It’s been a long winter which is far from over. These gray snowy days can make us feel like summer will never come or can’t get here soon enough. Here is an idea for a day trip on the next bright sunny day.
Why not head up to the Whitefish Mountain Resort and ride the ski lift all the way to the top for a brilliant change of pace? The trip is under twenty minutes by car from downtown Whitefish. However, many of us prefer to take the Snow Bus which is a free ride up and down. The Snow Bus has various stops and leaves as early as 7:15 a.m. from the Mountain Mall in Whitefish on its up the mountain schedule. Riders can come down from the Mountain leaving the base as late as 10:00 p.m.
Once on the bus, riders can relax, visit, and enjoy the beautiful drive up to the ski resort. At the base of the ski hill day-trippers can purchase a round trip lift ticket which is around $14.00 for and adult and less for children. This cost varies according to age. Seniors over 70 ride free.
The ride up and down is a 2353′ change in vertical feet. The top of Big Mountain is 7,000 feet above sea level. Non skiers can ride either the ski lift which seats two or three or the gondola which accommodates more people as is less breezy. Vicarious thrill seekers should definitely go up and down by chair.
Once on top, there is plenty to do and see. The Summit House itself can be seen on a bright sunny day from the valley floor. Its operation is remarkable dealing with harsh weather conditions to provide amenities to visitors. There is a visitor information room downstairs and a cute little gift shop upstairs along with a bar and a food service facility. I recommend getting a hot or cold beverage and sitting out on the deck because the views of the valley clear to Flathead Lake and Glacier Park are spectacular.
Riding down is easily done. Just go out and stand near where you disembarked. One of the ‘lifities’ will set you comfortably and safely in a chair. Hang on tightly as the descent is thrilling (and steep).
Once you are back down at the base of the Mountain, there is plenty to walk around and do while you wait for the Snow Bus. Or, if you prefer, you could have lunch or dinner at one of the fine restaurants very close to the ski lift.
This time of year is great for having a little adventure and supporting local businesses up at our ski resort.
P.s. Dress warm like you might actually be going skiing!
Source: I live here and have taken this day trip myself