Eddie S

Putting on skis
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109
Location
Seabrook, TX
Has anybody here skied Red Lodge Mountain in Montana? I know it is not a "destination" mountain, but rather more of a place for locals. I'm not planning a dedicated trip there, but that area is one of a handful on my retirement radar. Having ski slopes nearby is just gravy on top of the other qualities I like about that area of MT. From the little I've read, it offers some decent runs, small crowds and affordable prices, but suffers from old, slow lifts.

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful season!

Cheers
Eddie
 

Crank

Out on the slopes
Skier
Posts
1,177
Spent a long weekend there back in 1992 with a work friend who had bought a few acres in the hills between the town and the mountain. I remember some nice terrain and 3’ of powder with no competition and fresh tracks all day long. Very friendly locals too.

Lost track of my old friend and wonder if he ever built his place and moved out there. Look for a Tom Murphy.
 

SShore

Resident Curmudgeon
Skier
Posts
491
I haven't skied there but talked with a lot of people on the lifts at Big Sky from Missoula that ski Red Lodge as their home mountain. The general consensus is that it is a fun, laid back uncrowded place to ski but that the snow isn't as good as it is at Big Sky (to be fair, not many places were this year). I've been through the town of Red Lodge and liked it very much. It is on the wife and my list for a long weekend visit this summer. They have a community of potters there that are apparently putting out some really cool stuff and we want to go check it out.
 

Bad Bob

old n' slow
Skier
I haven't skied there but talked with a lot of people on the lifts at Big Sky from Missoula that ski Red Lodge as their home mountain. The general consensus is that it is a fun, laid back uncrowded place to ski but that the snow isn't as good as it is at Big Sky (to be fair, not many places were this year). I've been through the town of Red Lodge and liked it very much. It is on the wife and my list for a long weekend visit this summer. They have a community of potters there that are apparently putting out some really cool stuff and we want to go check it out.
Suspect you actually meant Billings, the nearest city to Red Lodge. The 2 cities are about 350 miles (5 hours in Montana speak) apart. To my shame, I have never skied there either, bad Bob! Must fix this shortfall.
 

SShore

Resident Curmudgeon
Skier
Posts
491
Suspect you actually meant Billings, the nearest city to Red Lodge. The 2 cities are about 350 miles (5 hours in Montana speak) apart. To my shame, I have never skied there either, bad Bob! Must fix this shortfall.
Thank you oh wise fixer, I did mean Billings. I made the same mistake yesterday telling my wife she may have to take her Volvo to the dealer in Missoula. She wasn't quite as nice as you. She said it is in Billings, you idiot, not Missoulaogsmile And the funny thing is the two cities are like night and day different. They should NEVER be confused.
 

Sibhusky

Whitefish
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2,517
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Whitefish
I'd say that being as Red Lodge is so far from most of the Montana areas and is sort of out there in more the plains area of the state, it gets totally different snow and seasons. The view isn't of soaring peaks and forest, but more arid stuff. Many times seasons that are terrific elsewhere in the state are sketchy at Red Lodge and vice versa. I remember some good cruising and some stuff that was way above my abilities at the time. I went there for races when my daughter was younger and only skied when I wasn't watching the race, so I didn't cover a lot of terrain, but had several visits, all late in the season. I know I liked it better than Montana Snowbowl, but why exactly I don't remember.
 
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focker

Getting on the lift
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514
I'd say that being as Red Lodge is so far from most of the Montana areas and is sort of out there in more the plains area of the state, it gets totally different snow and seasons. The view isn't of soaring peaks and forest, but more arid stuff. Many times seasons that are terrific elsewhere in the state are sketchy at Red Lodge and vise versa. I remember some good cruising and some stuff that was way above my abilities at the time. I went there for races when my daughter was younger and only skied when I wasn't watching the race, so I didn't cover a lot of terrain, but had several visits, all late in the season. I know I liked it better than Montana Snowbowl, but why exactly I don't remember.
They get a TON of people from ND, SD and MN going there for long weekend ski trips. I imagine the weekdays there are about as uncrowded as a ski hill can get. The weekends might be a different story though.

I have heard, as sib mentions, that their snowfall cannot be compared with almost any other ski area in the country. They get snow when no other western resorts do and don't get snow when most other western places are. Some years are VERY lean there it seems FYI.
 

SShore

Resident Curmudgeon
Skier
Posts
491
What I do remember almost everyone from BILLINGS state is that Red Lodge gets their biggest snows late in the season, usually after the ski area is closed.
 

SShore

Resident Curmudgeon
Skier
Posts
491
What is so strange about weather out here, Cooke City is just on the other side of the mountains from Red Lodge and they regularly get hammered with snow. In fact I don't think that Beartooth Pass is open yet this year.

When we too a snowmobile tour to the Canyon in Yellowstone this year, the guide was telling me that they don't really recommend touring on the east side of Yellowstone Lake in the winter because the weather there is so much worse than it is on the west side. We're talking what, 10 to 20 miles difference max and the weather is completely different.
 

fatbob

Making fresh tracks
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Posts
2,400
Don't have any experience of the ski area but having stopped in town a couple of times quite jealous of anyone retiring there.
 

Talisman

Out on the slopes
Team Gathermeister
Posts
554
Location
Gallatin County
What is so strange about weather out here, Cooke City is just on the other side of the mountains from Red Lodge and they regularly get hammered with snow. In fact I don't think that Beartooth Pass is open yet this year.

When we too a snowmobile tour to the Canyon in Yellowstone this year, the guide was telling me that they don't really recommend touring on the east side of Yellowstone Lake in the winter because the weather there is so much worse than it is on the west side. We're talking what, 10 to 20 miles difference max and the weather is completely different.
The difference between the Meadow Village and Resort at Big Sky is only a few miles and the weather can be very different with sun or rain in the meadow and a full on snow storm a few miles away.
 

Fuller

T shirts & flip flops...
Skier
Posts
586
Location
Whitefish or Florida
My Whitefish pass included 3 days at Loveland and 5 days at Red Lodge so last year we fashioned our route from FL to stop at both locations. It snowed about 8 inches the night before so it was relatively crowded but we had a lot of fun for one day before moving on. It was still early season conditions and their only high speed quad (Palisades) was not running due to the water rights restrictions on that part of the mountain. A lot of the terrain was above my pay grade and I would say that they don't suffer from over grooming. Nice vibe

The town has a rustic appeal with a few good restaurants and I would definitely go back if given the chance.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Eddie S

Eddie S

Putting on skis
Skier
Posts
109
Location
Seabrook, TX
Paging @Fuller and @Gerry Rhoades

It was years ago last I was there, but I enjoyed it. Nice little town, too.

But you should probably tell us what kind of skier you are and what you like.
Hello, Sibhusky. Thank you for your reply! I'm a casual skier, happy with simple, plain fare. Wolf Creek rather than Aspen, for example. At 61, and just a modest intermediate skier, I'm not looking for ski mountain to retire to, but having one near a destination I love would be an added bonus. I'm a big fan of the Red Lodge/Fishtail area of Montana, and having Red Lodge ski area nearby is a happy lagniappe.
Cheers!
 
Thread Starter
TS
Eddie S

Eddie S

Putting on skis
Skier
Posts
109
Location
Seabrook, TX
Sincere thanks to you all for your helpful and interesting replies! If I do retire to Red Lodge, you all have a place to stay for a ski day there.
 

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