Last week, my esteemed colleague posed the question “what would you do with a snow day in Southwest Montana?” but she missed the most obvious answer, which is to take the ideas on her list and mash them together into a ball–a snow(day) ball, if you will. I’m talking about marshmallows on your hot chocolate. I’m talking about pub mix with your micro-brew. I’m talking about skiing and hot springs. Downhill skiing is amazing, some of the best winter fun you can have. But, let’s face it, it’s a rough, cold sport. A day on the slopes is exhausting, even for people who are tough and in shape (I assume), and the best way to top off a day of skiing is to soak your cold, sore muscles in one of Southwest Montana’s amazing hot springs.
Fortunately, Montana seems to have been designed for exactly that activity. Of Southwest Montana’s three ski hills, exactly three are located in close proximity to a premier hot spring.
Take, for example, the 2,200 acres of skiing at Discovery Ski Area, a mere thirty miles from glorious Fairmont Hot Springs. What’s that you say? You’d rather spend your day swooshing down the slopes of the Pioneers? Lucky for you, Elkhorn Hot Springs is situated less than fifteen minutes from the base of Maverick Mountain, in Polaris. Want to stay closer to Helena to take advantage of the ice fishing and ice sailing on Canyon Ferry? Guess what? You’re in luck! Great Divide Ski Area is only half an hour from Broadwater Hot Springs and Helena.
Oh, and while we are on the subject of skiing and hot springs, Southwest Montana also has incredible opportunities to slow down and enjoy the view while cross country skiing, and you don’t want to forget the relaxation opportunities at Boulder and Norris Hot Springs.