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Known as the City of Trees, Boise, Idaho is full of many delightful attractions. The city itself is charmingly unique. Not too big—and not too small either. Its culture is distinctive. Almost unlike anywhere else in the Gem State. Even its winters are special. No snow. Or very little. With one gratifying effect: Car nerds will have a blast. Yet all these are just half of the story of a city that WalletHub, a leading personal finance website, ranked as the second-best run city in the United States.


But it’s in the outdoors that Boise dramatically showcases its magical side, all with a backdrop of a stunningly diverse geographical landscape. When it comes to skiing, few cities can hold a candle to Idaho’s capital. Much skiing takes place at Bogus Basin, the closest ski resort to Boise, Idaho. But why is it called Bogus Basin, and what other activities can travelers enjoy here? We take a look.

This Is How Bogus Basin, One Of Boise, Idaho’s Best Ski Resorts, Got Its Name

It’s not settled. However, according to one account, the name hankers back to the 1880s. Two “prospectors” picked a shotgun and loaded it—not with ammunition or anything of the sort—but with gold dust.

They then went to a cave close to Shafer Butte, now a campground and picnic area atop the picturesque Boise Ridge Mountains. These “prospectors” then sprayed the cave with the gold dust using the shotgun they had.

That singular act would transform this otherwise worthless cave into a much sought-after jewel because of its sudden financial promise. But not unless word got out. They would quickly see to it that it did.

To achieve their objective, the “prospectors” quickly hurried downhill, wasting no minute in their fevered and frenzied descent. They made their way to a bar where they found patrons merrily sipping beer. They lay their findings before their tipsy audience, selling shares in a venture that would bring an immediate financial windfall.

By the time “shareholders” sobered up, the swindlers had already vanished. The cave area was a bogus basin after all, and not a rich treasure-house as they had been told.

Related: New To Skiing? Here Are The Resorts You Should Consider Booking First.

Today, only the name endures. There’s no trace of a path leading up to a worthless cave. While other stories are not exactly the same, they all involve gullible buyers, cunning fraud, and gold.

Why Bogus Basin In Boise, Idaho Is Among The Best Ski Resorts In Idaho

Granted, Bogus Basin Ski Resort is not the best ski resort in the Gem State. That distinction must go to Sun Valley Ski Resort in Blaine County.

But if we narrow it down to Boise, Bogus Basin is arguably the finest. It comes out top on Yelp, even if Tamarack seems to breathe on its neck. Yet, to be honest, there’s nothing shiny or flashy about Bogus Basin.

According to SKI magazine, the name “Bogus Basin” has a “humble ring” to the resort that bears that name. However, the name quickly loses its relevance in the light of the ski terrain that beckons in the background.

The size alone is impressive, and will at once restore confidence to visitors. It stretches to an impressive 2,600 acres and is, therefore, the same size as Sun Valley—the country’s top-voted resort.

And then Bogus is near Boise, just about 16 miles away—on a road that’s famous for its countless twists and turns.

For experienced skiers, the area around Shafer Butter provides massive drop-ins and is one of the favorite spots of the mountain. But novice skiers also have several thrilling options as well.

Related: Snow In California: 10 Of The Best Ski Resorts In The State.

Aside from these factors, there’s just a lot of backcountry tree skiing and lots of fresh powder. The pricing here is also reasonable and queues aren’t frustratingly long.

  • How Much Will I Pay For Skiing At Bogus Basin? Full-day rates are as follows: Adults (18-69) $73. Teens (13-17) $52, juniors (7-12) $29, and children (0-6) $10.

Other Activities That You Can Enjoy At Bogus Basin Ski Resort

Aside from skiing, Bogus Basin has other fun-filled activities one can enjoy with great delight. One of these is snowboarding. Even for those new to snowboarding, this resort has friendly trainers who will quickly make one feel ready and raring to go.

The resort also has a mountain roller coaster that takes riders through heart-sinking twins and turns through scenes and sights that are all stunningly attractive. The good thing is that drivers can control the speed of each car, and hence curate their own experience.

Other activities include mountain biking. There are fine trails where bikers can enjoy a ride, amidst breathtaking scenes and a gush of fresh air.

As would be expected of such a natural landscape, hiking never gets better along the ascents and descents that are as varied in gradient as they are in the scenery.

That’s it. For those around Boise, Bogus Basin satisfies the heart’s occasional need for some burst of adrenaline.