Great Divide

Ski resorts in USA
Those looking to ski or ride in Big Sky Country can get their fix at the Great Divide ski area, north of Helena, Montana. The winter venue rests near the continental divide, beginning as an alpine trail for the 1942 Northern Rocky Mountain Ski Races. It is locally owned and is often the first winter resort to open each ski season.

The Helena Regional Airport is the closest airfield for those looking to fly into the area. Motorists traveling from afar can use Interstate 15 to get to Helena, with Montana State Highway 279 providing access to the mountain.

Nature Made, with Some Help

Some moisture from the Pacific Northwest makes it into Montana, but the Rocky Mountains present a natural barrier that prevents it from going further east. Resting near the continental divide means that the Great Divide ski area will get some of that moisture in the form of snow. The annual average snowfalls on the mountain are 150 inches. A robust snowmaking system supplements the snowfall, allowing the ski area to open earlier than others in the state and to build up the terrain parks that make riders and skiers flock here.

The Great Divide also has a reputation as Montana's "sunniest skiing destination," offering better chances at hitting the pow under the glare of the sun. Temperatures can still fluctuate quickly on the continental divide, so visitors will do themselves a favor by dressing in layers.

Facilities at the Great Divide ski area include Huggin's lodge, the Missing Lynx Saloon, and the Base Lodge. Ski bums wanting to travel light can rent equipment on-site, and newbies have access to qualified teachers for lessons. The closest lodging accommodations are 20 miles away in Helena, where other amenities for travelers staying for more than one day on the slope are.

Terrain Parks Galore!

The peak elevation of the Great Divide ski area rests at 7,330 feet atop Mount Belmont (Rawhide Peak is 7,150 feet). Guests have 1,500 feet of lift-serviced vertical to create their day's experience. Skiers and snowboarders have 1,500 acres of skiable terrain to select from, with 40-percent of the slope dedicated to blue ratings and intermediate ski bums, while newbies have 15-percent of the runs rating green for their pleasure. The rest of the terrain breaks down as black diamond or double diamond ratings for the rippers and shredders with advanced and expert skills to carve.

The lift system on the Great Divide slopes consists of five double chairs and a surface tow in the beginner areas. An Uphill travel route is available for those wanting to explore outside of groomed areas at the Great Divide ski area. Uphill travelers must watch out for the snowmaking guns and hydrants found in these areas, as they become obstacles when carving the pow.

The Great Divide is known for its terrain parks, with six areas offering a progression in terrain features and skill levels. Rowdy and Ruckus parks introduce guests to beginning-level features, while Rascal and Revenge increase the challenges for intermediate skiers and riders. More advanced terrain is provided by Wildwood and Rodeo parks.

Great Divide Snow forecast

  • Friday
    0.04 in rain
    Sun/clear sky
    3 mph
  • Saturday
    0.08 in rain
    Sun/clear sky
    4 mph
  • Sunday
    0 ft
    8 mph

Facts about Great Divide

Number of slopes:110
Easiest Green slopes:10
Intermediate Blue slopes:50
Advanced Black slopes:50
Expert Only Double black diamond slopes:0

Lifts (Total: 6)
Chair lifts:5
Platter lift:1
Lift capacity:  2750 persons/hour

Vertical drop
Great Divide Vertical drop
Highest Point: 7329 ft
Vertical drop: 1581 ft
Base Point: 5748 ft

Country: USA
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Trail map

Trail map Great Divide

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