Skip the lift lines at these four under-the-radar Montana mountains
When snow begins to fall, savvy skiers start searching for the next secret hot spot. Travelers looking for less-crowded ski experiences will find Montana is home to a number of world-class ski towns and family-owned gems ready to be discovered. When locals spend a day on the mountain, they avoid the long lines at these lesser known ski destinations with great deals to boot. Take the advice from a local and head to one of Montana’s mom-and-pop ski destinations where visitors don’t have to wait for the ski-lift to tackle their next run.
As the only Montana ski area where you can drive to the top, Blacktail Mountain is a truly special experience. With jaw-dropping views of Flathead Lake and the nearby Swan Mountains, the drive up is almost as enjoyable as the ski down. Even with its larger than life views, Blacktail Mountain feels like a secret and intimate spot for winter enthusiasts, as every run is easy to access. Visitors may even find themselves feeling like they have the entire mountain to themselves as they shred the pristine powder.
For the skier that wants an epic experience on each run, Discovery is the perfect destination. The mountain has three faces, each with its distinct features and challenges. The front face offers an inviting blend of beginner and intermediate runs. Off the Granite Chair, things step up a notch with steeper groomed runs and mogul skiing, while the back face provides a thrilling, backcountry feel with easy accessibility from a chair lift. Discovery is a short drive from Missoula, Butte and Helena making it a great destination for a ski weekend or day trip. Skiers and boarders are sure to find their favorite spot to carve after a day on the mountain, with terrain ranging from fast-paced tree skiing, groomed trails and sweeping powder bowls.
Located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in Southwest Montana, Maverick Mountain is the perfect old-school ski vibe for those who want a classic thrill without the resort frills. Skiers will feel like they’re taking a step back in time, as the owners take pride in offering a relaxed environment at affordable prices. Over the years, Maverick Mountain has earned a loyal community of ski enthusiasts and outdoor lovers, making for the perfect small-town feel every day of the week. With 22 challenging trails to tackle, this is a local secret is one you won’t want to miss.
Why wait in a long line at the ski-lift when travelers can get a more personal ski experience? Ski in the heart of the Continental Divide this winter at Lost Powder Mountain, a relaxed and family-friendly destination straddling the Montana-Idaho border. This family owned resort has more than earned its reputation as a top-class destination with 80 years of intimate skiing. Get a true Montana experience at this classic ski haven, with trails for every age and skill level to make everyone in the family asking for one chance to shred through the powder.