Winter in Western Montana is a wonderland of adventure, and for those who like to play in the snow, the Bitterroot Valley is an incredible place for a three-day Glacier Country getaway. This scenic valley makes for a great road trip (especially from Idaho). If you’re flying in, you can book a round-trip through Missoula.
Here’s our version of the perfect itinerary.
Day 1: Downhill Skiing + Hot Springs
Hit the light and fluffy stuff on the slopes at Lost Trail Powder Mountain. This family-owned and operated ski area straddling the Montana-Idaho border on the Continental Divide offers consistently good powder to the tune of 300 inches of snowfall annually.
After a day on the mountain, there’s nothing better than a soak in the relaxing mineral waters of a healing hot springs, and Lost Trail Hot Springs delivers. What’s more, you can overnight on-site in one of their cozy cabins or lodges. Trip Tip: Don’t miss the wood-fired pizza wagon.
Day 2: Snowmobiling
Connect with the experienced guides at Bitterroot Adventures in Darby for a full-throttle snowmobile ride on Skalkaho Pass, and experience some of the Bitterroot’s most beautiful backcountry. This is powder play at its finest. Rides are tailored to your ability level and lunch is provided.
Then, dine and stay at historic Camp Sula in the little town of Sula. Camp Sula is located in the famous “Ross Hole,” where the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped. You’ll find a restaurant, general store and recreation all within walking distance of Camp Sula’s adorable, cottage-style cabins.
Day 3: Nordic Skiing + Hot Springs
Power down (just a little) on Day 3 with a leisurely morning drive north, stopping in Hamilton at MineShaft Pasty Co. for sips, sweets and savory eats—including regular, gluten-free and keto items. We highly recommend the “Crack of Dawn”—eggs, sausage, potatoes, cheddar cheese and onions all wrapped in a flaky pie crust and covered in country gravy. Note: Mineshaft is closed on weekends, so if you’re here on a Saturday or Sunday just hit up Coffee Cup Café; you won’t be disappointed.
Once you’re all fueled up, head out to Lolo Pass for some Nordic skiing. A $5 day pass is required, which can be purchased at the Lolo Pass Visitor Center. Lolo Pass has some of the most reliable snow in the region and offers 13 km (8 miles) of trails groomed for skate and classic skiing, plus groomed multi-use trails for skating and un-tracked classic. Don’t miss the warming hut!
After a day gliding through the wintry woods, stop for a soak and dinner at Lolo Hot Springs. If you’re staying a third night, book a cabin on-site at the hot springs.
Alternate Plan: 3-Day Luxury Getaway at Triple Creek Ranch
Want to cozy up in the same spot for a few days? Spend your entire getaway in luxury at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, and enjoy adventures like dog sledding, fat-tire snow biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and horseback riding. This award winning, all-inclusive, adult (16+) retreat and Montana hideaway offers rustic elegance, personalized service, gourmet culinary experiences and the romance of the Rocky Mountain West.
Please note: We ask that all our visitors and residents Recreate Responsibly by being mindful of the following: practice physical distancing; know before you go; plan ahead; play it safe; leave no trace; tread lightly and build an inclusive outdoors. Travel responsibly by reviewing Western Montana’s COVID-19 information and guidelines at SafetyFirstMT.com.
January 31, 2022