Why Skiing in Montana May Be One of the Best Decisions You’ll MakeWhile Montana is one of the least populated US states, it offers some of the greatest snowboarding and skiing destinations in North America.
For those planning a skiing trip, make sure to consider this state where impressive and exciting mountain resorts abound. It is every skier’s dream to see mountains slopes with snow that is perfect for skiing.
Whether one is looking forward to knee-deep powder or seeking a long groomer, Montana ski resorts have plenty of snowboarding and skiing options. More importantly, visitors do not have to wait in long lift lines.
Skiing in Montana: Top Resorts to Choose From
1. Red Lodge Mountain Resort
Covering a skiable terrain of 1,600 acres, one can find the Red Lodge Mountain in the Beartooth District. The Silver Run Ski Club built the resort in 1960. It has 70 runs, with its longest run being 2.5 miles, spread across two mountains.
Skiable Terrain at Red Lodge Mountain Ski Resort
The main reasons why skiers and snowboarders of all levels prefer this resort is because the terrain caters to everyone. There are few Montana Ski Resorts that offer terrains suitable for all levels of skiers.
Red Lodge Mountain’s terrain is suitable for 19% beginner level (terrain marked green), 25% intermediate (blue) and 36% advanced (black). Finally, the remaining 20%, which is for expert skiers, features double diamond black slopes.
Most noteworthy, the Red Lodge Mountain Resort offers a total of seven lifts. They comprise of 2 High-Speed Quads, 1 Triple Chair, 3 Double Chairs, and 1 Surface Lift. Thus, skiers will have no difficulty going from one trail to the other.
Skiing in Montana is a simple but engaging experience. About 6 miles away from Red Lodge, Red Lodge Mountain is popular for its friendly yet exciting skiing offerings. The variety of terrain pleases all types of skiers, providing opportunities to enjoy their glades, steeps, groomers, chutes, and gentle cruisers.
In addition, the resort also offers full-service lessons and features a retail store and a rental shop where guests can purchase or rent all types of skiing equipment. In fact, the resort takes care of everything for authentic skiing and snowboarding experience in Montana's famous Rocky Mountains.
There are numerous dining options, so guests get a complete experience of their trip. The Main Lodge is a cafeteria-style service and can seat up to 300. Visitors can also enjoy their own sack lunch in their loft area.
The Midway Chalet sells burgers, sandwiches, beverages, and snacks under vaulted ceilings. Finally, the Bierstube is a popular and friendly gathering place throughout the season. It offers hearty pub fare and ten beers on tap. Enjoy complimentary live music on Saturdays from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.
2. Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort
Whitefish Mountain Resort is one of America's all-time favorite destinations for world-class skiing. This resort is in northwestern Montana near Glacier National Park. This is another Montana Ski Resort where guests are sure to have the time of their life.
Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort offers a 3,020-acre skiable area where guests can indulge in various winter activities. The resort receives an average of more than 300 inches snowfall.
Lifts and Skiable Area
There are 4 terrain parks at Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort. The resort has 105 runs with a 2,353-foot vertical drop, a supreme elevation of 6m817 ft. and a 4,464-foot base.
Twelve percent of the terrain (marked green) is for beginners, 38% (blue) for intermediate skiers, 44% (black) for advanced skiers, and 6% (double-diamond black slopes) for expert skiers. Most noteworthy, one cannot easily find this sort of terrain in most Montana Ski Resorts.
Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort offers 14 lifts. They comprise of 3 High-Speed Quads, 2 Quad Chairs, 6 triple Chairs, and 3 Surface Lifts. Thus, skiers will have no difficulty in going from one trail to the other.
Certainly, this resort is perfect for deep powder skiing. Since there are no lift lines, guests are able to have a pleasant and laid-back vibe when visiting this resort. Its location is not more than 20 miles from the Glacier Park International Airport.
After the skiers have experienced the thrill of skiing, they can head over to Mountain Village where all range of amenities along with fine dining, entertainment, shopping, and other family-friendly activities are available.
In terms of lodging and accommodations at Montana Ski Resorts, there are many options for guests, one of them being The Lodge at Whitefish where guests can enjoy complete lodging facilities. The Lodge also provides free shuttle services so guests can travel to and from the mountain easily.
3. Big Sky Ski Resort
Big Sky Ski Resort is in Southwest Montana. The resort has become popular because of its ability to provide good food and excellent customer service, easy ski-in/out, short and fast lift lines, and a wide variety of fun winter activities for skiers and families alike. The summit of the resort measures 11,166 feet, with a vertical drop of 4,350 feet, and a 7,500-foot base.
Skiable Terrain and Lifts
Big Sky Ski Resort offers a total of 36 lifts. They comprise of 1 Gondola, 1 Eight-Person lift, 2 High-Speed Sixes, 5 High-Speed Quads, 3 Quad Chairs, 7 Triple Chairs, 5 Double Chairs, and 12 Surface Lifts, skiers have no difficulty in going from one trail to the other.
Just like most Montana Ski Resorts, Big Sky Ski Resort offers a 5,800-acre ski-able area where guests can indulge in skiing and snowboarding activities. The terrain allows skiers of all levels and abilities to get an authentic skiing experience.
The resort has 317 runs with 6 miles being the longest run. There is a total of 8 terrain parks at this resort. The terrain is suited for 15% beginner terrain marked green, 25% of the terrain is marked blue to denote for the intermediate skiers, 42% is black to denote the terrain is for the advanced skiers, and 18% of the terrain is double diamond black slopes for expert skiers.
For accommodation, The Summit offers lodging facilities along with free shuttle service to restaurants.
