Mount Ellis Academy students and faculty have a unique legacy in Bear Canyon.

The Bear Canyon Ski Area has drawn students from all over North America and the world, provided work for students when open to the public (1971-79), and is central to many colorful memories of life at Mount Ellis Academy. You might say it’s the thread — no, the tow rope — that pulls generations and decades of alumni together. 

Since purchasing access in 1959 from the Bozeman Ski Club, Mount Ellis Academy has continuously operated Bear Canyon Ski Area as a resource for students, and a commercial operation from 1971-79. As annual lease payments increase, Mount Ellis Academy’s operating budget is strained.

The Bear Canyon Ski Area Endowment Fund provides a way to address the financial needs before they become problematic.  A fully-funded $300,000 endowment will pay the current annual lease; more will facilitate ski hill maintenance and facility upkeep. Just 300 people willing to pledge $1,000 over the next three years will fund the endowment, but every gift is important and appreciated. The math is easy and so is donating.


Memories of Bear Canyon Ski Area.

Several alums share anecdotes accumulated from their time at Mount Ellis Academy skiing at Bear Canyon Ski Area.

Laugh with their memories and remember your own experiences and tales of “old days.” Bear Canyon holds a special place in your history and it continues to influence Mount Ellis Academy students in similar ways today. 

Choose your trail.

Each gift of $500 or more will be listed on a special sign post at Bear Canyon to commemorate everyone’s support.

if you wish your gift to remain anonymous, please indicate.

For every $50,000 raised towards the $300,000 goal, two of the 1971 ski lift chairs will be restored and hung on a mini-lift around the Walikonis Trail on campus.  The first 12 gifts of $10,000 or more will also receive a naming opportunity for a chair.

Yes, I can help.