Families flock to Montana every year for an authentic, old-fashioned outdoorsy experience. The mountains located within the state are known for their relaxed atmospheres and reasonable prices. They are equipped with steep slopes for the experienced athletes and dream weavers for those just learning. Guests of all ages can benefit from the endless lessons available, and kids can enjoy camps catered specifically to them. There are many lodging options available near every mountain, and some of them are even open year-round for hikers and mountain bikers!
Here is a list of our favorite family-friendly ski resorts:
Blacktail Mountain Ski Area
Blacktail Mountain Ski Area, located in Lakeside, Mont., is on the smaller side compared to other mountains in the state, but still packs just as much bite. Guests can choose from a plethora of lessons, including daily group lessons, which are offered in two hour sessions at $35 each, and alpine lessons for skiers ages 4 and up at 9:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. daily. After a few hours of learning and turning, hit up the terrain park to practice your new skills or join the race team and show ’em what you’ve got!
At the end of each day, catch your breath and relax at one of the many accommodations located nearby, such as the Aero Inn, which is just a 50-minute drive from the mountain and offers guests an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna, as well as a yummy (and free!) continental breakfast every day.
Families will probably never stop raving about Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, Mont. There is such a wide variety of fun things for both adults and children to do, making it the perfect vacation destination for families. Adults and children alike can give their skills a tuning with a lesson or go on a guided tour of the mountain.
Kids can kick back after hours at the Kids Club (for kids ages 4 and up), which is free for guests of Big Sky Central Reservations and $15 for everyone else. It is open every day from 4 to 6 p.m. and offers exciting events, including Mask Making Mondays, Tye Dye Tuesdays, and Wild Montana Wednesdays. While the kids are busy laughing and crafting, parents can spoil themselves with a couple hours of complete relaxation at the Solace Spa and Salon, which offers guests body treatments, facials, massage therapy and more.
Awake and enjoy food at some of the mountain’s mouthwatering dining options, including Pizza Works, where families can munch on some cheesy pizza rich with the tastes of Italy.
Red Lodge, Mont., is home to Red Lodge Mountain, a perfect vacation destination for skiing and snowboarding families of all different skill levels. It is decked out with more than 70 trails across two summits, including bunny hills for the kiddies and beginners, long, windy dream weavers, chutes, glades for those daring enough, and steep guys for the brave!
In addition, there are many different ski programs offered for children ages 3 to 12 and 13 and up, including private and group lessons. On-mountain amenities are endless and include a rental and equipment repair shop, shopping, and a long list of dining options like the Midway Chalet where families can take a quick break in between their activities and enjoy a juicy burger in front of the huge stone fireplace.
Teton Pass Ski Area
Near Choteau, Mont., is a 400-acre ski resort in the Lewis and Clark National Forest, ideal for families looking to adventure in the great outdoors for a few days. This resort is otherwise known as the Teton Pass Ski Area. It caters to kids especially well by offering them both private and group lessons taught by the ski area’s highly trained staff and wide enough trails to learn on. The 400-foot Carpet Conveyor isn’t so bad either!
End each day at the main lodge just above the car park before leaving the premises, or have a cocktail at the Waldron Creek bar until 6 p.m. while sleepy kiddies replenish their sore bodies with some yummy foods.
Whitefish Mountain Resort
Whitefish Mountain Resort, located in Whitefish, Mont., provides families with a calm, cool, and collected atmosphere for their next vacation, as well as affordability, some serious skiing, and even summer fun! It has a little something for skiers of all skill levels, including ski/ride school for beginners and terrain parks for the more experienced, tricky kids. We recommend the kids check out the huge Kids Center, where a long list of child care and ski and play options are offered.
Visit Whitefish during the summer months if you’re itching to do some zip lining and alpine sliding, or some world-class downhill and cross-country mountain biking! You can even get a little wet and wild by trying whitewater rafting or teaching your kids how to fly fish — or both!
Families love the delicious desserts at Aunt B’s, which include gooey cinnamon rolls and creamy milkshakes.