If you want to have a great day of skiing or riding, but don’t want to test your driving skills to get on the slopes, the perfect place for you is Bridger Bowl Ski Area. This nice ski area is probably the most accessible in the state.
Located just 15 miles outside of Bozeman, MT Bridger Bowl is a great ski area with a variety of terrain, and amenities. However, this is just a ski area, so you won’t find slope-side lodging, shopping or fancy restaurants. You will however find some of the best skiing and riding terrain in Montana.
Bridger Bowl surprisingly also gets a ton of snow each year even though it’s miles from the Continental Divide. Snow here is soft and fluffy, and powder days are a normal occurrence, not just an occasional gift.
You’ll also find that Bridger Bowl has tons of sunny days, thanks to being at a lower elevation.
Lower elevation doesn’t mean this resort is just for beginner and intermediate riders. This ski area has plenty of advanced and expert terrain to challenge even the most skilled riders and skiers.
Bridger Bowl Ski Area Statistics
- Summit Maximum Elevation: 8,800 feet
- Number of Trails: 75 plus plenty of unmarked runs in area boundaries
- Number of Lifts: 11 (1 quad lift, 6 triple lifts, 1 double lifts, 3 surface lift)
- Season: Fall/Winter/Spring (Oct – April)
- Trail Difficulty: Beginner (20%), Intermediate (30%), Advanced/Expert (50%)
Tickets and Passes at Bridger Bowl Ski Area
Bridger Bowl has a number of lift ticket and pass options. All Bridger Bowl passes, including lift tickets are loaded onto their reusable Bridger Bowl Cards. These RFID cards store your lift ticket plus information for equipment rentals if needed. At the lift line, your card is scanned and you’re on the slopes in no time. Passes and lift tickets can be purchased online.
Also, for those who are young (6 and under) or young at heart (80 and over) skiing or riding at Bridger Bowl is always free and season passes are just the $10 processing fee.
- Full-day Lift Ticket – $84 (adult), $59 (Junior 13-18), $43 (Kids 7-12), $54 (Seniors over 65)
- Half-day – $58
- 5–Pack Pass – $319
- 3–Pack Pass – $209
- Season Pass – $900 (Adult), $850 (Young Adult 19-24), $485 (Junior 13-18), $300 (Kids 7-12), $450 (Senior 70-79)
Accommodations at Bridger Bowl Ski Area
Like many other smaller ski areas in Montana, Bridger Bowl does not have slope-side lodging. The amenities here are more substantial than some other ski areas but, you’ll still need to drive to Bridger Bowl from wherever you’re staying.
Most visitors to Bridger Bowl stay in Bozeman. It’s just a short 25-minute drive to Bridger Bowl from downtown Bozeman where there are plenty of lodging options.
Some hotels in Bozeman may offer stay and ride packages, but Bridger Bowl does not have any lodging partners. Hotel prices in Bozeman range from $75 to around $200 per night, depending on the hotel and its amenities.
If you don’t want to stay in Bozeman, there are other options along Highway 86, including a few vacation rentals, inns, and bed and breakfasts.
Trail Routes at Bridger Bowl Ski Area
Bridger Bowl has two bowls, the base area, a terrain park, and hike-in areas. All of these areas are accessible by at least one lift. Not all skill levels will be accommodated in each area, so make sure to check the trail map before hitting the slopes, so you don’t get stuck in an area you can’t handle.
The North Bowl of Bridger Bowl ski area is the most diverse when it comes to trail options. It is also serviced by three lifts (Bridger, Powder Park, and Alpine). Most of the runs in the North Bowl are intermediate to advanced trails.
However, beginner and beginner/intermediate skiers and riders will really enjoy the trails access from the Alpine lift. These runs are wide open, are shallower, and offer a bit of challenge for newer skiers and riders.
For intermediate skiers and riders that want to try their hand at advanced runs without a huge commitment, the Powder Park lift gives a taste of steeper slopes without going overboard.
The adventurous intermediate skier will love Baby Bear, Eagle and Powder Hog runs. These trails are short but fun advanced trails that give skiers and riders a taste of more difficult terrain without being too long.
Bridger lift is the longest on the North Bowl and gets advanced and expert riders into some of the more difficult terrains in the North Bowl. From the top of the Bridger lift, expert riders can also access sections of The Ridge.
There are no beginner runs accessed from the Bridger lift, however, expert skiers will really enjoy checking out High Traverse and Exit Chute the two expert runs that run into the North Bowl
The Base area starts at the lodge and parking lot and extends to about midway up the mountain. It is serviced by two regular lifts (Virginia City and Sunnyside), a short triple lift (Snowflake), and three surface lifts (Flurry, Sundog and Deer Park).
The base area is the most family-friendly area on the mountain, with most runs for beginner and intermediate skiers. This is a slow skiing zone, so it is perfect for new skiers, riders, and younger children. You’ll also access the terrain park from top of the Sunnyside lift and Sunnyside run.
Intermediate skiers and riders will love the South Bowl. This half of Bridger Bowl is full of fun intermediate runs with a few advanced and expert runs thrown in. South Bowl can be accessed from the Pierre’s Knob and Bridger lifts, both of which start at mid-mountain at the top of the Virginia City lift.
Expert riders will find a little bit of steep heaven on Zits, Lower Nose, and Flippers, the three expert runs in the South Bowl.
For experts only, The Ridge is the highest part of the ski area and is home to the most difficult and dangerous terrain in the ski area boundaries. Schlasman’s lift will give you access to the top of The Ridge, from there, expert skiers and riders will need to hike to access Mundy’s Bowl, Slushman’s Ravine, the Fingers, The Nose, Bridger Gully, and the Apron.
None of the terrain on The Ridge is groomed, and due to the steep slopes, this area is avalanche-prone. Skiers and riders who want to access the areas on The Ridge must carry an avalanche beacon, and it is strongly recommended that you travel with a partner for safety.
No ski area would be complete without a terrain park. Bridger Bowl’s advanced terrain park is located at the top of the Sunnyside run and can be accessed from the Sunnyside lift. The features of the advanced park do change depending on snow conditions, so it is wise to check out the Bridger Bowl website for current snow conditions. A smaller park with beginner size rails, boxes, and jumps can be found at the bottom of the Sunnyside run.
Events at Bridger Bowl Ski Area
Bridger Bowl plays host to a number of events throughout the ski season. Most weekends the ski area hosts a variety of ski racing series. There are also discounted lift ticket days where visitors can benefit from reduced ticket prices, and portions of ticket sales go to local charities or community organizations.
Other events include freeride and terrain park competitions, a scavenger hunt, and the annual Dirt Bag Ball.
King and Queen of The Ridge – February
This fundraiser event supports avalanche safety education in southwest Montana. Expert riders of all ages compete for the title of King or Queen of the Ridge.
Ride and Seek Scavenger Hunt – March
Annual fundraiser for the Bridger Bowl Foundation, individuals and families compete to find items along some of the ski areas’ most popular beginner and intermediate runs. Winners in each category receive fun prizes and funds raised allow the Bridger Foundation to provide ski and ride opportunities for youth who may not be able to afford to ski or board.
Dirt Bag Ball – March
End the season right at the Bridger Bowl’s annual Dirt Bag Ball. This end-of-the-season party is a fundraiser for the Bridger Bowl ski patrol. Funds raised during this event support the ski area’s ski patrol and allow for the purchase of new and upgraded safety, medical, and support equipment.