Explore Montana’s 15 ski areas and countless trails for winter fun
Montana is packed full of winter activities. With 15 ski areas and countless trails for downhill or cross-country skiing, fat tire biking, dogsledding, snowmobiling, sleigh riding and ski-joring, as well as fabulous apres-ski experiences, Montana is a winter enthusiast’s dream destination.
Montana is well known for providing dry powder and a lack of lift lines so you can ski or board all day long and not spend time waiting to get back up the mountain. Big Sky Resort provides about two acres per skier on its busiest day! New this year for Big Sky skiers is Headlamp Night Skiing – a private guided tour of Andesite Mountain. Countless stars twinkle overhead as you ski down freshly groomed runs guided by headlamps as bright as a car’s headlight. Also new is a way to ski Big Sky before anyone else – with First Tracks & Everett’s Breakfast. If you are an early riser head to the slopes at 8am and carve fresh tracks followed by a gourmet breakfast. Both experiences include a ride up Ramcharger 8 – the Resort’s new eight-seat chairlift with heated seats and a weather-proof bubble.
Off the slopes enjoy the exhilaration of dogsledding in nearby mountains or a relaxing horse-drawn sleigh ride dinner at Lone Mountain Ranch. Apres-ski options can include any number of restaurants, clubs and bars in Big Sky where you can re-live the day’s adventures. The Carabiner Lounge at the base of the lifts offers live music and a lively atmosphere. The new Wilson Hotel in Big Sky Village is conveniently near shops and restaurants.
- Insider Tip: In April be entertained at Big Sky’s Pond Skim, a hilariously entertaining event where costumed participants attempt to ski or snowboard across an unfrozen pond by whatever means they can.
Nearby Yellowstone National Park is magical in wintertime. Wildlife is easy to spot on a snowcoach or snowmobile tour starting from West Yellowstone, Montana, located at the West Entrance. Expert guides show you what makes a Yellowstone winter experience truly memorable.
Red Lodge Mountain’s ski run offers views of the Beartooth Mountains, with a friendly small-town attitude. Charming Red Lodge has plenty of restaurants and bars to keep folks busy after a day’s adventures. Downtown’s Pollard Hotel makes a convenient base for exploring.
The first two weeks in March are dedicated to enjoying everything winter in Red Lodge during Winter Carnival. This event includes National Finals Ski-Joring, the Torchlight Parade down the slopes of the mountain followed by fireworks, live music downtown, and the entertaining “Cardboard Classic” race down the mountain of homemade crafts made only of cardboard, duct tape and glue.
At Whitefish Mountain Resort winter is celebrated enthusiastically. Night skiing on the slopes or dining at 7,000 feet at the Summit House are unforgettable. There are 200 on-mountain lodging choices. Enjoy dining at Café Kandahar’s intimate setting or enjoy 15 beers on tap including Montana-made favorites at Ed & Mully’s. Downtown Whitefish offers many unique restaurants and lodging options and is only a short drive to Glacier National Park. Park rangers provide guided snowshoe hikes in the park (they will even rent you snowshoes). Many in-park cross-country trails give you the chance to spot wildlife in wintertime silence.
- Insider tip: Some of the best apres-ski memories can be made on the rooftop deck at the Firebrand Hotel in downtown Whitefish.
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