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Ski area options abound in Montana

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Red Lodge Mountain

A welcome back sign greeted skiers at the base of the chairlift on opening day at Red Lodge Mountain in 2020.

Montana is flush with variety when it comes to ski areas spread across the state.

Discovery near Anaconda and Big Sky Resort are scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day, followed by Red Lodge Mountain and Great Divide on Nov. 26, Lost Trail on Dec. 3, Montana Snowbowl Dec. 6, Whitefish Mountain Dec. 7, Showdown Montana and Bridger Bowl are shooting for Dec. 10.

Some, like Lookout Pass and Blacktail Mountain, are completely reliant on Mother Nature and the snow god Ullr to open. Here are some more details and links to check out your favorite or a new ski area. Prices listed below are for on-mountain tickets. Discounts are available to those who buy online.

Bear Paw Ski Bowl – 29 miles south of Havre. Only open on weekends 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 100 acres, $25 lift tickets.

Big Sky Resort – ( 5,850 acres of terrain accessible by four bubble chairlifts and tram to the peak of Lone Mountain. Debuting Swift Current 6, the fastest chairlift in North America, to increase uphill capacity by nearly 50%, decrease ride time by five minutes and offer guests heated seats. The Swifty terrain park will benefit from a new snowmaking system with all new jump lines and features. 

Blacktail Mountain – ( 1,000-plus acres serviced by three chairlifts and one hand tow. Adult tickets $50.

Bridger Bowl – ( 2,000 acres and terrain park. One quad, six triple and one double chair. Weekend buses shuttle skiers the 16 miles from Bozeman, $84

Discovery – ( Spread over 2,200 acres west of Anaconda, Discovery offers four lifts on the front side and another two on the back. A terrain park is also offered. Tickets are $68.

Great Divide – ( Traditionally one of the earliest mountains to open, Great Divide also offers a variety of pricing, including $12 Girls Fun Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and skiing for $14 an hour, limit of two hours, Wednesdays through Friday. Located 22 miles north of Helena. Adult $56.

Lookout Pass – ( Summer logging has opened up 6,150-foot high Eagle Peak to snowcat skiing and almost doubled the amount of terrain. Upgrading a chair from double to triple on the backside of the mountain will help move those cat skiers back uphill. Tickets are $53 weekdays, $59 weekend, $66 holidays.

Lost Trail – ( Located almost two hours south of Missoula, Lost Trail offers 1,800 acres of terrain serviced by five double chairs and three rope tows. Open Thursdays through Sundays. Adult tickets $53.

Maverick Mountain – ( Fifty miles west of Dillon in the Grasshopper Valley are 425 acres serviced by one chairlift and rope tow, 24 trails. $45.

Montana Snowbowl – ( Four lifts accessing 950 acres located minutes from downtown Missoula. $60 adult.

Red Lodge Mountain – ( Just outside of Red Lodge is 9,416-foot Grizzly Peak which is the pinnacle of the 1,635 acres of terrain serviced by six chairlifts. $53 to $68 when purchased in advance.

Showdown Montana – ( 640 acres. One triple chair, two double chairs and a “magic carpet” conveyor for beginners. Open Wednesdays through Sundays in the Little Belt Mountains. $50.

Teton Pass – ( Located 30 miles west of Choteau along the Rocky Mountain Front, Teton Pass offers 400 acres of skiing accessed by one chair, a platter and carpet lifts. $50.

Turner Mountain – ( Run mostly by volunteers, Turner Mountain is north of Libby. One lift services 400 acres. Open Friday through Sunday. Adult tickets are $42.

Whitefish Mountain – ( 3,000-plus acres, including four terrain parks, serviced by 11 chairlifts. A relocated Chair 8 in the Hellroaring Basin will relieve congestion and allow the lift to open sooner. Adult lift tickets $89.


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