Big Sky & Whitefish
Montana’s two largest ski resorts are premier destinations. About 45 miles south of Bozeman, Big Sky Resort is known for its immense size, consistent snow, and modern slopeside accommodations. Whitefish Mountain Resort, which is only 26 miles from Glacier International Airport in Kalispell, has some of the best tree skiing in the country, a quintessential ski town and legendary après. Both resorts also offer great skiing for any ability, fantastic restaurants and options for other forms of outdoor adventure, like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
The ride to the 11,166-foot summit of Big Sky’s Lone Peak, a pyramidal mountain that dominates the skyline, is almost as breathtaking as the skiing it offers. This is one of the most unique ski experiences in North America—a massive playground of steep, technical descents, wide-open powder fields and the bucket list-worthy Big Couloir. Of course, with 5,800 skiable acres, 4,350 vertical feet, limited crowds and 36 lifts at its disposal, Big Sky has plenty of terrain for every type of skier. The rolling groomers of Andesite Mountain are as great for families as Lone Peak is for thrill seekers, and the deck surrounding Everett’s 8800 is an amazing spot for hot cocoa (get a bloody mary for yourself); the perfectly spaced trees off the Challenger Triple and Lone Tree Quad hold powder for days after a storm. There are so many distinct areas throughout Big Sky, comparisons to the Alps aren’t far off—it’s so big and varied, it certainly has what any skier is looking for on any given day.
Whitefish Mountain Resort perfectly reflects one of the most beautiful stretches of wilderness in the country. The dramatic pitches of Hellroaring Basin, East Rim, and Connie’s drop into lower angle glades like those found off the new Chair 11 or wide groomers like Big Ravine, Toni Matt and Inspiration. A day exploring all this terrain will help you understand why people fall in love with the mountains of northern Montana. New to skiing? The resort has one of the premier ski schools in the country—especially for kids. This is the backyard resort for the passionate outdoorsmen and women of nearby Whitefish, which may be why the mountain allows uphill traffic. Check the trail maps for designated routes and, for a real challenge, try earning your turns for a morning. Regardless of whether you skin up or take the lift, don’t miss the view of Glacier National Park from Chair 1. There’s nothing like it anywhere in the world.