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Bridger Bowl Skiing & Snowboarding Resort Guide

Just outside of the city of Bozeman, Bridger Bowl is the kind of ski and snowboard area that powder hounds dream about. It’s these dreams of deep “coldsmoke” powder and steep terrain that bring many skiers and snowboarders to Montana State University in Bozeman, one of the best colleges for skiing and snowboarding in the United States. Bridger Bowl is not just for college kids playing hooky, however, the mountain has strong beginner facilities, and terrain for every ability level. Bridger is certainly not a posh and developed ski area like Big Sky, which is on the other side of Bozeman, but without a doubt the skiing and snowboarding are some of the best in Montana, and the United States as a whole.

Mountain Overview

Navigating Bridger Bowl is pretty straight forward, however, it does take some local knowledge to find the best spots. Luckily, the locals are pretty friendly, if you can keep up with them. The difficulty of the skiing and snowboarding gradually increases towards the top of the bottom; beginner access is limited to the lower mountain, while experts will want to head all the way up to The Ridge.

Beginners will want to stick to the Snow Flake, Virginia City, and Sunnyside chairlifts near the base area. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders have more opportunity to explore across the mountain.

Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will find lots of fun cruising and trees around Bridger Bowl. Pierre’s Knob, the Bridger Lift mid-station, Alpine lift, and Powder Park lift all access great intermediate terrain. The trees off Alpine and Pierre’s Knob are a good place to head on low visibility storm days for intermediates and advanced riders alike.

Advanced skiers and snowboarders will love Bridger Bowl, however, most of the best terrain can only be accessed by hiking. Without hiking there is advanced terrain off of the Bridger lift, and Pierre’s Knob lift. Taking the High Traverse to Exit Chute Lower Nose and Zits is a good taste of Bridger Bowl’s tight and technical terrain.

“The Ridge,” is the upper ridge that runs lengthwise across Bridger Bowl. Included in this terrain is the Schlasman’s lift, where access is restricted to skiers and snowboarders with avalanche safety gear, a beacon shovel, probe and partner. There is a ton of amazing skiing and snowboarding to be had on The Ridge for experts, however, it is very easy to get lost or cliffed out (stuck on top of large cliffs). Most of the lines up here are not visible from the lift, so it can be hard to scout out a line. Powder Magazine writer Karin Kirk put it well, saying “The Ridge terrain is difficult to figure out sight-unseen, and following tracks is no guarantee of good judgment. A crowd will gather to watch, photograph, and mock cliffed-out hucksters while they are rescued by ski patrol.” Take it easy until you get your bearings. The Fingers are a good place to start, about a 15 minute hike from the top of Pierre’s Knob lift, the lines are visible from the bottom. There are some hardcore local shredders at Bridger Bowl, make friends and they may let you in on some of the secrets (beer and french fries at the base area Jimmy B’s Bar and Grill help!).

Check out Bridger Bowl's "Ridge Guide" here, complete with maps and safety information.

Mountain Stats & Bridger Bowl Trail Map

Bridger Bowl Trail Map
 Total Skiable Acres2,000 Beginner Terrain 12%
 Base Elevation 6,100' Intermeidate Terrain 28%
 Summit Elevation 8,800' Advanced Terrain 18%
 Vertical Drop2,700'Expert Terrain42%
Total Lifts8Average Annual Snowfall350"

Travel Information & Directions

One of the best parts about Bridger Bowl is how close it is to the city of Bozeman. Driving, Bridger Bowl is only about 30 minutes away. This is great for the local college kids, as well as visiting powderhounds. There are also two shuttles that run from Bozeman to Bridger, both on weekdays and the weekends. The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) is just west of town, and has flights from most major cities. br />  
Travel Resources:

Getting to Bridger Bowl

Lodging Information

There is no on-mountain lodging at Bridger Bowl, which sticks with the mountain’s old-school and community feel. Bozeman is a great place to stay while skiing and snowboarding at Bridger Bowl. The town is fun, has some good food, and it’s much more affordable than other ski and snowboard destinations. Lodging is affordable overall, as there are many hotels built up to serve summer visitors to Yellowstone National Park. Bridger Bowl offers several different “Ski and Stay” packages that include lift tickets and lodging.
Bridger Bowl Lodging Overview
Bozeman AirBnb
Our Snowboards Snowboards for Bridger Bowl
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Local Food Picks

There are a couple on-mountain lodges at Bridger Bowl that are great places to grab a drink or snack in between powder turns. Down in Bozeman there’s a food scene that’s expanding with the town. These options range from cheap college student spots to upscale. Montana Ale Works is a solid and filling spot to get beers and food after a long day on the slopes. For something a bit more sophisticated, Blackbird Kitchen is super tasty, but definitely still won’t break the bank.
Bridger Bowl Dining:

Montana Ale Works
Blackbird Kitchen

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Where to Find Lift tickets to Bridger Bowl?

Along with the laid-back mountain, Bridger Bowl has laid-back prices. Lift tickets to Bridger Bowl are some of the best value of any ski and snowboard area in the United States. Single day tickets are priced low; children and seniors receive deep discounts on Bridger Bowl lift tickets, too. Tickets are available online or at the base area.
Bridger Bowl Lift Tickets

Bridger Bowl Conditions & Weather Information

Bridger Bowl averages 350” of snowfall every winter. This makes for a lot of powder days throughout the winter. Winter in Montana can be extremely cold, so visitors should make sure to check out the forecast and bundle up accordingly. Cold temperatures have one huge benefit, however, high quality snowfall. The powder that falls on Bridger Bowl is light, very light, going by the name of “coldsmoke.” The snow falls so light that it can be difficult to cover up rocks, so be careful for exposed rocks, especially on exposed terrain.
Bridger Bowl Weather Resources

Bridger Bowl Ski Report
Bridger Bowl Forecast
Bridger Bowl is a very fun ski and snowboard area. It doesn’t have the tram, or infrastructure of nearby Big Sky, but The Ridge has some terrain that is tight, steep and technical, something pretty unique to Montana. Combined with deep and light powder, this makes the Bridger Bowl a nice place to take a trip a bit more off the beaten path of other large western United States ski and snowboard areas. Whether you are consider attending Montana State University or just chasing powder turns, Bozeman and Bridger Bowl are certainly worth a look.

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