Montana is an excellent place to visit in every season, but winter draws a very particular type of tourist—ski bums. You might not know it, but Montana offers world-class skiing without the crowds one might experience in places like Colorado or Utah. The state boasts 22 resorts sprawled across the western, mountainous territory, and most locations keep standard seasons with extended spring skiing. Whether you like powder or cashmere, steeps or narrows, Montana has a resort to fit your style.
Skiing for steeps—Big Sky Resort
At nearly 6,000 acres, Big Ski is one of America’s largest ski resorts. Outfitted with a well-developed infrastructure, updated amenities, 23 chair lifts, and 11 surface lifts, Big Ski Resort is truly a sight to behold. The area sees an average annual snowfall of more than 400 inches, and the summit elevation is well over 11,000ft. This figure means that Big Sky has one of the biggest vertical drops you can ski—4,350ft of vertical. Visiting in the summer? The resort also offers more than 40 miles of mountain bike trails.
For freestyle junkies—Whitefish
Whitefish Mountain Resort offers one of the most diverse skiing experiences available in Montana. The resort has 12% beginner, 40% intermediate, 42% advanced, and 6% expert terrain, allowing the slopes to accommodate nearly every type of skier. The best part? Whitefish has five terrain parks scattered across the mountain. Our favorite is the Goat Haunt Skier/Boardercross Course—located just off of Chair 7. This park features banked turns, small jumps, rollers, and several rails.
Skiing for powder—Bridger Bowl
2,000 acres of terrain comprise the Bridger Bowl Ski Area, making this one of the largest available. The area is known for its “cold smoke” snow—light and fluffy material that will have your legs screaming for mercy after just a couple of runs. White Fish averages 350 inches of snow each year, and the 2,700ft vertical rise is serviced by eight chairlifts. Don’t be spooked by the high vertical—the area has several family-friendly trails. If you want more of an adventure, hike twenty minutes to “The Ridge,” a portion of the resort known for steep chutes and open powder fields.
Family fun—Teton Pass Ski Resort
On the edge of Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front sits Teton Pass Ski Resort, a small, family-friendly resort adored by locals and visitors alike. The resort offers 400 acres of skiable terrain in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. If you ski here, don’t expect to see any lift lines—this resort is truly a local treasure. With a 1,010ft vertical drop and over 60% beginner and intermediate terrain, this is a great place to learn to ski. If you want a more intense experience, venture away from the groomed trails to explore seemingly endless backcountry terrain.
If you’re a student, senior, or part of a group visiting our lovely state, you may qualify for certain lift ticket discounts and ski rental packages. Montana Ski Authority offers a great way to look for Montana lift ticket discounts. As always, plan ahead, ski smart, and have a blast—welcome to Big Sky Country.