Idaho Summertime Adventures: Mountain Biking, Scenic Hikes, and More

Aerial view of cyclists on Route of the Hiawatha
Route of the Hiawatha from Visit Idaho

Eleven ski areas offer the bulk of Idaho’s summertime adventures, including mountain biking, with eight operating lift-served biking all season. Several destinations are introducing new trails this season, and three places—the Route of the Hiawatha, Silver Mountain Resort, and Soldier Mountain—will open their bike trails on Memorial Day weekend.

Some highlights of Idaho summer adventures include:

  • The new three-story Aerial Adventure Course at Bogus Basin 
  • The new mountain-biking school and trail connection to Bear Basin at Brundage Mountain Resort, 
  • MTB skills clinic at Pomerelle in the fall
  • Multiple outdoor festivals for family and friends throughout the summer

North Idaho Summertime Adventures

The 15-mile Route of the Hiawatha’s gentle 1.6-percent to 2-percent, all-downhill ride straddles the Idaho-Montana state line.

The Route of the Hiawatha, which Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area operate under a special-use permit from the U.S. Forest Service, opens May 26. Considered the crown jewel of the nation’s rails-to-trails initiative, the family-friendly bike trail celebrated its 25th-anniversary last summer and will operate seven days a week through Sept. 17.

The 15-mile Route of the Hiawatha’s gentle 1.6-percent to 2-percent, all-downhill ride straddles the Idaho-Montana state line, delves 10 tunnels, crosses seven sky-high train trestles, and has a shuttle service back to the top. Attracting just under 70,000 riders each summer, the Route of the Hiawatha is by far the country’s most popular ski area bike trail.

Meanwhile, Lookout Pass offers scenic chairlift rides up and down the mountain, but the ski area will not offer lift-served mountain biking this summer. Its five family-friendly woodland hiking trails and the mountain summit nine-hole frisbee golf course will remain open, and guests can pick huckleberries later in the season.

Silver Mountain Resort

In nearby Kellogg, Silver Mountain Resort will begin summer weekend operations, which include mountain biking and scenic rides on North America’s longest gondola. Daily operations commence June 16 and run through Labor Day, Sept. 4. At that point, weekend operations will continue through Oct. 1.

Voted Best in the Northwest for four consecutive years in the Riders’ Choice Awards, Silver Mountain Bike Park sports nearly 40 singletrack trails that span 3,300 vertical feet. Readers of The Pacific Northwest Inlander voted Silver Mountain the No. 1 place to mountain bike.

The resort also operates the state’s largest indoor waterpark, Silver Rapids, which opens for weekends over the Memorial Day holiday and begins daily operations on June 17. Access to the waterpark is included in every lodging stay, plus a limited number of day tickets are available on the Silver Mountain website for those looking to enjoy the park for the day.

Activities at Silver Mountain include trail hiking and running, and the resort’s exquisite nine-hole Galena Ridge Golf Course is tucked away in the mountains of the Silver Valley. Plus, its e-bike rental fleet allows guests to explore sections of the nearby Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.

The resort will stage its Ride & Dine Series, a weekly BBQ, and live music event at the top of the mountain presented by Spokane Teachers Credit Union every Friday night from June 30-Sept. 1. 

Schweitzer Resort

A scenic view of Schweitzer Resort from the top of the mountain, looking down the scenic chairlift.
Photo by Visit Idaho: Schweitzer Resort is Idaho’s best-kept secret.

Summer at Schweitzer near Sandpoint runs June 16-Sept. 4. The resort maintains over 40 miles of mountain bike trails and offers a daily 2-hour hosted e-bike tour.

Schweitzer’s summer visitors also can play disc golf on its nine-hole summit course and enjoy scenic chairlift rides on the Great Escape Quad to the summit. Both offer breathtaking views of Lake Pend Oreille and the Selkirk and Cabinet mountain ranges.

Other summer activities include hiking, trail running, geocaching, bungee trampolines, a 25-foot climbing wall, gold panning, huckleberry picking, and horseback riding.

The Northwest Winefest at Schweitzer is slated for July 15-16. Guests can sample upwards of 80 wines from 20 different Pacific Northwest wineries. And Fall Fest returns Sept. 1-4. The annual event offers four days of beer tasting, 10 bands, and more than 80 different beers, ciders, seltzers, and even a handful of wines over Labor Day weekend.

Southwest Idaho Summertime Adventures

Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area near Boise intends to open for summer on June 23. Daily operations will continue through Aug. 20, with the ski area open Fridays-Sundays Aug. 25-Sept. 1 and Saturdays-Sundays Sept. 9-Oct. 1.

