Red Lodge, Montana

Elevation: 5568 FT

Population: 2483

County: Carbon

Red Lodge is a resort and ranching community with a colorful coal mining past that sits in the shadow of 28 different 12,000-foot peaks. This charming alpine town is nestled in the foothills of the magnificent Beartooth Mountains and is surrounded by the Custer Gallatin National Forest. The scenic Beartooth Highway winds from Red Lodge to Yellowstone National Park, offering travelers the most scenic route into the park. Experience dramatic switchbacks overlooking snow-capped peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes and plateaus on what is considered one of the most beautiful drives in the country. Idyllic downtown Red Lodge is home to a historic hotel, a brewery, bars, shops, restaurants and true western hospitality.

When it’s time for big mountain fun without big mountain crowds or prices, skiers head to Red Lodge Mountain. Snowpack is king at Red Lodge, offering 1600+ acres and 2,400’ vertical drop. Montana skiing, pure and simple. Pick your pleasure—powder days at Red Lodge last a week and you won’t find any lift lines here. Ski your heart out. Tip: Take the Willow Creek chairlift to the Midway Chalet for lunch and enjoy views of five mountain ranges.

Find your home away from home at one of the town’s unique lodges, like the historic Pollard Hotel in downtown Red Lodge. In 1893 the hotel was the town’s first brick building, and today it offers the same western charm complemented by modern amenities. Red Lodge Mountain and the Pollard offer special packages for guests looking to hit the slopes.

There’s a whole lot of history packed into Carbon County, and much of it is showcased at the Carbon County Museum in downtown Red Lodge. More ways to play include planning your visit around the Art in the Beartooths, a local fundraiser that has been bringing painters together to showcase area art, raise money for the Carbon County Arts Guild and Gallery and celebrate the region’s talented artists for almost half a century. In the summer, enjoy summer skiing at its best! Yes, we said summer skiing. The Beartooth Basin summer ski area hosts the Summer Shredfest, a freeride competition to see who can find the most daring line. The weekend includes outdoor films and inspiring Shred X talks. Songwriters from around the country gather in Red Lodge for the Annual Red Lodge Songwrites Festival featuring multiple performances and songwriters. You’ll find spontaneous picking sessions taking place throughout town all weekend. At the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary, visitors can view native Montana wildlife housed at the sanctuary because it can't be returned to the wild.

True Story

Red Lodge may very well be Montana’s most haunted town. From the widely reported paranormal activity to the sheer number of UFO sightings, in kind of makes you wonder. Most of the paranormal activity seems to happen at the Pollard Hotel. Incidentally, in 1897, guests of the hotel witnessed the Sundance Kid rob the bank across the street.

Trip tip

The historic Roman Theater opened its doors in 1917, and it hasn’t skipped a beat since. Catch a film at the Roman on an average night or plan ahead and visit Red Lodge during music events like their yearly Winter Festival Concert. Also, the Red Lodge Farmers Market takes place at Lions Park Fridays 3:30 ¬– 6 p.m. July through September.

Live Like a Local

Top off a day on the slopes with dinner and drinks at Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company. After you’ve finished your last run of the day and made your way back to town, enjoy local eats and craft brews. There’s something extra special about sipping their Beartooth Pale Ale with an up-close-and-personal view of the Beartooth Mountains.

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