Bozeman is a relatively small town with a population of 54,000. We get millions of tourists every year, primarily in the summer, as we are the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. However, skiing fanatics and lovers of the cold smoke powder are soon discovering that Montana has the best snow for skiing and snowboarding. In the Bozeman area, we have two major ski resorts. Bridger Bowl is approximately 16 miles from downtown Bozeman and caters to the local community. You can see the line of cars headed up the road on a Saturday in December from miles away.
Big Sky Resort is the other major resort near Bozeman and is about 45 miles from town. Big Sky offers some serious terrain with about 4.350 vertical feet, but also offers some runs for beginners and kids at the base of the mountain. It is a vacation destination with all the amenities a tourist would ever want. Just make sure you know what you’re doing on the mountain. Most of Big Sky Resort is not for true beginners. There are high speed lifts that carry six people at a time, as well as The Tram, which takes skiers to the top of Lone Peak for black and double black diamond slopes.
As a die-hard skier and longtime local resident of Bozeman, I ski at both resorts in the winter and love them both for different reasons. However, for the last 26 years or so, I’ve had a season pass at Bridger Bowl. My family also has two lockers at the base lodge, which makes skiing Bridger a no-brainer for me. I love the local vibe, including après skiing around the fire pit at The Griz with my friends and their dogs.
However, when invited to someone’s cabin at Big Sky or entertaining out of town friends who are advanced skiers, I often break-rank and hit the slopes at Big Sky Ski Resort. The expansive terrain at Big Sky is unparalleled. You can ski all day and never repeat a run. On a sunny day, there is no better feeling than being at the top of the Tram and looking over the expansive Rocky Mountain terrain for hundreds of miles.
Another aspect aligning me to the Big Sky side of life is my newly created Big Sky Ski Patrol Jelt belt, made exclusively for their entire team of patrollers. As the Founder of Jelt, I want to go see them #jeitng in action, while their ski pants are staying perfectly in place. Now, that’s a sight for my sore eyes!
So, if you’re visiting Bozeman, I recommend you make the time to hit both Bridger Bowl and Big Sky Resort. They are completely different in style, but both have amazing terrain. And… if you really want to look like a local, make sure to get a Jelt belt for your ski pants or bibs. Whether it’s the Jelt Venture that the Big Sky Ski Patrollers wear, or the rowdy colorful Jelt belts that can be spotted on the groovy skiers at Bridger Bowl, Jelt belts will be sure to keep your pants on all day long.