Summer Resorts 2000¿Northern Rockies, The Big Mountain, Mont.


The Big Mountain Resort is an excellent base camp for exploring Montana's abundant riches. Located 8 miles north of Whitefish and 35 miles east of Glacier National Park, the resort is a hotbed of summer recreation.

Hop on the Glacier Chaser gondola to the 7,000-foot summit, which affords spectacular views of the million-acre Glacier National Park and the surrounding Flathead Valley. From the summit, hikers and mountain bikers wend their way through a network of trails bordered by huckleberry bushes, bear grass and wildflowers. Links-lovers have their choice of eight golf courses within a short drive of the resort. Of particular note are Northern Pines and Eagle Bend ( Learn about local flora and fauna at The Big Mountain Environmental Center. During July and August, guided wildflower walks are offered twice daily at 11 am and 3 pm.

Take in an evening concert at the amphitheater. Highlights of this summer's lineup include Merle Haggard (July 15) and Charlie Daniels (Aug. 5). But wait! The day isn't over yet. Head up to The Big Mountain summit for stargazing with local astronomers at 9 pm. Enjoy a full-service bar and late-night appetizers at the Summit House until 1 am. The last chairlift down is at 2 am.

Sleep in after your late night, and start a more mellow day with breakfast in historic Whitefish followed by a scenic horseback trail ride or fly-casting lesson back at the resort.

DON'T MISS Huckleberry picking on the Danny On Memorial Trail, with routes ranging from 3 to 6 miles.

BEST DEALl Packages at the Hibernation House start at $65 per night. For luxury, try the Kintla Lodge, where packages start at $150 per night. Call (800) 858-4157, or visit