Since the mid-1980s, Idaho’s Schweitzer Mountain Resort has not opened this early, but last weekend its lifts loaded skiers and riders for their first turns of the season. The resort joins several other Idaho ski areas that will officially launch the skiing and riding season this week.

It's one of the earliest openings at Schweitzer, and the resort credits snowmaking mixed with two feet of natural snowfall in the days prior to opening for making it possible. Last weekend, the resort ran the Basin Express and Musical Chairs. Some of the area’s Nordic trails were groomed for skate and classic skiing. Schweitzer closed after last weekend, but plans to re-open for the official season start on Friday, Nov. 25.

Schweitzer opening day

Now that's powder! Schweitzer Mountain opened to powder snow for the first day of the season. Photo Courtesy of Schweitzer Mountain Resort. 

Sun Valley Resort began covering lower elevation runs on Bald Mountain with machine-made snow in early November. The snowmaking plus natural snowfall will allow skiing and riding on both sides of Bald Mountain when the resort opens on Nov. 24. Snowmaking also went into top gear on Dollar Mountain to prep it for the season.

On Thanksgiving Day, Sun Valley plans to run four high-speed quads and a conveyor carpet on Bald Mountain and the Quarter Dollar high-speed quad as well as the Accelerator moving carpet on Dollar Mountain. Rail parks on Dollar Mountain and Baldy's Lower River Run will let jibbers get back into showing their tricks. Thanksgiving Day heralds the beginning of daily operations for the season.

Opening day coincides with Thanksgiving feasts at Sun Valley. Thanksgiving buffets and dinners are scheduled in the Sun Valley Lodge dining room, Sun Valley Inn Limelight Ballroom and the Ram Restaurant. Call 208-622-2800 for reservations.

Sun Valley _TerrainPark

Sun Valley will have rails available for jibbers on Dollar and Bald mountains for opening day. Photo courtesy of Sun Valley Resort.

Lookout Pass opened over last weekend to a feast of powder. The resort closed for the early part of Thanksgiving week, but will re-open on its regular Thursday through Monday schedule, starting Thanksgiving Day. More snow is in the forecast, so Thanksgiving weekend skiers may get to eat their fill of powder. Daily operations commence Dec. 17-Jan. 2.

Silver Mountain got the same snowstorm and opened Monday, Nov. 21 for a one-day season preview in powder conditions. The mountain aims to re-open Nov. 25-27 for skiing, riding and tubing. The resort plans to operate the lifts, tubing hill and waterpark Fridays through Sundays through Dec. 11. Daily operations will commence Dec. 16-Jan. 2 for the holidays. During the regular season, lifts will operate Thursday through Monday.

Pomerelle Mountain plans to open Wednesday, Nov. 23 for the season. First chair launches at 9 a.m., and the resort operates daily. Night skiing, which starts Dec. 27, runs Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Need more info from these resorts? Check for their operation plans here: Schweitzer, Sun Valley, Lookout Pass, Silver Mountain, Pomerelle Mountain.