Montana’s best winter activities – that aren’t all skiing
Winter in Montana is a harsh but magical season. A winter hush descends upon a landscape so cold that even sound seems frozen. But for those well equipped and with a certain level of experience, Montana offers incredible ways to get out and explore its stunningly beautiful mountain terrain.
Whitefish and the surrounding Flathead Valley is unbeatable for almost every kind of winter activity, as is the Gallatin Valley between Big Sky and West Yellowstone. For pristine backcountry skiing and snowmobiling, plus access to Yellowstone National Park, remote Cooke City is a great in-the-know destination.
Explore the planet’s most surprising adventures with our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox.
1. Snowshoe, ski and spot wolves in Yellowstone National Park
Winter is many people’s favorite season to visit Yellowstone National Park. There are almost no crowds, the geysers are at their steamiest and the frozen landscapes are simply stunning.
Yellowstone National Park has two main areas to visit in winter. From West Yellowstone, snowcoach tours shuttle to Old Faithful, from where you can make ski or snowshoe excursions around the park’s geyser basins, before a hot chocolate and overnight at the cozy Snow Lodge.
Further north, the park entrance at Gardiner and its road to Cooke City are the only ones open to cars during winter. This opens up a host of snowshoe and cross-country ski trailheads around the Mammoth region, some of which are served by snowcoach drops.
Planning Tip: The wildlife spotting in Yellowstone is legendary in winter because it’s easier to spot animals against the white background. For an unforgettable opportunity to lock eyes with a Yellowstone wolf, sign up for a wildlife-spotting trip with an expert local company like Yellowstone Wolf Tracker.