In the early 90’s, Mark Baumgardner discovered an old mining claim perched along the South Fork of the Boise River, and shadowed by the base of Idaho’s Smoky Mountains. From this small cabin with a big view of helicopter skiing terrain, grew his vision of a Canadian style heli-ski lodge designed to personally host and privately accommodate no more than twelve skiers at one time. That vision became a reality when the first party stayed and skied at Idaho Smoky Mountain Lodge (ISML) in February, 2001.

The concept of Idaho’s Smoky Mountain Lodge began with heli-skiing. To the east, in our “snow shadow,” sits the world famous Sun Valley Resort. Storms that naturally form in the west, known as the “Smokies”, tend to drop an average of 30% more snow in the than in the Sun Valley. In lean winters, all Sun Valley Helicopter Ski Guides know they can always venture to our western remote country and find reliable powder.

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