Galena Lodge is a go for Christmas, with all 50 kilometers of Nordic skiing and 25 kilometers of snowshoe trails open north of Ketchum.

Add that in to the rest of the Blaine County Recreation District’s network, and skiers have “130-plus” kilometers to play on during the holiday rush, according to BCRD Executive Director Jim Keating.

“The trails look great—pretty much the entire network is open,” Keating said. “We’re looking at a generous amount of terrain. We want, more, of course. But we’re optimistic this will be a big week.”

Galena’s system is catching up late. The Thanksgiving week storm that delivered nearly a foot and a half of snow to the south valley only dropped 3 inches on Galena, Keating said. Snow isn’t yet abundant, according to Erin Zell, who co-owns the lodge. The skiing, though, is smooth.

“There aren’t piles and piles of it,” Zell said. “But the snow we do have is fast and soft and kind of creamy. It’s beautiful.”

Just in time, too: On a clear day, the lodge serves some 350 lunches per day between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Mountain Rides’ Galena Ride and Glide shuttle is running every day through New Year’s Eve, delivering more customers all the time. Zell recommends heading up early to beat the rush.

“Get out of cell service this Christmas,” she said. “Put your phones down and head north. This is a special place to get outside.”

Email the writer: mdee@mtexpress.com

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