Winter Safety, Skiing, and Snowmobiling
Cross-country skiing at Chief Joseph Pass.
NRCS Link for Snow Survey Data
Montana SNOTEL 7-Day Snow Depth Report
West Central Avalanche Center
Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center
Forest Service National Avalanche Center
Ski Areas - Downhill
Two ski areas, Discovery Basin and Maverick Mountain, offer downhill skiing in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
Discovery Basin, west of Anaconda, is open seven days a week, phone: (406) 563-2184.
Maverick Mountain, northwest of Dillon, is open Thursday through Sunday, phone: (406) 834-3454.
Ski Areas - Cross-Country
For cross-country enthusiasts, there’s a groomed 24-kilometer ski trail system at Chief Joseph Pass, west of Wisdom and just east of Lost Trail Pass on Montana Highway 43. Trails are groomed weekly by the Bitterroot Cross-Country Ski Club.
There are also about 20 miles of ungroomed cross-country ski trails near Georgetown Lake and Discovery Basin Ski Area. Parking for these trails can be found at Discovery, Red Lion snowmobile parking area, and the Red Bridge Boat Launch at Georgetown Lake.
Georgetown Lake is west of Anaconda and there you’ll also find several sites that are plowed for day use: Red Bridge, Grassy Point, Comers Point, Sunnyside, and the Piney Boat Launch and Philipsburg Bay Boat Launch.
Cross-Country Ski Trails in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
Chief Joseph Area Map - map
Chief Joseph Cross-Country Ski Trails - map
Georgetown Lake Cross-Country Ski Trails - map
For the snowmobile enthusiast, there are trails around Georgetown Lake and east of the Deer Lodge Valley. At Georgetown Lake, there are about 90 miles of trails and east of Deer Lodge you’ll find some 85 miles of trails. The trails are groomed by the Anaconda and Deer Lodge snowmobile clubs. In the Butte area in Elk Park there are about 40 miles of groomed trails that connect with trails east of Deer Lodge. The trails are groomed by the Mining City Trail Riders.
For trail conditions or snowmobile trail brochures for the Pintler, Jefferson, and Butte ranger districts are available by contacting the districts. Contact the Jefferson Ranger District for snowmobile trails maintained by the Helena Snowdrifters.
The Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway, between Wise River and the upper Grasshopper Valley, is now plowed in the winter and makes a great snowmobile tour route. Call Forest Service offices in Dillon (406) 683-3900 or Wise River (406) 832-3178 for more information. Pioneer Mountains Snowmobile Routes Map
Snowmobile enthusiasts also enjoy ungroomed high-country opportunities in the Gravelly Range, southwest of Ennis. Call our office there at (406) 682-4253 for more information.
Many other trails can be linked to by visiting our List of Snowmobile Trails.
Visit our Snowmobile Ethics and Safety page to read about avalanche awareness, environmental considerations and other topics.