5 Montana Ski Resort Gems

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.

Website: http://www.montanasnowbowl.com/

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.

Website: http://www.redlodgemountain.com/

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.

Website: http://bridgerbowl.com/

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).

Website: https://skilookout.com/

  1. Showdown

  • 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.

Website: http://www.showdownmontana.com/

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

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Montana Adventures

Montana Adventures

By Andrew Moreland

The blog that brings you all my favorite adventures that I’ve experienced in Montana. Below, you will find all the information that I’ve used and what I’ve done throughout my time here. With all these adventures that I have experienced have made Montana one of my favorite places on earth.

Here is a list of my favorite adventures that I have experienced in Montana                                  (Scroll down to find more information about them)

Hiking & Backpacking

Rock Climbing (Indoor & Outdoor)

Whitewater Kayaking

Skiing & Snowboarding

Mountain Biking

Hot Springs 

Hiking and Backpacking

One of the best ways to experience this beautiful state is by hiking in the great outdoors. There are so many amazing places to explore including my all-time favorite, Glacier National Park. This national park is located in the north-western part of the state and it extends up into Canada. I’ve traveled to Glacier many of times and every journey has been more beautiful than the last.

Here is the website where you can find a ton of information if you’re interested in taking a trip up there any time soon.

Glacier National Park

 

Rock Climbing (Indoor)

Freestone Climbing gym is the best climbing gym in Missoula.  I love going there after my classes to free my mind with some climbing. It’s got awesome people and enough routes that will keep you coming back for more day after day.

Here is their website, go check them out if you like to climb!

Freestone Climbing Website

Rock Climbing (Outdoor)

Around Missoula there is a bunch of awesome areas to climb, go grab some buddies and start sending! Summer and fall days are the best to go out and explore these beautiful areas.

Here is the website with more information about the incredible outdoor rock climbing located close to Missoula!

Rock Climbing – Missoula, MT

Whitewater Kayaking

Montana has some of the best whitewater kayaking in the country. This is where I learned to kayak a few years ago and it will always hold a special place in my heart. One of my favorites, and usual after class run, is the Alberton Gorge section of the Clark Fork River. This is an amazing section of class III-IV rapids just 30 minutes west of Missoula. There is also the Blackfoot River that is just north of Missoula that offers great scenery and whitewater in the spring.

Here is where you can find more information on my favorite run as well as the current flows for this section.

Alberton Gorge – Clark Fork River

 

Skiing & Snowboarding

There is a reason so many people come to Montana for the mountains. THE SKIING IS UNREAL. From the local Snowbowl just 20 minutes north of Missoula to the massive Big Sky Resort a few hours away there is enough powder to go around. These are 2 of my favorite places to ski, yet there is so many more places out there that I’m excited to go explore.

Here is the website for Montana Snowbowl.

Montana Snowbowl

Here is the website for Big Sky.

Big Sky Resort

 

Mountain Biking

I just started mountain biking around Missoula last year, and I have no idea why I didn’t start a lot earlier! Not only is it a great leg workout but it is a blast to go out and explore the single tracks throughout the mountains. My favorite trials start from Sawmill Gulch just up the street from where I live in the Rattlesnake Recreational area.

Here is a great website with tons of information on trails just outside of Missoula!

Missoula Mountain Biking

 

Hot Springs

From cool summer nights to frigid winter days hot springs are a great choice for an adventure. There are awesome hot springs spread out all over Montana. My favorite one has to be the Boiling River hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. If you haven’t been there, it is a MUST if you live in, or are even passing through Montana.

Here is a website that has information about all the hot springs in Montana.

Montana Hot Springs

 

About the Author

I grew up loving the outdoors just outside of Portland, OR. While growing up my parents always took me and my two brothers out to go skiing and hiking along with many other adventures throughout my life, and because of this I began to have a deep appreciation for everything around me. This made it a very easy decision when I was comparing colleges all over the country. I have to say moving to Montana to attend the University here in Missoula, MT has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have only widened my appreciation for nature and all the things you can go do in this life. I can’t wait to go on more adventures in the future and I can only hope to see you out there!

