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Whitefish Mountain

Though not yet globally renowned, Whitefish is one of those places you should ski - and ski soon. With floods of recent investment and a vast, varied mountain, the skiing's up there with the best of them, but lift lines remain minimal and pistes peaceful. It's also known for unbeatable value on and off the mountain and the eclectic town really is something special.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Historic town • Great value for USA • Varied terrain

Great for: • Experts • Intermediate • Families

Though not yet globally renowned, Whitefish is one of those places you should ski - and ski soon. With floods of recent investment and a vast, varied mountain, the skiing's up there with the best of them, but lift lines remain minimal and pistes peaceful. It's also known for unbeatable value on and off the mountain and the eclectic town really is something special.

Whitefish Mountain Resort

Known as the “Big Mountain Ski Resort” until 2007, Whitefish has been through some changes – most recently huge renovation to the station at its 6817ft peak. What remains ever the same is its delightfully laid-back vibe, lack of show ponies, and continually unbeatable value.

Located at Big Mountain in northwest Montana, west of Glacier National Park and within the bounds of the Flathead National Forest, this area is like a showroom for Mother Nature’s finest handiwork. And some of her quirkiest - Big Mountain is famed for its eerie “snow ghosts”, fir trees crusted with ice, cloud and fog, that are an interesting photo op and totally unique to Whitefish.

With lots of recent investment, the Upper Village and Base Lodge are top-notch mountain stations, especially if you’re staying in one of the ski-in/ski-out hotels. But just 8 short miles from the slopes is the gorgeous old town of Whitefish, which many make their base for the earthy “realness” of the place and a good, almost hip selection of restaurants and nightlife. It’s only 15 minutes by the S.N.O.W shuttle or using the rather sweet donations-based taxi system.

Whitefish feels far far away, but getting here’s a breeze as it sits at the intersection of trans-national railway lines, interstate highways and an international airport. Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is 19 miles away, with connections to Salt Lake City’ Seattle and Las Vegas.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Montana, USA

Established: 1937

Open: December - April

Downhill: 3020 acres / 105 runs

View our detailed Whitefish Mountain snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Whitefish Mountain snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Glacier Park International Airport (FCA)19 miles, 45mins
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 12%

  • 40%

  • 48%

Top Altitude:6817ft / 2078m
Bottom Altitude:4464ft / 1361m
Resort Altitude:4464ft / 1361m
Longest run:5.3km / 3.3 miles
Slope Orientation:N S W
Vertical Drop:2353ft / 717m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:Yes
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 13cm
  • Base
  • N/Acm
  • Forecast
  • N/Acm

Web Cam

Whitefish Mountain web cams
Downhill Runs:3020 acres / 105 runs
Beginner slopes:12%
Intermediate:40%
Advanced slopes:48%
Lift Pass Price: $76 (single day adult pass)
Nearby resorts:

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Whitefish Mountain

The Big Mountain was aptly named considering it has 3000 acres of skiable terrain across three mountain faces. Beginners, intermediates and experts are sure to end the day with stories to tell.

Beginners have nearly the entire lower, left-hand side of the mountain and lots of long greens to get into the flow of things. Rather uniquely, Whitefish also offers beginners backside access from the summit on green Caribou for a change of scene. To check out the “snow ghosts”, take Chair 1 to the summit and slowly work your way down Toni Matt to the base. You shouldn’t have to worry about being flattened - crowds and lift queues aren’t really a thing here, so first-time skiers and snowboarders can go at their own pace. Another highlight for first-timers is the amazingly cheap learn-to-ride packages that have been offered here, including beginner lift tickets, rentals, and 2 half day lessons – just enough to get you up and away, without shelling out for a week of ski school.

Intermediates can access the entire mountain - the Frontside, Northside and Hellroaring Basin - providing nearly 1500 acres to do with what you will (literally the size of entire ski resorts elsewhere). The blues in the Back Bowl are good for a gentle introduction, while the runs around Chair 2 are the more advanced, skis-straight kind of plummets. The resort’s longest run, Hellfire, is 8 rolling km of blue run and a real hoot.

For experts, the offerings are varied with a ton of options from the summit. Big Face runs nicely into the light glades around Chair 4 near Powder Trap, on possibly the longest vertical fall line of advanced skiing on the mountain. The Hell-Roaring basin, meanwhile, is a hub of chutes, steeps and cliffs.

