Within a short drive of Boise you can find numerable locations to go Back Country Skiing and many of them have pull outs or parking lots that can accommodate a Wandervan Campervan. Here is a summary of some possible destinations, but be aware that conditions are variable and these are only suggestions and any route choice should be evaluated depending on conditions. Finally before you venture into the backcountry be sure to check the weather forecasts and also the avalanche forecast for the area.
1) Mores Creek\Pilots Peak Area: Mores Creek Summit is only an hour from Boise and contains a lot of great options for skiing. You will park at the Mores Creek Summit Snowmobile lot and we recommend parking as close to the main road as allows since the parking area does tend to fill up with snowmobiles. After you park you have lots of options. If you travel North you will head towards Pilots Peak and will find some of the best skiing off on the north and east slopes. If you make it all the way to the summit of Pilots Peak the lines are not as steep as off the eastern side of Pilots. West of Pilots Peak you will find the Freemans area this is best accessed by going west on highway 21 to the first major bend and then going up from the road there. If you want a little longer adventure you can follow the forest service road going south from the main parking lot. Sunset Peak is about a 2 mile skin from the parking lot so you must be willing to work a little harder before you hit the skiing terrain. Once at Sunset Peak you will see the burn area to the east and find the best turns in the burn. There is also a great blog that displays up date conditions for this area so be sure to check it out.
2) Copper Peak, Sawtooth Mountains: At Copper Peak you will find the closest big mountain skiing to Boise. You will be parking in one of the pull outs right along highway 75. These pull outs can vary in location depending on plow driver, but you will likely have a short hike on the road before you can start skinning. There are number of ways to approach Copper with the most popular starting near the old borrow pit on Newman Creek. There are some very steep and challenging lines off of Copper so make sure you have checked the Sawtooth Avalanche Forecast before heading out. The approach into Copper can take 1 to 2 hours so plan this time into your approach. You can park a campervan overnight in the pullouts and drive into Stanley for food and necessities. The map below is a possible route into Copper Mountain.
3) Thompson Peak, Sawtooth Mountains: Thompson Peak can be done as a long day trip or a multiple day expedition. The best place to park a campervan overnight is at the Stanley Ranger Station. You can either start your ski trip from the Stanley Ranger Station or Redfish Lodge. Starting from the lodge is going to be a little easier. From the parking lot you will have a fairly long ski in, but the route is usually well traveled. There are ample lines all around Thompson and there is something for everyone depending on how extreme you want to get. The map below shows a recommend route in purple for doing a tour around Thompson Peak from Redfish Lake.
4) Redfish Lake Slopes, Sawtooth Mountains: Just to the north of Redfish Lake are some great skiing slopes that are not far from the lodge and will give you some great runs. Park near the Redfish Lodge and then head north from the road. You will see the slopes right in front of you. Check out the topo map below, the purple lines show some possible ski runs.
4) Big Creek Summit: The road to Warm Lake is plowed during the winter and this provides an opportunity to ski the Big Creek Summit area. From the summit pullout on the road you can ski on either side of the road. If you cross the road you will find some north facing slopes that will give you anywhere from 600ft to 1000ft run, but the tree cover is fairly heavy so a helmet is defiantly recommended. On the pullout side of the road you will find more south facing slopes with some sparser tree cover, but the snow conditions may no be as good depending on the time of year. Check out the topo map below, the purple lines show some possible ski runs.
5) Collier Peak: The access to Collier Peak can be challenging, but you are probably going to be the only ones on the Mountain. The best way to access the peak is going to cut through the houses on Willow Creek Rd. and then once you hit the creek continue up the creek to the peak. The best place to park is at the end of West Mountain Rd in the snowmobile lot or a plowed pullout. Conditions tend to change from year to year so be prepared for a little exploring. Once on the peak you will find steep slopes on the north side and open faces on the eastern side and southern aspects. If you want some more challenging terrain you can head up into further into the Willow Creek drainage. Check out the topo map below, the purple lines show some possible ski runs.
Campervans available for rent in Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT.