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Whitefish Mountain Resort

skiericon.pngThis resort guide is maintained by EpicSki Ambassador: Sibhusky

For discussions with others in this region, try: Northwest Montana Group


Sibhusky has produced a "Local's Guide" to this resort:


Whitefish Resort Guide


The Local's Guide includes many descriptions and pictures of areas NOT MARKED on the resort's trail map.
Another excellent guide to the area can be found on a blog called northernrockiesview.com, written by another local and Top Vert skier.


arrow_down.png TRAIL MAP arrow_down.png CONDITIONS arrow_down.png TRANSPORTATION arrow_down.png LODGING arrow_down.png DINING arrow_down.png MORE

Trail Map
Trail Map

Base Lodge and Front Side



North or "Back" Side:



Hellroaring Basin:








Snow Report as published by the mountain


Mountain Stats






Daily Video (Winter) on You Tube


Avalanche Reports:   Flathead Avalanche


Fishbowl Terrain Park


Resort's Weather Forecast as published by the mountain, summit and base report available


NOAA Point Forecast, mid-mountain


320 inch average yearly snowfall




Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is just 19 miles from Whitefish Mountain Resort. The airport is served daily with flights connecting from Minneapolis (MSP) (Northwest), Salt Lake City (SLC) (Delta/Skywest), and Seattle (SEA) (Alaska/Horizon). Allegiant Air provides twice weekly (Mon/Fri) direct flights from Las Vegas. Delta also offers non-stop summer service from Atlanta (ATL). United Express provides year-round service from Denver (DEN) and summer service from Chicago (ORD). Shuttle service and car rentals are available at the airport


Train Travel

Whitefish is a major stop for Amtrak. Every day visitors arrive on the "Empire Builder" from points east and west via rail, including Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Spokane and Chicago. The historic Whitefish Depot is just minutes from Whitefish Mountain Resort. Catch the SNOW Bus from downtown to the mountain. From the west, Amtrak arrives in Whitefish at 7:30am, just in time to get you a quick breakfast to hit the hill for first chair.


Take US-93 NORTH or SOUTH to downtown Whitefish
Turn NORTH onto Baker Ave
Baker Ave turns into Wisconsin Ave/MT-487, once over the via-duct
Turn RIGHT onto Big Mountain Rd.
HINT #1: it is less than 1 mile, on the RIGHT, after you pass the Hidden Moose Lodge
HINT #2: there is a flashing yellow caution light over the road and a cabin on either side of the road
Follow Big Mountain Rd. approx. 5 miles

If you're heading to check in for an activity...
Turn RIGHT onto Glades Dr. across from the large Welcome sign on the road

HINT#1: there will be a brown sign which reads BASE LODGE
HINT #2: if you pass under the skier bridge you have gone too far
Follow Glades Dr down to the Willow Parking Lot.

HINT: The Base Lodge is the very large brown building, across from the Willow Lot, with 3 flags flying out front


Village Shuttles (winter only)
The free resort shuttles stop at several places around the Mountain Village and operate during skiing hours and for special events. The Village Shuttle runs from the Base Lodge to the Village as well as the Hibernation House and the Lodging Front Desk. The Base Lodge shuttle stops in the lower parking lots for a quick ride to The Base Lodge. Pick up a Resort Guide at many locations on the mountain for a full schedule and map. You can also call the Lodging Front Desk at 406-862-3687 for more information or to arrange an after-hours pick-up.



Once you're in Whitefish, it's easy to get from downtown to the mountain and back again with the free SNOW (Shuttle Network Of Whitefish) Bus. Funded by local businesses in the Big Mountain Commercial Association, fundraisers, and donations from riders, the free SNOW Bus runs daily between Whitefish Mountain Resort and Whitefish all winter long. Check out the PDF map and schedule for more info.

Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range
Good Medicine Lodge
537 Wisconsin Ave
Whitefish, MT 59937
(406) 862-5488

Good Medicine Lodge is a highly acclaimed Montana Bed and Breakfast located in northwestern Montana in the town of Whitefish. Lodging at this great inn is near Big Mountain skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish Lake, Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park. This is the hidden gem you have been looking for to meet your accommodation needs.


