Bozeman, Montana, is the ultimate hub for winter fun, ringed by mountains and muffed by a white covering of snow in the colder months. Downhill skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, ice climbers, and Nordic skiers flock to find powder stashes, world-class climbing, and wintery views. For the avid recreationalist, here are a few of the top spots to visit during a wintry trip to Bozeman.
Big Sky Resort offers some of the biggest skiing in the country, and you can discover its 5,850 acres of terrain just under 45 miles from Bozeman. With 38 lifts spread out over all 300 named runs and four distinct mountains, you can easily find a corner of the resort free from crowds and lift lines. Lone Mountain rises over 11,000 feet in elevation, and the Lone Peak Tram takes you to the top, where big views match the Big Sky.
Even if you don’t feel like shredding up the slopes, you can still enjoy the views, with snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sleigh rides, and plenty of other activities to keep you occupied in the area.
Big Sky’s luxury resort side can seem unfriendly to a visitor on a budget, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You don’t need to stay in one of the five-star hotel rooms or mansions for rent with slopeside views, which come with a luxury price tag. Instead, lodge in nearby Bozeman and make the drive up for the day, returning to all the amenities and more affordable accommodations in town. If you’d prefer to sit back and enjoy the views rather than driving Bridger Canyon yourself, you can even hop on the Skyline Bus from Bozeman to get you on the slopes.
Bridger Bowl could easily be relegated to the friendly neighborhood ski hill in comparison to Big Sky, but this mountain still holds some of the top skiing you can find in Montana. The famous cold smoke – the legendary dry powder the mountain is known for – is just one of the big draws at Bridger.
Skiers and riders of all levels can find terrain to love at Bridger Bowl. And with two terrain parks, eight chair lifts, and three surface lifts, you can still get in some vert here. Advanced winter recreationalists should pack their backcountry gear, since ski-bum-beloved Schlasman’s Lift can take you to the Ridge Terrain, an experts-only winter playground free from marked runs and avalanche mitigation. But you’ll need a beacon and a shovel to get there.
You can get from downtown Bozeman to Bridger in a short 16-mile drive.
If you’ve been dying to try cross country skiing, or you’re already an expert, Crosscut is the perfect winter stop. Try classic or get skating on groomed trails, with rentals available too. They cover the whole range of self-propelled winter sports, with snowshoeing, fat biking, and biathlon offerings to take you out on their 45-kilometer trail system. And if you want to adventure with your four-legged friend, dogs are allowed after 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
A $25 pass gives you access to the trail system, and it helps support this nonprofit community too. You’ll find Crosscut just past Bridger Bowl on Bridger Canyon Road.
Winter in Bozeman is the epitome of fun and games in the snow. To make the most out of your visit to Montana this season, see the rest of the Highline Adventures blog for more inspiration.