If you’re in Missoula during the winter, you might want to spend a day on the slopes! Western Montana features some of the most beautiful scenery in the country – and our skiing and snowboarding slopes are too good to miss! The following slopes are an easy drive to and from Missoula and you can still get in a full days on the runs. Plus, all offer ski rentals and classes if needed.
Snowbowl – Located right in Missoula, this convenient ski area offers a variety of runs for all levels of skiers all within 20 minutes of downtown. The runs are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until December 19, and will be open every day except Christmas Day after that until the season begins to wind down. The hours of operation are from 9:30 am until 4 pm, and there are shuttle bus services available Saturdays and Sundays after December 20, and every day during the Christmas holidays (December 26-January 4). The Snowbowl Ski Shop has a range of ski and snowboard equipment rentals available, and the Snowsports School has a variety of daily lesson options available by appointment or for walk-ins. For more information on the mountain, rentals, lift tickets, shuttles, or driving directions, visit the Snowbowl website.
Discovery Ski Area – Located just outside of the popular tourist town of Philipsburg a little over an hour from Missoula, Discovery Ski Area is known for great terrain, and lots of it. The mountain features three faces with 2,200 acres of patrolled area, and has runs that will appeal to everyone in your party. The hours of operation are 9:30 am until 4 pm daily from November 27 through April 6. Daily rentals of ski and snowboard equipment are available, and the rental shop can equip anyone over 3 years of age. The Discovery Ski School has both private and group lessons available. For more information on the mountain, lift tickets, rentals, lessons, or driving directions, visit the Ski Discovery website.
Lost Trail Powder Mountain – This beautiful ski area sits atop the Continental Divide on Highway 93 where Montana and Idaho meet about an hour and a half south of Missoula. Unique to this mountain is its appeal to snowboarders with its two, progressive terrain parks. The Frontcountry is a proving ground featuring big air and big features, while the Powder Park features natural bumps and jumps, boxes, and tables. Lost Trail is open Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 am until 4 pm, with additional days open from December 18 – January 4, and on Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day. The rental shop offers ski and snowboard equipment rental, and the Snowsports School has both private and group lesson, including a first-timer special for those new to skiing or snowboarding. For more information on the mountain, the terrain parks, lift tickets, rentals, lessons, or driving directions, visit their website.
Blacktail Mountain – Located on the scenic west shore of Flathead Lake about 2 hours north of Missoula, this powder prone ski area features 24 runs and a breathtaking view of Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountains that cannot be beat. Blacktail Mountain is tentatively scheduled to open December 19 (dependent upon snowfall) and will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm, and open daily during the Christmas holidays (December 26-January 4). The first floor of the Lodge features a full-service rental shop for your ski and snowboard equipment needs. The Snowsports School offers daily group and private lesson in both skiing and snowboarding, including a Skill Builders Package for individuals needing full-day equipment rental, a 2-hour lesson, and an all-day lift ticket. For more information on the mountain, lift tickets, rentals, lessons, or driving directions, visit the Blacktail Mountain website.
If you are feeling adventurous and want to travel beyond the limits of a day’s drive to and from Missoula to ski or snowboard, or you are looking for a true Montana winter resort experience, consider Whitefish Mountain Resort (www.skiwhitefish.com) in Whitefish, Montana (about 3 hours drive north of Missoula), or Big Sky Resort (www.bigskyresort.com) in Big Sky, Montana (about 4.5 hours southeast of Missoula.
If you plan on visiting on of these snowsports areas, renting an SUV is a great idea – and you can rent one right here!