Cross-Country Views of Montana
|As popular as downhill skiing is in the Treasure State, cross-country (aka Nordic) skiing is steadily catching up to its more adventurous counterpart. The trend is obvious throughout Montana as new Nordic ski centers pop up each winter and more and more trails are groomed in the forests sprouting throughout the state. Offering a unique way of experiencing Montana’s winter beauty, cross-country skiing is appropriate for people of all ages and experience levels. Try it out for yourself at one of these great ski areas geared especially to this increasingly popular winter sport!
B Bar Ranch in Emigrant
Known for its impeccably groomed trails, the B Bar Ranch offers 30 km of Nordic fun maintained daily. The trails are groomed for both skate and classic skiing, and snowshoers are welcome.
Bigfork Community Nordic Center in Bigfork
The Bigfork Community Nordic Center opens its arms to Nordic lovers every winter from late November through early March. The center offers 7 km of groomed trails perfect for classic and skate skiing. Snowshoers are welcome.
Big Mountain Nordic Center in Whitefish
Recognized as the premier downhill skiing destination in northwest Montana, Big Mountain has expanded its offerings with a separate Nordic Center. The center provides 16 km of classic and skate skiing trails suited to individuals of all abilities. In addition, 2.5 km of trail are maintained strictly for snowshoers.
Bohart Ranch 16 miles northeast of Bozeman
Bohart Ranch is professionally groomed and recognized as the 2002 National Olympic Qualifier host. Skiers of all abilities will find 25 km of scenic trails that wind through both National Forest and private land. Snowshoers are welcome but are asked to stay off the groomed Nordic tracks.
Elkhorn Hot Springs in Polaris
Breathtaking views await along Elkhorn Hot Springs’ 20 miles of groomed trails ideal for classic track skiing. The trails are well-marked, and skiers can relax in the area’s hot springs after playing in the snow all day.
Glacier Nordic Center in Whitefish
Each winter, the Whitefish Golf Course is turned into a Nordic paradise as the Glacier Nordic Club grooms 12 km of trails for both classic and skate skiing. In addition, Glacier Nordic Center opens a special 3 km lighted trail for night skiing.
Holland Lake Lodge in Swan Valley
Holland Lake Lodge’s 11 miles of groomed trails is quickly proving to be one of Northwest Montana’s most popular Nordic destinations. The trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing and feature outstanding vistas of the surrounding Bob Marshall Wilderness Area.
Izaak Walton Nordic Center in Essex
Situated between the scenic Bob Marshall Wilderness Area and Glacier National Park, the Izaak Walton Nordic Center offers 33 km of winter fun. Trails wind through forested terrain near the Flathead River and are groomed for both classic and skate skiing. Snowshoers are welcome, and the season operates from early November through mid-April.
Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky
Lone Mountain Ranch rests in the heart of scenic southwest Montana and was recently rated North America’s #1 Nordic Ski Resort. The ranch specializes in skiing for individuals of all abilities and experience levels with over 80 km of professionally groomed trails. In addition to the superbly maintained trail conditions, the ranch offers beautiful 360-degree mountain and forest views.
McDonald Pass in Helena
Situated in the Helena National Forest under the volunteer operation of the Helena Last Chance Nordic Club, McDonald Pass is known for its exceptionally varied terrain and professionally groomed trail conditions. Trail availability is as follows: 5 km of easy terrain; 5 km of moderate terrain; 2 km of difficult terrain; and 5 km specifically groomed for skate skiing only.
Mt. Haggin in Anaconda
Stretching to the Continental Divide and winding amidst historic logging camps, the Mt. Haggin Nordic Ski Area offers 10 km of groomed trails for both skate and classic skiing. In addition, 10 km of track are set aside specially for classic Nordic skiing.
Red Lodge Nordic Center in Red Lodge
The Red Lodge Nordic Center is nestled at the foot of the scenic Beartooth Mountains in southwest Montana. Featuring 4 km of trail for beginners, 7 km of moderately rated trails, and 4 km of trail geared to advanced skiers, the Red Lodge Nordic Center offers an outdoor excursion for Nordic lovers of all abilities. The classic and skateskiing trails wind through meadows, forests, aspen groves, and over gentle hills. In addition to traditional daylight skiing, the Nordic Center also offers special moonlight skiing on full-moon nights during the winter months.
Wade Lake Resort in Cameron
Wade Lake Resort takes pride in its carefully groomed trails that traverse through the scenic Cliff and Wade Lake areas. Situated in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, the area features 10 km of easy trails and 20 km of trails geared to more advanced skiers. Classic and skate skiing is offered, and snowshoers are welcome.
In addition to the above ski areas, check out these national forests for additional skiing: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Bitterroot National Forest, Custer National Forest, Flathead National Forest, Gallatin National Forest, Helena National Forest, Kootenai National Forest, Lewis and Clark National Forest, and Lolo National Forest. Trail maps and snow conditions are available from the nearest ranger district in each forest.