Last Updated on 20th June 2023 by Steve
Skiers in Missoula enjoy the central location which takes advantage of the opportunities in the western part of Montana. Resident skiers and students at the University of Montana love the proximity of ‘their’ local ski area only a few miles up the road, but they are also within easy reach of other interesting ski areas if they fancy a change-up during the winter months.
Anyone interested in even more options in other parts of the state can visit the Montana ski areas page…
The skiing at the Montana Snowbowl is literally just up the road from Missoula, which means that lectures at the University of Montana may be more sparsely attended on good powder days. The ski resort is renowned for its tough runs and tree skiing and its decent vertical of 2600 feet. The terrain is served by five lifts, including three chairlifts, and covers just under 1000 acres.
Distance from Missoula: 13 miles
Discovery ski area is located to the west of Butte and the road to the ski resort can be accessed by taking Interstate 90 from Missoula. Skiing here usually starts pretty early in the season, with the ski area aiming to open at Thanksgiving. The terrain is a mix of beginner and intermediate runs on the immediately accessible front side, with the tougher black and double black diamond trails on the back side of the mountain.
Distance from Missoula: 92 miles
Lost Trail Powder Mountain
Lost Trail Powder Mountain is right on the border between Idaho and Montana on the Lost Trail pass almost directly south of Missoula. The ski area is only open during Thursday to Sunday (plus public holidays) and is known for its relatively uncrowded slopes. There are eight ski lifts, including five chairlifts, which serve 2200 acres of terrain and a vertical drop of 1800 feet.
Distance from Missoula: 94 miles
Website: losttrail.com (blocked for Europeans!)
Blacktail Mountain Ski Area
Blacktail Mountain is a family ski area within easy reach of Kalispell to the north of Missoula. There are just four ski lifts, including three chairlifts, serving a vertical drop of 1440 feet and just over 1000 acres of terrain. Keen Missoula skiers and snowboarders looking for more of a challenge might want to drive the extra few miles to get to Whitefish.
Distance from Missoula: 120 miles
Great Divide Ski Area
Great Divide ski area is in the hills above the small town of Marysville not far from the state capital Helena. It is another family ski resort and is closed on Monday and Tuesday. The ski area has six lifts, with five of them being chairlifts, and skiable terrain of 1600 acres split into three different sectors. There is a good mix of trails with varying levels of difficulty, along with six terrain parks.
Distance from Missoula: 126 miles
Whitefish Mountain Resort
Whitefish probably has the best skiing of the ski resorts within easy reach of Missoula and, even though it is the furthest away of the ski areas listed here, it is definitely worth the trip. There are 100 trails on 3000 acres of ski terrain and a total of 14 lifts serving a vertical drop of nearly 2400 feet, meaning that there is more than enough variety available for all levels or skier and snowboarder.
Distance from Missoula: 126 miles
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