This nonprofit ski area may be smaller than its famous neighbor, Big Sky, but Bridger punches way above its weight class in terrain. Spread below a two-mile-long ridgeline, Bridger's 2,000 acres and 2,700 feet of vertical have everything from hike-to chutes to mellow powder shots. And two new lifts added last year spread out the skiers, so there's practically no lift lines. Bridger shines when there's fresh snow, and the locals even have a sort of Bat Signal for it: When a blue light flashes on top of the Baxter Hotel, Bozeman's tallest building, there's new powder on the mountain. Tickets are just $54.
Where to Stay: The Lark is a brand new, modern motel in the heart of downtown Bozeman. It features 38 rooms, a spacious outdoor walkway, landscaped plaza, and covered sitting area with a wood-burning fireplace. Don't miss the vintage Spartan trailer turned food truck parked out front: Victory Taco serves some of the best handmade tacos in the Rocky Mountains.
Inside Tip: Thirty minutes west of Bozeman (an hour from the resort) is Norris Hot Springs. Yes, it's a hefty detour, but soaking in the resort's 38,000-gallon pool of hot mineral water is worth it, as is the live bluegrass and Americana music on the weekends.