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road trip feb 2012

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello All: I am looking for advice. We are looking into changing one of our annual  B.C./Alberta road trips into something going further south. Time for a change. From Vancouver B.C. thinking I-90 to Boseman -Big Sky then down to Jackson Hole and return via I-84; or alternatively fly or drive straight to SLC and take in the best of that area. Linking the two seems likely too much driving. I have not skied at any of those areas and am hoping for some recommendations from those who know the areas. And as driving time seems to be much greater between resorts in the US than Canada, I am also wondering if there are other lesser known but still worthwhile areas to ski either enroute or on the return to break up the drive? Typically on our road trips we like to ski a different mountain every day if possible, but in B.C.the next good mountain is usually under 2hr down the road. We can ski and are looking for challenging terrain only. Bulk of skiing will likely be midweek late feb so hopefully not expecting any crowds (am i wrong?)

.thanks for any feedback

post #2 of 14

Oh there is a whole world of places to go on that route.  How much time have you got?  


If you just dropped down from Surrey and turned East onto I-90 you've got:

Alpental on Snowqualmie Pass.

Mt. Spokane.

Silver Mountain, Kellogg, ID.

Lookout Pass, Mt boarder.Snowbowl, Missoula MT.

Bridger Bowl,Bozeman, Mt

And the next day you can ski Big Sky (Not off of I-90 but not that far from Bozeman).


Utah will probably have better snow, but would happily spend a season at pretty much any of these places.  The longest single drive you would have would be Alpental to Mt. Spokane, about 300 easy miles.  Now if you are willing to drive off of I-90 a little farther there are a lot more choices on this route.


There are probably threads on all of these places on this site if you search for them.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi thanks for reply, time wise likely 10 days  Have no real interest in the Coast Ranges as we often day ski in similar conditions at Whistler or Baker. Looking for some dryer interior conditions. Have checked out Silver (Kellogg) before and have considered it as a possible stop but I have not yet seen anything beyond that i thought very interesting before Big Sky. We have often done the i-90 to St Regis/Whitefish/Big Mountain. But we always carry on to Fernie,Castle, Sunshine Louise, Kicking Horse Revy etc then home.  But sometimes the little known mountains can be Gems. Will check out some of the others you mentioned. We have no problem getting off the I-90 or going further if there is a mountain that gets the heart going. Just trying to be sure we don't miss out on some great skiing that's just a little further down the road.


post #4 of 14

If you decide to stop at Silver Mt, I (or Pete No Idaho probably) can show you around. It has some decent hike-to terrain and glades. (Mt Spokane and Lookout Pass probably won't be worth stopping for you unless it's a powder day.)


"Crowds" don't really exist on the weekends around here, let alone the weekdays. Skied untracked named runs a couple times in the afternoon last year at Silver.



post #5 of 14

As others have said, there are a lot of choices.  I think it's pretty tough to plan your trip for hitting a new ski area every day, too many road miles.  Better to stay a couple days at each, at least at the big ones.  If you want to concentrate on double diamonds and good snow, maybe drive ~800 straight miles from Vancouver to Sun Valley, ID for a warm up day on some long steep groomers, then on to Jackson Hole, WY for 2-3 days, then up to Big Sky & nearby Moonlight Basin for two days each, then a final day at Bridger Bowl near Bozeman MT for extreme runs on The Ridge, then ~800 mile drive back to Vancouver.  That ambitious ten day trip would entail over 2000 road miles, but with the biggest mileage done on first and last 12 hour interstate highway days. Late Feb is a great time to hit all those mtns, but fresh snow on ski slopes = tricky drivingski.gif



post #6 of 14

don't forget about whitefish... We were coming from MN last yr but this is the route we took through the area:


Day 1 Bridger

Day 2 Whitefish

Day 3 Whitefish

Day4 drive

Day5 grand targhee

Day6 grand targhee

Day7 pow mow

Day8 pow mow

Day9 pow mow

Day 10 rest

Day 11 canyons

-- then we headed home.

post #7 of 14

If you are looking for little known areas along your route, you might want to check out Discovery Basin near Philipsburg, MT.    I have not skied there but have heard good things and hope to get there this year.   Here is there web site page with the mountain stats.  http://www.skidiscovery.com/terrain.html  $38/day lift tickets and pretty cheap lodging in Pberg or Anaconda.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi all thanks for the replies but it seems after looking further into the logistics it is just not as easy to hit multiple great mountains in the USA as Canada.

Distances are just too great for a comfortable road trips. Probably makes more sense to get a flight to SLC rent a car and stick with the local areas instead. From trail maps it looks like the skiing in that area can be pretty good and definatly enough variety for a week. Too bad I've always wanted to try out a few runs at Jackson Hole as I hear they can be interesting, but can't see driving for 16 + hours and then wind up being at a resort another 5-6 hours drive from the next one. And if anyone needs info or advice on b.c./alberta road trips or yet another skiers personal bias towards resorts I can help.      

post #9 of 14

Nobody including me have talked about Schweitzer in Sandpoint ID yet,  If driving just a little, 1 1/4 hours off of 90, would not bother you you should put on the do list. Schweitzer and Whitefish are the big hills in the Inland NW.  But it does not get the love around here that it should.  Good snow good, good facilities, very good hill.


You will not be able to cover it in a day but it would be fun to try.


So if you want interesting and inland how about:





Big Sky/ Moonlight Basin

post #10 of 14

Some pointers.  For a Feb trip.


Lookout pass closed on Tue so Wed can be a good powder day.  There is some good powder if you meet up with someone who knows the mt.


Silver is closed Tue and Wed, so thursday can be a good powder day and  SpkMike, or others could show you where the locals ski.


One day each say Wed at Lookout and Thurs at Silver are possible.  Big Sky is worth 2 days at least a lot of skiing. Bridger Bowl close to Big Sky/ Bozeman

post #11 of 14

ya its all about how much you are willing to drive. We did between 5-10 hours a day driving a day while skiing a full day.


post #12 of 14

More skiing less driving

I've done the Vancouver/Salt Lake drive 4 times and yes it is a LONG way. 650 miles to Boise the first day and 300+ miles to SLC the second day and if the weather is bad it can be Hell. A couple of times we did Jackson Hole on the way home but that was a 2 week/16 day trip. Depending on how many people to share gas, if it's only 2 people and your vacation time is limited I would agree that flying is way better. Even though it might cost more than a road trip, SLC has never let me down. Excellent hotel/car/ski packages cheap food, awsome snow and incredible terrrain no matter what you are looking for all within an hour or less of SLC. SLC is hub for United and you might cut costs flying out of Bellingham. My only caveat is you have to like 'near beer' especially if you are Canadian so don't go to Utah if you are an alcoholic.

post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

you might cut costs flying out of Bellingham.

There is no longer a direct flight from B'ham to SLC.  You would be required to shuttle to Seattle if you start in Bellingham.


post #14 of 14

Here is a link to my road trip TR from 2007.  It is pretty old, & appears the pictures are gone.





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