Amen brother! | Photo (+Cover): Bear Paw Ski Bowl

The smallest ski hill in Montana, Bear Paw Ski Bowl near Havre, Montana is a labor of love and a ski destination few have had the pleasure of enjoying.

Related: Montana Ski Area Opens For the First Time In Three Years

Bear Paw is located on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation in a desolate region of the state known as the ‘Hi-Line,’ near US Highway 2 and the Canadian border. The Bear Paw Mountains are an island range, isolated from any other mountains and the ski resort is located near the stunning 6,900 ft. Baldy Mountain.

Ski for free… | Photo: Bear Paw Ski Bowl

At Bear Paw Ski Bowl the patrollers help flip burgers at the concession stand, and busy days see less than 100 skiers. If you can’t muster up the $25 for a lift ticket, women in Bikinis ski for free. The ski area may only be open Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30am-4pm, yet many long time locals are grateful to have a ski hill this close to home.

Ski Terrain:

Although Bear Paw Ski Bowl struggled to open in the past due to weak snowfall, the ski area is still home to some awesome terrain and ski culture. From the double chairlift, skiers unload at 5280 feet where they drop into ‘The Face’, ‘North Bowl’ or the fittingly named ‘Bear Paw’ a decently steep powder bowl that rides unbelievably well after a good storm.

Great terrain on the upper reaches | Photo: Bear Paw Ski Bowl

Among the 24 runs at Bear Paw Ski Bowl, riders can find steep fall lines, fun groomers and even some good ole’ rocks to jump off.

The double chair lift runs 900 feet of vertical with a mid way unload station but the top portion of the mountain is where the fun ungroomed steep conditions can be found.


Opened in 1960, Bear Paw Ski Bowl is a product of volunteers who help to maintain and operate the ski area. Since opening in December of 1960, the ski hill has been allowed to operate on the Native lands in exchange for the employment of 3-4 tribal members as lift operators.

Lift Ticket Prices:

  • 8 & under ski free with a PAYING ADULT
  • 9-17 & College student with ID $20
  • Adult $25
  • Chippewa Cree Tribal Members with ID $15
  • Over 80 Ski FREE
(*Cash & checks only. Bear Paw Ski Bowl does not take credit & debit cards)

Long time mountain manager Dave Martens has been volunteering at the area since 1974. He’s accompanied by ski patrollers and small office staff who work under the non-profit Snow Dance Ski Association.

Mountain Stats:

  • Average Annual Snowfall — 140″
  • Vertical Drop — 780′
  • Runs — 24
  • Chairlifts — 2 (1 double, 1 hand tow)

About The Ski Hill Shoutout

Few of us have had the luxury of learning to ski at mega-resorts like Jackson Hole, Heavenly, or Stowe. Many skiers fall in love with this wonderful winter sport at a local, family-run, ski hill. What these mountains lack in pure acreage and bowl skiing, they make up for with a fun, intimate, vibe with an emphasis of getting families out on the hill. 2018 is a difficult time to run a small ski area and many local mountains are being forced to shut down. Here at Unofficial Networks, we recognize the enormous importance of these ski areas to families. Our Ski Hill Shoutout feature is a way to drive some well-deserved attention to these core, grassroots, hills and hopefully send some traffic their way. Long live the local hill.

Find out more here: Bear Paw Ski Bowl