Is your family considering a Rocky Mountain ski or snowboard getaway this winter? Don’t overlook the possibilities of Montana, with 15 resorts, and Idaho, with 18. These states have abundant snow and a longer season than many Utah and Colorado resorts, because they are farther north. You’ll also find outstanding terrain, a phenomenal amount of acreage and bargain lodging and lift tickets. Most resorts also offer a variety of terrain parks, Nordic and snowcat trails, tubing hills and some heli-skiing. Overcrowding is rare.
Here are some resorts to consider.
Big Sky Resort is the major focus in Montana right now. Its parent company recently acquired the adjoining ski operations of Moonlight Basin and the ski community of Spanish Peaks. The combined result: Big Sky Resort says it now has 5,700 acres of skiable terrain — the most in the country — plus a drop of 4,350 vertical feet, 23 chairlifts, 10 surface lifts, 250 runs and nine terrain parks. Its Lone Peak Summit is 11,166 feet, and there’s a large mountain village at 7,500 feet. bigskyresort.com
Whitefish Mountain Resort is 20 minutes from the town of the same name and just 19 miles from Glacier Park International Airport. It’s 7 miles from an Amtrak train station that has daily arrivals from points east and west. Nearby Glacier National Park offers snowshoeing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, dog-sledding and sleigh rides. The ski resort has 2,353 skiable acres, 93 trails and nine lifts. skiwhitefish.com
Lost Trail Powder Mountain, which opened in 1938 and is marketed as “Montana’s Greatest Snow Place,” offers 1,800 feet of vertical, 1,800 acres of skiable terrain, 50 runs and an average annual snowfall of 300 inches. Lifts generally run Thursday through Sunday; check website for schedule. losttrail.com