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Winter in Montana is a Wonderland!
The scenic mountains of Montana attract a range of recreationists during the winter. Snowmobiling, back-country skiing, down-hill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and ice fishing are some of the ways recreation users enjoy the winter environment.
Snowmobile Trails: 232 miles of designated groomed snowmobile trails and thousands of acres of open play areas.
In Montana, snowmobiles operating on public land must be registered and display decal sticker. Visit the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parksfor more information required for residents and non-residents.
The Montana State Snowmobile Association lists local clubs on their website at: http://www.m-s-a.org/. This web site contains information on groomed snowmobile trails and events throughout the state.
Snowshoeing: The Forest is open to snowshoeing on winter roads closed by snow, nordic ski trails, and frozen lakes and snow covered trails.
Skiing: Ski Areas: Turner Mountain Ski Area North of Libby covers 1000 acres, with 22 named runs. At any given time more than 50% of the runs are groomed.
Nordic Skiing: There are seven areas that offer more than 23 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails.
No attempt is being made, however, to identify all possible Cross country ski areas. Cross country skiers are free to go anywhere they choose on the National Forests.
The slopes are indeed a part of the experience, but they are also the part that can hold hidden dangers. Maximize your safety when recreating outdoors this winter. During winter months, be aware of snow conditions, the potential for avalanche danger, and carry and know how to use proper backcountry equipment including avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe while recreating.
Some events and conditions that can increase avalanche risk:
Rain and Snow: Significant snowfall or rain during the past 24 hours can make snowpack unstable.
Windblown Snow: Windblown snow can load the leeward side of a mountain when it's not snowing.
Rising Temperatures: Rapid rises in temperatures can cause snow to become unstable.
The snowpack as a whole may change not only during the course of the winter season, but throughout the course of a single day, due to changing weather and temperature conditions.
Flathead Avalanche Center
Forest Service National Avalanche Center
To view current and historic snowpack reports for Montana visit the
Natural Resources Conservation Service Snotel information.