10 Montana Ski Resorts Perfect for a Winter Adventure

Enjoy Montana’s pristine powder, whether you’re slopeside or a short drive away.

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Lone Mountain Ranch
Photo:

Lone Mountain Ranch

Powderhounds have been quietly bypassing the country’s more well-known ski destinations for the wild slopes of Montana, where the snow is ample and the lift lines are not. The secret is out, but with only a few ski mountains developed throughout this desolate state, Montana’s rugged vibe remains intact.

Winter in Montana is no joke, with temperatures frequently dipping well below freezing, and road conditions to match. Other seasonal activities like snowshoeing, dog sledding, and wolf watching in Yellowstone make visiting this time of year a unique adventure. And if going downhill isn’t what you’re after, the Nordic skiing options are bountiful, too. Montana ski resorts can be found either on or nearby these dedicated ski areas, with some of the smaller mountains offering fewer lodging options, but all are ready to warmly welcome in travelers from the cold. 

Best Ski Resorts in Montana

Editor’s Pick: The Summit at Big Sky, Big Sky

The Summit at Big Sky, Big Sky

The Summit at Big Sky, Big Sky

Why We Chose It

Perched right inside the Mountain Village of Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, you really can’t get any closer to the action than The Summit. 

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$$$

Notable Amenities

Complimentary ski valet, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, free ski rental delivery 

Hotel Description

This Alpine-chic accommodation is at the heart of Big Sky Resort’s village and stands as proudly as Lone Peak behind it. With ski-to-door access and a lobby perfectly outfitted for today’s après-skiers, this hotel is a one-stop shop for Big Sky skiers looking to relax in comfort. The nearest lift is only 100 yards from the hotel entrance, and gear delivery and ski valets make hitting the slopes a cinch.

Decor is upscale and clean, with dark wood furnishings and white linen fabrics. With free parking and two restaurants on site, there’s no need to brave the roads for provisions, though a trip into town comes highly recommended, and it only takes 10 minutes. The outdoor hot tub is large enough to accommodate many skiers needing a soak, and it’s a great place to make friends. 

Rock Creek Resort, Red Lodge

Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana
Courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek

Why We Chose It

A comfortable accommodation in the heart of the mountains, it’s close enough to easily ski Red Lodge Mountain.

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Indoor pool, onsite playground, kitchenettes in some lodges 

Hotel Description

Rock Creek Resort is the perfect example of Montana hospitality, with few frills, all the comfort, and everything a guest might need. Cozy rooms with quilts and wood stoves enmesh guests in the true lifestyle of a Montana resident, but with added perks like free breakfast and an onsite restaurant. Most rooms view either the mountain or the river, and guests are keenly aware of being among the Montana wilderness. 

With proximity to Yellowstone National Park, downtown Red Lodge, and the Red Lodge Mountain ski area, Rock Creek Resort is ideally situated to explore everything in the region at a very reasonable price. Plus, staying here means being only a few miles from the start of the scenic Beartooth Highway, though it’s typically closed during the winter. 

Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky

Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky

Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky

Why We Chose It

Experience the Old West in utmost luxury in conjunction with access to nearby ski slopes.

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$$$

Notable Amenities

In-room fireplace or wood stove in each room, on-demand transportation to the ski resort

Hotel Description

Twenty-seven log cabins are thoughtfully spaced around the ranch’s property, providing serenity without sacrificing proximity to everything Lone Mountain Ranch has to offer. This includes equestrian facilities, a fly fishing lodge, and Horn & Cantle, one of the best restaurants in the area. Situated halfway between Bozeman and the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, the ranch  makes it possible to maximize seeing what Southwest Montana has to offer.

The facilities, amenities, and decor are undeniably luxurious, while always incorporating the Montana aesthetic. The cabins were renovated in 2016, each decorated with an Old West charm and named for a local feature like Bitterroot, after the Montana state flower. A winter visit offers more than just ski mountain proximity, too. Dog sledding, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing are just a handful of other ways to enjoy this unique Big Sky property. 

Kimpton Armory Hotel, Bozeman

Kimpton Armory Hotel, Bozeman

Kimpton Armory Hotel, Bozeman

Why We Chose It

One of Bozeman’s newest hotels, it’s close enough to ski Bridger Bowl, making it an easy pick to enjoy everything downtown has to offer.

