Bridger Bowl, Montana
Nearby Big Sky Resort, the largest in North America, gets all the accolades in the region. But Bozeman locals almost universally prefer this big-mountain resort, 45 minutes northeast of town. And Bridger is big in its own right, with 2,000 skiable acres and 2,700-feet of vertical. It also gets walloped with snow — more than 350-inches annually. The resort has plenty of easy runs for beginners, but almost anyone who comes to Bridger with expert skills, sets their eyes on the Ridge, with its steep chutes, rock cliffs, and snow fields. It is some of the most challenging skiing within any ski area boundary (skiers must have an avalanche transceiver). The resort is also a non-profit and the tickets reflect it: Adult lift tickets are just $52.