Guest post from TBEX North America 2019 Sponsor, Glacier Country Tourism
It’s in the name—Glacier Country—so it stands to reason that Western Montana’s glacial-carved terrain is pure bliss when covered in a blanket of pristine white snow. This life-size snow globe of alpine adventure and charming mountain towns—like Whitefish, Missoula and Kalispell—is especially magical in winter. Snowcapped peaks, miles of deep untouched powder and acres of backcountry terrain, plus winter festivals and warm, cozy lodging all make for the perfect winter getaway. And Glacier National Park—that’s just icing on the cake. The park is open all year long, and this time of year it transforms into an epic winter wonderland.
More than 300 inches of fresh powder fall on Western Montana’s Glacier Country each winter, making this a mountain mecca for snow enthusiasts. Seven downhill ski areas dot the region—from all-inclusive resorts to local, family-friendly hidden gems. Discover excellent snow, diverse terrain and plenty of après ski activities, but note that you won’t find crowds, high-priced lift tickets or long lift lines.
Snowmobilers delight in this powder paradise. Western Montana is a mountain mecca where sled heads turn on the power for steep climbs, flat trails and acres of breathtaking backcountry. Glacier Country’s gorgeous and expansive winter terrain offers an unforgettable sledding experience for both beginners and experts, with multiple trails crisscrossing the region.
Winter in Western Montana isn’t only for downhill dreamers and powder plungers. It’s also for paradise seekers looking for a peaceful escape in a frosty forest of white. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and venture onto trails and into backcountry quiet places that might otherwise not be accessible this time of year. This family-friendly snowsport is one of the simplest ways to cover ground in a Glacier Country winter. The region also boasts an endless system of Nordic, cross-country and skate ski trails. Taking it slow allows you to get up close and personal with the wonder of winter here. You can also mush through Montana on a dog-sledding excursion, or embark on an enchanting sleigh ride with a soft blanket, a warm drink, and post-ride fireside splendor.
Western Montana’s quintessential mountain resort town of Whitefish and hip arts and culture hub of Missoula both offer world-class winter recreation among jaw-dropping snow-covered landscapes, plus robust culinary, art and live music scenes combined with friendly lodging and warm western hospitality to round out the allure of these vibrant destinations.
The quaint ski village of Whitefish gives you access to slopeside, ski-in ski-out adventure and lodging at Whitefish Mountain Resort, and this little mountain community puts on one of the state’s biggest winter parties at the wildly fun Whitefish Winter Carnival. This much-anticipated community event draws folks from far and wide for mid-winter revelry. For something altogether unique, try the Whitefish Ski Joring World Invitational. If you’re not familiar with skijoring, it’s time to get in on the excitement.
Winter in Missoula lets you take in the local charm of this funky mountain town, without missing out on any of the outdoor action. Powder-loving visitors can ski or snowboard a different hill each day for 5 days straight, and always make it back in time for dinner and a show downtown. Adventure-seekers can snowshoe through winding trails, fish frozen lakes, or even try their hand at ice climbing up Blodgett Canyon. Every February the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival makes its way to Missoula, and the Winter Brewfest proves that Montanans really do celebrate local beer all year long. Nearby luxury resorts, like Paws Up and The Ranch at Rock Creek, offer world-class western winter experiences, while quirky downtown lofts sit in the center of Missoula’s city life.
Another way to winter in Montana? Warm up with local whiskey and local brews. You’ll find more than 30 breweries, plus multiple distilleries, wineries and cideries across the region. Take a brewery tour, indulge in a beer flight, savor exquisitely distilled spirits, or pull up a taproom barstool and discover why Western Montana is wildly fun in the winter.
Are you planning an autumn visit to Glacier Country? Check out the Top 6 Ways to Fall for Autumn in Western Montana