Category Archives: Contests

Spring Festivals and Events in Western Montana

Spring is one of the best—and most underrated—times to visit Western Montana. Shoulder season prices are in effect, wildflowers are blooming and wildlife is emerging; the splendor of spring is not to be missed. As the temperatures warm, our vibrant small towns are ready to celebrate spring and the special events and festivals it brings. Whether you’re interested in sporting competitions or food festivals, we have something for everyone. Plan these events into your schedule. You’ll be glad you did.

Glide across the pond on skis or a snowboard at the Whitefish Pond Skim. Photo: Whitefish Mountain Resort

WHITEFISH POND SKIM:

Whitefish Mountain Resort ends each ski season with a splash at the Whitefish Pond Skim. In early April, watch skiers and snowboarders attempt to skim across a man-made pond, avoiding zebra floaties and other obstacles. It’s outrageously entertaining. Did we mention costumes are required?

Dancers compete at the Kyiyo Pow Wow. Photo: Kyiyo Pow Wow

KYIYO POW WOW:

Glacier Country is home to two Indian reservations—the Flathead and the Blackfeet. The tribal nations here often share their culture and traditions through pow wows and storytelling. This spring marks the 51st Annual Kyiyo Pow Wow Celebration in Missoula, mid-April at the University of Montana. Filled with dance competitions, singing and traditional drumming, this gathering is an unforgettable experience for people of all ages.

Get close to the action at the Bigfork Whitewater Festival. Photo: Mike Roessmann Photography

BIGFORK WHITEWATER FESTIVAL:

The Bigfork Whitewater Festival—annually at the end of May—is a much-anticipated event not just for whitewater enthusiasts. This extreme whitewater kayaking competition draws competitors from around the world and spectators have multiple unique vantage points to view kayakers maneuvering through whitewater. Accompanied by a community celebration, this is a fun—and usually pretty lively—event.

Wood chopping, pole climbing, ax throwing and cross-cut sawing are some of the competitions you’ll see at Forestry Day. Photo: Historical Museum at Fort Missoula

FORESTRY DAY:

You’d be hard pressed to find a more authentic timber sports competition than Forestry Day at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. This competition pays tribute to the bravery of loggers and honors Montana’s history. Excitement is palpable during the log rolling, pole climbing and ax throwing competitions. This event includes antique logging equipment exhibits and demonstrations.

Sampling food has never been so easy. Photo: Whitefish Feast

FOOD CELEBRATION:

Glacier Country is home to many world-class chefs and culinary artists; their dishes are inspired by the sheer beauty of our landscapes and pay homage to Montana’s wild places. Feast on flavor at one of the many food festivals that dot the region with deliciousness. Food celebrations let you sample a range of cuisines—from fine dining to comfort food and everything in between.

Taste of Bigfork: end of April

Festival of Flavors: Kalispell, beginning of May

Feast Whitefish: mid-May

Taste of Kalispell: mid-June

Bacon and brew beckon you to Missoula. Photo: Bacon and Brew Fest

BREWFEST:

Glacier Country is becoming known for craft beer. We’re home to more than 30 breweries, after all, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the things we do best is put on an epic brewfest. One of our larger events, Garden City Brewfest in Missoula in early May, boasts more than 70 local craft beers, wines and ciders. Savor the sip, then satisfy any food cravings at on-site food trucks. At the end of April, Missoula’s Bacon and Brewfest pairs two of our favorite things—beer and bacon! Whitefish hosts the Dummy Derby & Winter Brewfest in late March.

Biking is one of the best ways to explore Glacier Country. Photo: Bike Walk Bitterroot

FORK TO FARM:

In early June, the Fork to Farm Bike Tour is a cycling adventure to culinary bliss. This 40-mile bike ride through the beautiful Bitterroot Valley stops at four farms for agricultural tours. Fuel up at each stop on delicious, locally sourced tapas cuisine. At the end of the ride you’ll be greeted with live music, a full dinner, cider and beer.

