Getting To Whitefish

Getting To Whitefish

Wagner Custome Skis

Where is the Whitefish Ski Resort?

Whitefish Mountain Resort is located in northwest Montana, USA; not far from the Glacier National Park. A short 8 miles (13km) north of the town of Whitefish, the local town planners made sure that you can’t miss the ski hill by beautifully aligning the main street with the biggest local natural feature – Big Mountain at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

The Whitefish Ski Resort is 22 miles north of the town of Kalispell and 139 miles north of Missoula on Hwy 93 (or two hours south of Fernie in Canada if you prefer that direction!).

Getting To Whitefish

Whether it’s by train (yes, train), plane or automobile, getting to Whitefish is easy.

Flights
Glacier International Airport between Whitefish and Kalispell is only 20 miles from Whitefish Resort and provides easy access from major US and Canadian cities. Direct flights are received from Salt Lake City, Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Las Vegas and Chicago O-Hare. The only downside is that flights into Glacier Airport can be a little expensive.

From Glacier International Airport there are essentially two ways to get to Whitefish Mountain Resort - rental car from all the major chains, or call Flathead-Glacier Transportation (Ph. 406-892 0133). Some of the rental car companies (i.e. Budget) now do one way rentals from the airport to the mountain. With 3 or more people, it’s probably cheaper than a shuttle and allows you do some shopping or whatever you like on the way to the hill.

Driving
By automobile, Hwy 93 is the major artery leading to Whitefish from both Canada and the USA.

Train
Strangely, one can even take an overnight train to Whitefish. It leaves Seattle or Portland in the early evening, then you have dinner, some drinks, go to bed in your sleeper and wake up at Whitefish to be whisked to the mountain for breakfast and first lifts – bravo. Now that is a classy way to get to a ski hill. Too bad I don’t live in Seattle! The train also has a full night/day service from Chicago through Minneapolis which arrives at Whitefish at 9.30pm. Check out the ‘Empire Builder’ line at Amtrak.com.

Getting Between the Town and Ski Resort

Driving
To drive to the resort, head north out of downtown Whitefish on Highway 93 and after 2.4 miles turn right onto the Big Mountain Road and up to the resort. It’s generally a very easy drive. The accommodations provide parking, or for day trippers there are various free parking lots as well as a couple of paid parking lots if you want a rock star car park.

Shuttle Bus
There is a free S.N.O.W. (Shuttle Network of Whitefish) bus that operates between town and the Whitefish Mountain Resort. There are a total of twelve stops from the town of Whitefish to the ski resort between 7.15am and 11pm most nights). The bus stops at all the major shopping centres, movie cinemas, indoor pool/waterslides, the town centre, ice rink and several lodges plus the base lodge and upper village at the resort.

Getting Around Whitefish Mountain Resort

Two shuttles run throughout the resort. The first is the base lodge parking shuttle in the form of either a proper small bus or a cutesy hay ride like covered trailer towed by a truck. These parking shuttles run approximately every 30 minutes.

A village run shuttle bus runs between the base lodge, Upper Village and West Village during ski hours (ie about 8:30am to 6pm or until 9pm when night skiing is on).

Alternatively Whitefish Mountain Resort is compact enough to use the two lower appendages called legs to get around.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

What’s “nearby” when you’re talking powder? To the north, the Fernie Alpine Resort in BC Canada is only 2 hours away. Some smaller ski hills include the excellent Montana Snowbowl near Missoula (2 hours drive south), and the closer Blacktail Mountain (1 hour drive) (note -BYO food to Blacktail as the eating experience there is frightful at best!).
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