Updated: Nov 28, 2022
Only a few minutes east of Cress Creek, Kelly Canyon Ski resort (https://www.skikelly.com/) lies, cut into the side of Kelly mountain. Whether you are going to hit the slopes or prefer a beautiful summer drive in the back roads, Kelly Canyon is another prime spot within a short drive from Rexburg! During the summer months, I highly recommend checking out the obsidian protruding from the hill by the road right as you pass the lodges and buildings of the resort. Follow the canyon road past the barrier (which is closed during the winter season) and look to your left where you'll see a gray/tan rock face. Each of the gray spots in the volcanic deposits features glassy obsidian rock! With little effort required, you can either mine obsidian from the hill itself, or to better preserve the area, pick up pieces already dislodged laying at the bottom of the hill!
The road continues onward into the forest, for countless miles. I have yet to drive all the back roads, but what I have driven is gorgeous! In the summer months thousands of wildflowers including a personal favorite: Indian Paintbrushes, line the mountain road.
As the season grows cold, dust off your skis or snowboard and get ready to go to Kelly Canyon for some affordable fun! Albeit this isn't the best snow you'll find in Idaho, for you less seasoned folk like me, Kelly is a great place to learn and make memories! Since I was a child, I dreamed of being able to master snowboarding to make the most of the winter months. Kelly has helped make that dream a reality! As a poor college student, it is difficult to afford places like Grand Targhee Ski Resort, in the Tetons; however, Kelly offers alumni nights in which you can get a discount on lift tickets -- only $18 per person. What a steal! I highly recommend visiting Kelly during the months of December to February. That's when I have found the best snow conditions.
Edit: Kelly's prices and snow conditions vary over the years. I recommend checking their website before making the drive out there. Also, for night skiing, half the resort closes down and routes are limited. For the full experience of Kelly I would recommend going during the day. Though, it is cheaper to go at night and on a clear night, the view of the stars are remarkable!
For whatever reason you visit, I hope Kelly Canyon will become a cherished spot for you too! Enjoy!!