Reviews show this B & B to be top notch.  

1 - 5



Book the whole Lodge for your special event. One price includes Bed and Breakfast for up to 23 guests. Certain restrictions and minimum stay requirements apply. Returning groups receive prior year's rate.




Single/Double Occupancy: $175-195

Suites: $225-285


Winter, Fall, Spring


Double Occupancy: $125-155

Single Occupancy: $105-155

Suites: $180-220




(December 20 - January 1, President's Weekend, Martin Luther King Weekend)

Single/Double Occupancy: $145-175

Suites: $200-250

Hidden Moose Lodge
1735 E. Lakeshore Dr., Whitefish, MT
We are conveniently located near Glacier National Park, The Big Mountain Ski & Summer Resort, Whitefish and Flathead Lakes. You’ll find some of the best golfing, skiing, hiking, rafting, fishing all within minutes from our front door.

The Hidden Moose Lodge was designed and built to reflect the rustic, rugged history that is Montana, but with all the amenities that make our guests feel right at home. From the river rock fireplace located in our Great Room to the outdoor hot tub to our hearty breakfasts, you will want to make the Hidden Moose your relaxing retreat during your visit to the Flathead Valley

Our rates include a full breakfast each morning, complimentary evening beverages and use of our outdoor hot tub.


Our rates vary by season and room type. Below, you will find our low season rates:


Lodge rooms: Starting from $99


Jacuzzi rooms: Starting from $119


Western suite: Starting from $149


Big Sky suite: Starting from $189


Rates are per room and are based on double occupancy. If there are more than two persons, please add $10/per extra person, per night for additional guests above the age of 6 yrs. Above rates do not include 10% tax. Please note: Summer is considered High Season.  

Whitefish Mountain Resort Lodging


A wide range of lodging options from basic studios to luxury 5 bedroom town homes, ski and stay packages available Prices vary depending on occupancy $65-$1250

The Garden Wall

504 Spokane Avenue
Whitefish, MT 59937-2781
(406) 862-3440

Ski Magazine-
"One of the 10 best-value inns in North America"

Private baths most w/ clawfoot tubs, down comforters. The Inn does not have televisions. Wi Fi is available in the guest rooms. Full gourmet breakfast.

Reviews of The Garden Wall show it to be at the top of the heap.  
1-4 $155 - $195 per night, double occupancy
$255 Suite, per night,
$20 per extra person in room

Kandahar Lodge

3824 Big Mountain Rd, Whitefish, MT (406) 862-6098

All of our rooms have a private bath, color cable TV and direct dial phone. They are also equipped with a microwave, small refrigerator and coffee maker. Hair dryers are provided in each room. Irons, ironing boards, robes and toiletries are available upon request.

1-6 $139-$629 one or two per room additional guests $10-$20  per extra person depending on season

Pass sale through Sept. 30.
Coming soon...


Rental Shop




Montana is beginning to be known for its beers.  If you are here in the summer, you may want to try a beer tour

of our local microbreweries.  Otherwise, be sure to duck into a local grocery and pick up a few of the local brews.  You'll be glad you did.  



Good public transportation from town to the mountain.
Better average snowfall than most resorts in the USA.
Best place to test your flat light goggles.


Whitefish Mountain Resort

One of the largest ski resorts in North America, Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly "Big Mountain") is also one of the oldest, built in the 1930's above Montana's Flathead Valley. Although there are several marked trails, many skiers and riders are attracted by the incredible amount of open bowl and tree skiing. Runs favored by locals include long fast trails like Inspiration and Toni Matt from the top of the Big Mountain Express Quad or Ed's Run and Hellroaring off the Swift Creek Express Quad. The North Bowl area is where some of the toughest terrain is found, with a collection of double black diamond runs that excite even the most jaded experts. More excitement is found over in the Hellroaring Basin, with Picture Chutes and Connie's Coulee being favorites. The resort's terrain park features hips, gap jumps, table-tops, berms and rails. Lodging options include slopeside accommodation in Glacier Village which features over a dozen restaurants and shops. Activities include dog sledding (free for kids), a game room, night skiing, and sleigh rides. The alternative is to stay in the nearby town of Whitefish, 8 miles away. Don't fret, the free S.N.O.W. bus (Shuttle Network of Whitefish) runs daily between town and Glacier Village.

Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet1
Lifts-Surface Lifts-T bar2
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple6
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad2
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad3
Lifts-Total number of lifts14
Trails-4-Expert only6%
Trails-5-Terrain park5
Trails-6-Half pipe0
Runs-Longest run3.3 miles
General-Base elevation4464
General-Vertical drop2353
General-OwnerWinter Sports, Inc.
General-Mountain rangeWhitefish Range
General-Annual skier visits345000
General-Total area in bounds3000 acres
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Excellent Value, Great Skiing, Glacier Park views and a real town!

Cons: Long Cat Tracks back to base from several trails

After researching vacations out west with my wife for years we chose Whitefish and in hindsight made a great choice.  We loved a lot about this place, especially after skiing out in Colorado.   The lower elevation was one of the first things I noticed when skiing here.   Just easier on the lungs at only 6,800' at the top.  Our condo was at 4,700' and still above the base area.  


The snow was great our whole time there which always will taint a trip to the positive side, but then this mountain almost always gets great snow.  Almost 300" already this year and still falling.


The free SNOW bus into town was really convenient and we used it several times to go explore the town.   Really cool town to by the way.   It reminded me of Breckenridge a little actually.   Downtown is a little further from the slopes than you would like at 6-8 miles but it's a quick and gorgeous ride up/down.  Lots of fun places to eat, drink and shop in town.    There is also a nice aquatic center with a $35 maximum family payment (?!?) that is a great place to go after skiing or on an off day with the kids.  Waterslide, hot tub, warm pool, etc.


The mountain offers all the skiing from beginners stuff to full on expert.   Several runs I had thought I would ski I simply skied up to, looked down the run and said 'no way' as the steepness was something I wasn't prepared for.  Several of the off the backside 'headwall'  were seriously spooky to even look down.  Each started off with a nearly vertical narrow entrance that had 10-15' of drop before you could really check you speed.   :eek   Fun to ski by for sure.  


I'll be back at some point.  It was just too much fun not to.   Lots of other places I want to go, but this one was about perfect.


Pros: Big long groomed trails, friendly people in town and on mountain, night life

Cons: Not a single con comes to mind,

Although it was our first ski trip out West, I find it hard to believe it could get much better than this. We're heading East this year to Lake Placid, but I have no doubt we'll be back to Whitefish in the near future. We took the train and I'd say that was the one thing I didn't care for, it didn't seem to bother my girlfriend, and in hindsight it wasn't that bad. I'd probably do it again if I needed to due to a tight budget. The skiing was fantastic and the lift lines were short. We were pleasantly surprised to find a good selection of places to eat and local craft beers. Yes, very pleased they had good craft beer at a couple establishments. Snow Ghost was my favorite. The locals were friendly and helpful. We had a great experience at Whitefish!


Pros: big hill

Cons: foggy and cloudy always!


Easy people. I've lived in the valley on and off for 30 years and skied here as long. First off let me tell you what they won't tell you. The hill is socked in with clouds 90% of the time. If you like to ski in thick soup with no view and a bit of vertigo then this is the place for you. If you don't believe me then check out the web cam on the resorts website every day for a week and see for yourself.
It's a good hill, not crowded but you will be lucky if you see blue sky one day a week. This is why colorado and the Sierra resorts are much more enjoyable. But hey come up yourself and see.
 Oh and the fares to fly in are way out of touch with reality.


