Top 6 Best Ski Resorts in Montana

Montana is one of the largest states in the US, and it’s also home to some great skiing. It’s more remote than some other popular skiing spots like Colorado and Utah, but it will always be worth it if you are up for the adventure. 

I’ve been skiing for decades and have been fortunate to explore many different ski resorts. I’ve skied Montana on several occasions and have visited all of the best resorts there. I know what to look for when it comes to quality skiing destinations. 

This post will spotlight all of the best ski resorts in Montana. I’ll explain what each resort is best known for and some other essential information that can help you plan a ski trip to the Big Sky state. 

Let’s get after it. 

1. Big Sky

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 25 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 10 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Impressive skiable acreage, no lift lines, lots of snow

Big Sky is one of my favorite ski resorts in the world, and it’s easily one of the best in Montana. This is an epic place to ski both in terms of snow quality and how much terrain you can explore. It doesn’t get much better than this if you love to ski. 

The resort offers nearly 6,000 acres of skiable terrain. In short, it’s massive! You could ski here for weeks and still not hit every run. On top of that, it also gets over 400 inches of snow a year, which is more than other options in the popular western states. 

There are four hotels to stay at right at the resort, making it easy to book your entire ski trip. You can also explore various rental homes and condos in the surrounding areas. Ski lessons and rentals are abundant as well. 

I don’t have many negative things to say about Big Sky, and it truly is one of the best skiing destinations in Montana or anywhere in the world. However, you’ll want to be prepared for any type of weather, and it can get cold!

2. Whitefish

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 7 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 1 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Epic bluebird powder days, train goes to the resort

Whitefish Mountain Resort is another one of the top skiing destinations in Montana. This is another pretty massive mountain with over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain. There is plenty of room to spread out and enjoy fresh snow. 

Whitefish is well-known for producing epic bluebird powder days that can make for some of the most memorable ski conditions you can imagine. The resort averages over 300 inches of snow every year, so conditions are reliably good. 

Another thing to love about Whitefish is that you can ride a train to the resort. This is an enjoyable way to see the beautiful natural areas in Montana, and you don’t need to worry about loading up the car with all your gear. 

There is a lodge where you can book a room for your ski trip, but this sometimes requires a 5-night minimum, depending on the time of year. You can get ski and stay packages to save a bit of money on lodging. 

Even though the skiable acreage is large, there are only 11 lifts at Whitefish. This means you might need to ski some catwalks or other flat terrain to get around if you aren’t familiar with the mountain. 

3. Lookout Pass

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 10 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 10 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Lots of snow, affordable, family-friendly

Lookout Pass is a family-friendly ski resort on the Montana/Idaho border. This is a lesser-known skiing destination in the state but often gets the most snow of any other place you can ski in bounds. That means powder days are in abundance here. 

It’s not as massive as the first two resorts on the list, but there is still plenty of terrain to explore. There is a good variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs to satisfy skiers of all ability levels

Lookout Pass also has a good ski school that offers group and individual lessons. You’ll want to try and set these lessons up ahead of time to make sure there are instructors available during the days you want to ski. 

There aren’t many dining or lodging options directly at the mountain or in the surrounding areas. It’s best to bring some food and come prepared with everything you need during your ski trip. You’ll be more than satisfied with the snow if you do. 

4. Bridger Bowl

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 1 (Average) 
  • Closing Day: April 1 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Close to Bozeman, excellent snow

Bridger Bowl is another solid Montana ski resort, and its proximity to the city of Bozeman makes it a popular destination for locals. This resort has quality snow all year round and averages over 300 inches of snow a year. 

You can also enjoy many different types of terrain here. From steep chutes to wide-open groomers, Bridger Bowl has a little something for every kind of skier. There is also a decent terrain park for freestyle skiers who want to go huge.

The ski lesson program here is excellent, and it’s a great place for all ability levels to learn from expert instructors. You can take a day lesson, and complete youth programs are also available that run for a few months every season. 

Bridger Bowl isn’t as large as some other resorts with 2,000 skiable acres. This, alongside being closer to a city, makes the resort more crowded on weekends and holidays. 

5. Great Divide

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: November 5 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 25 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Close to Helena, affordable, family-friendly 

Great Dive Ski Area is an affordable and exciting resort to visit in the Big Sky state. It’s somewhat small but is easily accessible from the nearby city of Helena.

This resort makes the list because it has some of the most affordable lift tickets you can find in the state. This makes it a good option for families or any skier on budget. And despite a reasonable price, you still get access to plenty of great skiing. 

The ski school here is also highly respected and always has some of the best instructors in the area. This a great for beginners or other skiers who want a little guidance to help improve their skills on the slopes. 

There isn’t much lodging directly at the mountain, but you can find plenty of hotels and rental homes around Helena. Dining is also limited, but a few lodges have good food and drinks to keep you fueled up while you ski. 

6. Montana Snowbowl 

  • Resort Website
  • Opening Day: December 15 (Average) 
  • Closing Day: April 5 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Big mountain terrain, technical runs, off-piste skiing

If you are an advanced skier and want access to some of the most technical terrain in the state, Montana Snowbowl is highly recommended. This location has some impressive big mountain lines for serious skiers to take advantage of. 

Montana Snowbowl is a skier’s ski resort. You don’t get as many fancy amenities here, but you do get world-class skiing that will keep a smile on your face. The resort gets plenty of snow to give you access to trails inside and outside its boundaries. 

There is one ski-in/ski-out lodge here called the Gelandesprung. It’s not swanky but has everything you’ll need to stay comfortable. You can also stay nearby in the city of Missoula for other lodging and dining. 

Montana Snowbowl is not a good destination for beginners because most of the terrain is too technical. But if you have the skills, you will surely enjoy the visit. 

Additional Tips for Skiing in Montana

Montana can get hammered with snow. While this leads to epic skiing conditions, it can also lead to increased avalanche danger. Make sure you have the proper equipment when venturing off-piste and always remain aware of the snow conditions.

Check out some avalanche safety tips in the video below: 

Final Words

Montana isn’t always a top skiing destination compared to other spots in the western US. But if you are up for the adventure and want to chase epic snow and incredible terrain, the resorts listed here will have you covered any winter season!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.