As we progress toward ski season, this information will be updated.
We are so fortunate to live within easy driving distance of eight (count them!) great ski areas. Don’t discount the smaller ones. There’s a lot to be said for shorter lift lines while still enjoying excellent snow conditions.
Lost Trail Powder Mountain is located on the Montana-Idaho border, at the crossroads of Highways 93 and 43, 47 miles south of Hamilton. This is a family-run, family friendly, ski run, and their tickets reflect that, with special rates for kids under 5 and those over 60. Offering over 50 marked trail on 1,800 acres, an average of 300 inches of snow and fantastic powder, a vertical drop of 1,800′ from the 8,200′ summit, 5 double chair lifts and 3 rope tows, this ski run has something for everyone. They operate Thursday through Sunday, 9:30am to 4pm., with extended hours during the holiday season. Snow and Weather conditions.
Montana Snowbowl is only 20 miles north of Missoula. 300 inches of snow, great powder, a vertical drop of 2,600′ from the top at 7,600′, reasonable rates (kids under 5 free), and short lines make Snowbowl a must-ski location. Snow and Weather conditions.
Blacktail Mountain, a 2-hour drive north of Missoula on Hwy 93, is located on the west shore of Flathead Lake overlooking the town of Lakeside. This run ski area offers 1,000 acres of National Forest land with a 1,440 ft vertical drop and 250 inches of snow per year. Three chairlifts take you to 6,780 ft. There is a run for everyone here with 15% groomed for beginners, 70% for intermediate, and 15% for advanced skiers and boarders. Snow and Weather conditions.
Discovery Ski Area, located near Philipsburg, averages 215 inches of snow a year on its 2,200 acres. It is not for the faint of heart nor the beginner. 30% of the runs are designated for experts, boasting 15 double-black diamond runs and a back face that makes some heli-skiing look meek, with a vertical drop of 2,388 ft. On the front slope there are some gentler slopes, good for the medium beginner and a number of moguls for the intermediate skier. Snow and Weather conditions.
Lookout Pass Ski Area, near Wallace, Idaho, straddles the Idaho and Montana border, giving you the chance to ski two states in one day. From Missoula, take I-90 west 100 miles to the Montana/Idaho border and exit at the Lookout Pass Ski Area sign. Lookout Pass Ski Area boasts over 400 inches of powder—the most of any ski resort in the area, 34 runs offer all levels of skiing on 540 acres, with prime powder, a 1,150 ft vertical drop, 3 chairlifts, short lines, spectacular scenery, and reasonable rates. If you don’t want to drive the Pass, take the shuttle bus. Snow and Weather conditions.
Whitefish Mountain Resort, formerly Big Mountain Resort, is rated one of 50 of the best resorts in the US by Ski Magazine. It has a fun, family atmosphere while still appealing to the diehard skier. It offers a 2,353 vertical drop, 3,000 acres of endless powder, and, with 94 marked trails and 10 chair lifts. no lift lines. Whitefish is not quite 3 hours north of Missoula. Snow and Weather conditions.
Bridger Bowl is an easy 20 minutes drive north of Bozeman. And snow? How about 71 inches of dry, fluffy snow within a 24 hour period one winter and an average snowfall of over 350 inches? Over 2,000 acres with 71 trails, a 2,700′ vertical drop from 8,700′, 8 chairlifts, and affordable life tickets give you an idea of what you have to look forward to. One interesting aspect is the flashing blue beacon on top of a downtown Bozeman hotel that alerts skiers any time 2″ of new snow accumulates. Another perk is their free shuttle from Bozeman. Snow and Weather conditions.
Big Sky Resort is the high-ticket ski area in Montana. There is a return for those dollars however; it provides 3,800 skiable acres, with155 trails, an average snowfall of 400 inches, one 6-mile run, a vertical drop of 4,350′, 15-passenger tram and 20 other lifts, short lines, and unforgettable scenery. 40% of the runs are classified as most difficult and 20% as expert. Snow and Weather conditions.