Montana Ski Lodges

by Joe Fletcher

Often overlooked in the ski world, Montana -- specifically the mountains that run straight up the west side of the state -- is one of the United States' ski giants. With 16 resorts over all, the largest lift-served resort under a single lift ticket in the U.S., and a number of hidden gems, Montana is a worthy destination for any skier or snowboarder.

Montana Skiing

Montana's 16 ski resorts stretch from the Bozeman area resorts like Big Sky and Bridger Bowl in the south on up to Turner Mountain and Whitefish near the northern border with Canada. Montana has challenging terrain and dry, plentiful snow. Its largest resort is Big Sky, which boasts 3,812 acres and one of North America's largest vertical drops at 4,350 feet. With the Lone Peak Pass lift ticket, skiers also get access to neighboring Moonlight Basis for a total of 5,512 acres -- the most under a single lift ticket in the country.

Red Lodge Mountain Resort

Perhaps Montana's most famous ski "lodge" is the resort with "lodge" in its name. Red Lodge resort is located in the southern town of Red Lodge near the Wyoming border. The ski resort hosts more than 65 ski runs and aims to provide a down-to-earth, glitz-free atmosphere for real skiers and riders. The terrain is stacked toward intermediate (45 percent) and advanced (38 percent) skiers.

Big Sky Lodges

Big Sky is Montana's biggest destination resort and has a variety of lodging spread across its sprawling base area and in surrounding areas. Snowcrest Lodge Condominiums are ski-in/ski-out accommodations near the Swift Current and Ramcharge high-speed lifts. The Whitewater Inn is located 10 miles from Big Sky down US-191. It is also about 47 miles from Yellowstone National Park. The inn features an interesting selection of amenities that include a 90-foot indoor water slide, a pool and a spa. Guests will find double- and triple-queen rooms.

Whitefish Lodges

Another behemoth in Montana skiing, Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly Big Mountain) is located just outside the town of the same name. While Bozeman-area resorts are conveniently located to Yellowstone National Park, Whitefish is 31 miles from Glacier National Park. The resort has 3,000 acres and 94 trails with 2,353 feet of vertical. The Kintla Lodge is one of Whitefish's base-area properties located in front of Chair 3, which accesses beginner and intermediate terrain. It has one-, two- and three-bedroom ski in/ski out condo units. In the town of Whitefish, which is six miles from the resort, you'll also find a variety of lodging options like the Good Medicine Lodge and the Hidden Moose Lodge, the latter of which is located between the town center and the mountain.


About the Author

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

Photo Credits

  • Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images