Blacktail Mountain Ski Area is slated to open for its 17th season on Friday, Dec. 16.
The ski area overlooking Flathead Lake plans to be 100 percent open from top to bottom. The operating hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tucked behind Lakeside, Blacktail Mountain has 1,000 acres of terrain available to skiers and snowboarders. There are four chairlifts and a vertical drop of 1,440 feet.
Blacktail offers 15 percent beginner and expert slopes and 70 percent intermediate, creating a perfect environment for families and novices to work on technique or learn in a relaxed environment. Daily lessons are also available.
More than 17 inches of snow blanketed the Flathead Valley in the first 11 days of December and even more snow covered the mountains, officially ushering in ski season.
Whitefish Mountain Resort opened Dec. 7 and continues to expand its available terrain and chairlifts. Almost all of the front side was opened over the weekend, including Chair 2, with more areas expected to open this week. Check skiwhitefish.com for a full breakdown. Night skiing begins Dec. 26.
Turner Mountain Ski Area near Libby is waiting for a little more snow before opening. The nonprofit, volunteer-led ski area is tentatively slated to open on Dec. 23. It will remain open Dec. 23-24, closed Christmas, and then open daily through Jan. 2 before switching to its normal schedule of being open Friday through Sunday. Visit skiturner.com for updates.
Last year the Beacon profiled Turner Mountain in all of its glory.
The Glacier Nordic Center’s 12 kilometers of trail are officially groomed and open for cross-country skiing. The area is located at the Whitefish Lake Golf Club, just one mile west of downtown Whitefish on U.S. Highway 93 West. Visit glaciernordicclub.com to view grooming reports or purchase a membership.
There are also Nordic trails near the base lodge of Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain, three miles down the road from Blacktail Mountain Ski Area, at the corner of Foothills Road and Jewel Basin Road, and at the Izaak Walton Inn.
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