Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area is a ski area in the western United States. It is located at Lookout Pass on Interstate 90, on the border of Idaho and Montana, 5 miles (8 km) east of Mullan, Idaho. It has a summit elevation of 5,650 ft (1,720 m) on Runt Mountain with a vertical drop of 1,150 ft (350 m) on the northeast-facing slopes. Lookout Pass operates five days per week (closed Tuesday & Wednesday) during the ski season, and daily during the Christmas vacation break.
The area has tripled in size since 2003; new terrain was opened to the southeast-facing slopes on the Montana side of the border in December 2003, and on the northwest-facing North Side (in Idaho) in 2006. There are three double chairlifts and one triple chairlift at Lookout Pass, whose average annual snowfall exceeds 350 in (890 cm).
The elevation of the highway pass on I-90 is a moderate 4,720 feet (1,440 m). The historic Mullan Pass, constructed as a wagon road by the U.S. Army in 1860, is about 3 miles (5 km) east-northeast as the crow flies, at 5,168 ft (1,575 m). Lookout Pass is considered the eastern boundary of Idaho's Silver Valley mining region.
Opened in 1935, the Lookout Pass ski area operates under a special-use permit of the U.S. Forest Service, in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests (formerly the Coeur d'Alene National Forest). Gradual enhancement of the area has occurred over the decades, and the first chairlift was installed in the summer of 1982.
The community ski hill, run by the nonprofit Idaho Ski Club, was sold in 1992 to Lookout Recreation, Inc., a company formed by two 27-year-old former college roommates, Don Walde of Wallace and Jim Fowler. After seven years, it was sold in 1999 to Lookout Associates, headed by Phil Edholm, and plans for expansion soon followed. A new portion of the ski area opened on December 26, 2003, on the Montana side of the border (which is irregular in this area, following mountains, and is actually due south, see topo map). The new Timber Wolf double chair and five new runs increased the vertical drop (by lowering the base to 4500 ft), and the longest new run 1.2 miles (1.9 km) in length. Two of the new runs are rated advanced and three are rated intermediate, with views of the St. Regis and Copper Basins. Additional expansion in 2006 with a chairlift on the Idaho "North Side" opened additional intermediate and expert terrain.
Lookout Pass has two freestyle terrain parks, and a quarter pipe that is 1,111 feet (340 m) in length.
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