In April of 1939 Alf Engen came to eastern Idaho and accompanied Forest Service officals to "scope-out" potential terrain for a ski area. The area that Alf and the others settled on was 12 miles east of Ashton, ID at an area that came to be known as Bear Gulch Ski Basin. Alf was said to have helped layout the initial ski runs and a work crew from the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corp. was put to work that summer clearing the slopes. It is said that Union Pacific Railroad was also interested in the project as the resort was only hundreds of yards from the highly traveled rail line to West Yellowstone, Montana. Bear Gulch having only 600 ft of vertical drop, was the 2nd established ski area in Idaho after Sun Valley.