Discover extraordinary downhill skiing in Western Montana’s Glacier Country and Yellowstone Country Montana, where 300 – 400 inches of annual snowfall blankets the mesmerizing wintry landscapes between Montana’s two national parks. From local-favorite ski hills flying under the radar to big-mountain resorts where the legends of freestyle honed their craft, Montana skiing is some of America’s best, and you won’t find any lift lines, crowds or hefty price tags here. What you will find is the warm western hospitality Montana is known for.
Winter exhilaration abounds here in deep powder bowls, thrilling terrain parks, and runs from blue to backcountry, all complemented by panoramic views plus Montana’s signature big skies and fresh mountain air. And the captivating mountain communities throughout the region offer up local charm, ski-town vibes, lodging from rustic to resort, and incredible restaurants, breweries and distilleries serving up authentic Montana flavor.
With 250 inches of snow each year, Blacktail Mountain is an ideal family-friendly ski destination. Ski its light, dry powder and take in the brilliant views of Flathead Lake, Glacier National Park and the Mission Mountains.
One of the area’s best-kept secrets, Discovery offers an expert’s brand of thrills at a local’s hangout. The north-facing Limelight lift offers some of the steepest lift-served terrain in the region, while the variety of beginner and intermediate runs on the Anaconda and north-facing Granite lifts provide great skiing for all abilities. Easily reached from Missoula, Butte and Helena, Discovery offers beautiful views and uncrowded slopes with enough tree skiing, powder bowls, groomed trails and mogul runs for all skill levels.
Located on the Montana/Idaho border, the snow comes early and in full force to Lookout Pass, dropping around 400 inches per year. In operation since 1935, Lookout Pass has 540 skiable acres and 34 named runs. It also has two terrain parks with huge banks, mounds, launches, rails and an 1,111-foot quarter pipe. The full-service lodge offers food, drinks, rentals and lessons.
Lost Trail Powder Mountain straddles the Montana/Idaho border on top of the Continental Divide. Well-known for its reliable 300 inches of snowfall each year, Lost Trail offers consistently good snow conditions in the breathtaking Bitterroot Range of the Northern Rockies. Lost Trail is family-owned and operated and offers ample room for all types of skiers and boarders, whether you're a beginner or novice.
Located minutes from downtown Missoula, Snowbowl is a local favorite. With deep, powdery bowls and 2,600 feet of continuous vertical drop, it’s is an extremist’s dream, while still offering plenty of runs for all skill levels. At the end of the day, skiers make their way to Snowbowl’s Last Run Inn for their famous bloody marys and wood-fired pizza.
Located in northwest Montana, Turner Mountain offers excellent snow conditions, wide-open slopes, beautiful scenery, no crowds and affordable lift tickets. Combine all that with a vertical drop of 2,110 feet and 25 named runs and you have a successful day on the slopes. Another bonus: you can be king of the hill. Turner Mountain is available for full-day (or more) rentals.
The notable world-class Whitefish Mountain Resort has been one of America's favorite ski resorts since 1947. Located on Big Mountain above the historic railroad town of Whitefish, the resort has gained notoriety for its laidback vibe, excellent skiing and summer recreation. Each year, Whitefish Mountain Resort receives 300+ inches of snow on its 3,000+ acres of skiable terrain. The summit also offers breathtaking views of Glacier National Park and the expansive Flathead Valley. A full-service resort, it offers a wide range of amenities, including dining, lodging, shopping, entertainment and family-friendly activities. Plus, it’s only a short 20-minute drive from Glacier Park International Airport.
Once neighbors sharing the same mountain, Moonlight Basin and Spanish Peaks were purchased by Big Sky and are now permanently one impressive (and huge) ski complex, known as Big Sky Resort. With 5,800 acres of terrain and 4,350 feet of vertical served by more than 30 lifts, runs up to 6 miles long, a 2,000 vertical foot, powder-filled bowl beneath Lone Mountain, challenging chutes and a view of three states, two national parks and numerous mountain ranges, you’ll understand just what “big” means.
Organically grown and locally owned since 1955, Bridger Bowl has operated as a nonprofit community ski area since powder-day one. With over 2,000 acres spanning 2,600 vertical feet, Bridger Bowl—known for its light, dry powder and the steep chutes experts crave—offers some of the most exciting ski terrain in the Rockies, and incredibly low package prices with no blackout dates. This world-class ski area has seven chairlifts serving first-time beginners, expert-only, alpine ridge-terrain adventurers and everyone in between.
Big mountain adventures without big mountain crowds or prices, Red Lodge Mountain is a down-to-earth ski area that values great skiing and affordability. A well-developed terrain park offers ski and snowboard opportunities for all ages and ability levels, making Red Lodge Mountain an ideal spot for family vacations. And, with more than a third of its terrain designated as advanced or expert, there’s plenty of room to push the limits.
You’ll find ski rentals and gear on-site at Montana’s ski areas, as well as at friendly outfitters all over Western Montana’s Glacier Country and Yellowstone Country Montana. Ski school/lessons are also available at most ski areas.
For information visit glaciermt.com and visityellowstonecountry.com.
Montana’s vast and diverse downhill terrain ranges from beginner to expert, and some resorts have extreme skiing terrain that requires an avalanche transceiver and avalanche knowhow to access. Stay safe and recreate responsibly by staying inbounds at ski resorts unless you are an experienced backcountry skier and have the essential equipment and experience to ski out-of-bounds and are certain it is permitted. Avalanche safety should always be top of mind when you’re headed into the deep stuff. Carry avalanche safety gear, know the red flags of an unstable snowpack, check the avalanche forecast, and get educated in avalanche safety.
Also, before you hit the road to your next downhill ski adventure in Montana, it’s important to check road status and road closures. You can find Montana road reports here and here.
From ski-in-ski-out resort accommodations with all the amenities you could imagine to small-town ski-hill communities offering friendly local vibes, you’ll find plenty of unique and comfortable lodging options here. We’ve got luxury, rustic and everything in between. Stay on site at a ski resort or book a stay at a guest ranch, bed-and-breakfast, timbered lodge, cabin, hotel or motel, and don’t forget to make time for a hot springs soak.
For more on lodging, visit glaciermt.com/stay and visityellowstonecountry.com/places-to-stay.
Après ski, take in the Montana flavor at your base-camp resort or at one of the local-favorite hot spots in the region’s vibrant towns. You’ll find exceptional food no matter your taste, as well as plenty of places to grab a drink. With 40+ breweries and a number of historic western bars full of authentic Montana character, there’s no shortage of places to pull up a barstool and recount your day on the slopes.
For more on where to eat, visit glaciermt.com/eat and visityellowstonecountry.com/food-and-drink.
Check the status of your destination before arriving.
Make reservations in advance and pack essentials like water.
Take it slow and choose low-risk activities.
Learn wildlife safety. View from a safe distance, never approach or feed, and carry bear spray.
Be mindful of your impact on communities.
Take your trash, including fruit rinds, with you and clean up properly.
Make outdoor spaces safe and welcoming for all.
Follow the steps Clean. Drain. Dry. and pull over for inspections.
Check avalanche forecasts, carry gear and know your snow.
Properly use outdoor equipment, learn campfire safety and check fire restrictions.