100 Days Outdoors: Summer Skiing in Montana’s Bridger Range - Backpacker

When I think “June”, I think about rock climbing, bike riding, rafting… you know, activities people do in the summer. I don’t immediately think “snow”, but then again, I’m not from Montana.

Hiking in shorts and a t-shirt with a snowboard strapped to a backpack seems oxymoronic, but sure enough, there we were, in late June, doing just that.

We pulled into the trailhead at Fairy Lake about a half hour outside of the Bozeman city limits at around five, loaded our backpacks with all our gear and started the 2100 ft. climb up Sacajawea Peak. The hike is steep but not insanely tough, yet navigating the scree fields littered with patches of muddy snow wasn’t made any easier with the extra weight of boards and skis in tow.

A few short hours of careful footing and we reached ridge, standing just under 10,000 feet in elevation. The sun was reaching the horizon, and I was wondering why anyone would ever want to leave this beautiful place.

Watch the Week 2 Video of Bridger Bowl

The rock-riddled snow tucked into the shady couloir wasn’t champagne powder, or even all that white anymore, but it was almost July, the sun was setting, and I couldn’t have been happier.