Mic drop please… It is 2024, and there is big snowfall at Bogus Basin! Over 55″ of snow has fallen in 18 days – Looking back, that’s more snow than November and December combined. Both of which were uncharacteristically dry months at your local not-for-profit mountain and the majority of the West.
Big Snowfall AND News At Bogus Basin
We have been waiting for January’s big snowfall since our November 18th opening, and there is more on the way this week. The recent snow allowed us to expand terrain and operations. With a 52″ base, 100% of our terrain is open. And while we have seen big snowfall recently at the mountain, there is still a bit of a hangover from November and December’s low tide, leaving some exposed reef off the trail.
We are excited to see up to another foot of snow in this week’s forecast, though we know better than to count our chickens before they hatch. As of January 18th, we have received 10″ from the current storm that started late Tuesday night.
Check out this new link we found for a NOAA Beta AI forecast! Warning, it is not for the faint of heart and resembles stock market technical analysis. And just like the market, predictions are not a guarantee of performance. Reminder – this is a beta, and all data is experimental.
More Terrain, More Fun – Superior Nights
We are excited to announce that as of January 12th the Superior Express Chairlift is running nightly until 10 pm!
Before last week’s much-needed snowfall, it would not have been a fun or safe experience to rip the advanced and expert runs off of Superior Express Chair at night. Daily grooming on most Superior runs requires 35+ inches of base depth and leading up to the recent storm cycle, the natural base on the mountain was hovering around 16″ – 22″ based on our snowSAT and SNOTEL data.
Without snowmaking on the backside runs, it would not have been the safe experience you expect on steep terrain due to uncovered and hard-to-see obstacles. We were already relying on a patch and fill process with our new PistenBully Snow Dump Bucket, also known as “Big Bird”, moving snow from closed runs and deeper areas to fill in the heavier trafficked areas, just to keep the runs safe during daily operations.
We wanted your time on the Superior Express Chairlift to be the experience you know and love. Less than-optimal conditions would have been a letdown, and we are thankful that the storm now has you covered!
Pioneer Lodge Now Open Til 10 pm
Low Key Lodge Lovers rejoice! With the Superior Express Chairlift operating until 10 pm, the Pioneer Lodge is now open nightly until 10 pm. Enjoy your Pioneer Grill favorites, views, and of course, brews at The Saloon.
Pro Tip: Hit the 3rd floor of the Pioneer Lodge for tacos and burritos at La Cumbre Taqueria open 11 am – 4 pm, Friday through Sunday.
Let’s Go Tubing
The Tubing Hill may not have opened as early as we hoped, but as they say – Better late than never! With the arrival of the valley’s latest cold front, Bogus Basin’s very own Snow Sorcerers have managed to turn 2 million gallons of recycled pond water into large snow piles – or whales – on the tubing hill.
Once we had enough snow made, our snow cats spread it evenly across the tubing hill.
Thanks to the hard work of the Bogus Basin snowmaking and grooming crew, the Tubing Hill opened for business on Friday, January 12th!
We anticipate busy weekends on the Tubing Hill– don’t miss out! Make your tubing hill reservations for Friday through Sunday here.
Tubing Hill guests do occupy parking space in our parking lots – However, tubing guests carpool at the highest rate, and their visitation duration is short-lived, spanning an average of 1.5 hours.
RECORD HIGH DEMAND – A STORY OF SUCCESS
We know… winter sports are the best thing to do in Boise, especially when we get new snow! We set a record on Sunday, January 7th with the single largest visitation day in Bogus Basin’s 81-year history.
Bogus Basin’s current Comfortable Carrying Capacity (CCC), a number used to determine the maximum “level of use that provides a pleasant recreational experience”, is 6,400 people on the mountain at one time. Learn more about Comfortable Carrying Capacity with this explanation by SAM Magazine.
Within the mountain’s 13-hour operating period on January 7th, we welcomed 9,440+ visitors, 7,600 of whom were season pass holders. In anticipation of the busy weekend, we released a conservative number of day tickets and still saw the most people to the mountain in a single day – ever. Let that sink in… out of all the amazing days last season – the first 4″ of fresh snow during this low tide season brought season pass holders out in droves. Even with record-breaking visitation numbers on the 7th, Bogus Basin never hit our stated CCC of 6,400 people at one time.
- Average LiftWait Time
- 7 min
- Season PassesScanned
Addressing The Elephant In The Room – Parkouts
No one likes not being able to access the mountain. With a mission that surrounds getting you outside and moving your body, it’s especially painful for us when you can’t find parking at your local non-profit.
“Parkout” is a term that we use to describe when parking lots are 80% full with a steady stream of vehicles traveling up from town. We project the remaining available spots to fill with the vehicles already on the road.
When we expect a parkout, we immediately update our website in multiple places, social media, digital sign boards, and place physical signs on Bogus Basin Road to urge those still in the valley to delay their trip up the mountain. Like any highly visited area, we experience turnover, where guests who arrive early begin to leave. Thanks to our 13-hour weekend operating day, this leaves room for guests to come at a later time rather than miss out on the opportunity to use the mountain. Those who do not adhere to our suggestions on the website, social media, and signs are not guaranteed a parking spot.
