Saturday, January 4, 2020, skiers and would-be skiers can hit the slopes for free as a part of Ski for Free Day at the East Mink Creek Nordic Center south of Pocatello.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to anyone, regardless of previous skiing experience.
Lance Clark, outdoor recreation supervisor for the city of Pocatello, said the free event helps bring out people who normally don’t strap on any skis in the winter.
“Everything we offer is free,” he said. “We offer free trail passes, free rental equipment, free mini lessons, we usually even do free hot chocolate, free snowshoe rentals, free sled rentals and free parking.”
The East Mink Creek Nordic Center is located about 10 miles south of Pocatello and is a true Nordic center in that it features many miles of ski trails, but no lifts and few steep hills.
“We actually started a ski for free day before it was a national event I believe,” Clark said of the local ski event.
Later on in January, the Pocatello Cross-Country Ski Foundation will host its annual Potato Cup at Mink Creek. The Potato Cup is a freestyle cross-country ski race with open entry and includes prizes and lunch.
The Potato Cup takes place on January 18 and will host races for a variety of lengths on its 5K racing loop. Clark said the event is fun for spectators, as well.
“Our specific race loop is conveniently designed in that they cross through the base area multiple times,” he said. “You get updates every two to three kilometers.”