- Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area photo
Situated right off I-90 on the Idaho-Montana border, Lookout Pass boasts stunning mountain vistas and a mix of terrain that's perfect for families and friend groups with varied ski skills. Thanks to early blessings from Mother Nature, it can also be a prime spot to catch some Thanksgiving weekend turns. Three double lifts and one triple chair access 35 runs and a multitude of glades on 540 skiable acres. The Loft Pub & Grub, located on the second floor of the main lodge, is a cozy spot for that most ironic of snowsports habits: warming up with a cold beer.
Lookout Pass is big on recognizing its patrons' contributions to community, too. Elementary, middle and high school teachers with a valid school ID ski free on Feb. 10 this season. Same goes for active military personnel, police, firefighters, EMTs and nurses on Feb. 24. And if you're hatching birthday plans, keep in mind that Lookout Pass will give you a free pass on your birthday, provided you bring a valid ID or your birth certificate.
What's new: Unfortunately, Lookout Pass' much-anticipated expansion, set to nearly double the resort's size, won't be open this season. But, according to marketing and sales manager Matt Sawyer, Lookout Pass will be open seven days a week for the first time this season, from Christmas through the end of February. The resort is also expanding its children's program on weekends and holidays to include kids ages 4-6. The Mini Moose Program, Sawyer says, will make Lookout Pass even more family friendly. "The key is to give them the opportunity to go out and enjoy themselves," he adds of parents, "while their kids get an introduction to skiing."
Making the most of it: To start, Sawyer suggests snagging a season pass before Oct. 31 to save money and capitalize on the new weeklong schedule. Then there's the resort's new season-long rental program. For $129 (or $159 after Dec. 22), adults can rent ski equipment for the entire 2018-19 season. "You can just pick up the rental at the mountain, take it home, use it all winter and return it at the end of the season," Sawyer says. "It's another way of making skiing affordable and family friendly." Children's season-rental rates start at $99 and increase to $129 after Dec. 22. Sawyer adds that the rented equipment can also be used at other ski areas, translating to significant season-long savings.
Lift passes: Adult midweek full day (18-61), $44; weekend full day, $47; half day, $5 off. Youth and senior midweek full day, $34; weekend full day, $35; half day, $4 off. Discount rates for college students and active military with ID.