Lookout Pass Ski Area

Ski resorts in USA
The Lookout Pass Ski Area stands out instantly thanks to its geographical location instead of geology. It straddles the Idaho and Montana border, which snakes its way through the Rocky Mountains. Runt mountain's northeast slopes sit in Idaho, and travels along Interstate 90 can use exit 0 to access parking for the winter playground.

Anyone flying here can use the larger airports to the west (Spokane International Airport in Washington) or east (Missoula County International Airport in Montana). Chartering into smaller airfields that are closer is possible, but they may lack the ground services needed to get skiers the rest of the way. I-90 is used to get to Lookout Pass from everywhere, including Canadians that use US Route 93 from British Columbia or Alberta.

Slow to Develop Keeps it Cozy

The Lookout Pass Ski Area may have opened in 1935, but it did not install a chairlift until the 1982/83 ski season. That does not mean the mountain lacks facilities, however. A perfect example is Lookout Pass' base lodge, the second-oldest in the northwest with modern expansions to meet today's needs.

The operators of the ski resort work with the U.S. Forest service as they expand operations. A multi-phase project is currently underway that will drastically increase the acres of skiable terrain and provide access to two additional summits.

Basic amenities offered at the lodge include equipment rentals and lessons. The customer-oriented programs break down into groups, privates, and clinics geared to the needs of children or seniors. Lookout Pass Ski Area also runs a free ski school to teach children and teens. It is an ADA-friendly winter resort that offers those with disabilities a chance to enjoy adaptive skiing, and service animals that meet ADA guidelines are welcome.

Lodging is available along the I-90 corridor, with several small communities in Idaho and Montana offering their facilities to visitors to the Lookout Pass Ski Area.

Small Acres Big Snow

There is no snowmaking equipment at the Lookout Pass Ski Area, but the annual average snowfall amounts up to 400 inches (with some 500-plus inch seasons in recent years) have the ski area covered. The snow offers skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels plenty of powder to carve from season-opening into April.

Snowstorms can dump a lot of snow quickly, and the temperatures can get low when cold air drops down from Canada. Guests coming to Lookout Pass Ski Area need plenty of layers, including their balaclava and goggles.

The base at Lookout Pass Ski Area sits at 4,500 feet, and the present summit tops out at 5,650, giving rippers and shredders 1,150 feet of verticle to play with as they explore the resort. There are 540 acres of skiable terrain with 38 named runs and glades. Half of the surface at Lookout Pass Ski Area is rated blue for intermediate skiing. Twenty percent of the mountain is green for beginning powder hounds, while the remaining terrain is 20-percent black diamond/10-percent double diamond. A handful of chairs move folks around, and two terrain parks offer fun outside of the pow.

Lookout Pass Ski Area Snow forecast

  • Friday
    0 ft
    Sun/clear sky
    5 mph
  • Saturday
    0 ft
    Sun/clear sky
    1 mph
  • Sunday
    0.04 in rain
    Duggregn / sol
    3 mph

Facts about Lookout Pass Ski Area

Number of slopes:38
Easiest Green slopes:5
Intermediate Blue slopes:18
Advanced Black slopes:12
Expert Only Double black diamond slopes:3

Lifts (Total: 4)
Chair lifts:4
Lift capacity:  3200 persons/hour

Vertical drop
Lookout Pass Ski Area Vertical drop
Highest Point: 5650 ft
Vertical drop: 1152 ft
Base Point: 4498 ft

Country: USA
Show all ski resorts in Idaho

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Trail map

Trail map Lookout Pass Ski Area