By Pete Zimowsky Idaho Statesman
With the lack of lowland snow so far this year in Western Washington, cross-country skiers may want to head to Sun Valley, Idaho.
SUN VALLEY, Idaho —The bright blue skies and powdery snow of Idaho are enticing to cross-country skiers.
Here are seven places that offer the added bonus of a hearty meal at the end of the trek.
Ponderosa State Park
Trails throughout the park in McCall, Idaho, offer the beauty of frozen Payette Lake, snowy trails through hallways of ancient ponderosa pine trees, and dynamite views from Osprey Point.
The scenery is unforgettable at Ponderosa, but so will be dinner at Blue Moon Yurt located in the park with items such as sesame asparagus with harissa chili sauce and grilled duck.
Reservations are a must. Go to bluemoonyurt.com.
The ski resort near Donnelly, Idaho, offers about 9 miles of groomed Nordic trails that wind through the rolling hills and meadows of the resort.
It also has a snowshoe trail system, and views of Lake Cascade that go on forever.
Check out Morels Restaurant, which is located at the lodge at Osprey Meadows, the Canoe Grill and the Seven Devils Pub.
Go to tamarackidaho.com.
Full Moon Fridays are a blast at the Bogus Basin Nordic Center’s Frontier Point Lodge.
With about 20 miles of groomed trails and 4 miles lighted for night skiing, there’s plenty of terrain to work up an appetite.
The meals are provided by caterer Kanak Attack and feature Hawaiian-style pulled pork or teriyaki chicken bowls, sandwiches and soup.
Group lessons and family rental packages are available. Call 332-5390 for more information.
Nordic skiers and snowshoers can also head up to the nearby Pioneer Lodge for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Wood River Trails
When fully snow covered, the Wood River trail follows an old railroad bed from Bellevue north beyond Sun Valley for 18 miles.
It’s an ideal way to ski and take in a variety of cafes or restaurants. You might scout dining places in your car and memorize the cross street so you can find a restaurant from the trail and make a side trip.
Go to bcrd.org for more information.
Sun Valley Nordic
The Sun Valley Nordic and Snowshoe Center, just a mile east of Sun Valley Lodge, is a quick place to catch an afternoon of skiing or snowshoeing and lunch.
The center offers 26 miles of ski trails and 10 miles of snowshoe trails along the golf course and Trail Creek.
The menu includes such fare as a Kobe beef burger from Snake River Farms, or an apricot pork sandwich on brioche bread.
Call 622-2919 for more information and to make a reservation.
At the north end of Harriman Trail, north of Sun Valley, is Galena Lodge, a must stop for hungry snowshoers and Nordic skiers in the area.
You’ll find more than 30 miles of trails adjacent to the lodge to work up an appetite.
Galena Lodge is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can enjoy the fireplace and lunch, fresh baked goods, espresso drinks or a house made cocktail or craft brew.
Go to galenalodge.com.
Alturas Lake Trails
Alturas Lake trails, about 20 miles south of Stanley, Idaho, offers an up-close-and-personal view of the Sawtooth Mountains.
The skiing and snowshoeing is on groomed trails going through rolling timber along frozen streams.
But the neat thing is Smiley Creek Lodge is only 3 miles south of the trails on Idaho 75.
The lodge caters to snowmobilers, skiers and snowshoers and rents cabins.
It has a full restaurant, a deli and an ice cream parlor for the lodge’s famous homemade milkshakes.
The Smiley Creek breakfast is a great way to power up for the trails.