Andrew Moreland

Around The World And Back

It all started one day sitting in high school not sure what in the heck I was going to do when I graduated. A Marine Corp. Recruiter came in to our class and I gave him an ear to talk to. Little did I know he would sell me on a trip of a life time. So three months down the road I was graduated from high school, sitting in sunny California, getting yelled at in boot camp. To flash forward a year or so, I was done with all my training and getting ready for what I really signed up for. To see the world of course!!!

So we set out on our deployment, The 13 MEU, and this hog right here was how we were getting around. Its a fine ship, a little crowded but damn it can do some damage if need be. The USS BOXER.

The first stop after leaving San Diego….you guessed it, Hawaii!! After spending three weeks on a boat I was much do for some R&R. I’ll tell you four days here wasn’t nearly enough though.

The second stop of the trip was beautiful GUAM. With its amazing sunsets and sunrises… I never wanted to leave. I’ve made it a point in my life to venture back to this fabulous place.

I guess if you need something fixed you better call on us. Taking a little break during the flight schedule while the jets launch.

Next up Phuket, Thailand. If I could get on a plane and truly leave any where in the world right now, this would be the spot I would head. The people are amazingly friendly. The weather is wonderful and the food is some of the best I’ve ever had.

Next stop Dubai. Here in this pic is the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa @ 2,717 feet high. Being a Montana kid born and raised, when I stood at the base of this marvel I couldn’t help but stare up at it for hours. Its pure bliss, you can see it from 30 miles away. Its incredible!!ski-dubai_2406593kSkiing in the middle of the desert? Dubai is known for many things and yes this is one of them. They have an indoor ski slope there. Being thousands of miles away from home…of course I had to give this a shot!

Some more flight deck fun somewhere out in the middle of the ocean.

The next stop was in Jordan. During leave we were allowed to visit the ancient ruins of Petra. Above is the Treasury, standing at a staggering 40 meters tall, the view was breathtaking. Above is the the Monastery, another building carved into the red rocks of Petra.Deployment was quite an experience. Getting to travel the world with great people was something I always wanted to do. I would do it all again if I could, no regrets. Well maybe without the working part. The leave time was amazing. When the ship ported in places like Hawaii and Thailand, I was ecstatic with joy. Thanks for taking time to read my blog. I hope you enjoyed it.

 

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Ski Report: Lolo Peak 11/15

Winter has arrived, and the Bitterroot Range is at its early stages of being ski friendly again. With about 6-8″ at ~6,000ft and 18-20″ in wind protected areas at ~8,000 we are well on our way to a solid year. For our tour, we took to the prestine and pretty easy to reach, Lolo Peak for a short 9 mile ~4,000 vertical ft tour. For more adventurous tours, to include Trapper Peak couloir, visit MontanaEscapades.com

 

Lolo Peak TH, on a crisp 5 degree morning
Those familiar, the shortcut has enough snow cover to save you time!
Atop Carlton Ridge with the beginnings of Mormon Peak to the right, and N. Lolo Peak center. The true summit of Lolo Peak lies just east behind it.

After a brisk skin up to Carlton Ridge we scanned the clearly wind spanked east face of N. Lolo Peak. There was hope though! Although the peak has zero ski tracks, we convinced ourselves there was a small path that might support Lolo Peak’s first decent of the year.

Mike making the last push to Lolo Peak, with Carlton Lake below.
The true summit, and vastly less visited portion of Lolo Peak.

We did a tour to Lolo Peak proper last year: http://www.montanaescapades.com/2013/11/lolo-peak-trifecta.html

Sweeney Peak looking dapper
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The skiing got better the lower we went, but going slow was the plan as there were plenty of underlying rocks.

 

 

 

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We are sitting pretty for a great year. Although there wasn’t much of a base layer on this tour, the warm weather over the weekend should be just enough to set up a great foundation. There is just one more weekend before one can make use of the Mormon road since it’ll be gated Dec. 1st until May 15th. Otherwise you’ll be stuck using the Mill Creek TH, which is quite the stretch of the legs.