Located on northwestern Montana’s Big Mountain approximately 21 miles from the city of Kalispell, Whitefish Mountain Resort is a ski resort featuring beginner, intermediate, and expert slopes at a maximum vertical drop of 2,353 feet, along with a variety of retail, dining, and lodging options.
In 1947, the slopes of Big Mountain were opened to the public by Winter Sports, Inc., a public community shareholder company. Located within the Flathead National Forest, west of Glacier National Park and approximately 35 south of the United States-Canada border, the mountain reaches a summit elevation of 6,817 feet, with a base elevation of 4,464 feet.
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The mountain has been used as the site of several United States Alpine Championship skiing events, including the 1949 event, which was won by future Olympic champion Andrea Mead, and the 2001 event, noted as the failed comeback of former Olympic champion Bill Johnson, who sustained career-ending injuries during his race. It is also notable as the site where 1994 Olympic champion Tommy Moe learned his sport, as his father worked as part of the mountain’s ski patrol. The mountain’s resort area was renamed Whitefish Mountain Resort in June 2007, following shareholder reorganization among WSI investors.
During the winter months, the resort area receives an average annual snowfall of 300 inches, providing conditions for skiing and snowboarding along the faces of Big Mountain. Big Mountain is separated into three distinct face areas, featuring five terrain parks for athletes of beginner, intermediate, and expert skill levels. Terrain parks are accessible from 12 resort chairlifts, including three high-speed detachable quads, three surface lifts, and six fixed-grip lifts. Beginner terrain areas, including children’s training areas, are offered at Magic Park, accessible from the resort’s Base Lodge. Smaller learning terrain is offered at Depot Park, which is accessible from Chair 3’s central hub, along with the intermediate terrain Central Avenue Park and the expert Armory Park area. A skiing and snowboarding cross course is also offered at Goat Haunt, offering banked turns, small jumps, and roller features. All terrain park openings are weather dependent, with daily conditions listed on the resort’s website and Facebook page.
During the summer months, the resort is also open for a variety of summer outdoor sports and activities, including mountain biking at Whitefish Bike Park, offering 30 miles of bike trail accessible via chairlift. Zipline tours are offered along the state’s largest zipline route, and an Aerial Adventure Park features cable bridges, rope ladders, and trapeze swings. A ?-mile alpine slide offers rides for visitors of all ages, and the Spider Monkey Mountain play area provides safe play experiences for young visitors. A variety of nature hiking trails are open for exploration, ranging from the family-friendly 0.6-mile Arnica Ridge Trail to the signature 3.8-mile Danny On Trail. Trail access is provided by scenic chairlift rides, which also provide access to the Summit Nature Center, staffed by Flathead National Forest rangers. Interactive museum exhibits are featured at the Center, and seasonal Discovery Walks offer education on Montana’s ecosystems and biodiversity.
A variety of hotel, condominium, and mountain home accommodations are offered throughout the resort’s Base Lodge and West and Upper Village areas. Dining options highlight American fare, including the Summit House Restaurant and Bar, the state’s only mountaintop restaurant. Other restaurant options include the award-winning Café Kandahar, offering gourmet game meat burgers and dishes prepared with organic seasonal ingredients, and the Hellroaring Saloon and Eatery, the resort’s original ski lodge bar. A breakfast buffet is also offered at the Hibernation House, including continental breakfast for hotel visitors. Shopping options include the Snow Ghost Outfitters apparel shop, Village Rentals equipment rental store, and the Village Market, offering food, sundries, and products crafted by Montana artisans.
Ongoing Programs and Events
Annual public special events include the Hellroaring Ski Heritage Days festival in January, featuring inductions to the Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation Hall of Fame, as well as retro skiing days and a ski-a-thon event. In May, a Whitefish Pond Skim offers a $1,050 cash purse for opportunities to ski or snowboard in costume over a custom-built pond. Thursday night bike rides are offered throughout the summer, and during the winter months, night skiing events feature live music and entertainment. The resort’s Base Lodge and Summit facilities may also be rented for private special events, including weddings and business conferences. Group rates on summer and winter athletic courses and activities are available for private rental groups. A variety of lodging and tour packages are also offered in conjunction with nearby Glacier National Park.
1015 Glades Dr, Whitefish, MT 59937, Phone: 877-754-3474