Montana Snowbowl
Montana Snowbowl
Montana Snowbowl
Location within Montana
Montana Snowbowl
Montana Snowbowl
Montana Snowbowl (the United States)
LocationMissoula County, Montana
Nearest major cityMissoula
Coordinates47°01′N 114°00′W / 47.02°N 114.0°W / 47.02; -114.0Coordinates: 47°01′N 114°00′W / 47.02°N 114.0°W / 47.02; -114.0
Vertical2,600 ft (790 m)
Top elevation7,600 ft (2,315 m)
Base elevation5,000 ft (1,525 m)
Skiable area950 acres (3.8 km2),
lift served, skiable
Runs39
Longest run3 miles (5 km)
Lift system3 double chairs
1 T-bar, 1 rope tow
Snowfall300 inches (760 cm)
Websitemontanasnowbowl.com

Montana Snowbowl is an alpine ski area in the western United States, located in the Lolo National Forest of western Montana, twelve miles (20 km) northwest of Missoula.[1] It is known for long expert runs such as West Bowl and its throwback operations; there is no significant base development, its two lifts are vintage Riblet double chairs; the access road is significantly improved as of 2011, but still unpaved.

Montana Snowbowl is also known for its steep runs and a 2,600-foot (790 m) vertical rise. The Grizzly Chair ascends 2,000 feet (610 m) from the base area and the midmountain LaVelle Creek Chair tops out at 7,600 feet (2,315 m), below Point Six summit.[2][3] When the resort first opened in December 1962,[4][5] it was promoted as having the most vertical in the Pacific Northwest.[6]

Geography

Montana Snowbowl's base is centered on Butler Creek, a tributary of the Clark Fork River west of Missoula. The west side of the Butler Creek valley includes Television (TV) Mountain. topping out at 6,817 feet (2,078 m).[7] To the west of TV Mountain runs La Valle Creek, which is also tributary to the Clark Fork River.[8]

Access to the Montana Snowbowl begins at exit 101 of Interstate 90 on Grant Creek Road which parallels Grant Creek, one valley to the east from Butler Creek. Grant Creek's source is on the west flank of Murphy Peak (which is just north of Point Six Peak).[9][10]

Park Expansion

In the spring of 2011, the area and the Lolo National Forest released plans to greatly expand the area by adding several chairlifts, more parking, and a new mountain restaurant. Part of the expansion would be on to slopes on TV Mountain which were home to the original Snow Park ski area, but later abandoned.[4][5][11][12] The Snow Park expansion opened in January 2020.

The ski area often opens with weekend skiing in early December, with more regular lift operations in mid-December and extending into the new year. From late June to early September the area operates one lift on the weekends for hikers and downhill mountain bikers.

References

  1. ^ "Montana Snow Bowl Ski Area". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ "Point Six". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  3. ^ John Nelson (December 20, 2018). "Big ski country: For fresh powder, jumps and local beer, hit the slopes in Montana". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Williams, Dick (December 30, 1961). "Missoula area promises great future ski slopes". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 9.
  5. ^ a b Williams, Dick (January 1, 1963). "Snow Bowl new, impressive". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 13.
  6. ^ Stan Cohen (December 1, 2016). From TV Mountain/Snow Park To Missoula/Montana Snowbowl. Pictorial Histories. p. 144. ISBN 978-1575101743.
  7. ^ "TV Mountain". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  8. ^ "La Valle Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  9. ^ "Grant Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  10. ^ "Murphy Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  11. ^ Williams, Dick (November 25, 1958). "Missoula doubles skiable acreage". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 10.
  12. ^ Rob Chaney (November 7, 2018). "Snowbowl expansion delayed, Whitefish plans released". The Missoulian. Retrieved February 9, 2019.