Slow moving traffic lines heading up Bridger Canyon is nothing new on powder days. God help you if you're driving up on a weekend powder day. Your chances of getting a place to park and enjoy your day of skiing are dwindling. There ARE things we can do to alleviate the parking issue, but my faith is not that high.

Photo - Bridger Bowl
Photo - Bridger Bowl

There's a bus. There's carpooling - with carpooling parking lots. There are bribery prizes being awarded by Bridger for those that do carpool. There are days with deeply discounted lift tickets for those that have "Three On A Wheel". There's a Bridger Parking Lot Webcam. I'm not quite sure what else Bridger Bowl can do.

Parking at Bridger Bowl has always been fairly limited, and on a powder day with tons of snow that needs to be moved, there's even less available. It's just basic physics. Which leaves it up to the rest of us who love skiing at Bridger to find more solutions and do better at the carpooling/taking the bus thing.

THE BUS TO BRIDGER BOWL: "Bridger Bowl contracts with First Student for free bus service to and from the mountain. Pick up and drop off locations in Bozeman are at the SUB at MSU and the Gallatin County Fairgrounds at the Park N' Ride lot on Oak Street." You can see the full Bridger Bowl Bus Schedule here.

The Cold Smoke Commuter Challenge

Carpool or take the bus throughout the 22/23 ski season and log your trips on GoGallatin to be eligible to win some sweet prizes including: (1) an adult season pass for the 23/24 season or (2) a sustainability goodie basket.

CARPOOLING: There's no nice way to put this, but we suck at carpooling. Yes, there are some responsible, dedicated, and thoughtful Bridger goers who almost always pack their car with friends before heading up the mountain. Sadly, that is NOT the majority.

Parking at Bridger Bowl is currently free, and they DO dedicate an entire prime lot to those who do carpool, participate in youth ski school, or have a disability. Cool thing to do, but it's no longer enough space. (My gut says that the entire Bridger parking facility could be filled by proper carpoolers on a powder day, let alone the yahoos who drive up solo or double.)

Is it time to charge for parking if your vehicle doesn't have three people in it? Nobody loves the idea of charging more, but we absolutely have to incentivize carpooling more. There's just no room to grow the lots. (Even if there was a way, would that be a good thing for the Bridger Bowl experience on the mountain? Not sure about that. Capacity is capacity.)

If charging vehicles who don't carpool to Bridger Bowl isn't the answer, what can be done to make the experience of our hometown ski hill better for all? (Don't get me wrong, I'm not stoked on parking charges but what else can be done?)

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