Winter means many different things in Montana, but perhaps the most celebrated reason for the season is strapping on skis and hitting the local hills around town for some epic fun. As if Missoula wasn't already awesome enough with its vibrant arts and cultural scene, our amazing access to the outdoors and world-class dining options, you also need to add that we are must-experience ski destination to that list, too. Whether you are interested in big powder thrill or tranquil mountain chill, there is a ski option for you in Missoula.
Montana Snowbowl, a quick 30 minute drive from Missoula, is small (two lifts) and steep but some serious powder fun is waiting for those who journey to the Bowl. In addition to great skiing and boarding, the Chalet Lodge is the perfect place to kick back with some pizza and drinks after a day on the slopes. As locals will tell you, “There is always some powder to be found at the Bowl”.
Photo courtsey of Discovery Ski Area
No matter what kind of mountain you like, you just discovered it at Discovery Ski Area. From gently rolling bunny slopes to mogul skiing and steep, groomed runs, Discovery has it all and then some. With multiple dining options for skiers of all ages, this is a perfect place for the whole family. Located an hour and a half from Missoula in beautiful Anaconda, Discovery is well worth the day trip. Check out nearby Philipsburg and their famous Sweets Palace or Philipsburg Brewing Company for some post-powder fun.
If downhill skiing is out of your comfort zone or your budget, considering exploring the gorgeous forests and hills around Missoula on cross country skis. Cross-country skiing offers a gentle introduction to skiing, and newbies and experts alike can find pure winter exploration and joy. The options for cross-country skiing in Missoula are practically limitless, but some of our favorites include Pattee Canyon, the Rattlesnake Recreation Area, Lubrecht Experimental Forest and the UM Golf Course. If you are up for a day trip, travel to Lolo Pass for gorgeous views and a fun day on the snow.