3 Unique & Lesser-Known American Ski Destinations - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


3 Unique & Lesser-Known American Ski Destinations

Three destinations that offer skiers and boarders some seriously unique activities on the side.


For Families & Outdoor Art Fans

If it’s powder you’re looking for, you’ve found it. Once a logging town, McCall, Idaho offers visitors some of the softest snow in the Northern Rocky Mountains. With an average of 320 inches of snow, this small town offers big skiing opportunities that include night skiing and backcountry skiing, as well as a 2,800 vertical feet slope located just south of McCall at Tamarack Resort.

3 Unique & Lesser-Known American Ski Destinations

Tamarack Resort in McCall, Idaho

McCall is for you if you’re a powder seeker with kids.

3 Unique & Lesser-Known American Ski Destinations

Tamarack Resort: Get a cottage or lodge with multiple bedrooms, just for your family

Every year McCall, Idaho is home to a winter carnival that lights up the slopes and attracts more than 60,000 people. Families are treated to sleigh rides, shoppers can browse the decorative streets and there are incredible ice sculptures on display.

3 Unique & Lesser-Known American Ski Destinations

One of many impressive and giant ice sculptures on display during McCall’s festival

There’s also live music, comedy shows, art auctions, a Monster Dog Pull (to benefit the local animal shelter), snowshoe golf, snowmobiling, and snow bike races, so there’s an activity for all types of interests.

A tongue-in-cheek video of the Monster Dog Pull:

Make sure to take a short trip to Burgdorf Hot Springs. Here’s one bloggers’ account of their trip to McCall’s neighboring towns and their hot springs.

3 Unique & Lesser-Known American Ski Destinations

Spend a relaxing afternoon at the natural hot springs just north of McCall. They’re rarely crowded.


Tip: Pack two sets of snowboards or four sets of skis in one bag using this awesome wheeled double-decker ski/snowboard bag. My hubby and I save a checked-bag fee each time we travel because of this bag fits both our boards, boots, helmets, coats and then some.

Although the big resorts have their advantages, choosing a less-publicized location can pay off big time. If you want a unique ski vacation, visit one of these hidden gems located off the beaten path.

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A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 22 Comments

  1. I’m not a big skier, but these places look really fun. Which is the best destination for snow shoeing?

  2. I’m in for a perfect and daring winter vacation 😉 Thanks for this!

  3. Thanks for the suggestions. Will definitely keep this in mind for my family’s future winter travel!

  4. It looks like this is a beautiful place to explore and discover!

  5. This article reminded me of a fantastic and most memorable “ski” experience I had two years ago. How I missed Heber Valley…

  6. I appreciate that the restaurant offers dishes with organic ingredients

  7. Thank you for sharing these amazing destinations. You just made me fall in love with winter.

  8. Sarah Uibel

    Such a great piece. I have such a hard time finding these types of gems. Very helpful!!

  9. Heather Strobel

    I can’t wait to visit Red River! I’m going to squeeze a trip in before the end of the year. I can’t wait to have a brilliant weekend of skiing and live entertainment. 🙂

  10. The Tamarack Resort looks like the best place for a crowded family like us to go. So if we take our nanny with us, while my husband and I are having romantic dates, the kids can have a lot of fun doing all these entertaining activities! 🙂

    • Yeah, there are definitely tons of fun activities in and near that town.

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