Located 23 miles north of Whitefish, Big Mountain is set to open on Saturday. Big Mountain was recently voted Montana’s best ski area by Ski magazine, scoring well in the service and terrain categories. Tickets are $20 a day through Dec. 17, increasing to $40 a day for the remainder of the season.
Snow Report Line: (406) 862-7669
Although no official opening date has been set yet, Big Sky, like most Montana resorts, is shooting for Turkey Day to open. Located 43 miles south of Bozeman, Big Sky boasts the highest lift-serviced peak in North America. Tickets are $52 day for adults and $40 a day with a valid student I.D.
Snow Report Line: (406) 995-5000
Just north of Lakeside is Montana’s newest ski resort, which had a successful inaugural season last year. Blacktail has a nice website with an up-to-date webcam on the summit, so you can tune in before you make the drive. Tickets are $24 a day for adults and $15 a day for students.
Snow Report Line: (406) 844-0999
Although it is located closer to Anaconda than Missoula, Discovery reaps the benefits of only being 95 miles southeast of the Garden City. Management has undertaken the daunting task of refurbishing the lodge for this season and expects to open around the 25th. Tickets are $24 for adults.
Snow Report Line: (406) 563-2184
Despite being one of Montana’s smaller ski areas, Lookout Pass is known for its quantity of snow, as they offered skiing well into April last season. Lookout is an easy drive 100 miles west of Missoula on I-90. Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for students.
Snow Report Line: (406) 744-1301
A whole new mountain awaits skiers this season at Lost Trail as the area’s expansion plans near conclusion. Located 90 miles south of Missoula, Lost Trail is a relatively easy drive, but be warned! The cops in Darby love enforcing the speed limit. Tickets are $19 a day for adults and higher education seekers.
Snow Report Line: (406) 821-3508
Although their “2000x2000” plan to build a new lift this year was set back, Marshall has expanded its night skiing terrain with three new runs. Also, some of the dense wooded areas have been thinned to accommodate the tree skier in you. Tickets are $19 a day or $10 for night skiing.
Snow Report Line: (406) 258-6000
Negotiating the 12-mile drive up to the ‘Bowl will be easier this season due to the widening of the access road, and more parking, which is a welcome improvement. The Last Run Inn now has pizza-making capabilities to accompany those much revered Bloody Marys that Indy readers have voted best five years in a row! Tickets are $28 for adults.
Snow Report Line: (406) 543-9696 Web: www.montanasnowbowl.com