The 20-plus miles of trails at The Basin Gravity Park and Bogus Basin have become a regionally renowned mountain bike destination, including “Around the Mountain,” Idaho’s top mountain bike trail ranked by The nation’s largest nonprofit ski area, Bogus Basin, will unveil several miles of new trails this summer.

Standing 42 ft. tall, the new three-story Aerial Adventure Course at Bogus Basin serves up a variety of obstacles and challenges, as well as three ziplines.

Other summertime activities at Bogus Basin include scenic chairlift rides, the Glade Runner mountain coaster, a climbing wall, a bungee trampoline, a tubing hill, and food and beverage services. 

It also stages a free Music on the Mountain concert series every other Saturday, June 24-Sept. 2, and hosting free Yoga on the Mountain and free music on the patio every weekend all summer long. 

The ski area will also host guided weekend nature hikes throughout the summer and a six-week Community Race Series of fun and friendly competitions for trail runners, cross-country, and downhill mountain bikers.

The Boise Mountain Bike Festival partners with Bogus Basin and Eagle Bike Park in June and July. Activities include group rides (cross country, trail, downhill, and gravel), skill demonstrations, a big air jam by pro riders, a slalom challenge, small group coaching sessions, a raffle, swag giveaways, and more.

Brundage Mountain Resort

Summer Brundage

Early in the season, Brundage Mountain Resort, in the West Central Mountains near the resort town of McCall, will open Fridays-Sundays June 16-18 and June 23-25. It will open Wednesdays-Sundays during the regular season, June 28-Sept. 3, with bonus days on Monday, July 3, Tuesday, July 4, and closing day Monday, Sept. 4.

Its 30-mile trail system offers plenty of variety, appeals to all types of mountain bikers, and includes a 360-degree loop around the mountain. New this summer is an 8.4-mile trail the U.S. Forest Services calls “BMR2BB” (for “Brundage Mountain Resort to Bear Basin”) that, while not technically *in* Brundage Bike Park, connects its network of trails to the famous Bear Basin trail system.

The new trail—the result of public-private-nonprofit partnerships spearheaded by CIMBA, the Central Idaho Mountain Bike Association, and assisted by Brundage and the One Track Mind Foundation—has been in the works since 2009. Crews completed construction last fall, so the trail had the opportunity to winter under the snow. The trail’s grand opening will likely occur in early July after the snow melts and crews can clear brush and debris from the singletrack trail.

Also new at Brundage this summer are mountain bike lessons through the Mountain Sports School. Brundage Bike School’s certified mountain bike instructors offer private lessons, learn-to-ride group lessons, and social group rides.

Meanwhile, the resort’s scenic chairlift rides afford a 360-view at the summit, including silhouettes of Idaho’s Seven Devils Wilderness, Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness, and sweeping vistas of the Payette Lakes. 

Hikers can take the chairlift to the top, explore short, scenic trails from the summit, or choose longer multi-use routes to soak in the mountain’s beauty.

In addition, Brundage offers outdoor dining at Smoky’s Bar & Grill and maintains a 2,500-foot-long, nine-hole disc golf course in the base area and a grassy amphitheater that provides a charming, spacious, fresh-air environment for dog-friendly summer concerts. Its free, weekly TGIF Summer Concert Series runs Fridays, July 7-Sept. 1 except Aug. 18, when Brundage hosts its National Interscholastic Cycling Association youth mountain bike race.

Tamarack Resort

Summer Adventures at Tamarack Resort

At Tamarack Resort near Donnelly, summer operations will begin May 27, with daily lift service starting June 16 and continuing through Sept. 10. Zipline, waterfront, and whitewater activities will commence Memorial Day weekend, depending on the weather.

This summer, the resort is opening additional mountain biking trails, adding a sweets shop to its food and beverage offerings, and introducing new amenities like a summer camp and Adventure Pack lodging add-ons.

Tamarack will debut nearly 5 miles of new mountain biking trails this summer, expanding its International Mountain Bicycling Association-created network to nearly 33 miles of lift-served downhill and cross-country trails. Plus, the resort is adding more self-loading bike trays on the Tamarack Express lift to accommodate downhill bikes and e-bikes easily.

Summer amenities include scenic chairlift rides, an outdoor axe-throwing facility in The Village, and a nine-hole disc golf course steps away at the base of West Mountain. The Waterfront on Lake Cascade offers kayaks, paddleboards, pontoon boats, surf boats, and jet ski rentals. Work to restore and reopen the award-winning Osprey Meadows championship golf course continues, with the driving range completed last summer and opening Memorial Day weekend.

