Flight flow

Heli skiing

Our helicopter skiing zone in the Priest Lake State Forest is separate and distinct from our cat-skiing terrain and we access a much larger and gnarlier array of powder fields and glades. A typical group achieves 6 runs in the flying time we provide. Extra flying time may be purchased.

Granite Aviation at Sandpoint Airport, acts as our flight base operation facility and your travel logistics getting there are very simple; the FBO is an easy five-minute drive from the intersection of Highway 95 and Schweitzer Cut-off Road and a 10-minute drive from most accommodations in the downtown area. The FBO offers a wonderful facilities so changing from street clothes to ski gear and taking care of personal needs, prior to and after flying, is a breeze.

Daily Capacity

No more than 8 persons total. But note: though an A-Star helicopter seats 4 passengers, it’s capacity is actually weight-dependent, and any group can not exceed 1,000 lbs. Please make your group by total weight, not head-count.

The tour price excludes 6 % Idaho state tax; online and direct reservations incure a 6 % booking fee.

After booking, you may request to change your reservation time or date outside of 45 days, though we assess an administrative fee of $100 for each change. Please visit Policies for our full cancellation policy.

Lodging

We’ve gathered together a few condominium, resort, hotel, and bed & breakfast properties.

Travel insurance

We’ve found a policy to consider that suits our nature-reliant adventures.

Our expanded media gallery showcases dozens more photos and videos – check it out!

Gallery album excerpt

Customer reviews

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Choosing a line in heli ski terrain
  • an unlimited run session based 1 hour flight time
  • licensed guides *
  • BCA Tracker S avalanche transceiver
  • backpack, shovel, probe
  • two-way radio
  • training in aircraft safety, snow safety and companion rescue, and related equipment
  • pocket snacks and water

Rentals

No rentals are available in the town of Sandpoint, but you might consider the following shops. You must pick-up your rentals the day before your tour because on the morning of your tour, there will not be enough time between the opening of the shop and the tour meeting time to travel from the shop to the airport.

Our southern section of the Selkirks is fantastic and consists of everything a heli skier looks for from cornice-topped, alpine cirque bowls and huge powder fields (developed by the historic Sundance Wildfire of 1967) to narrow rock-lined chutes and—of course—the famous Selkirk snowghost-covered runs from treeline. Runs range in length from 800 ft up to 2,200 ft.

Visit the Terrain page for more information, or jump straight to the media gallery.

Open heli ski terrain

We draw moisture from the north and south, so we’re usually in the path of storm systems all season long. That produces over 300 in during an average season with a stable snowpack depth averaging about 120 in that holds from January through March. The snowpack, a cross between maritime and continental, bonds up pretty consistently till season’s end.

Meet at your chosen heliport for guide introductions and safety and weather briefings. We typically meet at Sandpoint Airport (Google Maps).

Weigh-in of people and equipment for flight planning. To facilitate this, please arrive with at least the bottom-half of your person dressed snow-ready so you can weigh-in with your boots on and don’t have to redress. The weigh-in also includes all other clothing, backpack, skis or snowboard, and anything else you pack for the day.
Avalanche training
Aircraft familiarization and take-off
Lunch
Awaiting the heli at a backcountry landing zone
Return

When you return to either heliport, there are a number of great restaurants just minutes away to celebrate your day with après drinks and fine cuisine.

Our helicopter provider South Coast Helicopters flies a Eurocopter AS350 B2/B3 AStar, and we ultilize Granite Aviation at Sandpoint Airport.

Skiers & snowboarders approaching the helicopter on the tarmac
Skiers praticing jumping off rocks in the fog

Let’s be real. We’re not high-elevation desert here: we’re temperate rain forest, so flying conditions are not as consistent as they are for our southern compatriots. So to nearly guarantee that you’ll be riding pow, we’ve added a special feature: Optionally book a discounted (15 %) cat skiing seat along with your heli reservation. Possible scenarios with this back-up are:

  • If the helicopter can fly, then the value of the snowcat seat ($450) becomes credit toward any future tour.
  • If the helicopter cannot fly and you go cat skiing instead, the value of the helicopter seat ($1,600) becomes credit toward any future tour.
  • If both helicopter and snowcat must be garaged for the day, the helicopter value ($1,600) becomes credit toward any future tour, and the value of the cat seat ($450) becomes a credit or refund (your choice).