A treasure trove awaits you at the Creston Auction. Photo: Creston Fire Department

CRESTON AUCTION & COUNTY FAIR:

For a small-town auction experience—one known for bringing in several thousand people—attend the 53rd Annual Creston Auction & Country Fair in early April. Auction items range from Montana made art, goods and wares, to farm and ranch equipment. Montana treasures come in all makes and styles, new and old.

For other celebrated events in Glacier Country, visit our events page.

Warren Miller Can’t Get Enough Epic Montana Powder

It’s no secret that winter in Western Montana is pretty extraordinary. With over 300 inches of snow every year and thousands of acres of awe-inspiring terrain, including six downhill ski areas, it’s most certainly a winter travel destination. But, it’s not just that. It’s a sought-after winter playground for adrenaline seekers and backcountry explorers in search of powder paradise. When you experience a Glacier Country winter, you find the heavenly helpings of snow we’re talking about, and if there’s anyone who knows where to go for the “epic pow,” it’s Warren Miller. For the second year in a row, Warren Miller Entertainment has journeyed right here to Western Montana to take the powder plunge.

A filmmaker for over 60 years, Warren Miller is a legend in the ski and snow industry. He founded Warren Miller Entertainment in 1949—one of the largest, most established and successful action sports film companies today. Warren’s 68th feature film, Line of Descent, celebrates the generational aspect of skiers and riders conquering the ascent and reveling in the descent on some of the world’s deepest lines. The film features some of Glacier Country’s most epic backcountry, merging snowsports with backcountry skiers and a snowmobiler sharing—and crushing—the same terrain. Montana native and professional snowmobile athlete Keith Curtis teams up once again with professional skiers Tyler Ceccanti, Collin Collins and Julian Carr for epic snow play right here in the Seeley Lake area, Bigfork and Polebridge.

Here’s a look…

Warren Miller athletes catch some serious air in Western Montana’s Glacier Country. Photos: WME

Warren Miller’s film tour officially kicks off winter each year, touring the U.S. from October to December. Check out the full schedule here. Attend one of the film’s domestic premieres, and you can enter to win a ski and sled road trip for two in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Glacier Country is one of the main tour sponsors for Warren Miller’s 2017 film. We’re honored, and always proud to represent Big Sky Country. This recognition is a testament to Western Montana’s position as a world-class snowsport destination. Watch the film, then come shred winter with us and see for yourself.

Big Water Boasts Big Adventure

One of Glacier Country’s greatest assets is our rivers. Just the mere mention of Western Montana conjures visions of sparkling waterways winding through some of the country’s most scenic landscapes. Our rivers are wild and free, and they all offer diverse adventures, from fly-fishing to scenic multiday float trips to adrenaline-pumping whitewater excursions. A Western Montana vacation isn’t complete without a day (or more) on the water. 

Whitewater rafting is one of the best ways to cool off on a hot summer day in Western Montana. Photo: Donnie Sexton

As winter turns into spring, snowmelt means our rivers begin rolling at peak volume and vacationers and locals alike flock to Glacier Country for whitewater rafting adventures or lazy, scenic floats (later in the summer).

BITTERROOT RIVER

The Bitterroot River—one of Montana’s more scenic waterways—offers a peaceful float down the panoramic Bitterroot Valley, with views of the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountains. Flow is slow to moderate, which makes for a gentle, pleasant trip, ample wildlife viewing and plenty of fishing. Don’t forget your camera on this picturesque float!

CLARK FORK RIVER’S ALBERTON GORGE 

The Clark Fork River’s Alberton Gorge is a popular rafting destination and serves as a whitewater headquarters in this part of the region. The 16-mile Class III rose-colored canyon stretch is perfect for beginners and families looking to get their feet wet (literally) on a hot summer day. The Gorge is close to Alberton, Superior and Missoula, offering paddlers and rafters adventure on and off the water.

