8 Popular Things To Do In Montana in Winters (2024)
Montana is a winter wonderland thanks to the long and extensive season. Few parts of the state experience 6 months of light to heavy snowfall along with chilling temperatures. While one plans a vacation for winters in Montana, the idea is pretty much estimated for a ski trip. However, to the amazement, there are a lot of fun things to do during winters in Montana, which ski often overshadows. With 49 inches of snow (average) everywhere, one can indulge in several adventures. Or if not those adventures, observing snuggly white Montana has its own charm.
Winters in Montana are harsh but magical. For example, the white and colorful mountains and valleys in Glacier National Park draw wanderers and photography enthusiasts. Or the wildflowers and scenic landscapes of Yellowstone National Park, too, keep the visitors captivated. Or maybe you can get into some Christmas festivities in several Montana towns. So why wait? Here are all the things you can try during a winter stay in Montana. Have a look:
8 Popular and Epic Things To Do in Montana in Winters
1. Try Winter Fat Biking
You may have gone for several bicycle rides in the Big Sky Country, but the fun you need to try is Winter Fat Biking. Fat Biking in the snow is ideal for enthusiasts who chase that adrenaline rush. For experienced individuals, there are a lot of companies offering exclusive opportunities. You may navigate to the Whitefish Bike Retreat that caters beginners to advanced riders. Or the Whitefish Trail and the Lion Mountain Trailhead are also amongst the popular and well-used fat biking routes. All these trails navigate through gorgeous wood, frozen lakes and provide a glimpse of snow-capped mountains. If you are inexperienced in winter fat biking, you can also take a 3-day learning course. The Whitefish Bike Retreat offers the same with male/ female instructors and even accommodation.
2. Go for Carriage Rides in Downtown Missoula.
The holiday season’s favorite, Carriage ride/ Sledge ride in downtown Missoula is a must-try during winters. Especially when the days of sled ride are gone by, this experience is awaiting your way. These free horse-drawn sled/ carriage rides operate in the month of December, ideally when the snowfall starts. You can enjoy them only on Saturdays and Sundays right from E. Pine Street in Missoula. With snowflakes falling on your head, lights lining the streets and park paths, and the Christmas vibes wrapping the Missoula city, everything through these rides is exceptionally gorgeous. Not just that, but the Jingle Bell carols will make you feel present in a holiday carol. The rides generally go from 11 am to 4 pm.
3. Join the Lantern Tours at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.
The Lantern Tours at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula are the ultimate Christmas Eve tradition. These tours operate on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (preferably the first weekend) of December (during the late evening hour). It begins at the Museum’s Main Museum Building, going through both indoor and outdoor spaces. The tours basically focus upon five different living history programs inside five of the Historical Museum’s buildings. On your way of exploration, you will also meet a fascinating cast of characters interacting will all the guests. And at the end, all the participants are served hot cocoa and cookies. Because not all buildings are heated, and there is a lot of outdoor waking as well, guests must come wearing warm clothes.
4. Hop Aboard the Christmas Light Trolley Tours in Kalispell.
The Christmas Light Trolley tour is an hour-long journey and a must to experience in Montana. A heated and enclosed trolley takes up to 20 guests weaving in and around Kalispell’s finest light displays and neighborhoods. The operators choose a slightly different route every year, ensuring everyone gets to see the best city lights. The tours typically begin from the second week of December and go all way through New Year’s Eve. You can either rent the entire trolley for $50 or a single seat for $12. Though in case you happen to miss the tour, you can also cancel them for a full refund at least 3 days prior. Guests joining are allowed to bring along their hot snacks and drinks along.
5. When Bored with Skiing, Go For Skijoring.
Skijoring is a snow sport where an individual on the ski is either pulled by dogs or horses. In Montana, this sport is a mix of tricked-out Skiing and the state’s cowboy culture. It has become so popular in the Big Sky Country that it even hosts the Word Skijoring Invitational annually (in Whitefish) in the month of January. If you are a professional, you can join this event, or if not, you can still come as a spectator. Being a spectator, you can also place bids on the skijorer, the ones you think can win. Skijoring here takes place prior to the Whitefish Winter Carnival. If you happen to stay here for a long, you can be a part of both the events and have the time of your life.
6. Learn Ice Climbing with Montana Alpine Guides
Not everyone loves Skiing, and for them, Montana offers opportunities like Ice Climbing. It is basically ascending the inclined ice formation using ropes, ice screws, and intense mental focus. In Montana, the Montana Alpine guides offer the ultimate Ice climbing courses. They are basically based just outside Bozeman in the Hyalite Canyon. The guides are highly regarded professionals who have worked places including Alaska Range, Patagonia, Rockies, and the ultimate Himalayas. There are close to 150 routes from October through April where you can learn or try your ice climbing skills. This activity, though, will challenge you physically and mentally, but upon reaching on the top of the ice wall, the incredible views around will make it all worth it. When in the ice-climbing mecca of North America, do try the sport.
7. Soak Into One or Many Montana Hot Springs
Montana Hot Springs are the geothermal wonder you have to visit during winters. The Big Sky Country is home to over 60 known hot springs, all worth visiting. Especially when it is all snowy and freezing around, dipping in the hot therapeutic water brings a different kind of comfort and relaxation. Some famous Montana Hot Springs include Quinn’s Hot Spring Resort and the Norris Hot Springs. Or, for a combined hot spring soaking, a day spa, and luxury lodging, visit the Chico Hot Springs. Consider visiting the Elkhorn Hot Springs for a winter hot spring day amidst the woods. The rustic appeal in and around this natural hot spring draws considerable crows throughout the year. Or, if you want to dip in the most natural hot spring, navigate to the Boiling River in the Yellowstone National Park.
8. Why Leave The Obvious Montana Ski Adventure Behind?
Ski excites almost everyone, and when you are in Montana, you cannot deny a day at Skiing. From the extensive acreages to the world-renowned ski resorts, Montana has it. The state is also home to North America’s one of the most popular skiing destinations, the Whitefish Mountain Resort. Or one of the most extensive Ski Zones in the United States, the Big Sky skiing area. Some more skiing destinations in Montana include Showdown Mountain, Montana Snowbowl, and the Bridger Bowl Ski Area. What makes Montana’s skiing popular choices in the west is its affordability. The Skiing season in Montana begins from the end of November, lasting up to the mid of April. The most optimal snow season is from the middle of January to early March, ideal for an ultimate skiing day.