Snowbowl is an alpine ski area located 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Missoula, Montana.
It is known for long expert "bowl runs" such as West Bowl. The resort is built off a peak named Big Sky
Mountain, which has a summit elevation of 7560 feet. Accommodations and lodging might be sparse on the mountain but the vacation rentals, condo rentals and chalet rentals indeed available are rustic and welcoming.
Laying just a short hop from downtown Missoula, Montana Snowbowl is a wonderful ski area that is affordable, receives plentiful snowfall, is laid back and has a wide variety of excellent skiing terrain.
Many accommodation, vacation rental, condo rental and chalet rental options are available in and around Missoula.
The ski area itself only has two chairlifts, both double-chairs. The first chairlift, the Grizzly Chair, takes you from the base area up to the ridge beneath the summit. To get to the summit, you then have to ski down a fairly flat cat-trail that leads down the backside of the bowl. From here, you pick up a second chair, called the LaValle Creek double – which will take you to the summit. While on the summit, you get both a great view of the Bitterroot Valley
and the Bitterroot Mountains.
The ski area has a very nice and functional base lodge
, with a few smaller buildings housing the ski patrol and ski rental facilities. And, somewhat surprisingly, Montana Snowbowl also has some limited slope-side accommodations, vacation rentals and chalet rentals available.
The Snowbowl Lodge offers cafeteria-style dining in the Double Diamond Cafe on the lodge's upper level. A big central fireplace adds ambience. The Last Run Inn has sit-down dining for lunch and dinner and a good selection of regional microbrews. Many more vacation rental, chalet rental and other accommodation options and dining choices, as well as nightlife and shopping, are just down the road in Missoula.
Missoula is located along the Clark Fork and Bitterroot rivers in Western Montana and at the convergence of five mountain ranges, thus is often described as being the "Hub of Five Valleys".
It is also refereed to as the "Garden City" and known as the state's cultural center. There are countless activities, events and historical places to explore in and around Missoula.