Many readers have expressed interest in learning about lesser-known areas.

When I mentioned that to a representative of Visit Idaho, he suggested visiting Pebble Creek and Pomerelle, both in the southern part of the state.

First stop was Pebble Creek, 2,200′ of impressive vertical not far from Pocatello. I skied there two days and stayed nearby in Lava Hot Springs, at the Aura Soma Lava.

Pebble Creek has about 1,100 acres of green, blue, and black in the Caribou National Forest. The base sits at 6360′. It’s a wonderful place with terrific trail, bowl, and glade skiing served by three chairs. I was fortunate to visit right after a dump, because at the time, the area, like others in the region, was behind reaching its typical 250″ total.

For almost seven decades (2018-19 will be its 70th season), Pebble Creek has been the teaching and gathering place for residents of Pocatello and the surrounding area. It has a friendly vibe. I was there on a Friday and Saturday. Friday is when kids from far and wide arrive in school busses for a day of instruction. Under the guidance of Mary Reichman, longtime owner and GM, the program has introduced skiing to children of all economic backgrounds. Because of the area’s generosity, many children from challenging circumstances have learned how to ski or board.

On the road to Pebble Creek near Pocatello

A new owner recently entered the scene. Shay Carl is a 38 year old who made a bundle in an Internet venture, returned and bought his hometown area. He has the resources and plans to introduce upgrades. His brother-in-law, Mike Dixon, is the new GM.

I have a recommendation for readers who want a low key, off the beaten path experience: Fly into Pocatello (flights from Salt Lake City and elsewhere), rent a car, stay at Lava Hot Springs or Pocatello (I tried both), and ski a few days at Pebble Creek. It’s a real bargain. If you’re 66, the day pass is $32. Stay at any hotel in Lava, and you’re entitled to two passes for the price of one!

Lava Hot Springs at night

 

Lava has a state park with multiple odorless mineral water pools, one hotter than the other. Sit there for 20 minutes and any ache or pain you brought from home or hill disappears. If the pools don’t do it, the massage services at Aura Soma Lava or other places in town will. While there, dine at Port Neuf Restaurant or River Walk Thai. For breakfast, the Chuckwagon is outstanding. Pocatello is bigger and with more lodging and restaurant options (the new Fairfield Inn and Suites sits on a hill overlooking the city). It’s also the home of the Museum of Clean, a 75,000 square foot facility dedicated to the history of cleaning. A quirky idea, well worth the visit.

Outside its Pocatello fan base, Pebble Creek is not well-known It has terrific terrain and, except on Fridays when the kids descend, you’ll have the place to yourselves.

I’ll cover Pomerelle Mountain Resort next week.

6 Comments

  1. Bruce Sherman says:

    Sounds worth a visit. What’s the rate for 80+ seniors? Thanks.

    • Jon Weisberg says:

      Just checked the Pebble Creek web site. Seniors start at age 66. The senior day pass is $32. Stay at a hotel in nearby Lava Hot Springs, and get 2 for 1. No 80+ discount shown.

  2. This place is the real deal. The locals consider it Jackson Hole South. There is some very good terrain available when there is snow.

    • Jon Weisberg says:

      Didn’t know about the Jackson Hole South designation. I agree, Pebble Creek is the real deal. Jon

  3. Chris Temple says:

    Are the lifts high speed lifts or old non-detachable chairs?

    • Jon Weisberg says:

      Chris, They are non-detachables. It was cold the few days I skied there, but the lift was comfortable. Jon

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