Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana

Whitefish Mountain Resort | Escape2ski | Whitefish, Montana | Ski Montana | Montana Ski Areas | Visit Montana | Powder Magazine | Ski Magazine | In the Snow

Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 2353ft/717m, total trails 105, closest airport 19mi/31km, 15 lifts & more. The ski resort is located on the Big Mountain within the Whitefish Range in northwestern Montana, high above the railroad city of Whitefish. Whitefish Mountain Resort opened on December 14, 1947, with […]

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Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 2353ft/717m, total trails 105, closest airport 19mi/31km, 15 lifts & more.

The ski resort is located on the Big Mountain within the Whitefish Range in northwestern Montana, high above the railroad city of Whitefish. Whitefish Mountain Resort opened on December 14, 1947, with one T-Bar and several trails.

Long before the Whitefish Mountain Resort and the city of Whitefish came into existence, the Great Northern Railway would establish a new stop in the area in 1904, which would be the beginning of the town of Whitefish, Montana.

The city of Whitefish is located at the base of the Big Mountain in close proximity to Whitefish Lake that serves as the backdrop for this scenic area. Today visitors are attracted to the area for its tourism and recreation, but initially it earned a reputation as a railroad town and for its involvement in the logging industry.

Ed Schenck and George Prentice, businessmen from Great Falls, were the driving force behind Whitefish Mountain Resort as they saw an opportunity to bring winter recreation to the area as skiing was gaining popularity throughout the country. They founded Winter Sports Inc., a public corporation on March 31, 1947, and sold shares throughout the local community. This was the beginning of their vision, a ski area known as Big Mountain Resort.

Big Mountain Resort quickly gained popularity outside of the local community, so expansion and growth have been part of their model almost since the beginning. In 1948, the ski lodge was completed, and the first major expansion came in 1960 when a chairlift was installed from the current village to the summit, plus a terrain expansion.

A few other notable milestones that have occurred; 1967, night skiing begins; 1989, a new Chair 1 is installed, plus a high-speed quad; 1997, Hellroaring Basin opens, and 2007, saw a name change to Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Today, Whitefish Mountain Resort has grown to provide skiing and snowboarding on three sections of the mountain. There is the front-side that can be divided into three zones, plus the Hellroaring Basin and North Side (Backside) sections. Plus, there are several challenging chutes and two bowls, North Face, and Ptmarigan Bowl.

Whitefish Mountain Resort has become a four-season resort, with a quaint and charming mountain village that is located above the base lodge. There are residential homes, condos, townhouses, and amenities, all of which have contributed to the resort being featured in many ski magazines over the years.

On the Slopes

  • Whitefish Mountain Resort features beginner slopes at both the village area off Chair 3, and the lower elevation base lodge area that is serviced by several lifts. These two areas offer the opportunity to improve your skills while moving to other parts of the mountain.
  • The Big Mountain Express or Chair 1 will carry you from the village base area to the summit in minutes. After you reach the summit, you will see the diverse terrain possibilities that exist, a chance to experience the North Face Bowl, Ptarmigan Bowl, North Side Terrain, and summit to base skiing and snowboarding on the Inspiration run.
  • Night Skiing and Snowboarding is available from 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday evening from early January to early March. Chairs 2, 3, 6, and the Fishbowl Terrain Parks are lit for your evening convenience. Note: Night Skiing occurs on select holidays as well.
  • Whitefish Mountain Resort features four terrain Parks all located near Chair 3. Each park is designed to accommodate different skill levels that range from small jumps, rails and boxes of the Minnow Park, all the way to the advanced Central Avenue Park & Railyard.
  • There is also a skier snowboarder cross course located on the backside near Chair 7 where you can test your speed skills by yourself or alongside your friends through the course of banked turns, rollers, and small jumps.
  • The Whitefish Mountain Resort Ski & Ride School has a dedicated team of professional instructors who know the latest teaching techniques to get you on the slopes for the first time or if you’re looking to improve your skillset. There are group, private, ladies, and men’s programs along with adaptive sessions.

