Moonlight Basin Ski Resort :
Basin is Montana’s newest ski area, opening for business
during the 2003-2004 ski season. As such, when I ventured
out to Moonlight Basin in March 2004, I had absolutely
no idea what to expect when I arrived. Indeed, I wasn’t
even sure where it was!
I finally did manage to find Moonlight Basin, I must say,
I was fairly impressed – considering how new it is.
The Moonlight Lodge is absolutely gorgeous. And the skiing,
while not exactly stellar, wasn’t bad, either. Moreover
and more importantly, during the 2004-2005 ski, Moonlight
opened up to lift served skiing some excellent advanced
skiing that had been previously "cat-skiing only."
Basin Vital Statistics
lift served (5500+ including Big Sky)
ft. Lift Served
of Lifts :
including one six-person high speed quad
Beginner, 27% Intermediate, 54% Extreme
event you have never heard of Moonlight Basin Resort, it
is located on the northern edge of Big
Sky Resort – in Big Sky, Montana. This has obvious
benefits in that you can ski Moonlight Basin one day and
then quite literally ski over to Big Sky Resort on another
day. Indeed, Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Resort actually
share a chairlift – the Iron Horse Quad.
I first visited Moonlight Basin, lift tickets were very
affordable...just $30. Sigh...who says there isn't inflation?
Today, they are $55 (2008 season), owing, no doubt, to
the expansion of terrain and the resorts tendency to attract
upper-income skiers. You can also buy a pass that is good
at both Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin for $93.
setting for Moonlight Basin is absolutely gorgeous. Moonlight
Basin sits on the northern and western edge of Lone Peak – which
is the main peak at Big Sky Resort. The views of the mountains
and the surrounding area are absolutely wonderful.
to Moonlight Basin is just as easy as getting to Big Sky
Resort. Just follow the road up from the town of Big Sky
until it ends. Moonlight Basin lies about 2 road miles
up the road from the entrance to Big Sky – so make
sure you don’t accidentally turn off into Big Sky
Resort by accident (as there is no way to reach Moonlight
Basin from the base area of Big Sky Resort).
main base area at Moonlight Basin is located at the Moonlight
Lodge. The Lodge is a beautiful building with a heated
outdoor pool, a gorgeous view and quite spectacular to
look at when inside. The only problem is that Moonlight
Lodge really is less a “ski lodge” than a hotel.
As such, don’t plan on changing into your ski clothes
inside the lodge or find lockers to store your gear. If
you need a place to change into your ski clothes, it is
easier to just park down lower on the mountain at the base
of the Pony Express – using the little “igloo” to
|The "Igloo" at
Moonlight Basin, with numerous condos on the hills
little “igloo”, in case you are wondering,
is a rather sorry excuse for a building that is really
a temporary round tent that is located at the bottom of
the Pony Express chairlift. The igloo right now is used
as a warming hut that also serves a limited supply of typical
ski area food (much better, and expensive, food is found
up at Moonlight Lodge). Hopefully, as Moonlight Basin expands,
they will remove this little igloo and replace it with
a more skier friendly base lodge. Doing so will also keep
bums like me from walking into Moonlight Lodge and changing
into ski clothes right by the hotels front desk!
that’s enough discussion of the area and base facilities
at Moonlight Basin ski resort. So let’s move on and
talk about what is important, which is, of course, the
Basin Trail Map (large image)
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