Montana winters are often portrayed with ten feet of snow and a guy covered in furs (somewhat reminiscent of Leo in The Revenant) but the Big Sky Country has a lot more to offer. Thanks to being in close proximity to a number of mountain ranges, ski slopes cover Montana. This portrayal is quickly turned into life changing experiences and truly exposes the tremendous potential Montana has. There are some recreational activities and some particular resorts that really help stereotype Montana but the list of resorts below are some “hidden gems” that many people might not have ever been to or even heard of. They are all experiences that a Montana lover must try!
5. Montana Snowbowl
- Snowbowl is a smaller resort located about 15 miles from Missoula making it the perfect destination for a simple day ski or for last minute ski plans.
- Despite being a smaller mountain, Snowbowl gets optimal snow, has reasonable prices, and is great for any level of skier.
- When Snowbowl shuts down the lifts for summer, its focus turns to weddings, concert series, and other events.
4. Red Lodge Mountain
- With the closest Montana “city” to Red Lodge being Billings, this ski resort is often overlooked and considered to be an underrated mountain.
- Red Lodge is actually a bigger Montana ski hill despite its location and is a very nice resort to take vacations to or to just simply ski for the day and enjoy the nice little town of Red Lodge.
- Red Lodge is great for skiers of any skill level with a “top half” and “back side” of the mountain that provides a lot more space for many skiers to freely roam without feeling crowded.
- The mountain hosts a series of different events, has live music at the lodge, and turns its focus to the Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course when the weather permits.
3. Bridger Bowl
- Less than an hour away from Bozeman, Bridger Bowl is great for day trips to hit some serious powder (gnar bro).
- Even though Big Sky Resort casts a big shadow for the Montana ski industry, Bridger Bowl does a great job of making a name for themselves keeping a considerable reputation.
- Bridger has a great atmosphere made for skiers of any skill level and is considerably priced (about half of Big Sky Resort).
- If you have an avalanche beacon and guts of steel, Bridger Bowl offers the opportunities to put your skills to the test.
2. Lookout Pass
- Lookout has the most optimal location for a ski resort being a stones throw off the interstate at the top of Lookout Pass.
- One of the most unique experiences is being able ski on both the Montana side and the Idaho side of this ski resort since it lies on the Montana-Idaho border.
- Even though Lookout is located on a busy interstate, it is still big enough to enjoy skiing without feeling crowded by fellow skiers.
- Lookout is constantly putting on events and in the warm summer months serves as the central hub for taking a bike ride on the Hiawatha trail (which is an amazing experience).
- 2016 reached the 80 year mark of Showdown and I swear it gets better every year.
- Although a smaller mountain, Showdown is the perfect hill for skiers/boarders of any skill level.
- 2 chairlifts take you directly to the top of the mountain so you don’t have to worry about switching chairs at midway.
- Showdown offers everything from the “bunny hill” to terrain parks and even advanced skiing such as cliffs and moguls.
- Hosts a lot of fun events and competitions throughout the year such as the popular mannequin jump.
- After a long day of skiing, enjoy local beer and live music at the “Hole in the Wall Saloon” located in the lodge on the hill.
The goal of this blog post was to hopefully bring awareness to anyone who enjoys skiing in Montana looking to try something new. The true Montana outdoor experience isn’t a fancy experience with all the bells and whistles. The best way to experience Montana’s beauty is to escape from the world and simply enjoy the little things in life. Given the proper settings these “gems” will not disappoint anyone looking for a new Montana skiing experience.
Post By: Dawson Auck