Written by Lauren Hillestad
The holiday may have season has passed, but the snow is still fresh and out to play here in Montana! We put our heads together and came up with our favorite ways to enjoy this winter wonderland we call Missoula. Visiting and need some gear? Not a problem: The Trail Head and Bob Wards are great options for rentals.
Missoula has not one, but four ski resorts in under 2 hours. Lookout Pass, Discovery and Lost Trail deliver fun terrain and well over 200 inches of snow annually while the closest resort, Snowbowl, is a quick 30 minute drive to some of the steepest slopes around.
If downhill skiing is a bit too vertical for your taste, grab some cross country skis and hit the local trails. No lift ticket needed—most of your favorite trails in the summer transform into beautiful cross country skiing territory with a little snow. Some trails are groomed where others are dog-friendly, so be sure to check posted signs as you take off on your adventures.
Lace up at Glacier Ice Rink, Missoula’s nonprofit ice skating arena. When figure skaters and hockey players aren’t practicing the rink opens up for public skate, and holds fun events such as Family Day. If you are looking for some outdoor skating fun, Pineview Park up the Rattlesnake has an outdoor skating pond when weather conditions allow, too!
Take a quick 35 minute drive outside of Missoula toward Paws Up Resort, where magic meets mountains and life feels like a storybook. Hop on a horse-drawn sleigh, grab the hot cocoa and enjoy the ride.
Here in Missoula we love a good hike, rain or shine (or snow). It’s the time of year when the iconic “M” on Mount Sentinel becomes camouflaged behind a layer of snow, but that doesn’t stop people from getting outside. Bundle up, strap on a pair of snowshoes or cramp-ons and head for the Rattlesnake, Pattee Canyon, or Blue Mountain recreation areas. Not all trails are dog-friendly in the winter to account for elk migration territory and groomed ski trails, so be sure to heed posted signs.