Whitefish Mountain Resort

"One of the friendliest and most beautiful places I've skied."

The northwest corner of Montana used to be a tough place to reach, a situation that suited many locals just fine. Its location off the beaten path meant that the sprawling terrain of Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain belonged to them and a relative handful of regular visitors. Some of those visitors, refugees from ski towns and mountains in the East or the Rockies that had gone glitz, settled down. Life was good.

Catching spectacular WMR buried in snow—as you often will—reassures you that there is still skiing this beautiful, affordable and uncrowded left on the planet. Catching it on a foggy day—as you often will—makes you wonder what planet you're on. Make friends with the fog (some find it intimate and intriguing) and you'll have a lifelong love affair with the resort. ""Fog Mountain" - keeps its snow good though," is the message of many. And it's true. With two new high-speed quads and a sprawling $11 million daylodge to appease them, readers repeatedly chant the "great value/no crowds" mantra that is Whitefish Mountain Resort's one-two punch. Big Mountain itself remains a skier's hill, with "huge groomers, great treeskiing and lots of glades and bowls to explore." In addition, "one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to" is a frequent comment and the reason why it ranks No. 10 in Scenery. If WMR is sometimes judged to be light on nightlife, then visitors have not made the easy drive to nearby Whitefish, which continues to resist gentrification and remains one of the last real ski towns standing. - J.C.

The Latest

A needed $10-million upgrade to the road into Whitefish; two new on-mountain restaurants; expanded terrain park with additional snowmaking

The Deal

For $70, stay at the slopeside Hibernation House, lifts and breakfast included.

Don't Miss

Full-moon dinner and ski run at the Summit House on top of Big Mountain; the Euro-Creole at the Cafe Kandahar

Mandatory Run

Toni Matt, the definitive Western cruiser, with a crank-it-up pitch that makes you laugh out loud


Headwaters Grille at Moonlight Basin will be preparing a special Valentine's Day dinner for you and your sweetheart. Call the Mountain Concierge at (406) 995-7716 for reservations.Photo Courtesy of Moonlight Basin

Moonlight Basin

By 2010, Moonlight plans to lower its base by a quarter mile, giving the mountain more vertical than Big Sky.