Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing Throughout Southern Idaho

It’s in the silence, when the snow hushes the landscape around you, that you can hear her best. She is the wind in the trees, the delicate patter of snowflakes falling on snowflakes, the softness of fresh powder.

To really discover the winter secrets of Southern Idaho, you have to head out on snowshoes or Nordic skis. Immerse yourself in the quiet. And maybe discover something new.

Find some Magic

Magic Mountain Ski Resort, about 35 miles south of Hansen in the South Hills, has 10 miles of groomed cross country trails that offer fetching views of the surrounding countryside. Both snowshoers and Nordic skiers are welcome in the area and there are no trail fees, but donations to the High Desert Nordic Association are appreciated.

Get away from it all

The Thompson Creek Hut in the South Hills is the ideal place to take in dark winter skies and detach from phones, email, and daily life. It’s a three-mile ski or snowshoe to the hut from the Magic Mountain area, but once there you’ll find a wall tent with a wooden floor that sleeps six comfortably.

Trek across a volcano

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Reserve, an ancient volcanic landscape, is one of the few places you can ski or snowshoe across a dormant volcano. The seven-mile loop road is groomed, and there are no entry or user fees. Try the 1.5-mile snowshoe loop for a shorter getaway, and be sure to stop by the Visitor Center for trail suggestions.

Head out with a guide

Throughout the months of January and February, rangers at Craters of the Moon offer guided snowshoe walks to help you discover the secrets of this winter wonderland. Group size is limited to 30 and participants must be at least 10 years old. For more information, a schedule, and to reserve your spot, email

Or ski through the city

The City of Rocks, that is. This national reserve has 22 miles of trails, with another 12 miles in the nearby Castle Rocks State Park. Here, the trails are quiet and ungroomed — but you’ll be met by wondrous geological features and wildlife.

Warm up and recharge

After a snowy day at City of Rocks and Castle Rocks State Park, you’ll be ready for a hot meal at the Almo Inn & Outpost. If you travel to the South Hills or Magic Mountain, you’ll find ample eating opportunities in nearby Twin Falls — everything from quick sandwiches to canyonside feasts.

Wherever you choose to go, remember: Slow down. Enjoy the silence, and you’ll be rewarded.