Many of the Idaho ski resorts and summer mountain playgrounds are places where the locals drive in and drive back out, with limited lodging options available. Tamarack is a different story, however, with homes and condos for rent, but with a very nice hotel on site too: The Lodge at Osprey Meadows.
As this review goes up, they’re opening back up again for the summer season, when there’s mountain biking galore, great hiking, and a chance to get out in nature in the mountains. There’s a disc golf course on site as well. This resort is by a lake, which offers a whole other range of activities like kayaking and fishing.
I visited in winter, as you might notice from some of these photos, when this becomes one of the largest ski resorts in Idaho. It’s one of the most fun too, with lots of really long cruising trails, challenging black diamonds, and plenty of lift capacity to keep the lines down. Prices are reasonable, especially by Rocky Mountain standards. While we were at it, a few of us went on a fat tire biking adventure too, riding mountain bikes through the snow. You can set that up in the rental shop or through the front desk at the lodge.
Tamarack Resort is about 100 miles from Boise and the 7 lifts (for now) serve about 50 runs and there’s a 2,800-foot vertical drop–the second-longest in Idaho after much more expensive Sun Valley. In the summer, you can ride a lift up to the highest point and ride downhill from there, loud whooping optional.
The Lodge at Osprey Meadows has a lot of elements you would expect from a place to stay by a ski resort: a lobby with lots of wood beams, stone, and leather, anchored by a warm fireplace in the middle. A wall of windows beyond at one end offers views of meadows and mountains. There’s also a bar in the lobby operating most days, with a few local beers on tap from around the region.
There’s no restaurant in the lodge building itself, but since this is part of a growing resort complex with high-end condos, there are other places to eat a five-minute walk away, including a full-service restaurant and a gourmet coffee shop. At night there’s a bigger and more lively bar to check out as well.
In the summer months there’s a nice swimming pool one level up from the ground that offers nice views while you’re kicked back in a deck chair. During winter months that’s closed and the place to soak your aching ski or snowboarding muscles is in the big group hot tub outside on the huge deck.
The challenge is getting from there to the hotel doors before you start losing body heat, but the layout saves you. Just inside the doors are entrances to the men’s and women’s locker rooms where you can change. There’s also a full fitness center in the hotel to get a workout or lift some weights. A small reading room with books stocked offers a place for more restful pursuits.
Rooms at The Lodge at Osprey Meadows are luxurious and comfortable, reached by elevators. The smallest ones are set up like a regular hotel room, with plenty of amenities like mounds of pillows, two leather armchairs, and coffee maker. The studio rooms are like big junior suites, with a sleeper sofa, comfy armchair, and fireplace. Then there are one-bedroom condos with a kitchen, two-bedroom duplex units, and huge three-bedroom duplexes for a family.
Each room comes with two Tamarack passes, which give you a whole slew of perks. In winter that’s an overnight hot wax for your skis, a scenic lift ride, snowshoe rental, and a nordic trail pass. In summer you get a scenic lift ride, cruiser bike rentals, kayak rental, umbrella and chair rental at the lake, disc golf equipment rental, and fishing pole and tackle rental. See more on the Tamarack Passport here.
Guests get underground parking, which is heated in the winter.
Rates start at around $230 double for a lodge room and go up accordingly by size and beds. See more information and book direct at the hotel site since you normally won’t find this property listed on any of the online travel agency sites.
Review and photos by editor Tim Leffel, who was a guest of the Lodge at Osprey Meadows while skiing Tamarack on a trip with Ski Idaho.