Alf Engen, the father of the American powder technique, selected the site for the ski area at Bogus Basin in 1939. Bogus opened to the public in December 1942 with a 500-foot (150 m) rope tow; a 3,300-foot (1,010 m) T-bar was installed in 1946.
The first chairlift at Bogus was installed in the fall of 1959 at Deer Point and night skiing debuted in December 1964. The resort currently operates 7 chairlifts and two Magic Carpets. Three of the chairlifts are high-speed quads (#1 Deer Point, and #6 Pine Creek) were installed in 1996 and 1999, and the newest on #3 "Superior" in the fall of 2011.
Bogus Basin has 2,600 acres (10.5 km2) of mixed runs, bowls, and glades, with 900 acres (3.6 km2) groomed. The lift-served vertical drop is 1,790 ft (546 m) on the east-facing "back side," with a summit elevation of 7,582 ft (2,311 m) above sea level at the top of Shafer Butte, the highest point of the Boise Ridge mountains. This back side of Shafer Butte was opened in January 1977, following the installation of chair #6 (Pine Creek) the previous summer. A fixed-grip double for 23 seasons, it became a high-speed quad in the summer of 1999.
On the front side, Bogus Basin's southern lift-served summit is at "Doe Point," adjacent to Deer Point, which is slightly higher and covered with communications towers at an elevation of 7,070 feet (2,155 m). Both vantage points overlook Boise and the entire Treasure Valley, over 4,000 vertical feet (1,220 m) below. Bogus' base area and main day lodge (J. R. Simplot Lodge, formerly Bogus Creek) are at 6,150 ft (1,875 m), at the base of the north-facing slopes served by the #1 (Deer Point) quad chairlift, installed in the summer of 1996. The original double chairlift on #1 was installed in 1959 and upgraded in 1981. The #4 (Showcase) double chair, which replaced a surface poma lift in 1972, is east of and parallel with the #1 chair. The #7 double chair (Coach) has served the beginner area since 1996; it is the relocated and shortened #1 chairlift of 1981. It honors Bill "Coach" Everts, an early area manager (1953-58) and longtime director.
At mid-mountain, a second day lodge (Pioneer Lodge - 1973) sits at 6,800 feet (2,073 m) with a sizable parking lot, a cluster of condominiums (1975), and the Jason Harper Training Center. From this Pioneer area, there is direct access to the gentle south-facing slopes served by the #2 (Morning Star - 1965) chairlift and the north-facing slopes of the #5 (Bitterroot - 1973) double chair (vertical: 525 ft (160 m)), which runs only on weekends and holidays. In addition, there is connecting trail access to the base of the #3 (Superior) chairlift. With its 1,500-foot (457 m) vertical rise, chair #3 serves the advanced & expert terrain on the northern face of Shafer Butte, unloading at 7,480 feet (2,280 m). The original fixed-grip double chair was used for nearly half a century and was a 9 minute ride. It was replaced by a high-speed quad in the fall of 2011, which will cut the ride time in half. Night skiing was added to chair #3 with the installation of lights in the summer of 1986, and chair #2 was changed from a double to a triple in 1999.
Bogus Basin's average annual snowfall is 200-250 inches (508–635 cm). Due to limited water resources, there is no significant snow making, only small portable units for patching. Night skiing is available on 165 acres (0.67 km2) on runs served by five of the chairlifts (none on #5 or #6). Three terrain parks are also available; two on the Deer Point mountain, one for advanced, the other for beginner to intermediate skill levels. The Sunshine Park is located on the Morning Star side of the mountain.
The main day lodge at Bogus Creek was built in 1962 and expanded in 1991; its ground floor contains the ticket office and ski lockers. In 2002 it was named for agribusiness magnate J. R. Simplot, because without him there might not be a Bogus Basin. When the fledgling ski area was struggling to pay its debts in 1953, Simplot bought its ski lifts and other mountain improvements from the Kingcliffe Co. and leased them back to the Bogus Basin Recreational Association for $1,500 per year for ten years. His intervention averted almost certain financial demise and won the everlasting gratitude of a generation of skiers. Simplot was later the driving force behind Brundage Mountain northwest of McCall, which opened in November 1961.
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