Lost Trail History - Lost Trail Ski Area
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History of
Lost Trail

Welcome to
Lost Trail Ski Area,
here’s a little history
of Lost Trail Pass.

In early September of 1805, Clark endeavored to follow the Salmon River’s path to the Columbia, only to find himself crossing the challenging Lost Trail Pass. Along with his Shoshone guide, Toby, they journeyed ahead and quickly realized that the tales they’d heard about the Salmon River weren’t mere stories. The river’s treacherous turns gave it the ominous title: “The River of No Return.”

Opting for Lost Trail Pass instead of braving the dangers of “The River of No Return,” Clark and Toby found themselves in a precarious situation. They had hoped to traverse the Salmon River, but with that path closed to them, their only choice was a treacherous mountain pass. Their journey became even more challenging when they lost their way on the Idaho side, leading to several missteps and tumbles for their horses as they aimed for Montana. This harrowing experience gave the pass its memorable name: Lost Trail.

Zooming ahead by 162 years, we find Bill Grasser and his business associate acquiring the Lost Trail Ski Area. In a short span, Bill took sole ownership, ensuring that the ski area remained in the Grasser family. For more than 50 years, under Bill’s vision and dedication, Lost Trail has stood as a beacon of affordable, family-friendly skiing, going against the grain of commercialized ski resorts. Bill’s dream was to offer top-notch snow experiences without burning a hole in the pockets of the local communities of Montana and Idaho. Today, with a legacy of over 80 years, Lost Trail remains a favorite, boasting excellent snow conditions, pocket-friendly ski rates, and a warm, family ambiance and slopes.

Currently, Lost Trail Ski Area proudly stands at an elevation of 7,000 feet, straddling the Montana and Idaho border. Equipped with 5 Double Chair Lifts and 3 Rope Tows, skiers have access to more than 60 defined trails. It welcomes visitors from Thursday to Sunday, as well as on significant holidays. Truly, Lost Trail is Montana’s prized snowy haven. Head there if you’re after the perfect snow experience! Go for the Snow!

an old photo of Two men standing next to a log building at Lost Trail Ski Area.

Bill Grasser, left, and Chuck Shuland, working in the off-season at Lost Trail. Photo: Jim Whitlock

A black and white photo of Lost Trail Ski Area, a ski lodge.

Lost Trail Pass Ski Patrol Building ca. 1969-70. Photo: Jim Whitlock

Plan your visit to Lost Trail today

Whether you’re taking your family out skiing for the first time, racing friends down the mountain, going lone wolf, or getting on the slopes after taking a break, we are committed to keeping skiing and snowboarding affordable and accessible to all. We have a variety of lift tickets, season passes, lessons, and rental options available so you can choose your own adventure.

ski & boarding

Level up your skiing and riding this season with Lost Trail Snow Sports School.

Our top credentialed instructors specialize in teaching those brand new to the slopes and those looking to fine-tune their technique.

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