Only 20 minutes from downtown Missoula, Montana Snowbowl is one of the best ski areas in the state. Specializing in expert terrain for advanced skiers, Snowbowl has trails for all skill levels and makes for the perfect winter getaway.
The Montana Snowbowl runs a snow sports school with classes for beginners, children, university students, and women only. Although visitors are encouraged to bring their own ski gear, there is also a rental and repairs shop on the grounds. The experienced staff members are available to offer advice to beginner and seasoned skiers alike.
The ski area boasts a terrific atmosphere with two on-site dining options: The Last Run and The Double Diamond café. Several events are also held at Snowbowl throughout the year, offering plenty of opportunities to socialize and participate in fun activities around the mountain.
Montana Snowbowl Ski Area Stats
- Highest Elevation: 7,600 feet/2,316 meters.
- Trails: 39
- Lifts: 2 doubles, 2 surface
- Season: Summer, spring, and winter
- Trail Difficulty: Beginner: 20%, Intermediate: 40%, Advanced/Expert: 40%
Tickets and Passes
Pricing at Snowbowl tends to be more affordable than other local ski establishments. Day passes begin at $55 for adults for half a day. There are discounts available for students, seniors, and children. Kids under five years old are free.
For more information about day passes at Snowbowl, please visit the official website.
Additionally, season passes are available for skiers who would like to return to Snowbowl multiple times. Adult season passes are $734, but there are discounts available for those buying a second adult pass. Concession prices are also on offer for students, seniors, children, and families.
A cost-effective option for those guests who are interested in season passes is to purchase a weekday-only pass. This option provides access to the ski area on weekdays throughout the season but not weekends or holidays. Adult prices are $488, with further discounts for seniors and students.
For more information about season passes, please visit the official website.
There are no on-site lodging facilities at Snowbowl, but there are a few nearby establishments that offer special packages and deals to guests of the ski area.
The Gelandesprung Lodge is a European-style slopeside lodge with a ski-in, ski-out access point. It offers shared and private baths, a hot tub, and kitchen facilities. Guests who stay at the lodge can purchase lift tickets at Snowbowl for a discount.
The C’Mon Inn in Missoula, which provides a fitness center, business center, game room, continental breakfast, and ping pong table, also offers ski packages for Snowbowl guests. The inn boasts a tropical courtyard complete with five hot tubs, a swimming pool, a baby pool, and a waterfall. Also available are 10 Jacuzzi suites for the ultimate indulgence escape.
For more information on the accommodation options nearby, please visit the official website.
The ski area at Snowbowl stretches across 950 acres and receives an average of 300 inches of snow per year. It best caters to experienced skiers, although there are a few easy and intermediate trails on offer too. Out of the 950 acres, 500 are designated to glade skiing.
In total, there are more than 35 trails at Snowbowl. The following are some of the most popular:
Upper Hot Fudge
Upper Hot Fudge is one of the few easy trails at Snowbowl. It runs for 2,237 feet and features a vertical drop of 518 feet. The trail runs parallel to Whipped Cream.
Whipped Cream, located near the LaVelle Creek Chair line, is a difficult Snowbowl trail and should only be attempted by experts. It is approximately 1,633 feet long and has a vertical drop of 551 feet.
Despite its name, High Roller is an intermediate trail. It has a length of 948 feet and a vertical drop of 177 feet. It runs close to the Grizzly Chair line.
Big Sky is a short and difficult trail at Snowbowl, located near the summit of the mountain. It extends for only 721 feet and has a vertical drop of 209 feet.
West Ridge is one of the most popular ski runs at Snowbowl, and one of the longest. It is a difficult trail, suited only to seasoned skiers, and runs for 3,608 feet. Its vertical drop is 1,620 feet and it is located near the Big Sky and High Roller ski runs.
West Bowls is the steepest trail at Snowbowl, making it one of the most difficult. It is also one of the longest at 2,851 feet. The trail has a vertical drop of 1,302 feet and is found between West Ridge and East Bowls.
If you’re a fan of bump skiing, East Bowls may be the trail for you. This difficult trail is also extremely popular with guests at Snowbowl and runs for 1,348 feet. It lies near the North Dakota Downhill trail.
A hard ski run, Spartan Headwall makes its way down the steep ridge that soars above the base area of the mountain. It extends for 1,715 feet and has a vertical drop of 616 feet. The trail begins halfway down the mountain and extends into Mogul Alley.
Grizzly is a difficult but fun trail that features varied terrain and runs for 1,528 feet and has a vertical drop of 580 feet. Some of the terrain is steep and open while other areas are carpeted with trees.
Bowl Out Run
Bowl Out Run is a difficult ski run at Snowbowl, stretching for 2506 feet. Its vertical drop is 557 feet. It lies close to Grizzly Chute and features pockets of trees on its terrain.
Only experienced skiers should use Mogul Alley, which is one of the more difficult trails at Snowbowl. It has a length of 1,592 feet and a vertical drop of around 777 feet.
Go Big is a hard trail at Snowbowl, suitable only for seasoned skiers. It runs for 921 feet and has a vertical drop of 459 feet. The trail is found near the lodge and car park.
Situated close to the car park at the base of the mountain, Huckleberry is a trail of medium difficulty and is one of the most popular at Snowbowl. It runs for 1,637 feet and its vertical drop is 416 feet.
Mission Magic is a medium-difficulty trail at Snowbowl that extends for 2,296 feet. It features a vertical drop of 410 feet.
North Dakota Downhill
North Dakota Downhill is an intermediate ski run and one of the longest trails at Snowbowl, with a length of 6,233 feet. It has a vertical drop of 974 feet.
Chicken Chute is another hard ski trail at Snowbowl running for 869 feet. It has a vertical drop of 380 feet.
Longhorn travels from the summit of the mountain to the base through the bowl. It is an intermediate trail, best suited to skiers who have some experience, and runs for 3,608 feet with a vertical drop of 1,220 feet.
Purgatory is a difficult trail at Snowbowl, continuing for 1,315 feet. It features a vertical drop of 521 feet and is found near Lower Paradise.
Like Longhorn, Lower Paradise extends right to the base of the mountain from the summit, along the boundary. This medium-level trail travels for 3,608 feet and its vertical drop is 643 feet.
Several events take place at Montana Snowbowl throughout the year. The area is open from winter through summer, with different hours and operating days according to the season.
A kids’ six-week program begins in January, starting with an orientation day when children can meet ski instructors and enjoy free mini-lessons on the beginner lifts.
January also marks the beginning of the Telemark Evening Dual Slalom Race Series, which runs until February. The event features seven races taking place on Thursday evenings between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. On the final night, a party is held to celebrate the races and winners.
March hosts several contests, including the Best of the Bowl. This race aims to determine who the best skiers of the year have been. Alpine, Telemark, and Snowboard divisions are judged on speed and style.
Another March contest is the North Dakota Downhill, which features a slide and glide competition down the trail of the same name. It is free to register and the competition winners will receive special prizes. All ages and skill levels are welcome to compete.
For more information on the winter events taking place at Snowbowl, please visit the official website.
One of the most prominent summer events is the Mountain Trail Run, which is held in August. Running for 9.3 miles, the race gives participants sublime views of the Missoula Valley and Rattlesnake mountains, as well as a post-race lunch and Big Sky brewing beer at the finishing line.
Summer chairlift rides run from June through September, giving guests wonderful views of the landscape below. Other summer activities, including hiking, zip-lining, mountain biking, and mountain scooters, are also available at Snowbowl during this time.
For more information on the summer events at Snowbowl, please visit the official website.