Snowfall draws powder chasers to Montana, but skiers are not the only ones who will find winter adventures here.
For those who don’t ski or snowboard, Montana offers the ultimate snow day with opportunities to sled through wintry forests, relax in tranquil hot springs, ice fish quiet lakes, and more.
With direct flights from multiple cities—including Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, New York City, and others—getting to Big Sky Country in winter is easy. Here are six ways to enjoy winter in Montana:
One of the best ways to experience Montana’s winter wonder up close is via snowmobile. Experience the rush of riding through spectacular snow-covered terrain. Montana’s Missouri River Country features some of the best untouched powder in the state, giving visitors a chance to see new and exciting terrain. While there are plenty of trails to explore on your own, a guided snowmobile trip with an experienced outfitters makes the adventure easy for sledders of all levels.
Discover a little slice of heaven in one of Montana’s hot springs. These pools of geothermally heated groundwater are the perfect places to relax after an adventure-filled snow day. Home to 13 hot springs, soaking in the healing minerals from these naturally occurring springs will feel like a therapeutic indulgence and the perfect way to unwind. The Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs and Resort is the only hot spring along Montana’s northern tier. The source of Sleeping Buffalo’s hot water is a 3,200 ft. deep well that produces more than 900 gallons per minute of 108-degree water. Enjoy true tranquility as you spend the day relaxing in the resort’s main pool, hot tub, and sauna.
It’s no secret that Montana loves a good brew. Boasting over 80 breweries, creating award- wining craft beer, Montana’s local breweries are the perfect place to refuel and warm up after a day of winter fun. The Billings Brew Trail is a fantastic way to sample some of the Big Sky state’s best brews. This self-guided tour is Montana’s only walkable brewery trail, offering six unique breweries. If beer isn’t your style, the trail also features two distilleries and one cider house.
When temperatures drop, it’s time to fill up your thermos and discover the fun of ice fishing. There are plenty of lakes, ponds, and winter days to experience ice fishing in Montana, but you can’t go wrong with the Fort Peck Lake Reservoir and Recreation Area in Fort Peck. Known as “America’s Best Ice Fishing Lake,” it is Montana’s largest body of water and visitors will find more than 50 different kinds of fish. Grab your gear and go catch the big one before it gets away.
Experience life as a true Montanan at a classic winter rodeo. Montana is home to rodeos throughout the year, but a winter rodeo is truly a unique experience. The most anticipated winter rodeo of the season is the 44th Annual Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals in Great Falls which runs January 12-14. The Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit is the official professional rodeo organization in Montana, highlighting professional men and women athletes from around the state. This highly anticipated event features three nights of exciting rodeo action. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
Experience the magic of the winter season with a peaceful stroll in the woods—on snowshoes. Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to stay active and get outdoors with minimal equipment and expense. Appropriate for all levels and ages, snowshoeing requires little practice. Grab your snowshoes and hit the trails in Makoshika State Park in Glendive. Visitors can rent snowshoes at the Glendive Recreation Department for a hike through the majestic winter scenery.