Tag Archives: Hot Springs

The Road to Paradise, Montana

I’m not one to play favorites, but there is a place in Montana that I’m totally in love with. It’s like my own little piece of heaven under the state’s big blue sky. Its name: Paradise. As in, that’s literally the name of the actual place. Kind of perfect, right?

Oh hey, Paradise.

Oh hey, Paradise.

In the past, I’ve been pretty vocal about some of my favorite places in Montana and to be honest, that list seems to go on and on and on. But this place is something really special. As some of you know, I grew up in the countryside of Montana along the Rocky Mountain Front in a small (as in my graduating class had 12 people in it) town. And I think the reason that I love Paradise and the area around it is that it reminds me of real, true, small-town Montana. A few days ago, I had the need to head out that way for work, specifically to Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort (which is one of my top places to visit…read more about it here).

The pools at Quinn's Hot Springs Resort.

The pools at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort.

To make the most of my day, I traveled west on Interstate 90 before jumping onto the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway and returning back to Missoula on Highway 200. During that particular day, Montana’s weather was dramatic (just how I like her) and included rain, a snowstorm and glimpses of beautiful blue sky.

In Montana, even the interstates are pretty.

In Montana, even the interstates are pretty.

Fresh snow dusted the trees in the Lolo National Forest.

Fresh snow dusted the trees in the Lolo National Forest.

One of the overlooks along the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway.

One of the overlooks along the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway.

The snowstorm had just rolled through along the Clark Fork River.

The snowstorm had just rolled through along the Clark Fork River.

The newest addition to Quinn's Hot Springs Resort: the Paradise Hall Event Center. PS: its meeting space has gorgeous views.

The newest addition to Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort: the Paradise Hall Event Center. PS: its meeting space has gorgeous views.

Our new tagline: "Montana looks fake but is totally real" (courtesy of my friend Angie) totally applies to this view.

The tagline “Montana looks fake but is totally real” (courtesy of my friend Angie) totally applies to this view.

The railroad line heading into Paradise.

The railroad line heading into Paradise.

Oh the stories this barn could tell.

Oh the stories this barn could tell.

Another reason to love this corridor along Highway 200: this sign.

Another reason to love this corridor along Highway 200: this sign.

This corner of Montana will always have a piece of my heart. Your turn: where’s your piece of paradise?

xo,
TT

The Top 5 Winter Activities in Montana

I’m just going to say it: winter in Montana is the stuff that powder-lovin’ dreams are made of. Not only are we situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, but four Montana ski resorts recently ranked among the “Top 10 Deepest Snowpacks in the US” list. Combine that with sunshine, cute towns and some of the most epic terrain in the continental U.S., and it’s no wonder winter is one of Montana’s most fun-filled seasons.

To help you take advantage of winter fun in Western Montana’s Glacier Country, I rounded up the top five winter activities to do this year.

Ski or Snowboard
Montana’s Glacier Country is home to six downhill ski areas. And while I don’t think I can pick a favorite (that would be like making my mama pick her favorite kid), I am particularly fond of snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort and Lookout Pass. The views from Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain in Whitefish are seriously stunning and I love the laid-back atmosphere at Lookout.

The view from the summit of Big Mountain, looking into Glacier National Park.

The view from the summit of Big Mountain, looking into Glacier National Park.

My favorite run at Lookout Pass, solely because its name.

My favorite run at Lookout Pass, solely because its name.

Shred (or Snowshoe) Backcountry Powder
One of my most memorable winter trips ever was a backcountry adventure into a yurt in the Swan Mountains. We rode snowmobiles from the Rich Ranch to the yurt and spent two days taking in the untouched terrain and incredible powder, and of course trying to keep the wood stove burning. Because I’m a little bit of a baby and not great on skis (I’ve only snowboarded in recent years), I opted to snowshoe up and down and it was incredible.

The terrain outside of the yurt. Photo courtesy of my pal, Brody Leven.

The terrain outside of Yurtski in the Swan Mountains. Photo courtesy of my pal, Brody Leven.

Soak in a Hot Springs
Montana’s hot springs are the best. Glacier Country is home to a handful of hot springs: Lolo Hot Springs, Symes Hot Springs and Quinn’s Hot Springs. My advice? Hit the ski trails at Lookout Pass and then head over to Quinn’s Hot Springs to spend the night and soak in their pools. Also, hands down, Quinn’s is one of the best places (and I’m not even kidding) for dinner in Montana. If you haven’t eaten there, do yourself a favor and make plans to venture there for dinner. (Just be sure to stop and pick me up first. You need a Montana friend, right?)

Serenity found at Quinn's Hot Springs in Paradise.

Serenity found at Quinn’s Hot Springs in Paradise.

Snowmobile
Literally, snowmobiling in my all-time favorite winter activity. Sure, it’s not as heart-healthy as cross-country skiing or snowboarding, but I just love it. How much do I love it? So much that I already have two snowmobiling trips booked for this winter.

If you haven’t snowmobiled before, I’d recommend taking a guided trip with either Swan Mountain Snowmobiling in the Flathead Valley or Rich Ranch in Seeley Lake. Going with a guide helps alleviate some safety concerns and having one there (especially if the guide is cute), always makes me feel better.

One of the views on the Canyon Creek Trail near Whitefish/Columbia Falls.

One of the views on the Canyon Creek Trail near Whitefish/Columbia Falls.

Take a Road Trip
Let’s be honest: winter driving in Montana can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re not used to driving on snowy roads. However, Montana has some of the best road crews in the nation and they do a great job keeping our roads clear and drivable. The one thing to keep in mind: drive according to the road conditions. Sure, it make take you a tad longer to get somewhere, but not only will you arrive safely, you’re going to see some of the most gorgeous scenery along the way.

