The History of Bridger Bowl
Skiing enthusiasts have enjoyed the area known as Bridger Bowl since the mid 1940’s. Motivated by this early
State of Montana negotiated with land owners, and
in 1949 purchased 120 acres for access to the Gallatin National Forest and a proposed state
park and ski area.
rope-tow was installed in
1951, but the Bridger Mountain State Park struggled and never really materialized. Undaunted,
local ski enthusiasts organized themselves and continued with plans to develop a winter sports area.
The Bozeman State Park and Recreation Association was formed in 1954, and through the efforts of over 60
original platter lift was opened to the public in January of
1955. The organization was granted 501(c) (4) Nonprofit Status with membership open to Montana
residents 18 years of age and older. The association’s name was changed to the
Bridger Bowl Association in 1971 and continues on today.
upper platter lift was added providing access to the North Bowl, Avalanche Gulch and Bronco
Face. The lower platter lift was replaced by a T-bar in 1958.
Over the years, Bridger Bowl has become known for developing some of the nation’s best skiers and boarders, who
“cut their teeth” as
Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF),
Eagle Mount, Ski P.E. and MSU ski program participants.
As the popularity of skiing at Bridger Bowl has increased, so has the need to improve the existing area and add
new terrain. In response, the
Alpine Riblet chair lifts were built
in the 60’s.
Direct lift access to the South Bowl was provided with the Deer Park,
Pierre’s Knob and
Virginia City Riblet chair lifts which were added
in the 70’s.
Ridge skiing was opened to the public in
1973 with a few “hard-core” locals enjoying the backcountry-like conditions.
The Deer Park A-frame chalet built in 1959 was replaced in 1996 by today’s large post and beam structure. The
original lower base area chalet, built in 1967, was replaced in
1988 by the
Jim Bridger Lodge.
The Jim Bridger Lodge offers food and beverage service, equipment rental, retail sales and the Bridger Bowl Ski
School, significantly improving guest services. Limited snowmaking was introduced in 1991. The first stairway
from the parking lot to the Jim Bridger Lodge was added in 1994.
With the addition of the
Sunnyside Quad Lift in
1995, the Alpine and Bridger lifts were shortened from the bottom up thereby increasing lift
capacity 40%. The
beginner’s area with the Snowflake Lift was added in
2000, and the Pierre’s Knob lift was upgraded to a CTEC triple chair in 2001. In
2004 Saddle Peak Lodge opened. Other improvements that year included the new Ski Patrol, Eagle
Mount and BSF facilities.
In 2006 Bridger Bowl purchased a chair lift from Snowbird Ski Resort for our lift-served terrain expansion to
the south. The new
Schlasman's Lift opened in December
added 311 acres of lift-served ridge terrain for expert skiers only to the ski area.
2010 Bridger and Deer Park lifts were removed and a
new Bridger lift was constructed to service upper mountain terrain. The old Alpine lift was
sold to Mount Spokane in the summer of
2013 and replaced with two
new triple chairs, Alpine and Powder Park, opening up more access to terrain on the north side
of the mountain.
During the summer of
2014 Alpine Cabin was constructed providing restroom facilities, light lunches and outstanding