KOOTENAI RIVER

It’s been said that the Kootenai River is as close to the Zambezi as you’re going to get in Montana. This remote northwest corner of Big Sky Country is worth the drive and offers Class I scenic floats on the upper and lower Kootenai River, but adrenaline seekers can navigate the middle Kootenai River for Class IV+ whitewater and a view of the rowdy Kootenai Falls—some of Montana’s biggest water. 

FLATHEAD RIVER

Looking toward Glacier National Park, the Middle Fork of the Flathead is a designated Wild and Scenic River, and all of the West Glacier rafting companies run the whitewater stretch as well as scenic floats on the lower parts of the Middle Fork and the North Fork of the Flathead (also a Wild and Scenic River). The North and Middle forks comprise Glacier’s western borders and offer breathtaking views into Glacier National Park. Whitewater difficulty varies with flow levels, the scenery is unimaginable and the water is an unforgettable crystal-clear aqua. This is definitely one of the most gorgeous parts of the state—and the country for that matter—to be on the water. In fact, Glacier Guides and Montana Raft is offering a half-day whitewater rafting or scenic float trip for two. (Make your way to the end of this blog post for more information.)

The West Fork of the Flathead River runs through West Glacier. Stop on Belton Bridge to catch a glimpse of one of the more peaceful portions of the river. Photo: Emily Hall

GO WITH A GUIDE:

Guided rafting trips are always your best bet and the safest way to exploreWestern Montana’s rivers. If you’re new to rafting, but you’re ready for the adrenaline rush, go with one of Glacier Country’s many experienced rafting companies. Western Montana outfitters and guides customize floats to your comfort level, whether you’re looking for the thrill of our biggest runs, a scenic raft trip or a family float.

Western Montana river guides focus on quality of experience with half and full-day interpretive trips and multiday floats. All of our guides are Montana lovers. They’re enthusiastic, highly trained, professional, friendly and as knowledgeable about the area as they are about how to keep you entertained (not that the scenery alone isn’t capable of that). Some of our guides have happily been at this for over 30 years!

Sometimes one day on the river just isn’t enough. Multiday rafting experiences are offered for those who long to sleep under the star-studded big sky and enjoy steaming, organic coffee riverside in the cool quiet of a Montana morning. If you’re not up for experiencing Montana’s backcountry by foot, overnight rafting is the way to go. Guides do all of the work, from setting up tents to cooking delicious, locally sourced meals, while you sit back and enjoy Montana by boat.  

When you’ve reached the river takeout, end your rafting trip on the best note possible by heading to the nearest watering hole for a local Montana brew and a chat with the locals, who, chances are, also spent the day on the water.

A group of Western Montana adventurer’s make their way through the raging waters of the Flathead River.

RULES OF THE RAFT:

Water is wild and safety is a priority. First and foremost, go with a guide! You’re in good hands with licensed, professional Western Montana river guides, who basically live on the water. It’s important to listen to their instructions…they know what they’re talking about. And, as always, wear a personal flotation device (PFD). Also be sure to wear the right clothing (including a hat) and sunscreen for a hot, sunny day on the water. Bring your camera, and, if you’re getting into whitewater, be prepared to get splashed.

Guide companies rarely ride just one river. To help you sort through your options, here’s a list of some of our region’s finest guides and outfitters, all of whom have made their life’s work out of ensuring your river adventure is second to none.

 


 

Glacier Guides and Montana Raft have been riding Montana’s wild and scenic rivers for 30 years.

RAFTING GIVEAWAY: Glacier Guides and Montana Raft is giving away a Half-Day Whitewater Rafting or Scenic Float Trip for Two, plus, they’ll help outfit you for a day on the river with GGMR Nalgene water bottles, Chums sun/eyeglass retainers, sunscreen, lip balm and GGMR hats!

This contest has closed. Visit glaciermt.com for more giveaway opportunities.

Enter To Win Your Own Montana Mountain (and ski with Tommy Moe)

If you stop and listen long enough, you’ll hear it.