Cruising I-90 west of Missoula.

Cruising I-90 west of Missoula.

A perfect winter scene along a Montana backroad.

A perfect winter scene along a Montana backroad.

My favorite winter road trips destinations include the Bitterroot Valley, Missoula, Paradise and Whitefish.

Your turn: What are your top picks for winter fun in Montana?

xo,
TT

An Escape to Paradise, Montana

Well, I did it again. I escaped on another road trip. As a gal who takes Montana adventures seriously and who spends quite a bit of time traveling around the state, I know there are a few places within easy reach of home that offer the kind of peaceful escape I was after. Knowing this, I packed a bag and made a dash to one of my favorite places: Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort.

While I’ve raved about Quinn’s in the past (you can read about it here), this trip was different…in an absolutely wonderful way. While my stay at Quinn’s was short, it was practically perfect. The accommodations were wonderful (the idea of packing the sheets in my suitcase may have crossed my mind), the food was delicious and the comfort level was superb.

The view from the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway.

The view from the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway.

En route to Quinn's Hot Springs Resort.

En route to Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort.

During the past several months, the resort has been adding private cabins on the bank of the Clark Fork River. And while the cabins themselves are gorgeous and comfortable, the thing I loved most about them is that each cabin is named after individuals who have played a major role in Montana’s history, including Charlie Russell, Bob Scriver, David Thompson and Jim Bridger.

The resort has been adding private cabins that sit on the banks of the Clark Fork River.

The David Thompson cabin. 

The view from the Bob Scriver cabin, named in honor of the Montana artist and sculptor.

The view from the Bob Scriver cabin, named in honor of the Montana artist and sculptor.

Looking downstream the Clark Fork River.

Looking downstream the Clark Fork River.

Truth.

Truth. 

The pools at Quinn's.

The pools at Quinn’s.

It was exactly what I needed. Where’s your favorite place to escape?

xo,
TT

Winter in Montana: It’s Here

Well you guys, I hate/love to say it but…winter is here. I awoke this week to the first official snowfall in my neck of the woods. And to be honest, I greeted it a little hesitantly. Why was I hesitant? Well, it’s just that this fall was so gorgeous that I wanted to soak up every last drop possible.

Fall in Montana. Hubba, hubba.

Fall in Montana. Hubba, hubba.

But now that that’s out of my system, onward we go toward winter. During the last few years, my love for winter has been reignited, thanks to my return to snowboarding and the steamy love affair I now have with snowmobiling. Those two things have almost single-handedly helped me fall back in love with Old Man Winter.

As for this year, here are a few snapshots of what I’m most looking forward to…

A winter road trip.

A winter road trip.

Snowmobiling with Swan Mountain Outfitters.

Snowmobiling with Swan Mountain Outfitters.

A soak in one of Western Montana's hot spring pools.

A soak in one of Western Montana’s hot spring pools.

Hitting the slopes and (not so) gracefully riding my board.

Hitting the slopes and (not so) gracefully riding my board.

Bring it on, winter.
TT

PS: Check out these sweet travel deals to Western Montana’s Glacier Country and come play with me.

Go Soak Yourself

Every once in a while, I want to say the above words to people. The reason? It’s mainly because I get a kick out of it. And occasionally, I even want to say those words to myself.

This week, I directed a stern “Go soak yourself” line toward…well, myself. (And my messy hair). The last several months have included one project after another, with large helpings of travel, general hecticness and holidays thrown into the mix. So, I realized how wise those words were, took my own advice and headed off to Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort for a proper soaking.

En route to Paradise. Montana was in fine form.

En route to Paradise. Montana was in fine form.

Located on Highway 135 between St. Regis and Paradise, Montana, Quinn’s sits on the banks of the Clark Fork River. And I must tell you, it is one of the loveliest locations in the entire state of Montana. With no street lights, no neighbors and no cell service (it does have Wi-Fi), Quinn’s gives you the opportunity to fully relax in the crisp mountain air of Western Montana.

Hello, Paradise.

Hello, Paradise.

Getting my bearings at Quinn's Hot Springs Resort.

Getting my bearings at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort.

Around these parts, hot springs are revered. Called “big medicine” by the Pend d’Oreille Indians, people have traveled from near and far to soak in the healing waters found around the region. While there are several developed and natural hot springs pool found around Glacier Country, Quinn’s has on-site lodging–ranging from private cabins to lodge rooms–as well as meeting space, a bar, gift shop and restaurant.

A cozy cabin.

A cozy cabin.

The pools at Quinn's.

The pools at Quinn’s.

My tips:
-While you’re soaking in the pool, look up. You’ll be rewarded with an unrestricted view of the night sky.
-Bring a suit. 🙂
-Bring slippers, sandals and a robe for navigating from your room to the pools.
-Order dessert. My recommendations are the huckleberry ice cream and creme brulee.
-If you’re visiting during winter, pack your snowshoes and explore the nearby trails.

Happy soaking,
TT

Living on Montana Time

I like to go for drives. Sometimes there’s a specific destination in mind, while other times I’ll jump in the car and see where the road takes me, just for the fun of it.

Last week, I grabbed my partner in crime and we headed up Highway 12 toward Lolo Pass. The goal? To see what we could see. And we saw a lot.

Lolo Pass Visitor Center

Welcome to Montana.

A modern-day explorer with Lewis & Clark.

A bronze of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Tribe.

Snowmobilers at Lolo Pass. (I was REALLY tempted to jump on the back of one of their sleds).

Lolo Hot Springs. A winter soak, anyone?

One of the coolest bars in Montana: The Jack.

Here’s to many more adventures.

xoxo,
TT