Pros: No Crowds.(due to fog) good variety

Cons: Development, FOG, Weird Lift Set Up That Can Crowd Certain Lifts

Big Mountain (WMR) is a great hill if you can get used to its downfalls. It gets really foggy, quite often. If your a skier who only skis groomed runs, youre better off staying on the lower section of the mountain. At the top, Visibility can be so bad that you cant see where to get off the lift until your a couple feet away. Also more of a personal annoyance (doesnt affect the skiing much) is the development. I heard theyre tearing down Ed and Mully's (a great on hill restaurant thats been there forever) to build condos. Really pisses me off. It's like they are trying to turn the mountain into Montana's Vail. Also the lift setup is weird. Two of the lifts on the front side barely ever run. And Chair 1 is the only lift that reaches the top of the mountain from the village. It can get really crowded on pow days, or holidays. Hellroaring basin, the best skiing on the mountain, requires that you take an old slow triple chair halfway up the mountain, then ride back down the frontside back to the main chair to get back to the basin. Also there is really not very good nightlife in the village. You gotta drive to town for that. A resort that many like, but alot of people dont, because of its problems.


Pros: Spectacular grooming. No crowds. Endless variety. Great tree skiing.

Cons: Fog. Lift system needs some improvement.

I always wanted to get to Big Mountain and finally made it in Feb., 2011. Although it is now officially named Whitefish Mtn. Resort, it more than lived up to it's original name and it was a world class experience judged on the basis of it's incredibly diverse terrain. I expected this place to be fun, but it seriously blew me away.

Don't expect to find the kind of long sustained steeps you get at Snowbird or Jackson, but there are plenty of challenging steeps scattered around in short tight tree shots with some of the most menacing looking tree wells you'll ever see. Don's Descent is the perfect example. Although it isn't steep like Alf's High Rustler or Tower Three Chute, hundreds of miles to the south, it's steep enough and hides plenty of fresh powder in some pretty tight trees. Some of the tree wells in that area were so frightening that for the first time, I actually stuck my Avalung tube in my mouth while skiing inbounds glades.

There were several very challenging looking areas I never got to ski in the 3 short days I had there, but there was great terrain almost everywhere I stumbled into. East Rim Face, Whitey's, Good Medicine, Connie's Coulee - just to name a few. And the groomed runs like Moe Mentum, Inspiration, The Big Ravine and Whitetail on the North Side are wide open, rippers with grooming as good as I've ever seen. So, this is a resort where you can expect to have a real good time even when the conditions are less than perfect or when your legs just need a little rest.

There are so many hidden aspects and gladed runs here that hooking up with a friendly local is highly recommended if you want to find the goods. I came away with the impression that Whitefish reminded me of a more rounded and slightly less steep Jackson Hole. It's a place to bring your fat skis and go off on an adventure. There are so few people skiing here midweek that you're sure to find something knee deep almost any day if you know where to look.

Yes, the snow ghosts are great fun to look at, but don't try skiing into one of them because unless you're Charlie Sheen, hitting one of them will rock your world! (I'm sorry. I had to say that). The only big negative I can come up with is the lift layout. It's ok, but the constant need to traverse all the way back around to Chair 1 after almost every run can get tiresome. On the other hand, it's one reason the skiing can be so epic when heading off to the skier's right from the top of the chair. I should mention the fact that I never got to ski anything off the Bigfoot T-Bar. Somehow I missed it entirely or it may not have been running midweek.

The long runout to the Hellroaring Basin chair can also be a chore at times, but the skiing in that area is well worth it. This is a place I now want to go back to very badly and very soon. I loved what I did ski and can't wait to get to all the spots I missed. Oh yeah - don't make a hard left into the trees off the top of Chair 8 - Mistake! Talk about tight (probably why it's not on the trail map)! And then the Highway to Heaven Traverse out was no picnic either. Maybe if I had brought a machete instead of ski poles, but I digress - Whitefish is a killer mountain and is not to be missed.

What about the town? I liked it! Smaller than I expected, but I had some great food and the folks in town were all fantastic. Don't miss this place!


