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Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

Killarney
Level Contributor
95 posts
56 reviews
Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

Myself and roughly 3-5 others will be heading to Whitefish in either late January or early Feb. for a week long ski vacation. We plan on jumping on the Train in Rugby ND and heading right to Whitefish. I just have a few questions.

1. Are there taxis available 24/7 to get to a hotel or do the hotels have shuttles?

2. Are there shuttles that head into whitefish to pick up skiiers from the hotels or downtown?

3. We are on a budget of about $50 pp per night. So we were looking at either the Hibernation or Western Inn. Is the Hibernation house right on the mountain?

4. how reliable is the train? Do the tracks ever get so much snow on them that the train is delayed?

Thanks for your time and I look forward to any answers or suggestions. Thank you again!

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
Level Contributor
2,054 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

Killaarney,

I have taken the train countless times in the winter to ski in Whitefish. I take family groups from St Paul so to answer your questions...

1.Yes there are taxis but doubtful large enough for your group and all your gear and yes there are hotels with shuttles that will pick you up at the depot and bring you back when you are ready to go home BUT these tend to be a bit more pricey ie Grouse Mountain Lodge and the Lodge at Whitefish Lake. These also have shuttles that go to the mountain 3-4 times each am and pm. Regardless, the hotel you book will give you info on who to contact for shuttle to their place if they do not provide one. Be prepared, it is not cheap.

2.Whitefish has what they call the SNOW bus that has a regular hourly route-free. Quite convenient.

3. Hibernation house is right on the mountain. I have never stayed there but have taken a look at the facility. Clean, basic-kind of like a hostel.

4. The train in winter can be very unreliable. Our trains are mostly on time but over the years have come in any where from 1 hour to nine hours late. We go in March when it is not so cold so have less track freeze problems when the train has to go slower due to brittle tracks. Have heard many horror stories about it being so cold that all the toilets freeze and become unusable. I think that is not rare but not that common either. Consider yourselves lucky getting on at Rugby. Not that long of a train ride.

here's a hint-the time you want to go is really slow in Whitefish. Wait till late November or early December to make reservations. You will get some great deals. Last couple of years Grouse had rooms for 99 bucks a night with your 4th or 5th night free.

Edited: 10:01 am, June 11, 2013
Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Spokane
Level Contributor
3,487 posts
114 reviews
2. Re: Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

above is all great info

Killarney
Level Contributor
95 posts
56 reviews
3. Re: Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

Thank you very much for the information!!

Oddly enough we kind of enjoy the colder season as it empties out the mountains lol.

The reason we are choosing Whitefish this year is we drove in a massive snowstorm last january to get to Big Sky/moonlight last season and we made an agreement to try the train this coming season and only drive to Jackson hole.

Any other tips or advice would be appreciated as well.

Montana
Level Contributor
371 posts
54 reviews
4. Re: Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

There is a new taxi service in town that I believe advertises that they are 24hr. The train from the east comes in at night so I would set up a transfer ahead of time as the snow bus will probably be done for the night at that time. I don't believe that The Hibernation House has a shuttle but WFMR might have something? Staying on the mountain has it's obvious advantages but I would prefer staying in town as there are many more options for entertainment. After about 5:30 or so there ain't much happening up on the hill and if you miss that last snow bus well you're screwed.

Killarney
Level Contributor
95 posts
56 reviews
5. Re: Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

Thanks MHV!

DO you have any recommendations on hotel in the town itself? I know there are a few but I am not familiar with the layout of the town and where the downtown is etc. I would like to be within a short cab ride or walk from entertainment in the evening.

Montana
Level Contributor
371 posts
54 reviews
6. Re: Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

Well as you said there are several options for accomodations in town. As far as right downtown the only hotel option is The Downtowner which is a pretty basic place similar to The Hibernation House but easily walkable to absolutely everything. Another great option that might work seeing as how you are a group is The Loft which is a large condo above the Wasabi Sushi Bar. There may also be many condos and houses available through VRBO in town. Grouse Mountain Lodge is just outside of town but they will shuttle you anywhere you want to go but they may be just outside your budget. To the south of town there are several hotels including Pine Lodge, Best Western and Stumptown Lodge all of which are easily walkable to town and it's a little further to The Chalet Motel and Big Mountain Lodge but not too much further.

Killarney
Level Contributor
95 posts
56 reviews
7. Re: Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

Thanks for the reply!

Im considering just driving as the train tickets will probably cost about as much or more then fuel and it would be convinient to have a 4x4 to get around.

8. Re: Early planning for 2014 Ski Trip. Help needed

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