- Parking Spots
- People AtOne Time
- PeoplePer Car
Traditionally, we see our lots reach capacity around 11 am and turnover around 1:30 pm. The parkout on January 7th lasted from about 10:20 am to 3 pm, a duration we have not experienced before.
We did not want to relive the parking situation of January 7th, and with heavy snow in the forecast for the weekend ahead, we chose to put our loyal season pass holders first. During our normal ticket release schedule, we did not release any additional Day or Twilight Lift Tickets for January 13th – January 15th. In doing so, we still experienced a parkout on January 14th.
When comparing the numbers of guests between the two parkout Sundays, we served almost 1,500 fewer guests on January 14th – leading us to believe the issue is carpooling, not mountain capacity.
In truth, there is not enough parking available for all season pass holders and day guests, on peak days, to drive up the to mountain without carpooling. To hit our mountain infrastructure’s CCC of 6,400 guests at one time, every vehicle needs to contain 2.56 people.
The saying goes, “You don’t build the church for Easter Sunday”. For us, it is more like, “You don’t build a parking lot for every pass holder to drive alone on a weekend Pow Day.”
Our 17 acres of available parking shrinks when it snows, even with the best snow removal. We have researched the possibility of a parking lot between Parking Lot 4 and the Silver Queen Parking Lot. This project would add approximately 300-400 parking spaces and up to 1,000 additional guests. However, this plan will not materialize until we have additional terrain and infrastructure to support the added guests the new lot would invite.
Your on-snow experience matters to us. Our goal is to have you on the lift in 10 minutes or less upon entering the shortest lane of the lift line. If we add more parking spaces without adding terrain and lifts, your lift line wait increases, as does the number of people on your favorite runs.
High Demand – How We Are Managing It
Parking is an issue at almost every ski resort, which is great for the future of the ski and snowboard industry, but not so great for the parking experience. In the 2019/20 season, we saw parkouts on five powder Sundays and knew we had to adjust for an improved guest experience.
Since then, we’ve carefully implemented capacity limits on season pass & ticket sales, introduced new season pass products, and reduced off-peak pass prices. During the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, we experienced zero parkouts. Limiting high-demand products and creating price incentives for off-peak products is the only proven method in the industry to manage parking at peak visitation times.
As the Treasure Valley continues to grow and evolve, so too does Bogus Basin. You, the community, want to be at the mountain and we want to make it as accessible as possible. We don’t have room for everyone to have total access at the lowest prices possible, which is why, amid a massive population boom in the Treasure Valley, we diversified our pass offerings, introducing the very affordable and popular Midweek, Twilight, and Night season pass options. We remain committed to learning from our guests and how to serve our users best.
Limited Ticket Sales
We heard feedback from the community saying that we “oversold” on January 7th and should have limited ticket sales. On the record-breaking Sunday, we only sold 500 lift tickets in advance, a normally conservative amount.
Given the current conditions earlier in the week, the very low turnout over the winter holiday period, and the uncertain forecast, this amount of tickets felt very safe. We were not expecting capacity issues on Sunday the 7th, but with a fresh 4″ of snow, those 500 tickets sold fast.
As mentioned above, we took some unprecedented measures to alleviate parking pressure for our pass holders the weekend following the first parkout this year. As a non-profit, we did something only we could pull off…we didn’t sell tickets on the weekend of January 13th – 15th with fresh snow in the forecast. This choice put up to a quarter million dollars of budgeted revenue on the line, affecting all departments. We felt this decision was in the best interest of our loyal season pass holders.
Ultimately, we served just over 8,000 guests on Sunday, January 14th. We missed our budgeted revenue every day of the holiday weekend and experienced another parkout as a result of people arriving alone in their cars.
City Street Traffic – Plan Ahead
Streetlights and stop signs take time to get through on busy days, especially weekends, holidays, and days with snowfall. It is best to be at the mountain at least 1 hour before the lifts spin (9 am on weekends and holidays, 10 am on weekdays).
We recommend that you plan ahead when the Treasure Valley wants to get outside just as much as you do. We can do nothing about city traffic other than suggest that you hit the road early. Plan to pass the 3-way stop sign at Curling and Bogus Basin Road between 7 am and 7:15 am for your best chance to avoid congestion and secure a parking spot! As most learned these last weekends, it is generally smooth sailing once past the stop sign.
Carpooling can win you a free season pass to Bogus Basin! Take part in the Bogus Basin Carpool to Crush CO2 Challenge by logging your trips at Share The Ride Idaho.
The Road – Be Prepared
Did you know? Our crews plow and sand Bogus Basin Road any time it is snowing for the safety of our guests. The morning plow crew starts their shift at 2 am, and if the weather continues, the night crews continue. Although we maintain the road for our guests, we do not police the road. Please refrain from tailgating, use vehicle turnouts to let faster-moving cars pass, drive safely, and respect the law.
