Maverick Mountain Ski Area
The legendary heavy snows of southwestern Montana are put to good use at the homey, family-oriented Maverick Ski Area (406/834-3454, www.skimaverick.com, Thurs.–Sun.), where the vertical drop is 2,120 feet. Maverick Lodge offers lessons, rentals, day care, and food; cross-country skiers are welcome. A lift ticket is only $26 per day, $18 for children, or $18 adults on nonholiday Thursdays and Fridays, but there are only 18 runs and one real lift. A shuttle bus leaves from the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot in Dillon at 8:15 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays during ski season ($4).
Many skiers come up for the day from Dillon, but the closest lodging to Maverick is the Grasshopper Inn (406/834-3456, $55–75), at the base of the slopes beside the near–ghost town of Polaris. The Grasshopper has motel rooms and a fairly basic restaurant (dinner $8–22).
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition