Once fall is over, favorite pastime of Montana residents and visitors alike is downhill skiing. There are a wide variety of ski hills around the state of Montana, many of which are within a few hours from the city of Butte. Whether you are a Butte resident looking for a new hill to try or a visitor looking for a way to hit the slopes, here is a list of five great downhill mountains to try. Keep in mind that COVID-19 might cause this year’s season to look a little different, but these mountains are working hard to accommodate guests and keep the sport going!
Discovery Ski Area
Less than a one hour drive to the west of Butte in Philipsburg, Montana you can find Discovery Ski Area. Discovery has three sides, making it easy to find your level of skiing regardless of whether you are looking for a simple, groomed trail or tougher touraine and moguls. Visitors can spend the summer months at Discovery biking in their mountain bike park.
Discovery Ski Area Quick Facts:
- Total Patrolled Area: 2,200 Acres
- Summit Elevation: 8,158 Feet
- Longest Run: 1.5 Miles
- Annual Snowfall: 215 Inches
Great Divide Ski Area
Located one and a half hours north of Butte is Great Divide Ski Area. Great Divide has Montana’s largest ski rental inventory and their snowsports school provides over 8,000 lessons per year, making it a perfect place to learn a new sport. There are three lifts on the mountain and a terrain park great for practicing some tricks.
Great Divide Ski Area Quick Facts:
- Total Patrolled Area: 1,600 Acres
- Summit Elevation: 7,233 Feet
- Longest Run: 3 Miles
- Annual Snowfall: 180 Inches
Lost Trail Ski Area
One hour and forty minutes southwest of Butte is the Lost Trail Ski Area. Lost Trail has five double ski lifts and three rope tows. It is also located directly across from the Chief Joseph Pass Bitterroot XC Ski Club so try your hand at XC skiing while you’re there.
Lost Trail Ski Area Quick Facts:
- Total Patrolled Area: 900 Acres
- Summit Elevation: 8,200 Feet
- Longest Run: 2.5 Miles
- Annual Snowfall: 325 Inches
Maverick Mountain Ski Area
Located one and a half hours south of Butte is Maverick Mountain Ski Area. At Maverick Mountain skiers will enjoy the non-commercial feel to the mom and pop ski area. It is serviced by only one chair lift but has runs great for all skill levels.
Maverick Mountain Ski Area Quick Facts:
- Total Patrolled Area: 225 Acres
- Summit Elevation: 8,020 Feet
- Longest Run: 2 Miles
- Annual Snowfall: 180 Inches
Big Sky Resort
A two hour and fifteen minute drive southeast of Butte, in the town of Big Sky is Big Sky Resort. Much larger and sometimes more expensive than the other ski areas on this list, Big Sky is a great destination skiing location for both locals and visitors. With 38 lifts and a world-class resort, skiing Big Sky can be a dream vacation.
Big Sky Resort Area Quick Facts:
- Total Patrolled Area: 5,850 Acres
- Summit Elevation: 11,166 Feet
- Longest Run: 6 Miles
- Annual Snowfall: 400 Inches