Idaho's Soldier Mountain Ski Area Is Now a Mountain Biking Destination in the Summer

This is the place to be for (almost) year-round downhill fun

Mountain biker at Soldier Mountain

Courtesy of Soldier Mountain

Soldier Mountain, located in Idaho's Sawtooth National Forest, is set to open its new mountain bike park tomorrow, with a grand opening celebration planned for Saturday.

Operating as a ski resort in the winter months, Soldier Mountain's new bike park for summer seasons features four trails that offer 7.7 miles of gravity mountain biking, serviced by the mountain's two existing chairlifts. The four trails range in skill level, including options of easy, intermediate, advanced hand-cut, and extreme machine-cut jump terrain. You can see a map of the trails here.

This new bike park makes Soldier Mountain the 11th Ski Idaho resort to offer lift-served mountain biking in the summer.

"We're excited to be opening our bike park," said Soldier Mountain's general manager, Paul Alden, in a statement. "These trails are built to world-class standards, and we look forward to being the preferred local mountain-biking destination for riders of all ages and abilities."

The park was originally scheduled to open in August 2020, but the Phillips fire, which burned more than 2,000 acres and led to an evacuation of the park on the originally planned opening day, damaged both the park itself and also the bridge that provided access to the mountain.

Despite that setback, the resort is now ready to open for the 2021 summer season, with a grand opening celebration taking place on May 22, which will feature a live band, a 50-percent discount on in-person lift ticket purchases, giveaways, food, and local craft beer.

And a bonus for local skiers and riders: Soldier Mountain's season ski pass for the 2021-2022 season is also valid for the 2021 summer season at the bike park. (Season ski passes cost $449 for adults and $239 for skiers ages six to 17.) The park will be open Friday through Sunday (as well as Memorial Day and Labor Day) through the end of October, weather permitting.

If possible, you'll want to bring your own bike, though, as Soldier Mountain's bike rentals will be in limited supply due to lingering backorders caused by the pandemic. However, Idaho Cycles (a Ketchum-based bike shop) will have a mobile bike studio on site for visitors in need of repairs or tune-ups during a day on the trails.

Soldier Mountain resort (which opened in 1947 and, fun fact, was once owned by actor Bruce Willis) is located about two hours from Boise and 80 minutes from Sun Valley, making it an ideal day trip from both popular destinations in the state.