If you encounter an accident on the road, please inform us by calling 208-332-5100 and message us on Instagram or Facebook so that we can share the message on our website and social media. Bogus Basin does not assist in accidents on the road. If you are in or witness an accident, please report it to the authorities before contacting us.
SAFE WINTER DRIVING: A quick flash of brights is a request to pass, and a flash of hazards is a “thank you” when someone uses a turnout.
How To Solve This Issue – It is Up To You
“If you don’t have two, the parkout is on you.”
As you can see, we are doing our part in alleviating parking stress on high-traffic days to Bogus Basin. Charging for parking doesn’t solve the problem and is not something we are open to considering. We want to make the mountain available to everyone! You can help us do so by carpooling, using our shuttles, and using the mountain at off-peak times.
When you arrive, please remember to
- Be respectful to our parking attendants
- Park appropriately with no more than a single door width between you and your neighbor
- Keep the roadway and/or blind corners clear
- Adhere to posted signs and no parking notices
Do your Park – Free Park and Ride Lot
The easiest, most effective way to alleviate full parking lots is to have fewer cars parked in the lots. Most mountain riders are making the drive up to Bogus Basin solo, which fills the lots and leads to more of your time spent searching for parking than enjoying the slopes! The next time you drive the road to Bogus, consider making a plan to ride with a buddy (or three!)– it’s good for Bogus, good for you, and good for the planet. Did we mention carpoolers with 3+ passengers get priority parking?
For those carpooling, vehicles can be parked at our carpool lot located at Mountain Cove Park and Ride.
Please note that parking at Bogus Basin’s downtown offices is prohibited and vehicles may be ticketed or towed.
Carpool To Crush CO2 Challenge
On top of a fun ride with family and/or friends, carpooling can win you a free season pass to Bogus Basin! Take part in the Bogus Basin Carpool to Crush CO2 Challenge by logging your trips at Share The Ride Idaho.
Ride The Bus – Weekends & Holidays
Want to leave the driving up to a professional? We have a bus service on weekends and holidays, with pickup spots all over the Treasure Valley, including a new stop in Nampa! A one-way or round-trip bus ticket costs $10 cash. For more information on bus schedules and pickup/drop off sites, visit the Getting Here page on our website.
Looking for a fun winter activity? We have lots of exciting events ahead!
Trivia Begins Tonight
Bogus Gear Urgent Care
Does your gear need repair? The Bogus Basin Sustainability team is hosting a Free Gear Repair Event this Sunday, January 21st from 1 pm – 4 pm on the Third Floor of the J.R. Simplot Lodge. Grab your damaged gear, get it repaired, and learn from our expert repair clinicians!
The Community Race Series (CRS) is a part of Bogus Basin’s Competitive Education social racing program. We welcome racers of all ages and ability levels.
Nordic Racing – CRS
The Nordic Community Race Series is in full swing, and there is still time for you to join! The next Nordic Community Race Series, the Twilight Classic takes place on January 30th.
Giant Slalom – CRS
It’s back! After a few years off, the Giant Slalom Community Race Series returns on Wednesday, January 31st. Formerly known as Night League, Alpine Skiers, Telemarkers, and Snowboarders 21+ are invited to put a team together and sign up for the race series, which includes an end-of-season banquet! Register your team by 1/29 here.
SkiMo – CRS
Ski mountaineering, or Skimo racing is an endurance competition that involves climbing mountains on skis or split board, passing through a series of transitions before descending on skis. All three Skimo races take place in March, and racers must register by March 6th.
Banked Slalom – CRS
The 8th Annual Legendary Don Baker Banked Slalom Snowboard Race is set to return this winter! Stay tuned for more details.
School Race Program
This year marks the 65th year of fun and friendly competitions at Bogus Basin. The season’s first School Race Program takes place this Saturday, January 20th, from 10 am to 12 pm. Students representing 42 middle schools and 37 high schools from across the Treasure Valley participate in the School Race Program, which takes place at Bitterroot Basin. If you’re looking for some extra practice, join us Thursday nights for Family Race Practice from 6 pm – 8 pm.
As always, operating hours are 10 am – 10 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am – 10 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. We are open 9 am – 10 pm on President’s Day, February 19th, 2024.
About Bogus Basin
Opened in 1942, Bogus Basin winter operations offer 2,600 acres of daytime skiable terrain and 200+ acres for night skiing; eleven lifts – including four high-speed quads – and three people-mover surface lifts; an 800-foot tubing hill. The Nordic Center offers 37 kilometers of groomed trails. Environmental education and community outreach programs serve over 20,000 individuals annually, primarily youth. Bogus Basin is located 16.5 miles north of Boise, Idaho, and operates under a special use permit with the Boise National Forest.
Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is one of the largest non-profit recreation areas in the country. It is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to engaging the community to provide accessible, affordable, and fun year-round mountain recreation and education. Bogus Basin summer activities include a challenge course, mountain coaster, summer tubing, climbing wall, bungee trampoline, gem panning station, The Basin Gravity Park, cross-country mountain biking and hiking, free community events and educational programs, chairlift service to access hiking and biking trails, and guided nature hikes.