Off the Slopes

  • Whitefish Mountain Resort has a wide selection of mountain lodging options that can found throughout the Upper and West Village areas, along with the Base Lodge area. There are condominiums, townhouses, cozy cabins and private residences.
  • Big Mountain Nordic Trails feature 14mi/23km of daily groomed trails for your use. The trails range from beginner to advanced, and snowshoes are permitted on the side of the trails. Access is at 3315 Big Mountain Road. Phone 406-862-9498 for more info.
  • Whitefish Mountain Resort has a good selection of retail shops located throughout the village area. There is Base Lodge Traders, Stumptown Snowboards Shop, and Snow Ghost Outfitters and for your convenience, the Village Market and Glacier Shop to stock up on grocery items.
  • There is a vast selection of options when it comes to food and beverage both on the mountain and in the village area. Visit Base Lodge Café and Bar, Hibernation House, Hellroaring Saloon and Eatery along with Ed & Mully’s for fun après ski.
  • Whitefish Mountain Resort provides an Urgent Care medical facility located next to the Base Lodge, Bottom of Chair 9. Call 406-862-1717 for more information.
  • If staying at the Whitefish Mountain Resort is not an option, there is a lovely selection of hotels, motels and inns situated near the downtown or along US Highway 93 heading south of the city. Also, The Lodge at Whitefish Lake provides outstanding service and deluxe accommodations.
  • The Whitefish area offers a vast selection of places for dining featuring many types of cuisine, American, Italian, Japanese, along with pubs, pizza places, and fast-food restaurants.
  • The city of Whitefish has a shopping in the downtown core where you will find a collection of boutiques and specialty shops. South of the downtown area is the Mountain Mall where you find grocery, sporting goods and clothing stores, plus dining and the Mountain Cinemas.
  • The Kids Center Daycare is located on the 2nd level of the Base Lodge. Open for ages 6 months to 6 years; children will enjoy art projects, singing, social time and storytelling. Reservations are recommended.
  • Whitefish Mountain Resort provides FREE resort shuttles that operate throughout the resort between the Base Lodge, the Village area, various parking lots and Hibernation House.
  • The S.N.O.W Bus provides scheduled service with various stops between the historic railroad city of Whitefish and Whitefish Mountain Resort. This is a FREE service that operates daily throughout the winter ski and snowboard season.
  • Airport Transportation is available from Glacier International Airport on Arrow Shuttle to the ski area and most areas within the valley. Call 406-300-2301 for more info or to make a booking.
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Mountain Information

Current Status: Open

Mountain Essentials

Vertical Drop:
2353 ft / 717 m

Base Elevation:
4464 ft / 1361 m

Summit Elevation:
6817 ft / 2078 m

Skiable Area:
3000 acres

Average Snowfall:
333 in / 846 cm

Trail Map

Snow Report

Mountain Terrain

Total Trails: 105

Beginner: 13 (12%)

Intermediate: 40 (38%)

Advanced: 46 (44%)

Expert: 6 (6%)

Terrain Parks: 4

Snow Cross: Yes

Super Pipe: No

Half Pipe: No

Jib Park: Yes


Ski & Snowboard School: Both

Rentals & Repairs: Yes

Parking:  Free and Paid

Retail Shops: Yes

Children’s Ski Programs: Yes

Women's Ski Programs: Yes

Adaptive Ski Programs: Yes

Childcare: Yes

Day Lodges: Yes

Restaurants: Yes

Distance from...

Nearest Airport:
Kalispell MT , 19mi / 31km

Nearest Major City:
Kalispell MT, 23mi / 37km

Nearest Town/City:
Whitefish MT, 7mi / 11km

Mountain Operations

Season Dates: Dec 8 to Apr 9

Skiing & Snowboarding: Both

Open Days: Open Daily

Hours of Operation:
9:00am to 4:30pm : Fri & Sat Night Skiing, 4:00pm to 8:30pm : Hours maybe subject to change.

Night Skiing: Select Nights

Lift Ticket Prices


Lift Information

Total Lifts: 15

Express-6 Chairs: 1

Express Quad Chairs: 3

Quad Chairs: 2

Triple Chairs: 6

Surface Lifts: 3


Mountainside: Yes

Within 20mi / 33km: Yes

Closest Airport(s)

What our Convenience Rankings™ mean

Glacier Park Intl Airport  (FCA)
Distance: 19 mi / 31 km
Ranking: Most Convenient

Canadian Rockies Intl Airport  (YXC)
Distance: 135 mi / 217 km
Ranking: Least Convenient

Contact Info

Central Reservations: 1-800-858-4152

Direct Phone: 1-800-858-3930

Snow Phone: 406-862-7669

Helpful Links

Official Ski Resort Site

Mountainside Lodging