In this day and age, there’s a clear focus on ski resort statistics such as snowfall, acreage, lift capacity, etc. The problem? Numbers lie Big Time! Until you experience a place, you really have no clue what to expect. With our eyes open and an unbiased state of mind, we ventured into South Central Idaho. First stop – Twin Falls and the ski resort of Pomerelle.
It’s always a challenge to leave Lake Tahoe when snow is in the forecast but our Idaho plans were in the works for a while. The positive side? The one day of snowfall in South Lake Tahoe would translate to a multi-day storm in Idaho. Bumping our way through Nevada past the backcountry zones of the Rubies, we finally make a left onto US-93 and head north to the town of Jackpot.
Welcome To Magic Valley!
Located on the border of Nevada and Idaho, it might be officially part of the Elko micropolitan area, but it’s typically considered part of the Greater Twin Falls region. The area is nicknamed “Magic Valley” because once irrigation was introduced long ago, it “magically” transformed. What was considered uninhabitable acreage to many, is now some of the most productive farmland in the Northwest.
The Treasure Hunt Begins
Pulling into the outskirts of Twin Falls, we saw something unlike any other ski region we’d ever visited before. As far as the eye could see, it was flat as a pancake with no mountains in sight. It looked more like Iowa or Nebraska than a ski destination. Arriving at our home-base for the trip, our jaws drop at the scenery laid out in front of us. WOW! Only 50 yards away, the Snake River canyon precipitously drops down hundreds and hundreds of feet. It was like the Grand Canyon of the Pacific Northwest! The view was magical! As we were told prior by numerous people, there is a lot to see as long as you’re willing to explore.
Shoshone Falls – Taller Than Niagara
With a bit of free time before dinner, we decided to sneak over and get a peek of the Shoshone Falls. Only three miles from downtown,these 212 foot tall falls are pronounced “Show-Shōn” and flow over a canyon rim nearly a 1,000 feet wide. They’re in fact 45 feet taller than Niagara! Standing on the side of the falls, the sound of that massive volume of water cascading down to the valley floor made us realize just how small we are. As the snowflakes twinkled and danced down from the sky, it was almost like a sign telling us tomorrow was going to be a DEEP powder day at Pomerelle.
Elevation 486 Café – THE Place To Eat When In Twin Falls
Besides great skiing and snowboarding, we’re always looking for places to eat that are a bit different and funky. Every person we spoke to around town said we HAD to check out Elevation 486. Why is it called 486? Well, it’s because that is the exact depth of the canyon from the restaurant to the valley floor. Just the view itself is worth coming for, but don’t worry, the food is off the charts too.
South Central Idaho – Home To Trout & Potatoes
So, what do you order when in Idaho? Well, South-Central Idaho is home to 97% of the world’s harvested trout and 1-in-3 French fries comes from this region. Being the first meal on our trip, we decided to stick to locally made staples.
Trout Dip… More Like Crab Dip It’s So Good!
Up first, the Trout Dip. Typically, trout has a texture that’s a bit tough and dry. Well, Elevation 486’s appetizer was far from that. More like an expensive crab dip, you wouldn’t even know that it was made from trout. It was warm, creamy, and full of flavor that I NEVER expected from a trout dish. Just phenomenal!
Tomato Bisque, Quail, & Ruby Red Trout Oh My!
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From there, we transitioned to the soup course. We usually avoid bisque-type soups but based on the recommendations from our friends and waitress, we said why not. Instead of a puree, we’re presented with a well-spiced hearty bowl of Tomato Bisque filled with fresh chunks of tomatoes unlike any tomato bisque I’ve ever had before. Served alongside is a warm roll for you to lather with their homemade Huckleberry honey-butter. Again, we’re blown away.
Throughout our meal this phenomenon continues to happen. The Quail tastes like the juiciest bird you’ve ever had. The meat just falls of the bones. And the main Idaho Ruby Red Trout dish? It’s smokey, juicy and tastes more like salmon than trout. There seriously isn’t a thing on the menu that isn’t delicious. With our stomachs full and snow in the forecast, the only thing left to do is get some sleep.
Stay tuned as we head up to Pomerelle…