Ultimate Ski Trips
Layer your trip with alternating ski days on this four-day adventure from Bozeman to Red Lodge, which includes a well-worth-it detour to Yellowstone National Park. Along the way, traverse Bozeman Pass at 5,760 feet, journey through the city of Livingston, compare soaking experiences at Chico Hot Springs and Mammoth Hot Springs and climb on board for a dog sled adventure.
The Route: Bozeman > MT-86 > I-90 > Livingston > U.S. 89 > MT-540 > Pray > U.S. 89 > Yellowstone National Park > U.S. 89 > Livingston > I-90 > Columbus > MT-78 > MT-421 > U.S. 212 > Red Lodge
Total distance: approximately 310 miles
Bozeman – Red Lodge: Arrive into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN)
Red Lodge – Bozeman: Arrive into Billings Logan International Airport (BIL)
Arrive into Bozeman. With an abundance of outdoor adventure, cultural amenities and college-town charm, there's plenty to see and do. Head over to the Montana State University campus for a tour of the Museum of the Rockies. For great shopping and dining options, take a stroll downtown. For lodging, check out The LARK, a modern boutique hotel with Montana flair, located right on Main Street.
Get a jump start by skiing local favorite, Bridger Bowl, right outside of Bozeman. As one of the few remaining community-owned ski areas in the country, Bridger welcomes all who come to shred. With beginner and intermediate slopes dominating the lower mountain, advanced skiers set their eyes on The Ridge, which requires a steep hike to the top of the mountain (no lifts available here). Stop in at The Grizzly Ridge café bar to rehash the day's adventures before making the drive to Chico Hot Springs for the night. Enjoy dinner in the Chico Dining Room or while soaking under the stars at the Poolside Grille.
After fueling up on a hearty breakfast at Chico Hot Springs, get ready to mush your own team of huskies with Absaroka Dogsled Treks. Head over to their offices, located on property at Chico, where all treks begin at 9:15 AM. Plan on making a reservation as early as possible because space can be limited. Depending on your preference, you can drive your own team or sit back and enjoy the ride. Lunch is included with the trek. Afterwards take an early afternoon drive to Yellowstone National Park. Explore Mammoth Hot Springs where you might spot some wildlife in the Gardner River Canyon and take a geothermal dip in the Boiling River, one of the few legal thermal soaking areas in the park. Don’t forget your bathing suit though – no skinny dipping allowed. Once you’re done, head back to Chico for the night.
For another day of skiing, hit the road early and head towards Red Lodge Mountain. The two-and-a-half-hour ride will take you back through Livingston, paralleling the Yellowstone River on I-90 East. Situated along the eastern front of the Beartooth Mountain Range, Red Lodge is an independently-owned mountain ski area. While the setting rivals mainstream resorts, the mountain's authenticity reminds skiers just why they fell in love with the sport in the first place. With 71 runs spread across two mountains, there is a variety of terrain – steeps, glades, chutes, groomers and gentle cruisers – for all skiers. After your day on the slopes, check out The Pub at The Pollard, which has live music on weekends. Book a room for the night there and it’s a short trip to hit the hay.