Pitching itself as a “something for everyone” kind of resort, of course, boarders haven’t been left out. 5 different terrain parks join a skier/boarder cross course for hours of fun.

Whitefish Mountain Apres Ski

Considered the recreation capital of Montana, the Whitefish region and Glacier National Park are winter sports lovers’ playgrounds. World-class skiing and boarding trails simply weren’t enough - you can try out a seemingly endless range of activities like snowshoeing, Nordic trails, snow tubing, snowmobiling, ice skating and dog sledding. When noses are thoroughly numb there’s the downtown Remedies Day Spa to rub some life back into you.

On the eating and drinking front, the Bierstube or “Stube” at base is known for antics like “keg-sucking contests”... But a beer on the patio is more likely. From there nightlife leans towards casual happy hours, dinner and cocktails in downtown Whitefish. Not forgetting draft beers – there are 14 of them at the Great Northern Brewing Co. – see if you can still get a tour and a beer for $5 and microbrews for $3.

Maybe it’s something to do with the accessibility of Whitefish, but for a small former logging town that’s still relatively quiet, it’s got a varied and international dining scene. Restaurants range from Italian through Japanese to Creole and French crepes. The Tupelo Grille is a perennial favourite for exciting Southern and Cajun food, while, for a slice of Whitefish goodness at the mountain village, Café Kandahar serves up modern American flavours like beet gnocchi and elk roulade.

If the full moon’s out, don’t miss one of the Moonlight Dine and Ski sessions here. You hop on the chairlift up to Summit House for dinner, then have the option of catching the chair back down, or following a guide down for a moonlit ski.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Whitefish Mountain

When is the best time to ski Whitefish Mountain?

Whitefish gets a very respectable average of 300+ inches (7.6m+) of snow a year and, facing north, the back bowl usually has outstanding snow conditions all the way to April. It’s still yet to receive the global attention it deserves – and that’s a great thing, as it means lift lines are minimal and crowds few throughout the season.

This resort’s famous “snow ghosts” are a sure sign of a whole lot of snow – but they’re also formed by fog, which this resort has a slight affliction for. It’s a good thing there are so many tree runs to combat low visibility – and when the heavens clear again, the views across Whitefish Lake, Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies are out of this world.

Peak Dates

With a torchlit parade and gifts from Santa, Christmas in Whitefish is a hit with the kids, while downtown decks the halls with garlands and bells and celebrates with drinks deals.

The folk get a little excited for New Year in Whitefish. Previous years have seen a skier jam, the weird and wonderful dash-for cash, and an on-snow bar to help you enjoy the fireworks that little bit more.

Thanks to the sterling Kids Center and oodles for grown-ups, families and teachers will have a grand old time over Half Term in Whitefish, where queuing is rarely an issue.

With a shedload of snow each season, Easter in Whitefish usually sees the snow in great nick, with the end of the season celebrated with the likes of the Pond Skim (skiing/boarding over a pond in costume for a cash prize).

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Families in Whitefish Mountain

Kiddie Korner is Big Mountain's on-mountain daycare centre offering safe, supervised activities for kids of all ages, including newborns, in a friendly and stimulating environment – and at prices that are very reasonable compared to other US resorts. Kiddie Korner and the Snowsports Center usually have a transfer programme that allows children to be picked up and returned before, between and after lessons by an instructor at the school. Indoor activities include free play, creative arts, music, reading, cartoon time and rest/quiet time. This is often open for business when the resort runs night skiing, so that parents with non-skiing nippers can make the most of it.

If the whole family isn't into skiing every day, snow tubing is a great option, with a tubing lift to take care of the legwork. There’s also shopping down town, with the ever-popular Sweet Peaks ice cream parlour where you can try unique flavours like chili chocolate and huckleberry.

GroupsGroup Holidays Whitefish Mountain

Groups of mixed ability and tastes are well taken care of at Whitefish. And whether you want the iconic, all-or-nothing après like that at the Bierstube or merry group meals (try The Boat Club), your time off the slopes will be every bit as enjoyable. Head back up the hill at night for a Moonlight Ski and Dine session that makes for something special to look back on.

Groups of 20 or more have even seen discounts on lodging, lift tickets, lessons, rentals and dining in recent years.

More Whitefish Mountain Holiday Resources


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