Whitefish Mountain Resort antes up more than 3,000 skiable acres of pure, powdery snow in northwestern Montana. That’s big, and likely why they called it Big Mountain until the resort was re-branded in previous years. No matter what it’s called, there is no disputing the awe-inspiring rise of 6,817 feet, almost 100 ski runs to choose from, and a mountain interlaced by dozens of perfectly-groomed runs serviced by 12 lifts. As popular with Canadian skiers as it is with Americans, Whitefish Mountain ski trips are a must for any winter enthusiast in the vicinity.
The ski runs at Whitefish are split into 50 percent intermediate, 30 percent afforded to advanced levels, and 20 percent allotted to beginners. There are plenty of trails that are great for transitional levels, too, from beginner to intermediate and intermediate to advanced. Opportunities for some truly amazing cat-skiing tours make up for the lack in heli-skiing and cross country trails. Geography is part of what makes a Whitefish Mountain ski experience so memorable. The northwest location means a much earlier season opener—usually the first week of December—and a late season closer, which can be as late as the second week of April. These extra few weeks mean everything to die-hard skiers aspiring to extract the most out of a season.
A whopping 300 inches of snow falls each year throughout the Whitefish Mountain ski area making it a sure bet for great ski vacations. Featuring a summit elevation of more than 6,800 feet and a heart-stopping vertical drop pegged at 2,353 feet, the statistics themselves are enough to warrant the thousands of skiers of and snowboarders arriving annually. The Fishbowl at Whitefish Mountain Resort is another of the best things about the mountain if freestyle riding and big tricks are on the agenda. Fishbowl Terrain Park is always developing to offer riders everything they need to fine tune their style. Fishbowl Terrain Park comprises three parks in all, with a beginner, intermediate, and advanced park. Rails, boxes, jumps, picnic table tops, funboxes, C-boxes, and more are provided for the best terrain park experience in Montana.
Getting a winter season pass at Whitefish Mountain Resort makes plenty of sense if living within the area, and skiers can finance passes just like they can a new vehicle. Unlike most Montana ski resorts, options for payment include monthly, half up front and half at a later date, or paying in full. Season pass purchasers receive a deep discount when buying a pass before September 30. Prices rise, but are still good from October through November 15. After November 15, season passes are roughly twice as much as the lowest, early-bird rate. With season passes or daily lift tickets, riders can ski to 4 p.m. every day or until 3:30 p.m. Night skiing is offered from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the lower lifts only, which is subject to change.
Whitefish Mountain lodging is popular because of endless promising stats, so planning ahead is essential. Another popular draw for Whitefish Mountain ski vacations is the overall arrangement of the resort, which includes the mountain, the repair and rental shop where ski equipment and snowboard gear is available, cafes, bars, restaurants, and eateries, and onsite shops, all interspersed by plentiful accommodation choices. Gift shops, gear shops, a small marketplace for provisions, and a spa complete the entire picture and afford many amenities when choosing Whitefish Mountain lodging.
Whitefish Mountain lodging includes Morning Eagle and Kintla Lodge which each offer one-, two-, and three-bedroom ski-in, ski-out units (Kintla Lodge also has hotel-style rooms). The Edelweiss complex houses studios, one-, and two- bedrooms with shuttle in or walk-in capabilities. Hibernation House has hotel-style lodging while Winter Lane, Anapurna Area, and Tamarack Loop are each distinct areas within the resort that offer a huge array of lodging options which are mostly private vacation rentals spanning one to four bedrooms, many with a ski-in, ski-out advantage. Amenities such as fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, wireless Internet, onsite laundry, and outdoor terraces are included. And as usual, the more convenient the location and the better the view, the pricier the units are.