Photo Gallery: Backcountry Skiing at Downing Mountain Lodge


If you don’t know about Downing Mountain Lodge, now you know.

Downing has everything you need for the perfect ski trip: Deep snow, great terrain, huge fireplace, lots of beds, wifi, flat screen tv, hot tub, shower, electricity, heat…

I could go on and on about the amenities, but I’ll let you go to their website to see for yourself.

After all, it’s the skiing that matters, and the skiing is killer.

The lodge located in the Bitterroot Mountains just west of Hamilton, Montana.

A short 45-minute skin from the parking lot takes you to the circular lodge, which used to be the Grubstake Restaurant. Upon arriving you can’t help but notice the commercial kitchen you get to cook in.

We arrived to tons of fresh snow, but high avalanche warnings. There is tons of terrain, and tons of safe terrain, which is where we spent our time.

From the lodge, you skin up 2000 feet to the ridge. From there you can lap a number of runs. At the end of the day it’s a long run back to the front door.

The lodge is super kid-friendly and dogs are allowed. The owner runs a great blog with tons of ski beta for the area. I cannot recommend this place enough.

Go now, and thank me later!




   Need another dose of Montana skiing? Check out the Ski it Missoula archive.


Travis Goodkind is the owner of the Missoula business Backcountry Racks & Skis. The Vermont native moved out west after college 10 years ago in pursuit of bigger mountains and has never left. He spends his free time exploring Montana’s mountains, trails, and rivers with wife Julie, son Asher, and black lab Pika. Check out his blog, Backcountry Freeskier, for more powdery goodness.