- Located just 16 miles north of Bozeman is the Bridger Bowl Ski Area. Named for mountain man Jim Bridger, this publicly-owned non-profit ski area seeks to provide the best skiing experience at the most reasonable price. Locals and students crowd the slopes all winter long, and the start of the season is practically a local holiday. Students come to Montana State University because of its proximity to excellent skiing, and a blue light flashes downtown letting everyone know when there is new snow. Bridger Bowl provides superior lessons in skiing and boarding to students of all ages--with some excellent ski packages for adults. Most locals choose Bridger Bowl because of its reasonable rates, close proximity to town, and lack of tourists and destination skiers.
Bridger Bowl has 2,000 skiable acres, 71 runs, and eight chairlifts. The longest continuous run is three miles. The total vertical drop on the mountain is 2700 feet. While more than half of the trails are beginner and intermediate, Bridger Bowl is particularly renowned for its back-country skiing areas along "The Ridge." A chairlift shuttles skiers directly to the Ridge. As the mountain is prone to avalanches, the expert-only areas (and the lift to the Ridge) require skiers to have avalanche transmitters.
Notably, Eagle Mount, a local non-profit, provides sick and disabled children the opportunity to ski with specialized equipment and trained personnel. They have recently begun expanding their program to serve disabled veterans.
Each August, you can join the Bridger Ridge Run across the top of the Bridger Mountains. The twenty-mile trail run is one of the most rugged trail races anywhere.
The ski area is easily accessible by a state highway, and is about a twenty-minute drive from downtown Bozeman. Feel free to catch the free ski bus on weekends. Bridger Bowl has no overnight accommodations on the mountain, but it does have three lodges with equipment rental, dining, and retail areas.
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