This ski resort has always been a labor of love — which is probably why it’s been so popular among families for nearly 70 years. Buddies Bob Frostenson and Harry Durall were inspired to create an affordable ski option after watching the 1948 Winter Olympic tryouts in Sun Valley. They started out with two rope tows and built the original lodge themselves, log by log.
Soldier Mountain has upgraded quite a bit since those early days (there are three chair lifts and 36 runs now), but it still retains its DIY charm. Actor Bruce Willis owned Soldier Mountain for about 20 years; in 2015, Diane and Matt McFerran jumped at the chance to purchase the mountain and have made a series of upgrades.
The original lodge burned in 2009, but a rebuilt lodge serves homemade burgers, chili, and snacks to skiers who need to refuel after tackling Soldier’s 1,150 acres of terrain.
Of course, you can always go off trail. Soldier offers cat skiing that gives adventures access to Smoky Dome, the highest peak in the Soldier Mountains. At 10,095 feet, it provides acres upon acres of beautiful views and awesome snow.