Guys Getaway: WhiSKI Tour of Montana's Yellowstone Country
Montana's Yellowstone Country is ideal if you're looking for a killer ski vacation. With three stellar yet unique resorts close to one another, you can experience all three within one trip. And, if your group is whisky fans, we've got some recommendations for après ski!
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport has twenty-one nonstop flights to cities around the country. With service from nine major airlines, getting to Yellowstone Country is easier than ever. We suggest renting a 4wd or all-wheel drive vehicle, and hopefully, there will be so much snow you'll need it! If you bring your skis, you can head straight to Red Lodge. However, there are plenty of ski shops in Bozeman that rent gear if you want to save the hassle and rent equipment once you are here. Individual ski areas also have rental shops, but if you're looking for more high-performance gear, you should explore the options.
Red Lodge Mountain
Red Lodge is one of our favorite towns in YC. Tucked up at the base of the Beartooth Mountains, it is still a small town and a low-key ski area, but both pack a punch. You'll find all levels of terrain, gorgeous views, and a laid-back Montana vibe. If you visit during the spring, the patio at the Bierstube is a local favorite.
You can't go wrong at Carbon County Steakhouse for dinner and a good whisky. Their cocktails are traditionally inspired, with a creative touch added to make them interesting, such as the Honey Sage, made with Big Horn bourbon, fresh sage, honey & lemon juice. The food is delicious as well. If you like steak, the Cowboy Coffee Ribeye is a real treat. Seasoned with a signature blend of spices and served with a sweet-spiced rum coffee sauce.
For a more casual dinner, try Red Lodge Ales. One of the original Montana breweries, they've been at it since 1998 and turn out some great beers, along with burgers, sandwiches, and some tasty bar bites.
Bridger Bowl Ski Area
Bridger Bowl is known for turning out some of the OG extreme skiers, such as Scot Schmidt and Tom Jungst. The reason is simple; Bridger has some of the best inbound, extreme skiing in the nation. The Ridge, accessible by hiking, offers some incredible snow, steep chutes, and technically challenging runs. (You'll need avalanche gear, available in their rental shop.) If you're not an expert skier or want to avoid hiking, Bridger also has significantly advanced, intermediate, and beginner terrain. This mountain is a local favorite – you'll know you're in a ski town when you ski, Bridger.
The dining and libations in Bozeman are exceptional. Bourbon (bourbon and BBQ) has a vast selection of whisky and turns out some delicious BBQ. Also, watch their schedule for events like country line dancing, and live music. Copper, a restaurant and whisky bar, has a cozy atmosphere and a delicious menu with a wide range of options. They also have a great happy hour with $5 bourbon drinks Mon-Fri, 3-5 p.m., and all day on Sunday!
Bozeman is also home to three distilleries, Bozeman Spirits, Wildrye Distilling, and Dry Hills Distillery. Their tasting rooms not only sell the libations by the bottle, but they also mix up some great cocktails!
Big Sky Resort
Big Sky Resort is known for being just that, big. You'll have plenty of elbow room with 5,850 skiable acres and 4,350 vertical feet. Big Sky also has one of North America's most technologically advanced lift systems, with several enclosed lifts with heated seats and fast speeds. In addition, a new tram is under construction and slated to open for the 2023-24 season! Allow plenty of time for exploring; you'll be hard-pressed to ski the whole thing!
For dinner, the iconic and wildly popular Buck's T-4 is known for bringing people back to eat more than once during their stay. In addition to great beef, they also serve elk and bison, and while they are known for their wine list more than their whisky, the Very Old Fashion is done very well.
Horn and Cantle at Lone Mountain Ranch also have an exceptional menu, with unique dishes such as wild game Bolognese and chicken fried quail with cornmeal waffles and maple bourbon sauce.
If time permits, we suggest wrapping up the trip with a soak at Bozeman Hot Springs. After this much shredding, your muscles will thank you!
For more trip planning ideas, order your free travel packet.