RIDGE Mountain Academy is located on a 16-acre campus in Whitefish, Montana. Minutes away from Glacier National Park, Whitefish is a small mountain town that’s big on personality, community, and . . . mountain sports. Travel to Whitefish is easy with flights into Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) located just 15-minutes from town. With a core group of talented teachers and coaches, and easy access to Whitefish Mountain Resort and surrounding areas, Whitefish is the perfect setting for RIDGE Mountain Academy.
Whitefish is home to one of the largest ski mountains in America, a lake, a vast network of hiking and biking trails, a skate park, golf courses, 50 local farms, and 7,436 of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Over the years the town has grown to become a small, supportive community of talented and experienced outdoor enthusiasts who are expert professionals in what they love—skiing, snowboarding, biking, climbing, or running—and love sharing their passions with others.
Highlights of the area include:
Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain
Packing in 300 inches of snow across 3,000 skiable acres, Whitefish Mountain Resort is one of the largest ski resorts in North America. It provides a perfect launching pad for building backcountry skills by offering endless “backcountry” terrain. It is ranked one of the top 25 ski towns in the world by National Geographic Adventure. With 27 miles of single-track downhill and cross-country trails, the resort is also popular in the summer months, having earned the reputation as a righteous mountain bike destination.
Glacier National Park
Located just 25 miles from Whitefish, Glacier National Park is home to the historic Going to the Sun Road, more than 700 miles of trails, a wide range of mountain lakes, glaciers, plant life, and incredible wildlife that include grizzly and black bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, and more.
The Whitefish Trail
On the outskirts of town, the Whitefish Trail is growing network of stacked loops, scenic overlooks, flowy single-track trail, and gated logging roads. The system offers unprecedented access to sweeping views, incredible wildlife habitats, and miles and miles of trails specially designed for hiking and mountain biking. The trail system currently features over 26 miles of natural-surface trail and 7 trailheads. Future trail construction will ultimately create a 55+ mile recreational trail surrounding Whitefish.
Just 4.5 miles north of Whitefish, the 2,500-acre Spencer area is filled with historic user-built trails, gated roads, and infamous freeride features that those in the know have been enjoying for years. For intermediate and advanced trail riders, Spencer Mountain offers 12-15 miles of wooded single track trails filled with steep climbs, fun and fast descents, and some of the most incredible man-made technical jumps and wooden stunts around. Recent renovations and enhancements mean even more flowy fun and excitement.
Flathead and Beyond
The North Fork River flows nearby and less than an hour away sits the Swan Mountain Range. A quick drive north, you’ll cross the Canadian border and find Fernie, Banff, and Roger’s Pass. Backcountry excursions are countless in these unique areas located just a short distance from our campus in Whitefish.
All of these elements—along with our unique curriculum that combines mountain sports, education, and life skills—enable RIDGE to provide an incredible gap year experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.