snowshoeing

Missoula Winter Fun

Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast is thankful for all the outdoor winter fun that Missoula, Montana and our surrounding area offers our guests.  From downhill skiing to cross-country skiing, from ice fishing to ice skating, and snowmobiling to snowshoeing.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly ski destination, check out Discovery Ski Area, or “Disco” to locals. It has a variety of terrain, with plenty of beginner and intermediate slopes, as well as some highly-technical runs on the backside. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Missoula in Philipsburg, Montana.  180 Discovery Basin Road   406-563-2184

Lookout Pass Ski Trails are open 6 days a week in January & February, Wednesdays through Mondays. Closed on Tuesdays. Lifts operate 9-4PM PST on weekdays and  8:30-4PM on weekends. There are nine un-groomed trails that make a total of 7.3 miles down into the basin. The Lookout Pass Alpine Skiing Area is right next to the cross-country ski trails and snowmobiling opportunities. These trails are not groomed.

Average Annual Snowfall: 400 inches

* Terrain: 540 acres with 34 named runs
and prime powder glades:
20% Easiest
50% Intermediate
20% Advanced
10% Expert
* Lifts: 3 double chairs and 1 triple chair
* Vertical Drop:  1,150’
* Base Elevation:  4,500
* Summit Elevation: 5,650
* Longest Run:  1.5 miles
Pattee Canyon Recreation Area, a 3,200-acre recreation area on the on the east side of Missoula, is a popular getaway for locals and visitors. The extensive, 27 miles of system trails is open year-round to non-motorized use and available to hikers, mountain bikers, joggers, and the trails are groomed for cross country skiers.   These recreation area trails and roads connect the University of Montana and the Clark Fork River areas.
Few communities enjoy a place quite like the 60,000-acre Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness just north of Missoula. Montana’s premier urban wilderness blends the best of both wilderness and civilization.  Rest assured that, despite its name, there have been no verified sightings of rattlesnakes in this area. You will, however, find ample opportunities to view many other wildlife species, including beaver, deer, elk, mountain goats and black bear.

A well-developed trail network in the Rattlesnake’s lower reaches gives you a variety of options for day trips – or you can pack overnight gear and venture farther into the high-country wilderness.  You can camp anywhere beyond a three-mile radius from the Rattlesnake’s main trailhead, known as the “South Zone” (off Sawmill Gulch Road just west of Rattlesnake Drive).

When snow conditions permit, the main Rattlesnake and side drainages are readily accessible to cross-country skiers. Missoula Nordic Ski Club offers some grooming of the Rattlesnake Recreation Area from the main trailhead to Franklin Bridge.

Seeley Creek Nordic Ski Trails are a series of linked ski trails.  Their trails consistently receive rave reviews and regular use from skiers living within a 150-mile radius, while their races and other events bring many users from greater distances. There is a trail or a loop for skiers of all levels and abilities, from hard-core racers to families looking to experience some healthy outdoor activity in the fresh winter air of western Montana.

 

Ice fishing is a great way to get outside during the cold winter months. Just make sure to bundle up to keep yourself warm while you’re out on the ice.

  • Half way between Kalispell and Missoula (roughly a 120 mile distance), Flathead Lake is the largest natural body of fresh water west of the Mississippi River. Although the lake seldom freezes over entirely, most of the bays will freeze thick enough to support ice fishing activity.  Expect to find lake & whitefish trout, yellow perch & cutthroat trout.
  • Georgetown Lake is a popular ice fishing location near Anaconda, MT (90 miles from Missoula, or an hour and 40 minutes by car) that has easy access, and only a short distance from the Discovery Basin Ski Area. The most common fish caught are salmon, rainbow & brook trout.
  • Seeley Swan Lake is among the many numerous lakes present in the Seeley Swan Valley are the highly popular Salmon, Holland Placid Lakes that are an easy day trip from Missoula. Expect to find bull trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon & northern pike.

 

Ice skating in Missoula is almost always accompanied by a roaring bonfire somewhere close to the ice rink. Warm your fingers and lift your spirit enough to get back into the cold gliding bliss of skating.