The resort’s zipline canopy tours explore 3,500 feet of terrain, including eight ziplines, two suspension bridges, and a 105-foot-high treehouse. Plus, Tamarack conducts guided whitewater rafting trips on the Cabarton stretch of the North Fork of the Payette River and guided fishing excursions on Lake Cascade.

The new Camp Tam summer camp will offer kids various mountain, meadow, and lake activities. And its new Adventure Pack lodging add-on will offer guests discounts on biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, pickleball, disc golf, and axe throwing via an RFID wristband.

Sugarloaf Creamery has joined the array of establishments in The Village, which includes the Rendezvous Food Hall, a fine-dining establishment called The Reserve, a market, and the new Seven Devils Taphouse, which opened this winter. The new sweets shop offers 18 ice cream flavors, milkshakes, bulk candy, and a signature sweet of the day.

South Central Idaho Summertime Adventures

Mountain biker riding singletrack in Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley Resort boasts the nation’s longest purpose-built downhill mountain bike trail and 11 others, plus riders can access more than 400 miles of singletrack throughout the area and 30 miles of paved, car-free bike paths.(Photo by Gary Peterson for Ski Idaho)

Seven-days-a-week lift access to hiking and mountain biking trails at the world-famous Sun Valley Resort begins July 1 via the Roundhouse Express gondola and the Christmas Chair. Meanwhile, golf season at the resort has begun with the opening of White Clouds and the back nine holes of the 7,214-yard-long Elkhorn Golf Course. The front nine of Elkhorn and the 6,986-yard-long Trail Creek championship course will open later this spring.

America’s first destination resort and the birthplace of the chairlift, Sun Valley sports a dozen biking and hiking trails, including the longest purpose-built downhill mountain bike trail in the U.S., dropping 3,350 vertical feet. Plus, riders can access more than 30 miles of paved, car-free bike paths and over 400 miles of singletrack throughout the Wood River Valley.

In addition, the resort offers an array of activities, including scenic gondola rides, horseback trail rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, bike rentals for bike paths or trail riding, and a full menu of pampering options at the Sun Valley Spa. The resort also boasts numerous indoor and outdoor dining options, including The Ram, Gretchen’s, Konditorei, Sun Valley Club, Village Station, and The Roundhouse (which opens June 23).

Sun Valley is kicking off the mountain biking and hiking season on July 1. Meanwhile, the River Run Summer Series featuring live music, family fun, and extended lift hours, begins in late July.

Southern Idaho Summertime Adventures

The mountain bike park at Soldier Mountain will open for the season on May 27. However, the lifts will only turn this summer on holiday weekends, so riders must pedal under their power uphill most days. Holiday weekends include May 27-28, July 1-2, and Sept. 2-3. In addition, the resort will host a National Interscholastic Cycling Association youth mountain bike race on Sept. 15-16 and spin the lifts on Sept. 17 for participants and the public.

Mountain biking will not be allowed during special events like weddings and disc golf tournaments, so the resort recommends checking the events page on its website when making plans.

Lift tickets will cost $25 on the days they turn. Otherwise, Soldier Mountain charges riders $10 per day, although it is free for 2023-2024 ski season pass holders. Riders must purchase their tickets on its website.

Soldier Mountain’s network of five trails spans 9 miles. One of the trails is designated as an uphill route that riders ascend to access the other trails, which include easy, intermediate, and advanced hand-cut trails and an extreme machine-cut jump trail. The resort also maintains a skills park.

Staff will inspect and maintain the trails and skills park every week. The resort states that riders must understand that no emergency personnel is on the mountain.

Beverage service will be available on Saturdays and Sundays at the bar’s pass-through window; otherwise, the lodge will be closed. However, the resort’s outdoor bathrooms will be open 24/7 to accommodate riders and campers, who can dry camp in the parking lot for free.

Pomerelle Mountain Resort

Pomerelle Mountain Resort near Albion is booked for many private events this summer and fall and only plans to open to the public for lift-served mountain biking and hiking two weekends this summer and fall.

The first weekend is July 28-30 during the Pomerelle Pounder, one of the oldest mountain bike races in the Gem State. The 2023 Utah Gravity Mountain Bike Series will stage the races Saturday and Sunday, with racers practicing there Friday. Pomerelle will also open the Slopeside Grill and its lodge and cafeteria that weekend.

The lifts will turn a second weekend, Oct. 7-8, during Pomerelle’s two-day co-ed skills clinic for mountain bikers. Certified instructors from A Singletrack Mind, which offers fundamental workshops for all abilities, will conduct the event, with registration and other information at

During both events, the rest of the mountain will be open to the public for mountain biking, hiking, scenic trail rides, and hamburger eating.

Otherwise, riders can bike uphill under their power and ride the trails beginning July 1, but they must understand there is no emergency personnel on the mountain, according to the resort. Pomerelle also maintains an 18-hole disc golf course.

