Montana is a beautiful mountainous state that is the home of the northern Rockies and is known for having some of the best skiing in the United States.
When skiing in Montana, you’ll be able to enjoy fluffy white powder and epic ski runs without having to wait in long lines and fight through crowds. With so much skiable terrain, Montana ski resorts tend to be a lot less crowded than other big ski resorts in other states, making them the perfect place to ski for the first time and improve your skills as a beginner skier.
Best Time To Ski in Montana
Montana ski resorts are located mostly on the western side of the state. They usually open around Thanksgiving and remain open until about mid-April.
If you’re looking for the absolute best time to plan your ski trip, you should aim to go skiing in Montana in February or early March as that’s when the powder is the absolute best.
Just be careful while you’re driving because the snow is no joke on the roads, especially if you’re not used to it.
Montana is one of the best places to ski in the world. The ski resorts are not as crowded as you’d typically find in other states, and lift tickets are more affordable. Keep reading to learn the 5 best ski resorts where you can learn how to ski as a beginner in Montana!
5 Best Ski Resorts In Montana For Beginners
Big Sky Resort
Spanning a whopping 5,850 acres, Big Sky Resort in Big Sky Montana is one of the largest ski resorts in the United States and one of the very best, especially for beginners!
Due to the sheer size of the resort, it’s a lot more spread out than others so you won’t have to worry about skiing too close to others as much. Big Sky Resort offers both group and private lessons and has three separate ski areas designated just for those who are just getting started. The beginner areas include Madison’s Base, Moonlight Lodge, and the area just in front of the main lodge.
These areas boast plenty of green and blue trails for you to practice on, including green plus trails (slightly more advanced green trails), which will allow you to progress at an even pace as you improve your skills.
Whitefish Mountain Resort
Whitefish Mountain Resort is well known as one of the best ski resorts in Montana for beginners. It is located in northwest Montana near Glacier National Park where only 20% of its terrain is considered expert terrain. This means that more advanced skiers typically just go elsewhere and you don’t have to worry so much about fast skiers flying by you.
Whitefish Mountain Resort not only has plenty of terrain dedicated to beginners, they also have an excellent Learn to Ski or Ride program where beginners can learn the basics without breaking the bank.
When you need to take a break from skiing, be sure to head into the charming ski town of Whitefish Montana. Here, you’ll find delicious restaurants and breweries, great hiking trails, and local shops & galleries.
Red Lodge Mountain
Red Lodge Mountain ski resort is located near the Wyoming border in the Beartooth Mountain range. It has a laid back old Western vibe that is very inviting.
Not only is it one of the best ski resorts in Montana for beginners to learn how to ski, but it’s also the best ski resort for those who are on a budget. Red Lodge Mountain dedicates about 20% of its terrain to beginners specifically and even has a magic carpet down near the lodge for complete beginners. They also have an excellent 4 lesson Learn to Ski package available for a low cost. If you’re looking for a great place to learn how to ski on a budget, I highly recommend Red Lodge Mountain.
When you’re not on the slopes, be sure to check out the shops and restaurants in town!
Ski Discovery Area
Ski Discovery Area (known as “Ski Disco” by locals) is a great resort to check out if you’d prefer something more rural and remote.
Ski Disco is located about an hour west of Butte’s airport in the Rocky Mountains on Rumsey Mountain. It has no on-slope lodging but you can find hotels and bnbs with very fair pricing in the nearby towns of Anaconda and Georgetown Lake. It is a pretty popular resort, so I recommend booking your lift tickets, rental equipment, and lodging as early as you can.
Ski Discovery Area is a great ski resort for families with kids who are just learning how to ski because it has an excellent Learn to Ski program for kids. It has a small ski area dedicated specifically to beginners, and then allows a smooth progression as skills improve. It’s a fun resort with a welcoming atmosphere that really caters to beginners and families, so I highly recommend adding it to your list if you’re just learning how to ski for the first time.
Blacktail Ski Area
Blacktail Ski Area is another great ski area for beginners, families, and those who are looking to learn how to ski on a budget. It is located in northwest Montana just outside the Flathead Valley and overlooking Flathead Lake.
It can be a bit of a trek to get to since the main lodge and parking is situated on top of the mountain rather than at the base of it. This does offer amazing lunch views though and once you get to the top, you won’t have to struggle to find a parking spot near the lifts.
Blacktail Mountain has a highly rated ski school and 85% of its terrain is dedicated to beginner and intermediate skiers. This means that it’s the perfect place to learn how to ski and improve your skills on your own.
It’s a very family friendly resort, so I highly recommend visiting Blacktail Ski Area if you have kids or just simply want to learn how to ski in a beautiful location without breaking the bank.