A day on the mountain or a day on the lake?
What if you didn’t have to choose? At Tamarack Resort, you can start your day biking rugged mountain ridges and end it wakeboarding through the warm waters of Lake Cascade. You can brave the snowy slopes and nordic trails in the morning, and then soak in a steaming hot tub before bed.
At Tamarack, every season brings new adventures to experience — and we’ve put together the ultimate guide to make the most of it.
(November through March)
Snowboarding through fresh powder on Tamarack. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
With a vertical drop of over 2,760 feet, Tamarack’s mountain is one of the tallest ski runs in the entire state. As you ski the fresh powder, you’ll take in the panoramic views of the mountains, lake and valley below.
Tamarack is noticeably less crowded than other ski resorts in the Northwest, so it’s common to feel like you have the mountain to yourself. If you hike a bit further south along the ridgeline, you can ski laps of untouched freshies all day.
Taking in the blue, rugged mountains surrounding Tamarack. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
As you ascend the hill again on the chairlift, take a look out over the valley. The ride up here is almost as exhilarating as the ride down.
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Once you’ve had your fill of the slopes, put on your cross-country skis or snowshoes and venture into the wilderness along Tamarack’s network of 15+ miles of groomed Nordic trails. The trails will take you along rugged ridges, tamarack forests and snowy meadows.
It’s just you and the mountain. This type of unadulterated solitude is what keeps Tamarack wild after all these years.
Enjoying a well-deserved pint after a day on the slopes at Tamarack’s Mile High Cantina. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
Head back from the slopes to dine at any of the on-site restaurants. Grab a quick bite at the Mile High Cantina or sit down to a warm hearty meal at Seven Devils.
Treat yourself to a massage at the resort’s luxurious, cozy spa. Then, end the night soaking under the stars in an outdoor hot tub. Take in the endless constellations above you, sit back and relax. You’ve earned it.
Things to Do in the Winter
- Cross-country skiing
- Soaking in hot tubs
- Relaxing at the spa
- Snowfort — Live concert series as a precursor to Boise’s Treefort Music Festival. Check Tamarack’s website for details
Spring into Adventure
(March through May)
A springtime hike through the meadows. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
By mid-April, the waters of Lake Cascade begin to thaw. The mountains transform from a brilliant white into a lush green. Songbirds return to the trees and the valley springs back to life.
Once the trails are dry, it’s a great time to explore the mountain by foot. The alpine meadows are blooming with syringa and larkspur. Migratory birds return to the forests, filling the air with song.
Take a ride on the chairlift to see the whole valley in bloom.
Flying through the treetops at Tamarack’s zipline course. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
In May, the resort opens up its own zipline course. The course has eight lines that total 3,500 feet long, with two suspension bridges and two treehouses — one of which is 105 feet above the ground!
What’s it like? Imagine flying above the treetops, racing down the mountain as the entire valley opens up before you. You can almost see the entire lake from here, and the mountaintops are all in view.
Things to Do in the Spring
- Mountain biking
- Scenic chairlift rides
(June through August)
A sunny afternoon paddleboarding on Lake Cascade. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
Long, sunny days. Cool, breezy nights. Summers at Tamarack are idyllic, if not downright magical.
Because of its relative shallowness for a mountain lake, the blue waters of Lake Cascade warm to near-perfect swimming temperatures in the summer. Glide across the surface by kayak or paddleboard and take in the mountains surrounding you. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, race across the lake by motorboat and catch some waves while wakeboarding. (You can rent all the equipment you need at the resort’s waterfront cabana.)
Love to paddleboard?
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Tamarack is also just minutes from some of the most legendary whitewater in the Pacific Northwest — the North Fork of the Payette River. The Class III and Class IV whitewater surges through the valley from the snowcaps of the deep Central Mountains, attracting whitewater kayakers and rafters from all over the country.
Racing through surging whitewater on the famous North Fork of the Payette. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
The resort offers guided tours of the river, and it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss. You’ll drop down into the rapids, walls of breaking waves all around you, and rise up on the crest of the waves as you race through the rocky twists and turns. Hold on tight — the ride is basically a natural roller coaster.
After a long day out on the water, head into the shady forest to search for huckleberries — Idaho’s better-tasting cousin of the blueberry. From mid-June to mid-August, you’ll find them all over the mountainside. Bright purple in color, these berries are hidden in mid-size shrubs underneath the shade of tall trees.
Diving into Lake Cascade after a sunny afternoon spent lounging on the deck. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
As the sun sinks below the ridgeline, visitors will start laying out blankets and lawn chairs at the foot of the mountain. The resort hosts its own live concert series on weekend nights during the summer. Sip a cold beer and listen to local country, folk and rock bands as the sun goes down.
Things to Do in the Summer
- Wakeboarding and other water sports
- Stand up paddleboarding
- Whitewater Rafting
- Summer concert series — Check out Tamarack’s website for details
- Mountain biking
- Huckleberry picking
Fall in Love with Southwest Idaho
(September through October)
Shredding the mountain. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
In the fall, the needles of the Tamarack trees turn gold, covering the forest in an ethereal glow. It’s these unique trees that give the resort its name.
You can hike over 10 miles of mixed-use trails just at Tamarack alone, plus hundreds more just outside the resort’s boundaries. Walk along the ridgeline for panoramic views of the valley, or venture into the forests to take in the fall colors. The trails here range anywhere from an easy stroll to a challenging climb.
Looking for more trails? Check out our Mountain Biking Guide.
Breathing in that fresh mountain air while riding down the mountain. Photo courtesy of John Webster.
But the best way to experience the mountains in fall is by mountain bike.
Take the chairlift up the mountain and race down a 1700 foot vertical drop. There’s rocky chutes, table tops and berms all along the 20 miles of trails, making it a fun challenge for any rider.
For a calm coast down the mountain, try the Pura Vida trail. For a more technical challenge, try the Hibernator.
Things to Do in the Fall
- Mountain biking
- Scenic chairlift rides (for the fall colors)
As the leaves fall, the cycle starts all over again. The valley fills with snow, the lake thaws, the meadows bloom and the leaves begin to fall once more.
But while there are new adventures for every season, Tamarack still stays wild all year-round. It’s one of the few resorts left in the Northwest where you feel like you have the mountain all to yourself, no matter what season it is.
Winter, spring, summer, fall…There’s no off-season for adventure in Southwest Idaho.
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