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To the Extreme

The thrill-seeker’s guide to winter in Montana


To the Extreme

Montana can be a peaceful retreat for those looking to recharge their batteries. It can also be an adrenaline lover’s dream, especially in the winter when snow-covered mountains and ice-covered lakes and canyons unearth a new world of adventure. Here are some heart-pounding activities for travelers of all skill levels—beginner to extreme. You can find everything from memorable family trips to the most thrill-seeking adventures.

Level I

For those wanting to see Montana in a unique way, look no further. Consider these family friendly activities that also give you something to write home about.


Hitch a ride with man’s best friend and head off the normal trail. Dog sled tours combine breathtaking views of the mountains with heart-pumping speeds for a ride like no other. There are a number of locations to explore, including Base Camp Bigfork or Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures in Big Sky. People of all ages are sure to love the excited patter of paws on the snow, the feel of wind against one’s face, and the yell of “mush!” which starts it all.
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Eat a blazin’ bison burger

You can find a little bit of everything on the local grills, including a number of unique dishes that will send your taste buds on an adventure. Grab a bison, elk or yak burger at restaurants like Hop’s Downtown Grill in Kalispell or try a delicious meat pasty, a local specialty, at Joe’s Pasty Shop in Butte. For those looking to dial up the adventure, expand your appetite (and stomach) with Freeway Tavern’s monstrous pork chop sandwich, the “Wood Chop.” Or order a plate of Rocky Mountain oysters for some truly unique western fare.
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Spend the night in a ghost town

With the right setting, even sleeping can be an adventure. Garnet Ghost Town, once a booming gold town, is now recognized as one of Montana’s most impressive ghost towns. Visitors can step back in time and explore the remains of an abandoned town, and even spend a night in one of the cabins. The only question is: Do you dare sleep with the ghosts?
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Level II

While these activities may not be suitable for small children, the older kids will love them.

Fat-tire bike through the mountains

Biking in the winter? Of course! Biking is a year-round activity in Montana. When snow begins to fall, grab a bike and take to the mountains. Fat-tire bikes allow you to easily travel snow-covered trails for a heart-beating adventure, complete with scenic backcountry views that you can’t get in a car. Whether you rent a bike or bringing your own, you can find the right trail and the perfect ride.
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There’s nothing more exhilarating than speeding past snow-covered trees and frozen lakes. With thousands of miles of both groomed and ungroomed trails to explore, this is a winter must. Rent a snowmobile at Bitterroot Adventures and experience the rugged Bitterroot Valley and Sapphire Mountains. Snowmobiling is a great way to get farther into the backcountry and shred through ungroomed and untouched powder.
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Sleep in a remote yurt

Take a vacation from the noise of your daily life this winter. Staying in a yurt is the definition of remote lodging, providing some of the most unique views while still offering top-class comfort. After a day of backcountry skiing, spend a night in one of Montana’s most unique accommodations, where mountain peaks and multiple feet of snow are waiting just outside the door. While your bedroom will be comfortable and warm, there’s a wild world of adventure all around you.
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Level III

These activities are for advanced outdoor travelers who enjoy a challenge, even a gravity-defying one. These unforgettable activities are sure to get your adrenaline pumping, but are not for the faint of heart.

Ice climb Hyalite Canyon

When winter hits, scenic waterfalls and cliffs become the perfect platforms for ice climbing. Places like Hyalite Canyon, located just outside Bozeman, offer the perfect combination of frozen formations, offering thrill seekers a challenging climb and a rewarding view. You can also find a number of guides that will provide all the equipment you’ll need and assist in your trip to the top.
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Ski Montana’s most challenging slopes

For the experienced skier looking for a challenge, Montana offers multiple expert runs that are sure to get the blood-pumping. Bridger Bowl’s “Ridge Terrain” offers numerous steep chutes and cliffs, which will keep even the most experienced skiers on edge. Whitefish Mountain Resort’s “Hellroaring Basin” is a collection of ungroomed and heavily-wooded runs that require quick reactions and sharp turns. Big Sky Resort’s Big Couloir is a tight slope with sheer cliffs on both sides, and challenges skiers with a 50-degree decline. No matter which slope you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable run.
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Camp out

Bundle up, because this is one of the most extreme ways to spend the night. While the frequently cold may shiver at the thought, winter camping brings you under the stars and face-to-face with nature. Wake up to frozen mountain lakes and snowcapped peaks from your campsite this winter.
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