Pros: varied terrain, abundant snow, inexpensive, uncrowded, easy to get to

Cons: wetter snow, mostly southern exposure, foggy, many treewells

A very large mountain with a very large variety of terrain.  Has some steeps/cliffs/trees to rival Jackson Hole, and plenty of large groomers.  In many ways reminds me of Steamboat except with more steeps and less people.  Tons of treeskiing (watch for treewells - they seem to be a bigger issue here than in some resorts such as Snowbird/Alta).  Abundant snowfall which can be wet or dry depending on the day.  While most of the mountain faces south, the abundant fog can protect the snow quality.  If it has been sunny recently, the backside, while smaller, faces north and keeps the snow quite well.  Not too many long or steep mogul runs the week I was there.  The week I was there it snowed at least 1-2 inches every day ( 1 day it snowed 5 inches), and 4 out of the 5 days there was very poor visibility (stay near the trees on these occasions!).  The mountain is very uncrowded - even on Saturday the longest liftline was about 5 minutes on a day where it had been snowing all week.  If you are looking for powder, be sure to check out the treeskiing accessed by the T-Bar, only open on weekends!  Very inexpensive compared to many other resorts, my lift tickets were $59/day bought through my hotel.  Very easy to get to - about a $20 and 20 minute cab ride from Kalispell airport to the town of Whitefish, which is a 20 minute free SNOWBUS ride to the mountain.  It runs every 30 minutes to/from the mountain.  I stayed at the Downtowner - a "nice enough" hotel with cable tv, hot tub, bagel bar for $70/night.  The big plus about the Downtowner is that the whole center of Whitefish, with multiple bars/restaurants/shops is 1 block away, as is the SNOWBUS stop.  Many of the other hotels in town are much farther from the action. 

Overall, a great resort, which I hope to return to in the future!



Pros: snow, lots of terrain, uncrowded, nice town

Cons: some martime snow, harder to get to

Big Mountain is a great ski area. I lived in West Glacier, and then in Whitefish and skied here often. I was used to East coast skiing (I’m from Vermont) so I was thrilled by the massive dumps this mountain gets. They are famous for their “snow ghosts” – which are trees so covered in snow they look like some kind of marshmallow creatures! There’s bowl skiing and tree skiing galore and the views down to the Flathead are spectacular. The funny thing is it’s a hidden gem. Most people come to this area in the summer (Glacier National Park is abut 35 mins away), but rarely do they make the trek in the winter. Most people think of Big Sky when they think of Montana skiing, but I like Big Mountain better. It’s less “resorty” and has more of a local flavor. Big mountain has some difficult terrain with challenging steeps (they earn the Double black rating), and a lot of long trails that will keep you on the mountain, not in the lift line. Whitefish is also a great little town with lots of nightlife and restaurants. It’s really an outdoor enthusiast town, so no matter what season you go, there’s always some event happening on the mountain or around the area. I like the Great Northern chair which brings you to some of the most fun terrain! After you’re done skiing, hit up the Dire Wolf Pub on your way back into town!  Truby’s is good for high end pizza or pasta too.


Pros: Usually uncrowded. Fast chairs. great variety of terrain. some of the hardest skiing ive ever done in East Rim area.

Cons: Fog.