  • Located at the fairgrounds, Glacier Ice Rink has both an indoor and outdoor rink. With reasonable rates on rentals and public skating available daily from September through May, the whole family will have fun gliding around the large arena.
  • Another option for ice skating is in the Rattlesnake Area, at Pineview Park. Since 1975 the Rattlesnake Hockey Assocation has been flooding a portion of the park for winter skating. Hours vary due to the weather, and you’ll need to bring your own skates.

Missoula is at the epicenter of several great mountains for skiing and snowboarding. Did you know Missoula has its very own ski area? The Snowbowl is located just 20 minutes from downtown Missoula. The Snowbowl’s terrain is comprised of 2,600 vertical feet and just over 900 acres. The Snowbowl isn’t the only area that is just a short drive from Missoula. Discovery Ski Area, Blacktail Mountain, Lookout Pass and Lost Trail Powder Mountain are all trips that you can do in a day.

 

Starting at either Lolo Hot Springs or at Lolo Pass 7 miles west, snowmobilers can conduct their own modern-day explorations, crossing 250 miles of groomed, connecting trails in the Lolo and Clearwater National Forest.  Snowmobiling in Missoula is fast, fun and addictive.  Snowmobile rentals are available at Lolo Hot Springs. A full range of visitor services, including snowmobile rentals, sales, and service are available in Missoula.

Snowshoeing in Missoula is truly an adventure. With the ability to set out in any direction and find unmistakable views and a winter wonderland, is what makes snowshoeing here great.  After a day of fun in the snow and ice, Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast guests can relax at a local restaurant and retreat to their rooms for more togetherness.  Each morning Innkeepers Brady and Elaine prepare a fabulous gourmet breakfast for their guests.  Are you ready for some Missoula winter fun?

Written by Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging

Blue Mountain Christmas 2014

Brady and Elaine love sharing the beauty of their Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Missoula, Montana!  This is the most wonderful time of year to reflect upon fond memories during this Christmas and to look forward to brand new experiences in the coming New Year.

 

There is so much to do in Missoula during the winter time.  Ice fishing, ice skating, downhill skiing, cross country skiing,  snowboarding, snowshoeing,  and even snowmobiling.

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This antique formerly was a covered wagon

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Guests will see this sign while on their way to Missoula!

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Our Blue Mountain B&B sign next to some greenery with bows

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The table is set just for you this Christmas!

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We make Aebelskivers, a delicious Danish delicacy

 

More information about how we spend the holidays, and our delicious recipe for Aebelskivers, can be found in last season’s blog post.

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Our Blue Mountain coffee mug and a University of Montana Grizzly alongside holiday pine cones

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The little carved horses are Dala Horses (Swedish) and are toys based from Fjord horses like the mare we have at Blue Mountain.

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Swedish Christmas books with figurines

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The Blue Mountain Christmas tree next to our piano

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This bird reminds us of the real birds we see outside our B&B!

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We put flags from around the world on our Christmas tree

We sell Christmas gifts, including precious ornaments, as well as other unique gifts in our Wood Ducks and More Country Store.

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The Nutcracker ballet was named after this festive holiday decoration

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Missoula’s Downtown Hand-Carved Carousel is offering free rides on Christmas Day starting at 11 am!

We extend an invitation to all those interested in taking the Montana vacation of their dreams in the New Year to come. Brady and Elaine of Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast are pleased to show their hospitality to you and yours.

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Our Hawk Hill Lodge coated with beautiful snow

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From our deck, guests get a gorgeous view of snow-covered trees

Written by Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging

Snow, Snow, Snow!

Snow, Missoula B&B

The snowy view from our Missoula Bed and Breakfast.

There is snow on the mountains, and there is more snow on the way. Snow may have been late to arrive this winter, but it seems like it’s here to stay, now. That’s good news for skiers, snow boarders, and snowshoers. Grab your board, skies, or shoes, and head for our Missoula Bed and Breakfast as soon as you can.

The Montana Snowbowl Ski Area is 100% open and boasts 100 inches of snowpack at the summit.

The trails at Lolo Pass are covered in powder. A marked, 3-mile long snowshoe trail begins and ends at the Visitor Center, which doubles as a warming hut in the winter. Several other trails depart from nearby, including but not limited to: the fairly difficult 6-mile long Packer Meadows loop, the easy 2.1-mile Glade Creek loop, and the very difficult 14-mile Moose Ridge loop.

