If you love downhill or cross-country skiing, Red Lodge is one of the best places in Montana to do both. Never been to Red Lodge? Well, the popularity has made Red Lodge famous as a ski town and is an easy trip for many coming from Billings, Montana. During the winter downtown is full of local and visiting ski junkies. What is the skiing like? Where is it located? How can I get ready to hit the trail?
Perhaps the most popular and well-known place to plow some powder is simply called the Red Lodge Mountain. Once arriving in town, it is clearly visible. Driving up the mountain to the lodge only takes about fifteen or twenty minutes. Skiing here is inviting for both novice and experts alike. From four-year-olds, ski racers, terrain park enthusiasts and retired couples, you’ll see it all here. Difficulties range from the slow-going Miami Beach, to the many double black diamonds.
The season usually starts from the last week of November to the mid of April but the exact dates can change depending on snowfall or sometimes negotiations with the forest service. Even if the lifts are closed, feel free to hike the mountain off- season! The same goes for early mornings if you want to be the first one to make tracks down the hill, but it's a tough hike and you will have to beat the locals to it! But remember safety is first, the especially cold days can get as low as -20°F!
There are a total of 70 runs on the mountain and they vary from season to season, with 66 or more typically available each year. Lifts include 2 high-speed quads, 1 triple, 3 doubles and 1 magic carpet for beginners. Best of all, there are little to no lines! Get to the bottom and ride back up right away.
17% of runs are easy, 45% blue average and 38% are black diamonds. The top elevation here is 9,416 ft and can provide some awesome views. Lazy M is the longest run at 2.5 miles. Taking full advantage of the network of lifts will keep you out and about having fun long enough to where coming back to the ski lodge and warming up by the fire is a warm relief. For more information on the current snow conditions and pricing, check out the Red Lodge Mountain website.
Miss the ski season? You might be in luck. The high altitudes of the Beartooth mountains keep snow around all year long. At the Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area, you can get your ski fix from May 27th to July 2nd! It's only 23 miles on the road south of Red Lodge and will take you up one of the most beautiful passes in Montana. See what all they have to offer below.
Located just two miles west of town off highway 78, the Red Lodge Nordic Center offers great cross-country skiing with beautiful views and trails. In fact, there is over 15k worth of trail, so get ready for some exercise. This is a very economic and family fun activity, with children programs offered during the winter season. Visit the B.R.T.A website to find out more.
Get ready for the outdoors by visiting one of our local shops. The Sylvan Peak located downtown will help supply you with all the coats and gloves you might need. Additionally, they offer cross country ski and snowshoe rentals. Just go to 9 South Broadway Ave.
Downhill ski rentals can be found at the Red Lodge Mountain or at The Ski Station located at 510 North Broadway Ave. They also offer the option to buy and have a second location in Billing, MT.
With this you should be ready to go! Get out there and have some fun!