Best Montana Ski Resorts for Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing
If you’ve considered skiing in Montana, the state boasts favorable conditions throughout the winter months. This, coupled with mountainous terrain and majestic summits make it the best state for skiing in the country. While many vacationers head to warmer climates during the colder months, winter weather fans delight in Rocky Mountain snowy terrain.
Countless resorts, deep snow, and opportunities for tubing, skiing, and snowboarding make Montana a must-visit for ski fans the world over. Celebrities like Tom Brady, Justin Timberlake, and Celine Dion flock to Montana for its abundant outdoor recreation. Featuring acres of terrain to carve, Montana’s ski runs are unparalleled. See why the Treasure State beckons powder enthusiasts with a variety of slopes and trails.
Montana’s Best Downhill Skiing
Alpine skiing or downhill skiing as its best known is a fun, recreational sport practiced by over 11 million people nationwide. The Rocky Mountains of Montana provide some of the best skiing in the country. The following downhill ski areas and cross-country meadows throughout the state will delight even the most discriminating outdoor enthusiast.
Big Sky Resort
Located between Bozeman and Yellowstone, Big Sky Resort is in southwestern Montana. With 300 trails and 22 lifts across 5,800 acres, Big Sky Resort boasts terrain that appeals to all levels. Beginner to advanced skiers will find the perfect trail. One of the most popular resorts, Big Sky continually receives tops ratings. Whether it’s the spectacular views, variety of trails, amenities, and atmosphere, it is a must-visit if traveling to Montana for a ski trip.
Discovery Ski Area
With 40 trails across 380 acres, Discovery Ski Area is centrally located between Missoula, Butte, and Helena. Low wait times, powder bowls and a 1300-foot vertical drop provide skiers with a variety of beginner and intermediate runs. Ideal alpine skiing awaits at this ski area in Philipsburg, Montana.
With 105 runs and an annual snowfall of 333 inches, Whitefish Mountain provides skiers with a variety of trails for all levels. Waits are made shorter will 11 lifts, two T-bars and a magic carpet conveyer belt to bring skiers to their desired trail.
Great Divide Ski Area
The Great Divide Ski Area boasts the least inexpensive lift ticket in the region. With 10 trails, 6 terrain parks, and night skiing and live musing, it is an ideal resort for groups and families. Visitors looking to start skiing early in the season, flock to this ski area near the Continental Divide adjacent to Helena, MT. It is usually the first ski area in Montana to open each season.
Red Lodge Mountain Resort
This full-service resort includes 70 runs across two mountain summits. Beginners and veterans alike will appreciate the variety of slopes. Rentals, lessons, a repair shop and dining options abound at Red Lodge Mountain Resort. For unpretentious skiing, Red Lodge Mountain offers a simple, fun skiing experience with low wait times and few crowds.
Montana Snowbowl is home to a three-mile trail called Paradise as well as a steep 2,000-foot drop named Grizzly. With over 950 acres of trails and runs, Montana Snowbowl is better suited to veteran skiers with more experience than beginners. Just a short drive from Missoula, Snowbowl is located in the Lolo National Forest.
Nestled among the national forest, Blacktail Mountain offers 24 runs across 200 acres. Overlooking the small Montana town of Lakeside, Blacktail Mountain is at an elevation that receives 250 inches of snowfall per year. Located on the western side of Flathead Lake in the Flathead National Forest, Blacktail Mountain offers top-notch lodge and amenities.
Cross-Country Skiing in Montana
Winter outdoors enthusiasts interested in a more social experience that allows them to get out in nature and enjoy the sights may appreciate cross-country skiing. Nordic skiing, often for exercise or transportation is also a popular recreation activity. With an abundance of open meadows and rolling hills, Montana is an ideal setting for cross-country skiing.
Silver Crest Cross Country and Snowshoe Area
This recreation area features over 200 miles of trails for snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Spend some time taking in the sights while meandering through the groomed trails. Located near the Kings Hill Recreation Area, Silver Crest Ski Trail is a great choice for recreationists seeking options.
Lone Mountain Ranch Cross-Country Ski Trails
Lone Mountain Ranch offers cabins for overnight stays that include meals, a trail pass and a variety of evening programs. Cross-Country skiers will enjoy quality groomed ski trails and skating lanes. Visitors looking to snowshoe will also find ample, quality trails here as well. For downhill skiing and snowboarding, many visitors head to nearby Big Sky Resort while visiting Lone Mountain Ranch.
Mount Haggin Nordic Ski Area
Located on state land groomed by local volunteers, Mount Haggin offers over 15 miles of ski trails. Six miles of these trails are designated for cross-country skiing. Winding through historic logic camps surrounded by majestic mountain vistas, skiers of all levels will appreciate this ski area. Overlooking Anaconda, Montana, Mount Haggin is a BLM site under the jurisdiction of the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center
Located just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of Bozeman, Montana, Bohart Ranch features secluded wilderness for nature-minded cross-country skiers. The ski center offers lessons for all levels as well as one-on-one instruction clinics. Trails span for 18 miles and offering opportunities for skiers of all ages and expertise levels.
Homestake Lodge Cross-Country Ski Center
Near Butte, Homestake Lodge offers cross-country skiing along flat open meadows. Visitors stay at the rustic lodge or adjacent cabins and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere. Spend time plowing through the rolling meadows among the forests and ponds. Homestake offers an evening ski loop, full-service ski shop and even a few dog-friendly trails. A variety of climbs, hills and flat, open meadows make this a great option for families with varying cross-country preferences.
With short wait times to be found, countless trails and an abundance of snowfall, Big Sky country is the best skiing destination for skiers of all levels.