With about 300 inches of snow a year, 12 lifts (including three high-speed quads) serving 94 trails, and the pleasant Amtrak-accessible town of Whitefish  at the bottom of the hill, it’s easy to see why people come from all over to ski Whitefish Mountain (406/862-1900, www.skiwhitefish.com , early Dec.–early Apr., $56 adults, $46 seniors and youth 13–18, $30 ages 7–12), which until 2007 was known as Big Mountain.
The elevation at the summit is 7,000 feet, the base is at 4,600 feet, the vertical drop is 2,300 feet, and there are lights for night skiing ($15 for everyone). An entire resort community has built up around the ski area, with several hotels and condominiums, a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a day care center, and ski shops.
Even during the summer, there’s plenty of reason to make the steep, tortuous drive—or bike ride, for the ambitious and low-geared—to Whitefish Mountain.
The Forest Service has an information center in the basement of the Summit House, and on Tuesday afternoons in the summer, hosts an environmental lecture series.
Mountain biking is a big summer activity at Whitefish Mountain. Bikes are available for rent at the resort, and there are 20 miles of single-track on the mountain. An all-day lift ticket for a person and a bike costs $24; a one-ride ticket is $12.
The Whitefish Mountain Nordic Center ($12 trail pass) is just below the main parking lot. Its 10-mile trail network is rather challenging for both winter skiing (including skating) and summer mountain biking.