Bogus Basin the Early Days

One of the things that attracts many newcomers to Boise (and keep so many “old-timers” happy) is the presence of a fantastic winter sport destination a short ride up the mountain from downtown.  For many every winter day is ski or snowboard day in Boise.

Bogus is operated by the Bogus Basin Recreation Association, a non-profit organization, on private and leased land in the Boise National Forest. Ski season generally runs from Thanksgiving weekend until the last weekend before April 15, depending on snow conditions. There are 2,600 acres of mixed runs, bowls, and glades, with 900 acres groomed. The area also has cross-country skiing on 23 miles of Nordic trails.

Alf Engen, the father of the American powder technique, selected the site for the ski area at Bogus Basin in 1939.  Bogus opened to the public in December 1942 with a 500-foot (150 m) rope tow. A 3,300-foot T-bar was installed in 1946.

When the fledgling ski area was struggling to pay its debts in 1953, our very own J.R. Simplot bought its ski lifts and other mountain improvements from the Kingcliffe Co. and leased them back to the Bogus Basin Recreational Association for $1,500 per year for ten years. His intervention averted almost certain financial demise and won the everlasting gratitude of a generation of skiers.