Tag Archives: Amtrak

Ride Amtrak’s Empire Builder to Whitefish, Montana

If you prefer to travel to Montana by train, chances are that you are well aware that the current train schedule has eastbound trains from Seattle arriving into Whitefish at 4:26 a.m.
Sidenote: Let’s just be honest; the current schedule stinks. But it had to be done in order to accommodate construction projects to add capacity to the BNSF route. 

I’m happy to tell you that in a couple of short weeks, Amtrak’s Empire Builder will return to its regular schedule in both directions. As of January 12, 2015, eastbound trains headed to Montana’s Glacier Country will arrive into Whitefish at 7:26 a.m. and westbound trains will arrive into Whitefish at 8:56 p.m.

Going back to normal operating hours means that spending a weekend skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort just got that much easier. To celebrate, Amtrak is offering 30% off train travel to Whitefish with their Winter Getaway Promotion!

Skiers prepare for a weekend of hitting the trails on Big Mountain. Photo: Brian Schott

Skiers prepare for a weekend of hitting the runs on Big Mountain.        Photo: Brian Schott

Travelers board the train in Whitefish, Montana. Photo courtesy: Brian Schott

Travelers board the train in Whitefish, Montana. Photo: Brian Schott

The return to this normal schedule also means that train travel to Western Montana will be smoother and allow for timely arrivals throughout the year into Libby, Whitefish, West Glacier, Essex, East Glacier Park and Browning.

To make it easier for you to enjoy a winter getaway to Whitefish, I’ve rounded up my top picks for where to stay, what to do and where to fill your belly.

Where to stayGrouse Mountain Lodge (check out their ski + stay package here), Garden Wall Inn (they have a getaway package for two) and Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge (rooms start at $99/night). I’m also a big fan of Hidden Moose Lodge and Good Medicine Lodge, especially during the winter.

Where to eat and drink: Truth time–Whitefish has some of the best dining options in Western Montana. Fuel up for the day on breakfast at Loula’s or the Buffalo Cafe. For a mouth-watering and tummy-satisfying dinner, make a dinner reservation at Tupelo Grille. Or for a casual meal, grab a sandwich (and green bean fries) at Great Northern Bar. For a more romantic meal, go see Chef Andy Blanton at Cafe Kandahar. And for post-dinner drinks and dancing, make a stop at Casey’s. Be sure to rub elbows with the locals at Great Northern Brewing Company in downtown Whitefish.

What to do: Ski at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Go for a sleigh ride at Bar W Guest Ranch.  Unwind with a spa treatment at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. Rent a fat bike from Whitefish Bike Retreat and hit The Whitefish Trail.

Happy New Year!


PS: Be sure to tag your photos on instagram and twitter with #GlacierMT so I can pretend like it’s me making sweet jumps at Whitefish Mountain Resort and chowing down on green bean fries at Great Northern Bar.

Storm Cycles, Amtrak and Montana: A Match Made in Powder Heaven

Last winter, I had the utmost privilege (and I mean that in the most serious way) of working with two of the skiing industry’s up-and-coming skiers: TJ David and Brody Leven. I kid you not, these guys are two of the most stellar gentlemen I’ve ever know. They came to Montana to ski areas along Highway 93 for Skiing Magazine (read all about it here) and to produce an episode (check that out here) of Storm Cycles.

I’m happy to tell you that TJ David has returned to Western Montana with another stellar crew to capture footage for season two of Storm Cycles in partnership with Amtrak. This time TJ and the boys (as I’m now calling them) traveled from Chicago on Amtrak’s Empire Builder to Glacier Country where they’ve been hitting up our ridiculous amounts of snow. From the looks of it, they’ve been in powder heaven.

And because this crew is as great as they sound, they offered to share some of their photos (which are stunning) on the blog so I can share them with all of you.

Here are some photos of the last few days…

They also put together a little teaser from their time in Western Montana. Check that out here.

Rumor has, from here the boys are headed over to Washington before making their way north to British Columbia. If you want to follow along on their journey, search hashtags #amtrakseason and #stormcycles on instagram and twitter for up-to-date shots of their journey. You can also read more about it on Amtrak’s blog.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a train to catch.