Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is a ski area located in southwest Idaho in Boise County, 16 miles (26 km) north-northeast of 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 weekend preceding April 15, depending on snow conditions. The area also has cross-country skiing on 23 miles (37 km) of Nordic trails.
Bogus Basin has 2,600 acres (11 km2) of mixed runs, bowls, and glades, with 900 acres (3.6 km2) groomed. The lift-served vertical drop is 1790 feet (546 m) on the east-facing "back side," with a summit elevation of 7582 feet (2311 m) above sea level at the top of Shafer Butte, the highest point of the Boise Ridge mountains. This back side of Shafer Butte was opened in January 1977.
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.
The first chairlift at Bogus was installed in 1959 at Deer Point. The resort currently operates 7 chairlifts and two Magic Carpets. Two of the chairlifts are high-speed quads (#1 Deer Point, and #6 Pine Creek).
On the front side, Bogus Basin's southern lift-served summit is at "Doe Point," adjacent to Deer Point, which is slightly higher and covered with communications towers at an elevation of 7070 feet (2155 m). Both vantage points overlook Boise and the entire Treasure Valley, over 4000 vertical feet (1219 m) below. Bogus' base area and main day lodge (J. R. Simplot Lodge, formerly Bogus Creek) are at 6150 feet (1875 m), at the base of the north-facing slopes served by the #1 (Deer Point) quad chairlift, installed in the summer of 1996. The original double chairlift on #1 was installed in 1959 and upgraded in 1981. The #4 (Showcase) double chair, which replaced a surface poma lift in 1972, is east of and parallel with the #1 chair. The #7 double chair (Coach) has served the beginner area since 1996; it is the relocated and shortened #1 chairlift of 1981. It honors Bill "Coach" Everts, an early area manager and longtime director.
At mid-mountain, a second day lodge (Pioneer Lodge) sits at 6800 feet (2072 m) with a sizable parking lot, a cluster of condominiums, and the Jason Harper Training Center. From this Pioneer area, constructed in the early 1970s, there is direct access to the gentle south-facing slopes served by the #2 (Morning Star - 1965) chairlift and the north-facing slopes of the #5 (Bitterroot - 1973) double chair (vertical: 525' - 160 m), which runs only on weekends and holidays. In addition, there is connecting trail access to the base of the #3 (Superior - 1965) chairlift. With its 1500 foot (460 m) vertical rise, chair #3 serves the advanced & expert terrain on the northern face of Shafer Butte, unloading at 7480 feet (2280 m). This fixed-grip double chair is the leading candidate for the next high-speed quad, next is the #2 Morning Star. Night skiing was added to chair #3 with the installation of lights in the summer of 1986, and chair #2 was changed from a double to a triple in the late 1990s.
The main day lodge at Bogus Creek was built in the late 1960s; its ground floor contains the ticket office and ski lockers. In 2002, it was named for agribusiness magnate J. R. Simplot, because without him, there might not be a Bogus Basin. When the fledgling ski area was struggling to pay its debts in 1953, Simplot bought its ski lifts and other mountain improvements from the Kingcliffe Co. and sold them back to the Bogus Basin Recreational Association for just one dollar. His intervention averted almost certain financial demise and won the everlasting gratitude of a generation of skiers. Simplot was also the driving force behind Brundage Mountain northwest of McCall, which opened in November 1961.
In addition to downhill and nordic skiing, Bogus Basin offers several other opportunities for seasonal outdoor activities. The GoldRush Tubing Hill opened in the fall of 2003. Some summer activities are available at Bogus, including hiking, mountain biking (no lift service), and a disc golf course.