The Silver Crest Winter Recreation area is an area that provides groomed trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter months. Silver Crest is located off of the northwest corner of the Kings Hill Winter Recreation Parking Area. Ski trails and snowshoe trails are marked accordingly. Please follow signing and trail etiquette when using Silver Crest. No dogs or snowmobiles are allowed on the trail system, and snowshoes are not allowed on the groomed ski trails.
Trail System Maps (the GeoPDF is just the map, and is for use on GPS-enabled mobile device apps that accept that format):
The brochures are also available in printed format at Forest Service offices and many Great Falls sports and outdoors stores.
Silver Crest Ski and Snowshoe trails are maintained and managed in partnership between the Silver Crest Trail Association, the Kings Hill Grooming Association and the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Go to http://silvercresttrails.com/ for grooming and other trail system information.
Please contact the Belt Creek Ranger District Office at (406) 236-5100 for more information regarding winter use and current conditions.
Winter Trails Day, a cooperative effort between Get Fit Great Falls and several partners is hosted at Silver Crest trails. The day includes a variety of snowshoe hikes, and cross-country ski opportunities. It usually takes place in early February, and reservations are required, although all events are free!
Call the Forest Service at 406-791-7700 for more information, or visit the Get Fit Great Falls website.
4700-foot elevation, in the Highwoods Mountains. 12 campsites. Fishing for brook and rainbow trout in Briggs Creek and Thain Creek. Hike up to Windy Mountain and back on a 6-mile loop trail for a great view of the surrounding plains and faraway mountains. Other hikes are along Briggs Creek or on the Highwood nature trail.
8000-foot elevation. 18 campsites at the top of Kings HIll Pass on US 89. In the summer, this is the hub of huge networks of mountain bike trails. If that's a little ambitious for you, try driving up Porphyry Peak to check out the view from the manned fire tower at the top. In the winter, this becomes a playground for downhill skiers, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers, who visit the Showdown Winter Recreation Area or the nearby Silvercrest Winter Recreation Area.
5900-foot elevation. 22 campsites in the canyon carved by Belt Creek in the Little Belt Moutains. Fishing for brook trout in the creek. The Belt Creek Information Center is about 8 miles north of the campground, and trails to the east of the visitor center connect to an extensive trail system.
4500-foot elevation. 25 campsites along Logging Creek, which is more scenic than its name implies. Fishing for brook and rainbow trout in the creek. Trailhead for the Deep Creek National Recreation Trail, which explores the nearby mountains with a network of loop trails, about 5 miles south of the campground.
6 campsites in the canyon carved by Belt Creek in the Little Belt Mountains. Fishing for brook trout in the creek. The Belt Creek Information Center is just to the north of the campground, and trails to the east of the visitor center connect to an extensive trail system.
Managed by the USDA Forest Service, the 25,000 square-foot building includes the permanent exhibit hall, 158-seat theater, an education room for hands-on curriculum-based activities, and a retail store. The center is accessible and offers parking for tour buses and recreational vehicles. Service animals (guide dogs, signal dogs, or any other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability) may be used within the Lewis and Clark Interpretive center.
"The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center imparts to the public a personal sense of President Thomas Jefferson's vision of expanding America to the west; it inspires awe and awakens curiosity toward the challenges faced by the expedition as they portaged the great falls of the Missouri River and explored the 'unknown'; brings to life the daily experiences of the expedition and the environment and native peoples of the 'uncharted West'; and celebrates the indomitable spirit of human discovery we all share."
Map of the Center Area Hiking Trails
Map of the Missouri River Falls (geo pdf for smartphones)
Map of the Sulphur Springs Hiking Trail
Sulphur Springs trail offers a half-day hiking opportunity into Montana native prairie and a step into history, only a short 15 mile drive from Great Falls. Pack a lunch and within 20 minutes you will find yourself in the solitude of native prairie grasses and flowering cacti. This 3.6 mile (round trip) graveled footpath, for hikers only, is along a relatively remote stretch of river and takes the adventurer to Sulphur Springs. Water from Sulphur Springs proved vital in treating Sacagawea's illness during the 1805 portage at Great Falls. The interpretive signs along the trail offer information regarding Lewis and Clark expedition and the later hydroelectric developments. A trail map is available that shows the route to get there from Great Falls, as well as the trail!
Walking trail only, no biking permitted.