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Galena Lodge to Open Early, Ski the Rails Returns
Friday, November 18, 2022


Galena Lodge is opening for the winter season on Saturday, Nov. 19.

The lodge was able to open earlier than its planned opening date of Thanksgiving Eve, thanks to a couple feet of snow that fell a week ago.

Although there’s been an inversion with warmer temperatures at higher elevation, groomers have been able to set some nice tracks and the snow’s remained in good shape. All the trails surrounding the lodge and the snowshoe trails are open.

The lodge will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with lunch served from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No reservations are needed. Holiday dinners are sold out, but reservations are being taken for Full Moon Dinners, yurt rentals and ski lessons at

This is the last season that Don Shepler and Erin Zell will be at the helm; Kyle Oldemeyer and Chelan Pauley, freshly returned from their honeymoon paragliding over Bulgaria, are working in the wings to assume full managerial responsibilities beginning the summer of 2023.

  • There will be no Ride and Stride Galena bus shuttle this year because it was cost prohibitive for both Mountain Rides and the Blaine County Recreation District, said BCRD spokesperson Morgan Buckert.
  • But the Blaine County Recreation District plans to reintroduce the popular Ski the Rails, which was derailed the past two years by the COVID pandemic. The event, which features aid stations offering brownies and bow wow bites to skiers and dogs as they ski from Ketchum to Hailey, will be held Feb. 11.
  • There will be no Galena Lodge and the Trails Benefit this year. But the BCRD will offer a new Hispanic Ski and Snowshoe Day at Quigley Nordic on Feb 5. There’ll be free demos, skis and snowshoes will be provided and lesson will be offered in Spanish.
  • There’ll be four Ski Free Days: on Dec. 10, Jan. 8, Feb. 25 and March 22. And skiers and snowshoers will again be challenged to travel the length of the Wood River Trail from Ketchum to Bellevue between Jan. 27 and Feb. 24 for BCRD swag.

Those wishing to get a Nordic skiing tune-up as the season begins can avail themselves of three 2-hour Nordic lessons from never ever to upper level at the lodge during December. The classes will be held for three weeks from 10 a.m. to noon starting Dec. 6.

Skiers can pick from classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The classes include never-ever skate and classic lessons, which will be offered on Tuesdays and Lower Level skate on Wednesdays.

The cost for three lessons is $130 and includes the chance to join classmates over a bowl of homemade soup and bread following class. To learn more, visit

The BCRD grooms 200 kilometers of ski and snowshoe trails, and Quigley Nordic skiers will find that the trails there look much as they did last year, despite home construction in the area, said Buckert. There is, however a new paved parking lot, which means skiers won’t have to drive through mud to reach the trails come spring.

There is also a new restroom at Prairie Creek seven miles south of Galena lodge.

The BCRD is considering purchasing an electric groomer, said Buckert, but no decision has been made at this time.

DON’T FORGET: Discounted season passes for BCRD and Sun Valley Nordic trails are available through Nov. 20 at

Questions? Call Galena Lodge at 208-726-4010.


Sun Valley Nordic hopes to open on Thanksgiving Day under the leadership of Sun Valley Golf Pro Tate Mills. The center has a new fleet of Rossignol skis to boot.


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