May 28, 2017

Things to do at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana During the Summer: Gondola Rides, Ziplining, and Alpine Slides

Looking over the Flathead Valley, Riding up the gondola at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

Ahh… summertime at Montana ski areas.  What is there to do?!  Resorts such as Whitefish Mountain Resort and Big Sky Resort have fun year-round for visitors to enjoy.

From hiking, gondola rides, alpine slides, bike riding, and ziplining, resorts offer many fun family friendly summer activities!

Last September (2012), we took the gondola ride up Whitefish Mountain Resort.  There are also chairlifts available to ride during the summer, if you prefer the open air and don’t have babies with you, like we did!

Riding up the gondola at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

Riding up the gondola at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

You can buy one-way tickets, so you can hike up and ride down or ride up and hike down.  We usually hike up and hike down, mostly because the gondola only runs between certain hours, and we usually hike in the evenings when it is cooler, so the lift is already closed.

The same goes for mountain biking.  There are many trails, and you can take your bike up on the lift and riding down.  (This is my option of choice, I don’t like riding bikes uphill. 😉 )

A mountain biker riding down Whitefish Mountain Resort, as seen from the gondola in September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

A mountain biker riding down Whitefish Mountain Resort, as seen from the gondola in September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

Mountain Biking Trail as seen from the Gondola on Whitefish Mountain Resort in September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

Mountain Biking Trails as seen from the Gondola on Whitefish Mountain Resort in September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

If you want to hike up Whitefish Mountain Resort, you can follow the Danny On Trail which curves its way up around the side of the ski area, offering stunning views the whole way.  This is also a great place to pick huckleberries and see wildflowers.  Whitefish Mountain Resort says that there are four routes along the Danny On Trail, with the longest being 5.6 miles from base to summit, and the shortest being 3.8 miles.

I didn’t even realize there were so many options to hike.  I am pretty sure I have always taken the shortest route.

Google Earth image of the Danny On Trail on Whitefish Mountain Resort - Image Credit from http://skiwhitefish.com/hiking.php

Google Earth image of the Danny On Trail on Whitefish Mountain Resort – Image Credit from http://skiwhitefish.com/hiking.php

To reach the trail: hike up above Hellroaring Restaurant, and you will see the hike begin to your left.  You can see it carving its way across the bare ski runs.

The top of Whitefish Mountain Resort is an elevation of 6,817 feet.

Since we had our (at the time) 3 month old baby along, hiking was out of the question, so the gondola ride it was.

Gondolas at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

Gondolas at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

Gondola rides are a wonderful way to go.  At Whitefish Mountain Resort, the gondola takes you up Chair 1, with a spectacular view of the entire Flathead Valley.  You can see the town of Whitefish and Whitefish Lake glistening below, and you can follow the Rocky Mountains down to the far end of the valley, where Flathead Lake sparkles in the distance.  You can also see Blacktail Mountain Ski Area just to the right of Flathead Lake as you look across the valley (especially visible in the winter).

The view of Whitefish Lake from the gondola on Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

The view of Whitefish Lake from the gondola on Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

 

My baby and I on the gondola, September 2012

My baby and I on the gondola, September 2012

Once you are at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort, you can see the peaks from Glacier National Park standing tall over the backside.  Stunning.  The weather is great in the Flathead Valley between July – September, so you have a good chance of having a good view during those summer months (and of course on a clear day in the winter).  The only thing that may hinder your view are forest fires, as thick smoke can cover the peaks, as you can see in this picture:

Looking toward Glacier National Park from the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort, September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

Looking toward Glacier National Park from the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort, September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

You can also stop in for a drink and a meal at the Summit House at the top of the resort.

The view from the inside of the Summit House at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

The view from the inside of the Summit House at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

After a ride up the lift, you can then return to the bottom to go Alpine Sliding.  Starting from the bottom of Chair 1, the alpine slide takes you down Chair 6 on a sled where you control your speed.  This is especially fun for the kids.  Whitefish Mountain Resort advertises that anyone from age 1 to 100 can ride the slide — but anyone under 48″ tall has to ride with an adult (and are FREE!).

Alpine sliding at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

Alpine sliding at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

 

Alpine sliding at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

Alpine sliding at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana, September 2012, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

For a video of alpine sliding and information about ticket prices, click here.

Top of Chair 6 ~ The free lift down to the base lodge for food and drink

Top of Chair 6 ~ The free lift down to the base lodge for food and drink

Ski areas in the summer in Montana can be just as much fun as winter, with their range of summer activities for individuals and families.

Warmest Wishes from Big Sky Country,

Alex Neill

Montana Vacation Blog

www.montanavacationblog.com

Looking for information on Whitefish Mountain Resort in the winter?  Read my blog post about what to do in the winter at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

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