Sawtooth Mountain Guides' (SMG) Williams Peak Hut, Idaho
Credit: Craig Moore /

Skiing in Idaho's Sawtooth mountains, climbing knife-edge ridges, and dropping into 50-degree slopes wedged between vertical rock walls defines high-alpine backcountry skiing. But the location, deep within the mountain wilderness and miles from the nearest road, usually requires a tent and serious cold-weather gear to explore.

Sawtooth Mountain Guides' (SMG) Williams Peak Hut is the way to get out here without the hassle. This luxury tent has a wood stove, padded bunks, and a full kitchen in the heart of the steepest and most technical alpine terrain in the country. The yurt makes skiing here convenient, with a warm place to sleep and eat, as well as experienced locals who guide guests to the best slopes in the area.

Less advanced skiers can opt for lessons in how to maneuver with an ice ax, rope, and harness, plus how to climb remote peaks, evaluate weather, choose a route, or recognize avalanche hazards. SMG furnishes food, cookware, and sleeping bags, but skiers are responsible for basic equipment like climbing skins and crampons. You can rent more specialized items like ice axes. [From $40 per night,]

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