Where to Ski in Idaho to get away from the Jackson Hole Crowds: Skiing Swan Valley
Looking for an off-the-beaten-path ski adventure? Skiing in Idaho is magical in Swan Valley, Idaho- a hidden gem for skiers, snowboarders, and winter sports enthusiasts looking for Idaho skiing. Tucked away in the eastern part of the state, this picturesque valley offers a snowy haven (known for the large amounts of snow) for those seeking thrilling mountain adventures. Stay in Swan Valley at River Retreat Lodge and have your choice of two alpine ski resorts, Kelly Canyon and Grand Targhee- both no more than an hour’s drive from your favorite lodge and conveniently located between the two ski resorts.
With charming accommodations at River Retreat Lodge, Swan Valley promises an unforgettable winter experience.
Kelly Canyon Ski Resort: Small but Mighty
Kelly Canyon Ski Resort in Ririe, Idaho, is just a short drive from Swan Valley and approximately 30 Minutes from River Retreat Lodge. It lends itself as a cozy yet riveting ski destination.
This ski resort is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It is a perfect spot for families and beginners who want to experience the joys of skiing without feeling overwhelmed or pressured. The ski school offers excellent instruction for all ages, and the gentle slopes are ideal for newcomers to develop their skills.
However, suppose you are looking for intermediate and advanced ski terrain. In that case, you won’t be disappointed, as Kelly Canyon boasts more challenging runs and a terrain park for freestyle enthusiasts. Ski patrol is present to ensure safety on the slopes, and well-maintained trails provide hours of fun for both beginning and advanced skiers.
As the day winds down, catch the beautiful sunset over the Teton Mountains, visible from Kelly Canyon. The ski area offers breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness, adding an extra layer of magic to your skiing experience.
Tip: After a day of skiing, enjoy a soak at Heise Hot Springs.
Daily Lift Tickets start at $59 kids | $79 adults (The family affordable ski option)
Grand Targhee Ski Resort: A Winter Wonderland
Jackson Hole’s Alternative: Featured in Outside Magazine as the Avoid the Crowds Place to Ski for the 2023/24 Season
Grand Targhee Ski Resort, in the Teton Valley, is a short drive from Swan Valley, a winter wonderland known for its exceptional snowfall. Grand Targhee is renowned for the “powder hound” experience, making it a paradise for skiers and snowboarders who crave fresh, deep snow.
It holds a vast playground for winter sports enthusiasts, with over 2,500 acres of skiable terrain. The abundant snowfall, often called “Targhee’s magic,” ensures plenty of powder to carve through. The wide variety of runs caters to skiers of all levels, making it completely inclusive.
Grand Targhee’s relaxed and friendly vibe distinguishes it from other bustling ski destinations. The absence of long lift lines and crowded slopes creates an atmosphere of serenity, allowing you to focus on connecting with the area’s natural beauty.
For those seeking an off-piste adventure (away from prepared ski runs), the ski area offers guided backcountry tours, allowing you to explore the pristine wilderness while being led by knowledgeable experts. The terrain park is also a fantastic spot for snowboarders and freestyle skiers to showcase their skills.
Grand Targhee is more known than Kelly Canyon, but your winter adventure will surely be epic, no matter the choice.
Daily Lift Tickets vary by date – $125-$150 average.
Jackson Hole Ski Resort: Ski with the Stars
The most known of the ski resorts and across the Teton Pass. If you want to experience all three, stay at River Retreat Lodge a week and have some downtime.
Daily Lift Ticket prices vary by date—average $205.
Staying at River Retreat Lodge: A Cozy Haven
After exhilarating days on the slopes, you’ll want a comfortable and welcoming place to rest your head. River Retreat Lodge in Swan Valley offers the perfect blend of rustic charm, modern comfort, and the best hospitality in Swan Valley.
Breakfast is included with your stay, and the Swan Valley dining room restaurant is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for dinner. The restaurant serves a three-course dinner and offers wine and beer.
River Retreat Lodge’s cozy cabins are perfectly curated, ensuring you have all the amenities you need for the perfect stay. The rooms are designed to accommodate couples, families, and/or friends. Some rooms offer a private fireplace.
River Retreat Lodge is set amidst Swan Valley’s natural beauty and is open year-round. The resort offers ski and stay packages and snowmobile packages in the winter. Be sure to check out the fly-fishing packages offered in spring, summer, and fall.
Snow-Filled Adventure Awaits in Swan Valley
Skiing in Idaho is the best in Swan Valley. This Idaho region is epic and is a winter enthusiast’s dream and half the cost of Jackson Hole. You’re in for an unforgettable winter adventure with three exceptional ski resorts: Kelly Canyon, Grand Targhee, and Jackson Hole. All within one hour of River Retreat Lodge, these ski resorts cater to a wide range of skiing and snowboarding abilities and access to incredible snowmobiling trails.
Swan Valley offers the best of winter skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling from the small, intimate charm of Kelly Canyon and the deep powder and expansive terrain of Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole, you have access to it all. Add to that the relaxation and comfort River Retreat Lodge provides, and you have a winning combination for an incredible winter vacation. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or new to the sport, Swan Valley promises a magical winter wonderland where you can make memories to last a lifetime.