4. Yellowstone Club
Ever been to one of those luxurious ski resorts? The Yellowstone Club is one of the most luxurious of all Montana ski resorts. The ski resort is a millionaire’s get-away. Unfortunately, the resort is not open for everyone and requires a special membership that costs a small fortune. The Yellowstone Club caters to the Hollywood big shots and other famous entrepreneurs.
Once you get your exclusive membership to join this ultra-private luxury ski resort, prepare to rub shoulders with Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake, Jack Kemp, Tom Brady, and Giselle. They are just a handful of several celebrities who frequent this private skiing paradise.
Skiable Terrain at Yellowstone Club
The Yellowstone Resort has over 2,700 acres of skiable terrain. It gets over 300 inches of snowfall in peak season. In addition, it has over 100 runs with varying difficulty levels to attract all skiers, from beginners who are just taking their baby steps in skiing to powder hound expert and advanced ones.
Most of the skiable area is meticulously groomed, including the challenging trails of the lower mountain. All the slopes in varying difficulty levels are accessible through high-speed lifts.
The Dream Catcher has several steep trails with fresh powder. One of the most popular trails is the Quarterback Sneak. Its name got inspiration from popular NFL star Jack Kemp.
Advance and expert skiers will enjoy thigh-burning skiing as they make their way down the steep, which is 40- to 45-degree chutes near the Pioneer. Some of the most popular runs in this area are the Stein’s, Elevator Shaft, and Hourglass.
For the ultimate skiing experience, head to the backside area of the Pioneer for fresh powder and track-clear slopes. State-of-the-art, high-speed lifts at Yellowstone’s Club make it easier for skiers to access their favorite slopes.
The resort has five chairlifts, which includes three quad cars, a gondola, and three new chairlifts. With a perfect mix of terrains, trees, and gullies, enthusiasts of all abilities will understand why skiing in Montana should be on everyone’s bucket list.
5. Blacktail Mountain
Blacktail Mountain is a small ski resort with plenty of intermediate blue marked runs. The resort is just right above the picturesque mountain town of Lakeside, on the western shore of the Flathead Lake.
What makes Blacktail Mountain different from other ski resort is that skiers get a chance to experience a thrilling top-to-bottom run before they get a chance to hop on the first chair lift. Skiers get to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding lakes and mountains as well.
Blacktail Mountain Skiable Terrain
The resort has over 1,000 acres of skiable terrain and light, dry powder that makes it perfect for intermediate skiers and a few runs are black diamonds suitable for experts.
Blacktail Mountain has a vertical drop of 1,440 feet. The resort has over 24 runs spread across a 200 acres skiable area, accessible through three chairlifts and a handle tow.
This resort is ideal for beginners to learn skiing and improve their skills on plenty of intermediate blue-marked pistes. Finally, the resort has significant gladed areas with plenty of powder on different trails as well.
For accommodation options, Bella Vista or Blacktail Cabin and Elk’s Bay Beach Home are just a few of the many resorts in Lakeside/Somers area. Bigfork also boasts of comfortable and convenient lodging alternatives, including the Bigfork Stage Cabins, The Cherry on Top, and the Marina Cay Resort.
For those wishing to stay in the city of Kalispell, enjoy the convenience and comforts of a bed and breakfast at Dream Catcher Lodge. Other popular names in the area are Hampton Inn Kalispell, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton.
6. Bridger Bowl Ski Resort
Montana has several ski resorts and Bridger Bowl ski resort is another crowd favorite among the other Montana ski resorts. The resort has a total 2,000 acres of skiable terrain that’s popular for its one of a kind fluffy and light “cold smoke” snow.
The resort is ideally located in a perfect mountainous region, which promotes heavy snowfall. Each year, Bridger Bowl Ski Resort receives approximately 350 inches of snowfall. The 2,700 feet vertical summit is serviced by eight chairlifts that take skiers and snowboarders to various terrains, depending on their skiing experience.
Skiable Terrains at Bridger Bowl Ski Resort
The resort has 12% green marked slopes that are better for beginners and families to try. For those who wish to improve their skiing skills, enjoy the 28% blue marked slopes.
For those looking for a challenge, love the 18% black diamond advanced slopes. Finally, a whopping 42% terrain offers plenty of double black diamond runs with fresh, light powder.
The unique feature of Bridger Bowl Ski Resort is its large funnel or V-shaped terrain. This is spread on 200 yards across the base area and 2 miles across the ridge top. The resort has four massive bowls with wide-open terrains and different landscapes.
The skiable terrain of Bridger Bowl is perfect for advanced and expert skiers who are ready for a never-ending adventure on light powder. Advanced and expert skiers will find several steep chutes and challenging runs across the rock cliffs and huge snowfields.
The terrain can become so difficult depending on the weather condition that skiers and snowboarders need to carry a shovel, an avalanche transceiver, and other safety gear to ensure their safety. The management of the resort recommends skiing in small groups to avoid any mishaps.
Terrain Parks for Snowboarders
There is something for snowboarders as well at Bridger Bowl, the resort has two terrain parks considered to be one of the best among Montana ski resorts. Riders can access the terrain parks by taking the Sunnyside lift.
The terrain parks have several pipes and large jumps with a series of trials and boxes located towards the lower side of the Sunnyside slope.
Skiing in Montana: The Bottom Line
Alaska offers top ski resorts as well, but while it is not in the Arctic, Montana is home to different resorts, each one offers a unique skiing opportunity. From beginners and intermediates to expert powder hounds, each skier and snowboarder can enjoy the varying slopes and runs.
Montana ski resorts are diverse and unlike no other, particularly, the Yellowstone Club. In fact, it is one of the most exclusive high-end luxury ski resorts requiring a hefty membership fee and a house that costs millions of dollars.
The Bridger Bowl Ski Resort, a crowd favorite among expert skiers, features terrains suitable for skiers looking for a challenging, adrenaline-pumping experience.