It’s the slow, sweet anticipation of Montana’s winter season. One filled with fresh powder, short lift lines and a rewarding soak in the local hot springs. Basically, the kind of season dreams are made of. This year, I’m looking forward to winter even more than usual. Why? Because we’re giving away a Montana mountain.

That’s right, Glacier Country Tourism is GIVING AWAY Lost Trail Powder Mountain in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley for an entire day. With that comes a private day of skiing for the winner (and 10 of his/her closest friends), lift tickets, ski rentals, food and drinks and a $1,000 travel voucher.

This could be yours. Photo courtesy of Chris Johnson/Lost Trail

This could be yours. Photo courtesy of Chris Johnson/Lost Trail

Oh, and one more thing. The winner will be skiing with Tommy Moe. (As in Montana native and Olympic gold and silver medalist, Tommy Moe).

Just an Olympic medalist shredding down some slopes.

Just an Olympic medalist shredding down some slopes.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “Why in the world are you giving away a mountain and a chance to shred Montana’s sweet slopes with Tommy Moe?”

It’s simple. Winter is awesome. And winter in Montana? That’s even more awesome.

To enter to win your own private day of skiing at Montana’s Lost Trail with Tommy Moe, sign up here or on facebook by October 31, 2013.

Happy shredding,
TT

Fall in Glacier National Park: Enter to Win a Two-Night Stay

This girl has big news for you: We’re throwing a going away party for summer and a welcome party for fall! After all, summer is awesome and fall is jaw-droppingly beautiful and when two seasons as lovely as these have such a cordial hand-off, it only seems appropriate to give them proper accolades.

A picture perfect meeting of summer and fall. A picture perfect meeting of summer and fall.

What exactly is happening at this party? Truth be told, it’s only made up of one thing…A GIVEAWAY!

What can you win?
A) A chance to experience fall foliage in Montana.
B) A two-night stay in West Glacier, Montana.

During your two nights of soaking up fall in Western Montana, you’ll bunk at Great Northern Resort on the edge of Glacier National Park.

The cozy chalets at Great Northern Resort. The cozy chalets at Great Northern Resort.

This could be your cozy abode. This is your room.

The view from the deck at one of Great Northern Resort's chalets. The view from the deck at one of Great Northern Resort’s chalets.

Enter to win by leaving a comment on this post, telling me what you love most about fall in Montana. And if you haven’t been here yet? No worries. Tell me what you think you’ll love the most.

Comments will close on Monday, September 9 at 10 p.m., MST and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 10.

So go on…Tell me what YOU love most about autumn in Montana.

xo,
TT

UPDATE: Kim Smith was the winner of a two-night stay in Glacier National Park. Congrats, Kim! Enjoy Glacier National Park!

Montana versus Alabama: Vote Tuesday, April 2

I have four words to say to you: It’s time to rumble.
(Not to worry, it’s not an actual brawl but more of a let’s-show-Montana-how-much-we-love-her-by-voting-on-facebook type of a brawl).

You see, Montana has made it to the final round of voting in a quest to host the Social Media Tourism Symposium (known as #SoMeT13US on twitter). We’ll be facing Alabama tomorrow (Tuesday, April 2 from 8 AM – 8 PM, MST) and the destination with the most votes will be the host of this year’s conference.MTAB

Now in all fairness, I’ve got to give kudos to Huntsville and the entire state of Alabama. I’d say they are one of the only states who can rival Montana in terms of competitiveness and they’ve been pulling in some major numbers throughout the competition. Plus, we know they’re going to bring their A game tomorrow and I must say with total sincerity that you–Sweet Home Alabama–are a worthy opponent.

But here’s the thing: Montana and Montanans are awesome. We rally together to help one another. We have Montana pride. We have moxie. We are tough cookies. (And heaven knows this messy-haired blond girl loves tough cookies).