Im going to list all the great runs for you. Starting out from chair 2, on the smaller part of the front side, there is limited advanced terrain but some very good cruisers. not very much vertical though. on an extremely busy powder day, which isnt often, i ski in the trees on this mountain to stay away from the crowds. chair 2 never has a lift line. Going up chair 1 to the summit, there is many options. starting with the front side. there are three incredible cruisers on the front side. Inspiration, Big Ravine and Tony Matt. Big Ravine may be the best cruiser ive been on, top to bottom, no ones ever on it for some reason, you can really fly on this run. Inspiration is about the same. For pow on the front side, i usually go to evans heaven or good medicine first. good medicine is a fairly steep run littered with trees, making it very fun to ski in. Evans heaven is pretty tightly treed and steeper than good medicine but watch out for the small cliffs and rocks. the entire chair 4 area is pretty deserted on most days. even though its got some nice tree and steep skiing. Big face and Ptarmigan bowl are excellent pow runs, IF you can get there before it gets tracked out. these are 2 of the popular pow runs for vacationers, as they are easy to see from chair 1. they are both moderatley steep wide open bowls. The Elkweed and Haskill slide area is pretty popular with locals as powder really piles up here. again, moderatly steep tree skiing. Haskill slide is a expert run, fairly steep, with some sizeable cliffs. biggest cliff on the run is probably about 20 feet. Back to the summit drop into North Bowl Face, schmidts chute or elephants graveyard.North bowl face and scmidts are 2 of my favorite runs on the mountain on a good day. pretty steep, tight trees on schmidts and some cliff on north bowl face. no bigger than ten footers though and avoidable.elephants is steep and treed. moe mentum is a good blue run that goes through the valley between North bowl face and east rim face. East rim face  is a fairly mellow black. still a bit steep for most intermediates but nothing they couldnt get down, this is kindof the backout slope for skiiers and riders who couldnt find the guts to drop into the hardest terrain on the mountain on the other side of the ridge. First you have First Creek. Steep and rocky. steepest parts of this run are probably approaching the 45 degree mark. most of the run is above 40 degrees though. Moving onto North Bowl Chute, or NBC. This gets my pick as the resorts most challenging run. Very steep, littered with trees and cliffs. the biggest cliff is probably 50 feet or so. this run has a sustained pitch of about 40 to 45 degrees, with parts id say are about 50 degrees or more. this is not a run you ski on if you dont have full confidence, or do not know what lies below. i would recommend a ski down moose which is below the ridge or a ski down first creek to check out the terrain and pick a line. there are many options for lines on thsi run, but many of them get very tight. Probably my favorite run on the mountain when im in a thrill seeking mood. Beside NBC is East Rim which is almost equally as challenging.not quite as steep, a little less tight, but not by much. use extreme caution on this one as to the far right, there is a massive cliff that if you ski off, it wouldnt end good. Another great run though. the last good run on the front side is Dons Descent. Very tight trees, and very steep. probably about 45 degrees or more. this is a glade skiiers paradise. that does it for the front side. on to the backside. about half the vertical of the front side but it has much better snow conditions as its north facing. Gray wolf, silvertip, goat haunt and whiteli are the good cruisers on this side. stay away from caribou and georges gourge. both very flat runs. Kodiak, Black bear and marmot are all fairly steep mogul runs. The hardest run on this side, and possibly in the top five hardest of the resort. its a little chute with a few trees a small cliff on low snow and steep. 45 degrees for almost 800 vertical feet. very fun run on powder days. a lot of slow skiers that are cruising gray wolf, from which bighorn drops off, usually stop around the drop in rim to watch, which can get very annoying. thats it for the backside. now to Hellroaring Basin. only one cruiser here, hell fire. which is the longest trail at the resort. the rest of the runs are advanced and expert. the main advanced run through the basin. it drops in pretty steep, but is mostly a tree skiing run with a mellow pitch down to chair 11. Connies Coulee and Teepee are very fun tree skiing runs which are quite steep also. about 40 degrees maybe a bit more. the trees on connies coulee are very tight at the top, then open up about halfway down for some very fun powder turns on pow days. teepee is about the same, only it doesnt open up. very tight trees on a sustained pitch plus snow equals great fun. moving on to sling shot. fairly steep. maybe 35 to 40 degrees. open tree skiing. its a pretty good run for intermediates looking for a thrill. Beside sling shot is Picture Chutes. Probably getting my pick as second favorite run on the mountain as well as 2nd most challenging. very steep. maybe 45 to 50 degrees. places may be even steeper than that. its got some pretty big cliffs to look out for. maybe 50 feet at the biggest. very fun run. Grays Golf Course and The Back Nine are both wide open bowl skiing type runs at the top, that filter down to very tight trees. Overall id say hellroaring basin is the best side of the mountain, becuase it is not crowded. I have been skiing big mtn for about 10 years and i gotta say, it has very underrated extreme terrain. ive skiied killebrew, jackson hole and other famous extreme  terrain, and big mtns got the terrain to keep up with them. i love big mtn