Bogus Basin


Article by Boise Lifestyle

Photography by Bogus Basin


For 79 years, Bogus Basin has been an integral part of the Treasure Valley community, a source of countless memories for individuals and for generations of families. Located 16 miles above downtown Boise, the non-profit recreation area is visible throughout the valley. Whether you are commuting to work, picking up kids from school, or heading up to ski or hike with your family, you probably see the iconic radio towers at Deer Point summit every day. 

The inspiring story of Bogus Basin starts with the collaborative efforts of Boise’s Junior Chamber members, city and state officials, and Boise Ski Club members. In the late 1930’s they recognized the opportunity to create a year-round mountain recreation destination that would enrich lives and boost the local economy. Early video footage of enthusiastic volunteers - men, women and children - clearing trees and brush, speaks to the grit, perseverance, and commitment that fueled this collective dream. 

Seventy-nine years later, that dream is thriving. While the population of the Treasure Valley has grown significantly, from 25,000 to over 760,000 since Bogus Basin opened in 1942, the mission remains unchanged. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit Bogus Basin is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors, with daily operations managed by 65 full-time staff, 500 winter seasonal employees, and 100 summer seasonal employees. Fulfilling Bogus Basin’s mission of providing affordable, accessible and fun year-round mountain recreation and education remains at the core of the organization. 

In 2016 Bogus Basin adopted a comprehensive, ten-year master plan to assure the recreation area’s long-term viability. The plan mapped out how to transition Bogus Basin from a one-season business model and help achieve its potential as a year-round destination for recreation and education. Summer development included The Glade Runner Mountain Coaster, a revamped base area with added activities, expanded hiking and biking trails, community events, and The Basin Gravity Park, a lift-accessed downhill mountain bike park. 

The plan also focused on the importance of improving winter operations and facilities. The mountain experience was enhanced by providing upgraded access for beginners, replacing the dated Morning Star chair with a new high-speed quad lift, expanding expert terrain, and improving amenities. Introducing an extensive snowmaking system has assured a dependable winter opening date to provide reliable and critical income.

Following several strong winter seasons, excellent season pass sales and support from the community, the area was able to implement the year-round master plan in just five years. Bogus Basin remains committed to investing in the future of the recreation area. In summer 2021, a new master plan was adopted, preparing the non-profit for future expansion opportunities for recreation and education. New runs, lifts and facilities for the winter and new trails, programs and events for the summer, combined with expanding community impact activities like free concerts, overnight youth science courses, and group events will connect significantly more individuals and families with healthy, fun outdoor opportunities.

Bogus Basin’s close proximity to the metro area makes it a top destination for locals. Nearly 500,000 guests visit the area annually, to enjoy a wide variety of activities. Environmental education programs, an acclaimed Ski & Snowboard School, winter and summer community race series’, and school-based programs are popular draws.

For nearly 80 years, residents and guests of the Treasure Valley have had a special place to escape from the city below. A deep breath of fresh air, an awe-inspiring view, a mountain friendship, or working with classmates to build a fort in the forest – there are countless reasons Bogus Basin is a place to visit and explore.


  • 2,600 acres of terrain
  • 10 lifts (4 high-speed detachable quads)
  • 88 runs
  • 1,800 true vertical feet of skiing
  • 12 – 13 hours of skiing/riding daily
  • Group and private ski and snowboard lessons
  • Ski and snowboard rentals and full-service retail outlet
  • 37K of Nordic trails: open for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat-tire biking
  • Winter Tubing Hill: 800 ft. downhill thrill with the convenience of a conveyor-lift back to the top
  • Glade Runner Mountain Coaster with winter holiday hours
  • 3 lodges with 3 additional food outlets


General Manager, Brad Wilson, and the Bogus Basin team share some top projects to be on the lookout for this season:

  • Both the Simplot and Pioneer Lodges have received updates this year, including new furniture and improved ventilation. 
  • The main parking lot has been paved out to the maintenance road and parking lot #4 has been expanded, providing at least 200 additional spaces. Also, cameras have been installed in all 6 of the area parking lots so you can monitor availability when you head up to the mountain.
  • The area has built out the snowmaking system, doubling the number of portable fan guns (bringing the total to 50), as well as the water pumping capacity. This allows twice as much snow to be made during the same period, providing more top to bottom coverage. 
  • Bogus Basin has acquired not one, not two, but THREE new Snowcats, including a dedicated Nordic cat, a cat for the terrain parks, and a winch cat for buffing out the steepest terrain.
  • More fun - The US Forest Service's 'Forest Health Initiative' was developed to remove dead and diseased trees from all over the recreation area in order to promote a healthier forest. The completion of this operation created a lot of cleared tree skiing, providing six new named runs this winter. 

Businesses Featured in this Article

Related Businesses

Vertical Drop

Sporting Goods

Vertical Drop

Loveland, OH

Vertical Drop has grown to become Cincinnati’s premier ski, snowboard, and gear shop. With expert staff and years of...

Gear West Ski and Bike


Gear West Ski and Bike

Long Lake, MN

The one and only family owned specialty sport campus in … the Minneapolis area and beyond. We focus on cross-country skiing...

See More

Related Articles