And tomorrow, Montana needs YOUR help. Our state needs as many Montanans and Montana-lovers as possible to rally together and vote. Why? Well, we can’t do it without you. To put it in perspective, Huntsville has a metro area population of around 500,000 people, a number that is also knows as HALF of our ENTIRE state’s population. To put it bluntly, we literally need every vote we can get. And if you’re not sure why to vote Montana, allow me a few minutes to persuade you.

TIA’S TOP TEN REASONS TO VOTE MONTANA

1. A River (literally) Runs Through It.

You may be able to argue with Brad Pitt or Robert Redford, but you can't argue with Brad Pitt AND Robert Redford.

You may be able to argue with Brad Pitt or Robert Redford, but you can’t argue with Brad Pitt AND Robert Redford.

2. Marie Osmond and Dan Seals sing a song called “Meet Me in Montana” not “Meet Me in Alabama.”

3. Cowboys.

Cowboys do not get more handsome than this.

Cowboys do not get more handsome than this.

4. Montana is for Badasses. And we have the facebook page to prove it.

Photo courtesy: Montana is for Badasses

Photo courtesy: Montana is for Badasses

5. Friendliness. While the South is charming (I’ve fallen victim to a southern gentleman’s charm in my day), Montana definitely takes the cake when it comes to friendliest folks.

6. Football. We live it, love it, breathe it and lose sleep over it (much like the fine folks of Alabama). We’re happy to report that Big Sky Country has produces some fine football players that are both talented and nice, including Kroy Biermann, Marc Mariani, Colt Anderson and Lex Hilliard.

7. Montana, like the lady she is, still has a sense of mystery and charm that leaves you wanting more.

8. Montana has one area code–406. That’s how much of a tight-knit group we are.
photo
9. Local brew. With locally crafted beer with names like Moose Drool, Trout Slayer, Face Plant and Pig’s Ass Porter, you know our beer is as inspiring as Montana’s wide-open spaces.

10. Even Alabama loves us. Check out this article from the Huntsville Times.

Now, get to voting (please).

The rules: Anyone with a facebook account can vote. Simply log into your facebook account on Tuesday, April 2 and vote! Voting is open from 8 AM – 8 PM, MST. Vote here: http://woobox.com/txqjs5

Happy voting!

xo,
TT

Win Lift Tickets to Lost Trail & Whitefish Mountain Resort

Happy Friday! In celebration of almost everyone’s favorite day of the week–and the recent powder dump Montana has received–this girl is giving away lift tickets to Lost Trail Powder Mountain and Whitefish Mountain Resort.

“But Tia,” you say. “Winter is almost over.”

To which I respond, “Don’t count winter out so soon, grasshopper.”

‘Just this week, Western Montana has been hit with spring storms that deposited healthy amounts of fresh powder on our much-loved mountains, which means that we have a few weeks left to soak up as much time on the slopes as possible.

This could by YOU.

This could by YOU.

To enter to win these tickets (by the way, we’re giving away TWO sets of tickets to Lost Trail and FOUR sets of tickets to Whitefish Mountain Resort), all you have to do is leave a comment on the blog about why you love skiing or snowboarding. It’s as simple as that.

Boom.

Boom.

The giveaway will close Wednesday, March 27 at Noon, MST, with the winner being announced by 2 PM, MST.

Happy spring skiing,
TT

UPDATE: I’m sorry for the delay in announcing the winners (technical difficulties, darn it). Even though we only had 6 sets of tickets to give away, we’re giving away 7 sets. Everyone who commented on the blog is a winner! Congrats to Hallie, Kelly, Daniel, Brenda, Misty, Gabe and Dave.

Vote Missoula to host #SoMeT13US

Hello you Montana lovers. While this is something I don’t normally do, today I’m doing it. I’m asking for your help.

You see, the lovely Western Montana community of Missoula is competing to host this year’s Social Media Tourism Symposium–one of the leading social media conference’s in the tourism industry. As part of the bid, the top cities are now facing each other in the Elite Eight–a tournament style bracket showdown, with each winning city advancing to the next round of competition.