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes for IHG One Rewards members
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Rooftop bar and pool, in-room yoga mats, luxurious Frette linens

Hotel Description

The Kimpton Armory Hotel gets its name from its initial purpose as a building to house the National Guard back in 1941. Though elements of its Art Deco past have been preserved, Kimpton recently renovated the building into a modern yet comfortable hotel. The hotel is centrally located in downtown Bozeman near the city’s best restaurants, bars, and shopping, but only a 25-minute drive from the Bridget Bowl ski area. Music lovers will want to check the schedule to see who is playing the Armory Music Hall during their stay.

Like Montana itself, the rooms are spacious. Workspaces, comfortable robes, and great views come with each cozy room. There’s even one room with an extra special feature: a Peloton bike. For everyone else, a 24-hour gym is available.  

The Pollard Hotel, Red Lodge

The Pollard Hotel, Red Lodge

The Pollard Hotel, Red Lodge

Why We Chose It

Experience historic Red Lodge in comfort, from its famous visitors to its haunted halls. 

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Onsite activities like fishing and racquetball, a fitness room with sauna, fireplaces in rooms

Hotel Description

The Pollard Hotel has been welcoming guests to Red Lodge since it was built in 1893, the first brick building constructed in the town. Famous Old West personalities like Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane stopped by in their day, but now it’s better suited for travelers taking in the sights and sounds of the Red Lodge Area. Close to the Red Lodge Ski Area, the Beartooth Highway, and Yellowstone National Park, the Pollard Hotel’s downtown location means guests get the best of everything.

While each room is unique, they do share luxuries like bathrobes, a workspace, and classic decor that suits the overall vibe of the hotel. Marli’s Restaurant keeps overnight and day guests well fed, while a 24/7 gym makes sure lodgers can stay active when they’re not hitting the slopes. 

Oddfellow Inn & Farm, Helena

Why We Chose It

This boutique inn is one of the closest accommodations to the Great Divide ski area near Helena, blending French countryside sensibilities with Montana wilderness.

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Outdoor fireplace and picnic area, live music events

Hotel Description

Set on a 41-acre working farm, this boutique hotel revives a nearly 100-year history that began as the Order of the Odd Fellows. Today guests can stay comfortably just 10 minutes from downtown Helena and 30 minutes from the Great Divide ski area, where local Helena residents like to get their downhill skiing time in. 

The property is charming, elegant, and perfect for guests seeking an authentic Montana experience. Guests get a free breakfast with their stay, but can also enjoy meals at the in-house restaurant, Maison. The restaurant has French bistro fare made with local Montana ingredients, including from the property’s farm. Choose between a suite in the main building, a tiny house nearby, or even a glamping tent for the truly adventurous. Note that this inn is closed in January.

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Anaconda

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Anaconda

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Anaconda

Why We Chose It

Proximity to Discovery Ski Area and built-in hot springs for soaking after a day of skiing make Fairmont Hot Springs Resort the perfect place to stay.

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

On-site hot springs, golf course, outdoor pool, tennis court 

Hotel Description

A 45-minute drive from Discovery Ski Area and only about 15 minutes from Butte, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort makes a great stop for skiers and road trippers alike. (Plus, how cool is it to stay in a town called Anaconda?) With 153 large rooms, this hotel is well-equipped to welcome large groups and last minute visitors. The decor and vibe aren’t necessarily fancy, but they are comfortable and well-appointed, with microwaves, mini-fridges, and bathtubs.

Making use of the volcanic nature of the region, Fairmont’s hot springs can be enjoyed in two Olympic-sized swimming pools (one indoor and one outdoor) and two mineral soaking tubs. The outdoor pool also has a 350-foot waterslide over five stories high. This is a great place to relax…if you can manage to pull yourself away from the relaxation and get out on the slopes.

Gelandesprung Lodge, Missoula

Why We Chose It

Right at the base of Grizzly Chairlift at Montana Snowbowl, Gelandesprung Lodge is a European-style accommodation for serious skiers.

