Backcountry Skiing in Western Montana + Glacier National Park

Backcountry Skiing

Go Off Trail in Our Wild Terrain

Go Off Trail in Our Wild Terrain

Our backcountry is brag worthy. Glacier Country is home to thousands of acres of untouched off-trail powder, whether you’re looking for an easy escape or technical terrain. Glacier National Park itself is open year-round and offers a sublimely beautiful and surreal location for an alpine tour. Or explore the heart of Montana’s backcountry—the Swan Mountains.

For the backcountry trip of a lifetime, pair your off-the-beaten-path ski adventure with a backcountry yurt stay, or take a guided snowcat to awe-inspiring elevations. A yurt rental takes your backcountry journey to the next level, whether you’re taking a self-guided ski tour or hiring a guide to show you the way.

Another way to slay the backcountry is to access higher elevations by snowcat on a guided backcountry ski trip with Great Northern Powder Guides. Their custom snowcats access terrain as high as 7,500 feet in the Stillwater State Forest. This powder playground boasts diverse terrain for cat skiers and boarders, steep and deep seekers, and even first-timers.

Please remember: Backcountry terrain can be wild and rugged, making backcountry skiing and avalanche safety of the utmost importance. It’s always necessary to have proper backcountry ski gear and knowhow. Your best bet is a guided backcountry ski tour. Avalanche safety should always be top of mind when you’re headed into the deep stuff. Carry avalanche safety gear, know the red flags of an unstable snowpack, check the avalanche forecast, and get educated in avalanche safety.

Ski the Park

While winter in Glacier National Park means fewer lodging options and limited road access, it also means epic backcountry skiing. See Glacier Country’s Going-to-the-Sun Road status feed here. After gathering your safety gear, pick up your backcountry pass and a skiing brochure from the park headquarters at the Apgar Visitor Center on your way into the park’s backcountry winter wonderland.

Many backcountry skiers wisely plan their trips to include both of our national parks: Glacier and Yellowstone. To help make the most of your time, we’ve put together several road-trip itineraries that offer adrenaline-fueled, authentic park-to-park experiences. For inspiration, visit Glaciers to Geysers.

Adventure Wisely with the onX App

We highly recommend using the onX Backcountry app to plan your ski tours and navigate terrain offline while in the field. The Backcountry app provides real-time GPS positioning even in areas without cell service. Track your route and stay found by always knowing your location on the map. You can also view avalanche forecasts. OnX maps help you make smarter, more informed decisions. Take advantage of the onX free-trial offer.

Featured Listings

Glacier Adventure Guides
24 Seventh St. W.
Columbia Falls, MT 59912
406.892.2173
Directions
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Glacier Bear Retreat
348 Grist Road
West Glacier, MT 59936
406.848.1771 | 888.848.1771
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Kandahar Lodge
3824 Big Mountain Road
Whitefish, MT 59937
406.862.6098 | 800.862.6094
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Lolo Hot Springs
38500 U.S. Highway 12 W.
Lolo, MT 59847
406.273.2290
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Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area
I-90, Exit 0
Mullan, ID 83846
208.744.1301
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Ninepipes Lodge and Allentown Restaurant
69286 U.S. Highway 93
Charlo, MT 59824
406.644.2588
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The Cliff Ranch
1684 Knob and Kettle Lane
Ovando, MT 59854
406.531.6969
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Whitefish Mountain Resort
1015 Glades Drive
Whitefish, MT 59937
877.SKI.FISH
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Downing Mountain Lodge
1017 Grubstake Road
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.531.1486
Glacier Tourbase

Whitefish, MT 59937
406.200.8325
Moss Mountain Inn
4655 N. Fork Road
Columbia Falls, MT 59912
406-381-8931
OnX
1925 Brooks St.
Missoula, MT 59801
406.540.1602
Pintler's Portal Hostel
218 W. Park St.
Anaconda, MT 59711
406-563-4555
Running Horse Inn
28250 Ninemile Road
Huson, Montana 59846
406-626-0040
Travel Montana
PO Box 16
Red Lodge, MT 59068
888.758.8687
News from Glacier National Park Currently, 29 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.