Every once in a while we share one of Western Montana’s best-kept secrets. Since 1938, Lost Trail Powder Mountain ski area has been humbly flying under the radar at the very southern end of the beautiful Bitterroot Valley on the Continental Divide. Skiers and boarders straddle the Montana/Idaho border at this local’s favorite. Lost Trail lays claim to some of the deepest snowfalls in the region, offering consistently reliable powder. If you’re looking for a classic Montana ski experience and deep snow, this is the mountain for you.
This family-owned and operated Montana gem—just under two hours south of Missoula on U.S. Highway 93—offers affordable lift tickets for world-class snow. There’s also plenty of space to spread out for all types of skiers and boarders, from beginner to expert. Lost Trail boasts a vertical drop of 1,800 feet and 60+ marked trails on 1,800 acres across two mountains. During ski season, Lost Trail is open Thursday through Sunday as well as major holidays. They also extend their regular days and hours of operation during the holiday season.
Après ski, on your way through the Bitterroot, stop for a soak in the mineral waters at Lost Trail Hot Springs in Sula and then grab a pint at Bandit Brewing Co. in Darby. This little brewery serves up small batches of big Montana flavor, maintaining a reputation for their “immensely drinkable beer.” You’ll also find their taproom staff to be immensely friendly. While you’re in Darby, take in the Old West charm of this quaint Bitterroot town.
In the middle of the Bitterroot Valley, Hamilton is the closest “big” small town to Lost Trail, and here you’ll find plenty of places to eat, drink, shop and stay. Discover multiple breweries, a distillery and a cidery, plus downtown boutiques, cafes and coffee shops.
You can also turn your Lost Trail adventure into an overnight or winter weekend getaway with a cozy and rustic cabin stay at Camp Sula, just 20 minutes north of Lost Trail on the East Fork of the Bitterroot River. Camp Sula offers affordable ski & stay packages for Lost Trail powder play.
If Nordic skiing is more your speed, try the cross-country trails at Chief Joseph Pass, not too far from Lost Trail. You’ll find 13+ miles of groomed classic and skate skiing trails and 19+ miles of multiuse trails for other Glacier Country winter wonderland fun like dog sledding, snowshoeing, fat biking and snowmobiling.
January 20, 2020