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes 
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $

Notable Amenities

Outdoor hot tub, shared kitchen 

Hotel Description

This no-nonsense lodge harkens back to the day of skiing as an underground sport, rather than a hobby just for the most privileged. The 25 rooms here are bare bones yet comfortable, and not all have their own bathroom. But this chalet-style ski-in ski-out lodge will still delight lovers of downhill skiing and snowboarding, as those who gather here share an old school sensibility. There is no closer location for skiing Snowbowl, and for those traveling in a large group or wanting to celebrate in a big way, the entire lodge can be booked out.  Enjoy famous Bloody Marys with dinner at the onsite Last Run Inn, or cook for yourself in the lodge’s shared kitchen. This is as classic as Montana ski resorts come, and should not be missed. 

Kandahar Lodge, Whitefish

Kandahar Lodge, Whitefish

Kandahar Lodge, Whitefish

Why We Chose It

You can’t get closer to the Whitefish Mountain Resort action than at the ski-in ski-out Kandahar Lodge.

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Resort fee: Yes
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Hammam at the wellness center, hot tub

Hotel Description

Situated conveniently next to the ski lifts of Whitefish Mountain Resort, or Big Mountain as the locals still know it, Kandahar Lodge is the ideal hotel for maximizing time on the slopes. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and cozy without sacrificing tasteful style, perfect for not feeling badly about tracking snow across the floor. 

Whitefish Mountain Resort is a highly-ranked mountain that doesn’t (yet) suffer from the kinds of crowds for which other resorts are known. Kandahar Lodge puts guests as close as possible to lift lines, offering an environment ideal for enjoying winter in the area with everything a Montana ski resort needs.  Make friends or read a book in the great room, see how Whitefish does après skiing at the Snug Bar, or kick back in the cafe or spa.

The Firebrand Hotel, Whitefish

The Firebrand Hotel, Whitefish

The Firebrand Hotel, Whitefish

Why We Chose It

The Firebrand is in the heart of downtown Whitefish, and guests can easily shuttle up the mountain before returning to the hotel for some time in the rooftop jacuzzi. 

Key Specs

  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Resort fee: No
  • Room rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Extra large rooftop jacuzzi, fire pits, ski valet and storage, free yoga classes, game library 

Hotel Description

Centrally located in downtown Whitefish, the Firebrand Hotel is steps from the town’s best restaurants, bars, and shopping. It’s also within walking distance of the Amtrak station, for those who enjoy traveling by train or want to see Glacier National Park from the rails. Although not directly on Whitefish Mountain Resort, the hotel still caters to skiers and snowboarders with a ski valet service and access to the free S.N.O.W. shuttle that ferries skiers up and down the mountain. The decor here is decidedly rustic chic, with natural wood and black metal trim elements. It feels upscale and modern but still firmly within the Montana aesthetic. 

Final Verdict 

Big Sky Resort is where the action is when it comes to Montana skiing, and there’s no better setup than The Summit at Big Sky. Powder hounds and apres skiers alike love the convenience, quality of lodging, and atmosphere that make for the perfect Montana ski vacation. Plus amenities like a ski valet mean more time to explore nearby Bozeman or Yellowstone National Park, while the outdoor hot tubs ensure guests can be relaxed and ready for another day of hitting the slopes. This truly is the peak Montana skiing resort - pun definitely intended. 

Know Before You Go

  • Montanans are welcoming people, but they are adjusting to a rapid influx in tourism which is causing them to feel displaced. Do your part to be a respectful guest when visiting; keep in mind that you’re not on the set of “Yellowstone.”
  • Try a bison burger or elk steak anywhere in Montana, and don’t miss the famous Rocky Mountain oysters served up at Stacey’s Old Faithful Bar & Steakhouse in Gallatin Gateway. 
  • Learn more about Montana’s 15 ski areas, including which are open, via Visit Montana.

How We Chose These Hotels 

We evaluated over 30 hotels throughout Montana before narrowing them to the choices on this list. Primary considerations included proximity to the ski areas, ability to meet the unique gear needs of skiing guests, quality of service, notable amenities (especially hot tubs), and lift ticket deals. We also looked at other types of activities available to guests and onsite or nearby dining options. Customer reviews were taken into consideration, as well as any awards or accolades received. 

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