Great Divide Ski Area :
Base Lodge at Great Divide Ski Area
Divide Ski Area is a place that is just full of surprises.
Located off the continental divide about 25 miles from Helena,
Montana. Great Divide has excellent skiing and snowboarding
over an exceptional variety of terrain that covers more than
1600 acres. This very large size makes Great Divide one of
the largest ski areas in Montana! Moreover, Great Divide
is one of the most affordable ski areas in Montana, with
lift tickets costing less than $30. So, what do you get by
combining a fine trail network, affordable prices and a huge
size? A superb day of skiing, that’s what!
Divide Vital Statistics
of Lifts :
doubles, 1 surface.
Beginner, 40 Intermediate, 45% Advanced
at Great Divide is excellent. The huge size of the ski
area provides for a ton of terrain diversity. Great
Divide has a beautiful mix of open bowl skiing, steep bump
runs, glade skiing, groomed cruisers and more. This ski run
diversity pretty much guarantees that you will not get bored
during a day of skiing at Great Divide – or several
days of skiing for that matter. Indeed, about the only terrain
not found at Great Divide are chutes and the extreme steeps.
Great Divide Ski Area Map (full view) (large
Great Divide itself is built on a mountain called Mt. Belmont,
which has a peak elevation of 7330 ft. As the mountain is
the tallest around and because the terrain is quite open,
you get a great view from the summit. In particularly, you
get a great view of the valley and the mountains east and
other nearby mountains, including the Elkhorn Range.
Divide is lacking in anything it is, unfortunately, snow.
You see, Great Divide doesn’t get pounded with
snow like other ski areas in Montana do. As a ski patrol
person told me, it is not uncommon at all for huge snowstorms
to be raging right around the mountain, with the ski area
itself basking in mid-winter sunshine. And this weather phenomenon
shows up in the average snowfall for Great Divide, which
is only 150 inches.
150 inches isn’t a lot of snow in comparison
to other Montana ski areas. However, it is more than enough
to provide a solid base to ski on during a normal winter.
Additionally, the snow Great Divide receives tends to be
pretty light and fluffy owing to its location on the east
side of the continental divide and its elevation. And, because
the crowds are generally quite light, this powder can lay
undiscovered in the glades for many days after a snowstorm.
this lack of snow has a positive flipside – Great
Divide gets lots of sunshine over the course of the winter – much
more so than what is found in most other ski areas in Montana
(especially those further west, like Montana Snowbowl). If
you want to ski “in the sun” in Montana, Great
Divide is a great place to do it.
from the summit at Great Divide Ski Area, seen
during late spring in a low snow year
to Great Divide is pretty easy. Just follow the signs.
Basically, to get Great Divide from Helena follow
I-15 north out of town. Get off the Interstate at exit 200,
Lincoln Road (Highway 279). Then head west 10.5 miles to
Marysville Road. Look for a Great Divide Ski Area sign along
side the road and/or the road marker for Marysville Road.
These signs are located on the left or southern side of the
highway. Turn on Marysville Road and then drive 7 miles to
Great Divide, going through downtown Marysville in the process.
Note, pay attention after mile marker 10 (set your trip odometer),
as the sign and road that leads to the ski area off of Highway
279 is easy to miss if you are “admiring the scenery”(which
is very nice) instead of closely looking where you are going.
It happened to me so it undoubtedly can happen to you, too!
Parking at Great Divide is free, like virtually every other
ski area in Montana, and is abundant except on the busiest
of weekends. The lodge at Great Divide Ski Area is also very
nice, being roomy, comfortable and in general making for
a perfect place to change into your ski clothes (instead
of doing it in your car). The lodge also has a very nice,
large deck that is used for barbecues during warmer weather.
that’s enough about how to get to Great Divide
and other general stuff. Let’s take a look at what
really counts – the skiing.
Next Page : Skiing at Great Divide Ski Area
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