From the moment I first stepped foot into the lodge at Soldier Mountain I knew this place was different. The building is modern but still warm and inviting and as I sipped a freshly brewed cup of coffee I quietly observed the mountain manager joyfully buzzing around at 7am applying the final touches on the Valentines Day decorations that adorned the tables and walls of a corner of the room and prepping the champagne and OJ for “Ladies Day” just one of the little perks of skiing at a mountain who hasn’t lost its focus on what really matters…making sure each individual guest has a blast.

“We believe playing together is an important part of family and life. It’s important to us that everyone is able to enjoy the day on Soldier Mountain with family and friends.”

After booting up and sticking my shoes in a convenient little cubby, we caught the first chair to the top of the mountain (props to lifty was bumping Pirate At 40 outta the boombox which was nice tune to start the day) and we were immediately taken aback on the ride up by just how wide open and big country the resort appeared. It may seem small on paper but there’s bountiful terrain to explore (1,150 skiable acres).

After a quick burner warm up lap we climbed back on Chair 1 and proceed to the top of Chair 2 where we could take in the full majesty of the views from 7,177 feet upon the pristine landscape of the southern Sawtooth range. Its seriously gorgeous.

The history of Soldier Mountain is an interesting one that includes a Hollywood superstar. During a 1947 visit to check out the Olympic tryouts at Sun Valley a pair of friends found the area that would eventually become Solider Mountain. They built the infrastructure by hand using local materials and installed two rope tows (chairlifts didn’t come along until 1971). Here’s where the Hollywood part comes in, in the late 90s Bruce Willis bought the ski area and held onto it until 2012 when he donated it to 501[c]3. Since then its changed hands twice and is currently owned by group of investors comprised of skiers/snowboarders who are dedicated to keeping the place approachable while making some much needed upgrades including reviving the old snowmaking system that had laid dormant since the late 1970s.

You can rent out the entirety of Soldier and make it your own a private ski resort for the day but let me tell ya, keep your wallet in your pocket because it seems to ski that way even when its open to the public. If you’re the type who likes the social aspect of riding chairlifts with strangers this is not the place for you. Eerily empty slopes with amazing corduroy and enough glades with fresh snow days after storms to keep all you powder hounds fed.

Something else I found quite appealing is price point for a lift ticket. A full day pass starts at $69 and they are included on the INDY PASS so keep Soldier in mind as your next destination if you have one of those. If you’re an out of towner and need a place to stay check out the town of Fairfield which is about 10 miles away for hotels and vacation rentals. If you have RV or are comfortable sleeping in the bed of your truck, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that Soldier Mountain allows dry camping in RV’s of any kind in the ski resort parking lot. Restrooms are available.

Had an amazing day exploring Soldier capped off with a couple Banquet Beers in the parking lot. An incredible hill that makes a point in providing unforgettable experiences for guests. Thank you Soldier!

p.s. If you see Soldier’s GM David Alden tell him we say what up. David was a pro snowboarder on the Burton team during the 1980s and is an incredible ambassador for the sport. The dude is veritable snowboard historian and his on slope office is packed with museum quality boards and ephemera. Thanks for the tour David!

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