Press Release | Bogus Basin Sets Snowmaking Record

Susan Saad
Director, Community & Customer Relations
Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area

Snowmaking Machines on Morning Star Run At Bogus Basin December 2023
Snowmaking Machines On Morning Star Run At Bogus Basin December 2023 – Photo By Austin Smith


Boise, Idaho – December 25, 2023 – As winter storms continue to take their time arriving, Bogus Basin is taking matters into its own hands: In recent days, a cold snap allowed the area to maximize its snowmaking technology to blanket several slopes during this drier-than-usual early winter season. The non-profit boasts the state’s second-largest snowmaking system (behind Sun Valley) so that it can provide winter guests with consistent and reliable conditions even when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.

On December 25th, Bogus Basin shattered its own record by running snowmaking operations for 58 consecutive hours, transforming more than 5 million gallons of water into snow during the process (the previous record was 24 hours and 900,000 gallons). To put this into perspective, that 5 million gallons of water translates to covering an entire football field with a layer of snow over 11 feet deep. Bogus Basin has already utilized more than 19 million gallons of water during the first weeks of the season.

The snowmaking system, equipped with four powerful pumps, is operating at full capacity. At its December 24th peak, the system was pumping out 2,213 gallons per minute. At the same time, area runoff continues to replenish the retention pond at an estimated rate of 75 to 100 gallons per minute. This innovative approach ensures sustainability because it is “storing” water as snow throughout the season.

“Snowmaking, powered with 100% renewable energy, has become an essential component of winter operations as we face the realities of climate change.”

Brad Wilson, General Manager

Behind the scenes, Bogus Basin’s snowmaking crew, affectionally dubbed by the team as “Snow Sorcerers,” are ready to work throughout the night when conditions allow. Temperatures play a crucial role in the process, it must be under 28 degrees, with limited humidity, for the system to work efficiently. The team is led by Bogus Basin’s Snowmaking Manager, Rob Harms.

Rob Harms, Snowmaking Manager At Bogus Basin, Smiling While On The Job In November Of 2023 - Photo By Austin Smith

A number of runs have benefited from this recent snowmaking effort, including:

Deer Point Express/Coach Chairlift

  • Showcase
  • Upper Ridge
  • Lower Ridge
  • Sourdough
  • Stewart’s Bowl
  • Coach’s Corner
  • Base Area Flats

Morning Star Express

  • Bogus Creek Trail
  • Silver Queen
  • Lulu
  • Morning Star
  • Sunshine
  • Tubing Hill

Additionally, strategic snowmaking is taking place adjacent to Pioneer Trail, Connector, Upper Shaker’s Ridge, Playground, and Claim Jumper, ensuring optimal coverage across the slopes.

Snowmaking at Bogus Basin is a gift from the community. In 2017, a capital fundraising campaign raised over $6 million in just 8 months – enough for the initial design and build-out of the 13 million gallon retention pond that captures runoff, and to install the system’s infrastructure on several runs. The 2023/24 season, so far, has demonstrated the wisdom of this investment, as snowmaking is sustaining operations and keeping guests on the slopes.

Photo Of Snowmaking Machine With Fresh Corduroy In The Foreground At Bogus Basin Winter 2023/24 - Photo By Austin Smith
Photo Of Snowmaking Machine With Fresh Corduroy In The Foreground At Bogus Basin Winter 2023/24 – Photo By Austin Smith

About Bogus Basin
Opened in 1942, Bogus Basin winter operations offer 2,600 acres of daytime skiable terrain and 200+ acres for night skiing; eleven lifts – including four high-speed quads – and three people-mover surface lifts; an 800-foot tubing hill. The Nordic Center offers 37 kilometers of groomed trails. Environmental education and community outreach programs serve over 20,000 individuals annually, primarily youth. Bogus Basin is located 16.5 miles north of Boise, Idaho, and operates under a special use permit with the Boise National Forest.

Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is one of the largest non-profit recreation areas in the country. It is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to engaging the community to provide accessible, affordable, and fun year-round mountain recreation and education. Bogus Basin summer activities include a challenge course, mountain coaster, summer tubing, climbing wall, bungee trampoline, gem panning station, The Basin Gravity Park, cross-country mountain biking and hiking, free community events and educational programs, chairlift service to access hiking and biking trails, and guided nature hikes.