Whoever decided winter is the time to batten down the hatches and snuggle up never spent a winter in Glacier County, Montana.
Nestled between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, Glacier County encompasses the Blackfeet reservation, Glacier National Park and Lewis & Clark National Forest. In other words, the perfect location for rugged, exhilarating outdoor adventures. So if your group is heading to the area for a meeting, retreat or offsite and you’re not quite ready to hibernate, there are lots of great options to consider. Here are just some of the ways groups enjoy and explore the great outdoors.
1. Dog Sledding
Mush! If you really want to give your group a memorable experience, consider group tours via dog sled. Everything from guided half-day to multi-night adventures can be arranged. Or, if you can watch these amazing canines from the sidelines, Race to the Sky and the Lincoln-Seeley Lake Sled Dog Races are both annual dog sledding events in Montana that take teams and their mushers across trails, through the backcountry and through local communities.
Dog Sled Adventures and Winter Woods Dog Sled Tours, both located in Whitefish, offer tours.
2. Sleigh Rides
Several area ranches offer sleigh rides through town under the stars, and they can pick you up at most ski resorts on the mountain. Bundle up, grab a hot cocoa and head to Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish, Cripple Creek Horse Ranch in Trego, or Double Arrow Lodge in Seeley Lake to start your horse-drawn sleigh adventure.
3. Distillery, Brewery and Winery Hopping
Did you know Montana’s trail system includes 23 breweries, eight wineries and eight distilleries? After a day of hitting the slopes, there’s no better cure for sore muscles and frozen fingers than testing some of the area’s finest whiskeys and wines. Just in Missoula alone you can sample brews from Bayrern Brewing Company, Big Sky Brewing Company, Draught Works and Kettlehouse Brewing Company. Glacier Distillery in Coram offers tours and tasting flights inside The Whiskey Barn.
Mission Mountain, Glacier Sun and Flathead Lake Wineries offer a range of wines from locally grown Montana fruit to Northwest pinots and merlots, and many selections can be found on local restaurant menus.
There are lots of rental companies ready and willing to accommodate group snowmobiling—for beginners, experts and everything in between. Plus there are more than 2,000 miles of forest service roads that are closed to vehicles during winter snowfall, which means your group can explore freely through the back country.
5. Skiing, Snowboarding & Snowshoeing
Whether your group is looking for downhill ski adventures, cross-country excursions or snowboarding, Western Montana does it all. (With 300 plus inches of snowfall each year, how could they not?) Western Montana features six well-rounded, full-service downhill areas for skiing and snowboarding, and well-groomed trails perfect for cross-country skiing, skate-skiing and snowshoeing.
Plus with full-service resorts like Whitefish Mountain Resort right on Big Mountain, it’s easy to hit the fresh powder as soon as the meeting is finished.
6. Ice Skating and Hockey
Get your team involved in some face-to-face competition with a day on the rink. Ice Skating and hockey are favorite winter pastimes in Kalispell. Woodland Park, right in downtown Kalispell, offers a hockey rink as well as skating on a large pond that is maintained and open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.