Summer appeals to all of the senses. The sight of colorful wildflowers, multiple shades of green trees, blue lakes and snowcapped peaks of Glacier National Park—all of which can be seen from the summit of Big Mountain. The feeling of warmth from the sun and coolness from the breeze as you ride Chair 1 to and from the summit. The smell of evergreen trees as you hike along the Danny On Memorial hiking trail, and the sweet taste of huckleberries, freshly plucked. The sound of mountain bikes whizzing down a trail, or your kid gigging on the Alpine Slide.
Then there’s the sixth sense. Your sense of adventure.
Summer is the ideal season to unleash your sense of adventure and seek out experiences that are either new, invigorating or both. Up here on Big Mountain, we’ve got plenty of adventure, all of which begins this coming Saturday, June 18 when we officially open for summer!
Let’s start with the one that has adventure in its name: the Aerial Adventure Park. If you have not tried this yet, what are you waiting for? When you’ve looked at it, you thought, “ropes course” which is close, however the Aerial Adventure Park is more recreational. Yes it will challenge you mentally and physically, depending on the degree of difficulty you choose. There are five courses from easy to most difficult so you have the chance to build up to the hard stuff. What’s fun is that you will encounter challenges and then get to cruise from tree to tree on a zip line. If you liked climbing trees as a kid, this will knock your socks off.
From climbing trees to flying above them. Who hasn’t dreamed they could fly? Our zip line tour will give you the chance to live that dream as high as 300 feet. Take in the view, feel the breeze in your hair as you soar across ski runs, through and above the trees on seven different zip lines. We also offer an abbreviated 5-Zip Tour if you’d prefer. It’s an adventure you’ll want to experience with at least one friend or loved one since our zip lines are all in duplicate so you get to fly side-by-side with someone. Don’t be surprised if your fear of heights is overcome by your competitive nature as you challenge your zipping partner to a race across the sky.
If either of these adventures inspired you, please note we offer early season pricing on both through June 30th.
We also offer adventures of another kind for the younger adventure seeker. One milestone for kids around here is reaching the height of 48 inches—the height you need to be to ride the Alpine Slide solo. Not that kids under 48 inches who have to ride with an adult or another bigger kid (approved by a parent) will have any less fun. In fact, they may go faster! If the Alpine Slide isn’t appealing to a child’s sense of adventure, it’s at least appealing to their sense of fun because they want to do it over and over again.
For the younger kids, say age 4 and up, Spider Monkey Mountain offers a place to climb and slide to their hearts content all while their parents camp out on the Base Lodge patio with their favorite summer beverage. This two-story tower designed by geniuses who know how to tire out kids, will give your child a safe place to practice the climbing skills while gaining confidence, two traits they will use when reach they age 7 and can go in the Aerial Adventure Park. Only $10 for the day.
Another fun way to tap your sense of adventure is to spend some time in the forest. The Flathead National Forest surrounds us and provides 2.4 million acres of public land in which to seek adventure. Our mountain offers one of the finest trails around—the Danny On Memorial Hiking Trail. At nearly four miles in one direction, hikers flock to this trail for its wild flowers, huckleberries and scenic vistas as well as the chance to view wildlife (at a safe distance of course).
Families can make this adventure educational and fun by stopping by the Summit Nature Center staffed by US Forest Service Rangers. Ride the Scenic Lift up to the summit and find the Nature Center on the lower level of the Summit House. Children ages 7-12 are invited to become Junior Forest Rangers, and families are encouraged to borrow an Outdoor Adventure Pack from the nature center and explore the outdoors.
If you’d prefer your forest adventure to be accompanied by a guide, you should try Walk in the Treetops. If Indiana Jones got together with Swiss Family Robinson and made a nature tour (minus the spiders and snakes and being stranded on a tropical island) this would be it. Glean knowledge from our guides about our forest’s ecosystem on the half-mile hiking trail, then you’ll wander through the forest canopy on the boardwalk suspended high in the treetops. Must be 54-inches tall with a waist 42-inches or smaller to fit in the harness and reach the safety cable you need to be hooked into for safety.
Finally, last but not least… the Whitefish Bike Park also opens this weekend with the exception of a couple trails where snow needs to melt. New this summer we will add bikes on the Bad Rock lift since we’ve added three new trails in that area. In fact, there’s so much going on down there we’re calling it a zone—the Bad Rock Zone. Advanced riders will find a couple options off that lift and those new to the sport will have a place to begin their adventures in mountain biking. Never tried downhill mountain biking? Nothing says sense of adventure more than trying something new! Starting in July we will offer a “Learn to Downhill Bike” package that includes lesson, bike rental, helmet rental, leg/arm pad rental and lift access all for $99.
Where will your sense of adventure take you this summer? We’re open 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily through Labor Day (September 5) and Friday-Sunday through September 25.