U.S. Northern Rockies roundup: Mixed results in ID, MT and WY

Colorado’s November made headlines and turned heads, but a little further north the Rockies are also delivering in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. 

From the Midwest, especially the Upper Midwest, drives out to Montana, Wyoming and Idaho aren’t so bad. Flights to these areas are harder than they are to Colorado, but the harder you work to get there, the less likely you are to find I-70-like Colorado crowds. 

Midwest Ski Journal stopped to snap this picture at the end of a deep, deep day in Whitefish, MT last February. 

Here’s a look at some of Midwest Ski Journal’s favorites in the northern American Rockies and how their seasons are shaping up. 

As always, the snow data we use is from OpenSnow

Montana

Bridger Bowl

  • Bridger Bowl is off to a hot start and is already 100 percent open as of Dec. 4. They’ve seen 166 percent of average snowfall and just two weeks ago they were at 236 percent! 
  • Bridger is also nice because of the access to it from Bozeman airport. Recently, our friends at Thrifty Traveler highlighted a nice Minneapolis-Bozeman deal going on through March for just over $200. 

Big Sky

  • Big Sky also had a nice start, boasting its largest November snowfall in history. The mountain remains just 37 percent open, which is likely due to how large the mountain is. 
  • Right now, they have 119 percent of their average snowfall. 
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Red Lodge

  • Red Lodge is appealing for a few reasons. For one, it’s close to the upper Midwest. It’s about a 13-hour drive from Minneapolis. Additionally, you don’t get the crowds you are used to seeing in the more popular resorts and it has a fun downtown and a true Western feel to it. 
  • Red Lodge has done alright for itself snowfall-wise, and is 71 percent open. Right now, they are at 154 percent of average snowfall. 

Whitefish

  • Whitefish will start spinning its lifts Dec. 6 when it opens for the season. When it does, skiers and riders will see only 90 percent of average snowfall there.
  • Last season, Whitefish had an all time year, so perhaps they’re due for a slow start. Still, Whitefish is always good to keep an eye on.

Wyoming

Jackson Hole

  • The Teton Treasure is open for the season after having a respectable, but not noteworthy November. Sitting at 97 percent of average snowfall, the resort just opened the Gondola and the Thunder chair last week. 
  • If you are looking into Jackson, keep an eye on when they will crack the Sublette Chair and the Tram for the first time. Those ought to be all-time turns. 

Grand Targhee

  • The ‘Ghee is doing slightly better than Jackson, boasting 106 percent of average snowfall, allowing crews to open the entire mountain already. 
  • Grand Targhee is one of Midwest Ski Journal’s favorites because of its terrain and its relatively quiet crowds when compared to its big brother across the Tetons in Jackson. 

Idaho

Schweitzer

  • Schweitzer, in northern Idaho, is off to a slow start with just 52 percent of average snowfall. It’s another resort in the same weather track as Whitefish that was crushed with snow last year and is seeing a slight ebb this fall. 
  • Only three lifts, or 11 percent of the mountain is open as of Dec. 4. 

Sun Valley

  • Sun Valley has had a similar start to Schweitzer, with only 54 percent of average snowfall. 
  • 12 percent of the mountain is open and only 5 lifts.

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