Big Sky Country, The Land of the Shining Mountains, and The Last Best Place are just a few of Montana’s nicknames and catchphrases. All are true, especially when traveling to the western half of the state’s mountains and crags. Whether you’re a beginner on the bunny slope or a black diamond pro, Montana has some of the best skiing in the country, and most resorts have superb lodgings and dining to suit all tastes. Liftlines are typically shorter, and you’ll have more acres per skier than at any other ski destination in the United States. World-class skiing is accessible at Big Sky Resort and Whitefish Mountain Resort, and many smaller ski resorts provide an experience that is uniquely Montana.
1. Big Sky Resort
Big Sky Resort is one of Montana’s most opulent ski resorts, as well as its largest, with 5,850 skiable acres spread across four mountains and 300 slopes, including the legendary Lone Peak, which rises to 11,166 feet. Big Sky Resort is easy to get to and offers plenty of food, hotel, and entertainment. It is accessible via direct flights from 16 major cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York City. Stay at Big Sky Resort for slope-side lodging, which includes breakfast, free skiing for children under the age of six, and access to a hot tub for après-ski relaxation.
2. Whitefish Mountain Resort
The old railroad town of Whitefish, located about an hour from Glacier National Park, is one of the most aesthetically magnificent regions in the state, attracting skiers since the late 1940s. The resort’s success is aided by high-speed quad chairlifts, over 100 trails, one of which is 3.3 miles long, a terrain park, and an average annual snowfall of 300 inches. Ski teaching is excellent, particularly for novices and children. Book a dinner reservation at Kandahar Lodge’s Café Kandahar for the greatest dining experience.
3. Blacktail Mountain Ski Area
Blacktail Mountain Ski Area, located above Flathead Lake, is unique in that the lodge and parking lot is located at the summit of the mountain, providing spectacular panoramic views for all levels of skiers. The majority of the skiing here is for intermediate skiers, and there will almost certainly be no lift lines. If you want a gorgeous experience without the pace, cross-country skiing is also accessible on groomed trails.
4. Turner Mountain Ski Area
Turner Mountain, located in Libby in the state’s northwest corner, is a family-friendly and economical downhill skiing area. Alternatively, fly into Glacier International Airport via Amtrak. Ski on 22 distinct trails, half of which are suitable for beginners and intermediates and the other half for advanced skiers. Outdoor enthusiasts who only want to aim their skis or boards down the mountain for good-quality runs flock to this no-frills skiing experience. Several of the groomers and stewards are volunteers, giving the mountain a distinct sense of pride and community. For refueling, Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company, Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant, and Red Dog Saloon and Pizza are all close by.
5. Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area
Each winter season, snow lovers flock to Lookout Pass for the 550 acres of skiable land on 35 trails. This ski resort is distinguished by two terrain parks, each with technical aspects for beginners and experts to learn tricks and refine their trade. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are also available. The Women’s Clinic, Senior Workshop, and Famous Free Ski School for Children are just a few of the great, if not legendary, lesson programs available here. Ski and Stay packages are available throughout the destination with participating accommodation partners. Your lift ticket will be free if you visit on your birthday.