Eastern Idaho Summertime Adventures

Despite incredible challenges brought by an unprecedented snow season, Kelly Canyon Resort in Eastern Idaho near Ririe and Idaho Falls is gearing up for a promising summer. With 3-4 ft. of snow still gracing Old Man Flats, the resort has focused on upgrades and repairs to ensure an unforgettable experience for all visitors.

The resort owners have announced many significant construction projects that will take center stage this summer. 

Kelly Canyon is replacing Lift 4 and its communication line to enhance efficiency and guarantee a smooth ride for skiers and snowboarders. As an added bonus, the resort is installing a new surface lift between the top of Lift 2 and Lift 4, granting visitors even more accessibility for exploring the mountain’s east side.

Kelly Canyon also designs snowmaking ponds to ensure ideal snow conditions throughout winter and guarantee an early opening. And infrastructure development for idyllic glamping sites and charming treehouses is well underway, promising a one-of-a-kind stay amidst nature’s beauty.

While this means the resort won’t open for the summer (the Half Cab Grill will be closed, too), the resort’s owners said it’s clear the upcoming winter season will be nothing short of extraordinary. And with all the upgrades and repairs on the horizon, they said the stage is set for creating unforgettable adventures in a four-season playground.

Grand Targhee Resort

Discover Targhee’s 60 miles of both DH and XC bike trails

Just across the border in Alta, Wyo., Grand Targhee Resort affiliates with the Idaho Ski Areas Association because the resort is only accessible via Driggs, Idaho. It will open for downhill mountain biking on June 16—weather and conditions permitting—with the Shoshone and Dreamcatcher lifts running daily through Sept. 17.

Grand Targhee offers 2,200 vertical feet of lift-serviced downhill, 17 miles of downhill trails, and more than 70 miles of trails for multi-use biking, hiking, running, and a mountain bike school. Riders’ Choice Best Bike Parks Awards ranked its bike park among the Northwest’s top five for six consecutive years.

It will host the GTR Downhill Mountain Bike Race on July 22. The Pierre’s Hole 50K/100K Mountain Bike Race returns Aug. 5. Ladies All Ride two-day mountain bike camps for women of all ability levels are slated for July 19-20 and July 22-23.

Summertime activities at Grand Targhee also include scenic chairlift rides, hiking and trail running, a nature center, horseback riding, swimming in the outdoor pool, a bungee trampoline, a summer kids camp, the GTR Mining Co., and an 8,000-foot-long, 18-hole disc golf course.

The resort will introduce the Wildflower Race, its first trail run with 10K and half-marathon options, July 8. The Wrun for Wray, a 3-mile uphill run that starts at the base of the Dreamcatcher chairlift and climbs 1,840 ft. to the top of Fred’s Mountain, returns June 24 and benefits the Wray Landon Legacy Fund.

Targhee Music Camp will celebrate its 15th anniversary Aug. 7-10. And the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival returns for its 33rd year on Aug. 11-13 after a three-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to slopeside lodging, Grand Targhee Resort boasts a parking lot camping area that can accommodate pull-behind trailers, sprinters, and camper vans.

Top Idaho State Parks for Summer Camping

Three cyclists ride a lakeside trail between pine trees in Idaho
Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes

Heyburn State Park, the oldest park in the Northwest, is home to miles of trails for hikers, cyclists, and horse riders, with the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes running through the park. A water lover’s paradise, this state park touches three lakes: Chatcolet, Benewah, and Hidden Lakes, and offers a variety of camping accommodations, including cottages, cabins, and campsites.

Winchester Lake State Park is ideal for the avid angler looking to catch rainbow trout, perch, bluegill, bass, and the ever-elusive tiger muskie. Lakeside campsites with views of Craig Mountain are available, or book a deluxe yurt with bicycles and canoes in the summer.

Plan a trip to the “Caribbean of the Rockies.” Bear Lake State Park is a popular destination for its clear blue water, sandy beach, and various campsites—including one that hosts up to 50 visitors.

Outdoor enthusiasts and geology buffs alike will appreciate the activities and landscape awaiting at Castle Rocks State Park. The area is well-known for its unique rock formations and is a popular rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking destination. Overnight visitors can choose from tent camping and RVing to glamping in yurts or staying in a century-old ranch house or rustic bunkhouse.

Idaho summertime adventures are abundant from north to south and east to west. Enjoy world-class trails for biking, hiking, and everything in between. Families and friends alike can choose from daily activities or plan weekend getaways. Who knew Idaho had something for everyone? Get your free Idaho travel guide today.

*Images presented by Visit Idaho*

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