in either direction but going up the Camas Road is the more strenuous route.

9

Idaho, Boise County

01 :11 hrs
2.7 mi
16.661377 ft
Easy

This outing starts at Helende Campground off Highway 21, and the route leads through a forest of lodgepole and Ponderosa pine. The outing will offer great views of the surrounding Salmon River Mountains and the South Fork Payette River as it runs nearby. The area has an elk herd that resides here during the winter time, so don't be surprised if you see them and don't approach. Also, be sure to stay off of the ice on the river.

10

Idaho, Boise County

06 :46 hrs
11.9 mi
328.47864 ft
Hard

This outing starts off Highway 21 at Grandjean Road in Boise County. Expect broad vistas of the upper end of the South Fork Payette River Canyon and the western portion of the Sawtooth Wilderness while traversing along the Sawtooth Range. I’m not sure if there’s a way to loop around to each end of the trail past Fox Creek, but do be cautious of possible avalanche danger. Also, the trails are not groomed.

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