The Seattle-ites might be freaking out about the presence of winter, but in Southwest Montana we know there’s nothing better than some fresh snow (sorry Western Washingtonians, a shameless joke at your expense). Fresh snow means more skiing, more snowmobiling, and – as long as you wear the right clothes and drive carefully – more joy!
Avid fans of the blog no doubt followed our previous post’s advice and have spent the last week delighting in all the winter activities around Dillon. Which means that this week it’s time to pack up your gear and head north, to the Pintlers of Anaconda and Philipsburg. We tend to base ourselves out of Fairmont Hot Springs, because, is there a better way to end a snow day than soaking a a hot springs? But there are great lodging options throughout the area.
I’m going to through a curve ball at you and start with cross country skiing. I’m a huge cross country skiing fan; there’s something so beautifully serene about gliding through the mountains. And Anaconda area has some great places to cross country ski. Specifically, the Mount Haggin area–with over 25 kilometers of classic Nordic Skiing trails (and 10 groomed for skate skiing), Mount Haggin is the perfect place to spend a day floating over the snow. There are also a couple of other cross country skiing options in the area, complete with lodging. Seriously, what could be better than skiing from your front door?
Nordic Skiing may be my favorite winter sport, but coming in at a solid also-favorite is downhill skiing. And do I even have to explain why? This the classic winter activity, rushing down the mountain, nothing but speed and snow. And for skiing and snowboarding in Southwest Montana, you really can’t do better than Discovery Ski Area, just 23 miles outside of Anaconda, and 614 acres of pure winter bliss.
Of course, some days, want to go further and faster than you could possible dream of on skis, in which case I recommend the 140 miles of snow mobile trails in the Pintler Ranger district. With everything from family touring to deep snowpack, the trails around Georgetown Lake will have something for everyone.
Of course, if you hear “winter” and “Georgetown Lake” in the same sentence, then the first thing that comes to mind is undoubtedly ice fishing. Ice fishing is to Georgetown Lake what regular fishing is to…also Georgetown Lake. What I’m trying to say is, it’s amazing, and if you like ice fishing, or even think you might like ice fishing, then it’s time to grab your comically short fishing pole and head to Georgetown right now.
And finally, if you prefer a slightly more Courier and Ives style winter, head to the ice rink in Kennedy Park, in downtown Anaconda.
Whatever you do, don’t get caught inside this winter!