This week–as in Wednesday, March 20–Missoula is facing off against Grand Rapids, Michigan. And boy howdy, they need your vote! Voting is open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Wednesday and is open to all facebook users. All you have to do, my lovely, handsome, charming, beautiful friends, is log into your facebook account, click here and give the Garden City a vote.

Basically we’re enlisting all Missoulians, Missoula lovers, Montanans and Montana lovers to log in and vote. Because as people who love Montana with all of our Montana-lovin’ guts, we know that there is no better location to host a tourism conference than the lovely city of Missoula and the Big Sky State of Montana.

Here are some reasons why Missoula and Montana would be the ideal location for #SoMeT13US…
Location: Missoula is lovely. It’s surrounded by a bevy of mountain ranges, a wilderness area, unspoiled nature and it has a river running through the heart of downtown.

Overlooking the Missoula Valley.

Overlooking the Missoula Valley.

-Downtown: Missoula’s downtown is perhaps best described as one of the hippest and coolest of any Montana city. Plus, it’s completely walkable, historic, quaint and charming.

Downtown Missoula and two of its cute residents.

Downtown Missoula and two of its cute residents.

-Wide-open spaces: Montana isn’t called Big Sky Country for nothin’. Within 10 minutes of downtown Missoula, you can be in the Rattlesnake Wilderness or casting a fishing line on three blue-ribbon trout rivers. And in another 30 minutes, you’ll be knocking on the door of the Bob Marshall Wilderness (know around here as “The Bob”) and its more than one million acres.

Brennan's Wave in downtown Missoula.

Brennan’s Wave in downtown Missoula.

-Music: Missoula is a small city, but you better believe it packs a big punch. Within the downtown core, there are 14 live music venues that host a variety of music acts.

-Beer: While we know that there are plenty of local breweries around the nation, Montana is ranked second in the country for breweries per capita, which means there is one brewery for every 30,919 Montanans. Plus, when your beer goes by names like Moose Drool, Trout Slayer, Slow Elk and Cold Smoke, you know it’s gotta be good.

Local libations at Kettlehouse Brewing Co.

Local libations at Kettlehouse Brewing Co.

-406: Montana is home to one area code and around one million residents. And while our population may be small, the pride of being a Montana lover is large. Chances are, if you spend much time in our state you’ll see 406-adorned goodness in the form of hats, bumper stickers and sweatshirts. After all, the 406 is something that is worn with pride.

Again, please vote and help us show everyone how magical Montana really is.

Many thanks and happy trails,
TT

A (Romantic) Getaway to Whitefish, Montana

By now you’ve likely seen or heard that Montana–the beauty that she is–made her primetime debut on “The Bachelor” this week. (In case you missed it, you can watch it here). And I’ll tell you what, she looked lovely. It’s like the old girl just gets better with age.

Two Medicine in Glacier National Park. (screenshot from ABC)

Two Medicine in Glacier National Park. (screenshot from ABC)

And now, thanks to the lovelies at Explore Whitefish, you can experience just how romantic it is by entering to win a romantic getaway for two to Whitefish this September.

The package includes:
-Three nights all-inclusive “Glamping” package at The Bar W Guest Ranch
-Three nights lodging at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake
-Dinner for two at Logan’s Bar and Grille at Grouse Mountain Lodge
-Aerial Adventure for two at Whitefish Mountain Resort
-Glacier National Park entrance pass
-Rental car from Dollar Rent A Car (Four-wheel drive)
-$1000 Gift voucher for airplane tickets through Flathead Travel

Sounds pretty sweet, right? So I’m sure you’re wondering to yourself, “How do I enter and take my own sweetie pie on the trip of his (or her) dreams?”

It’s really simple. You can enter on Explore Whitefish, now through February 18. The catch? There isn’t one. You just need to be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the United States.

This could be you.

This could be you.

xo
TT

PS: If you’d like to see visual highlights of Montana eye candy from “The Bachelor,” check it out here.