Trails through Blue Mountain Recreation Area, adjacent to our Missoula Bed and Breakfast, are also great for snowshoeing.

These are the salad days for folks who love snow. Don’t let them pass you by without spending as much time in it as you can.

A Cozy Missoula Bed and Breakfast

When the weather outside is frightful, curl up in the warmth of our cozy Missoula Bed and Breakfast.

Cheese fondue at Missoula Bed and Breakfast

The perfect meal for a winter evening: cheese fondue.

Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast sits on 20 wooded acres overlooking the Bitterroot River and Valley. Our land abuts the Blue Mountain Recreation Area, which is comprised of 5,500-acres. Trails traverse the whole area, leading up hills, through forests, and along Hayes Creek.

At this time of year, we love to strap on our snowshoes; it’s easy to spend the whole day exploring the meandering trails. With an early enough start, it’s possible to make it to the top of Blue Mountain and back. A shorter amble leads to the scenic Deadman Point, or down to the creek.

We recommend not skimping on breakfast at our Montana inn–you’ll want every ounce of energy the food imparts. Ask us about picnic options if you plan to spend the whole day out and about, and plan to warm up with a cup of cocoa back at the inn. You may want to indulge in a hot soak, too.

If there are at least four of you, you may arrange to have a winter feast prepared for you. After romping in the snow all day, you’ll be thankful to have a good meal right at the inn. We can prepare a Swedish feast, a Thai feast, or something simple and enticing, like fondue. Ask us about it when you make your reservation: 406-251-4457 or 877-251-4457.

A winter wonderland and a wonderfully warm inn–that’s what you’ll find at Blue Mountain.

Love Lolo Hot Springs

We love Lolo Pass winter, spring, summer and fall, but there is something extra special about Lolo in the winter. Perhaps it’s the high elevation, which means there is usually snow at Lolo even when it isn’t elsewhere. Perhaps it’s the miles of cross country and snowmobile trails. Then again, it could be the fact that after spending a day out in the snow, we can warm ourselves in the Lolo Hot Springs.

Solitude

Spend a day snowshoeing at Lolo Pass, then sink into a deliciously warm Mineral Hot Spring.

Sitting in a pool of hot water on a cold day, with snow piled all around, is wonderful. It evokes deep sighs of contentment. It’s one of those experiences, like floating in a warm ocean or standing atop a tall mountain on a clear day, that reminds us just how beautiful life can be.

Our Missoula Bed and Breakfast is about 30 minutes from Lolo Hot Springs. During a weekend stay, guests may enjoy nights on the town in Missoula, gourmet breakfasts at the inn, days in the snow at Lolo Pass, and soaks in the Lolo Hot Springs. Which is the pinnacle experience? We’ll let you decide.

Lolo Hot Springs are open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m to midnight, and Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Indulge in a soak during your stay in our Montana Bed and Breakfast, even if you’re in Missoula for business. It’s worth it.

There’s Still Snow at Lolo Pass

While some folks are looking forward to spring and summer, others celebrate the continuance of winter at higher elevations. Ardent snow-sporters should spend a few days at our Missoula MT Bed and Breakfast, which is less than an hour’s drive from Lolo Pass.

Bread loaf in the Bitterroot Mountains

There is still snow in the Bitteroot Mountains

The Visitor Center at Lolo Pass is currently open on weekends, but trails are open seven days a week. These trails are no longer groomed so they may be a bit challenging on skis; on the other hand, dogs are now allowed on the trails (as they are at our pet-friendly Missoula Bed and Breakfast).

A great activity at this time of year is snowshoeing. It doesn’t require groomed trails and it’s fun. Take advantage of the snow and the free parking (another perk after grooming ends) until the snow melts. This could take a while; as of a few days ago, Lolo Pass had a base of 88 inches of snow.

We promise to feed you well at our Bed and Breakfast Montana before you embark on a day of romping in the snow. Tuck into a steaming cup of coffee, a generous serving of Swedish pancakes, or a hearty plate of steak and eggs. If you don’t feel like a nap after that, you’ll be ready to burn some calories up at Lolo Pass.

Mountain road conditions are updated twice a day, or in response to major changes. Call 1.800.226.7623.

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