Explore America’s western frontier and indulge in all its majestic glory with a truly unique vacation experience. Situated among mountainous terrain, the two great neighboring states of Montana and Idaho offer up access to breathtaking views, spectacular ski resorts and rejuvenating hot springs. Opposing elements of refreshing, powdery snow contrast the boiling hot waters of nearby springs. Here, between Idaho and Montana, you will discover fire and ice converging for a vacation of a lifetime.
Get started on planning your unique Fire and Ice Vacation with a handful of hot and cold locations to consider.
- Truly spectacular, Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is a must see. Not only is it the largest hot spring in the United States, it is the third largest in the world. While that alone makes it special, the striking rainbow of colors along the rim are what make it spectacular. The vivid colors of red, orange, yellow, green and blue are the result of pigmented bacteria around the edges of the spring. The colors change in summer and winter based on water temperatures and chlorophyll, offering up oranges and reds or deep greens. European explorers may have dubbed this amazing sight “boiling lake” as the center of the spring is sterile from extreme heat.
- While you can’t submerge yourself in the colorful waters of the Grand Prismatic Spring, you can rejuvenate your body and soul in Southeast Idaho’s Lava Hot Springs. Enjoyed year round, 2.5 million gallons of hot water bubble up from an ancient volcano daily with no chlorine or sulfur odor. As the water flows through the springs, it empties into nearby Portneuf River, keeping the pools ever changing and clean. Lava Hot Springs offers something for every comfort level with several outdoor pools ranging in temperatures from 102° to 112°.
- After your dip in Lava Hot Springs, head to southeastern Idaho’s Pebble Creek for a ski excursion. This alpine ski area opened in 1949 with two simple rope tows and a warming hut. Almost a decade later a Poma lift was installed, followed by a double chairlift in 1966 and a triple lift in 1980, allowing for steeper ski runs. Today, Pebble Creek encompasses 1,100 acres and has three triple chairlifts. The best part is, Pebble Creek is one of the best kept secrets in the nation for ski resorts, offering up about 250 inches of fluffy powder per year while catering to skiers of all levels.
- If you are looking for a snow adventure out of the ordinary, check out Kelly Canyon Ski Resort in the Targhee National Forest of eastern Idaho. With four double chairlifts and a rope tow, skiers can easily access mild ski runs, numerous intermediate runs, and challenging trails. What makes Kelly Canyon so unique is the 640 acres of skiable area, including Nordic skiing and snowshoeing trails. Visitors can enjoy plenty of powder with over 200 inches of fresh snowfall annually.