Blacktail is dubbed the "locals" hill -- as in, it's not Whitefish Mountain, the growing four-season resort across the Flathead Valley. The fact that the two ski areas literally look at each other adds interest but not an unfriendly competition. Blacktail is by far the scrappier of the two, and all the better for it. Unlike most ski areas, the lodge and "base" area are at the top of the mountain, accessed by a 14-mile road that winds uphill from the lakeside town of Lakeside. From the summit, on a clear day, skiers can see Kalispell and the Flathead Valley, sprawling Flathead Lake, the aforementioned Whitefish, and the sky-poking peaks of Glacier National Park. But don't go expecting too much in the way of views since this area gets more than enough snow -- and even if it was sunny, chances are you'll be too busy chasing pow and trail bashing to notice.