Thousands of tourists pass through the wilds of Montana each year, but many of them don’t just come in the summer. Montana is just as much fun in the winter as it is in the summer. There is some great alpine and cross country skiing in Big Country but that isn’t all, there is some fabulous hiking you can do in the wintertime too. Locals are used to the cold winters but if you’re not from Montana then you need to know how to dress warmly, use lots of layers. Bring along some water and snack on your hike, your body uses more energy in the cold. You don’t have to worry as much about wildlife, they are all hunkered down for the winter but you will want to bring a camera, the scenery here even in winter is beautiful. Here are some great places to hike.
Ousel Falls is a favorite hiking spot any time of year, it isn’t a long hike only a mile and a half in total so you can easily handle it in the winter. You can check out the incredible waterfall on the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River. They are even better to see in the winter when everything is frozen. This is why you bring your camera for these amazing shots. There is the occasional ice climber that could be there tackling the falls. If the sun is out and it is a warm day the trail can get pretty icy so you might want to bring along tracks for your boots. There is plenty of parking and the trail is easy to get to any time of year. Here is a closer look at the trail in the winter.
Beehive Basin Trail
If you don’t have experience hiking in the winter or snowshoeing then you might want to try with an easier trail first. Beehive Basin Trail has been rated as one of the World’s Greatest Hikes but it isn’t for the faint of heart. It is nearly a 7 mile trek and you may want to do it with snow shoes. You can see some of the ski runs along the way as you come around Lone Peak. Be careful to stay out of the avalanche terrain or you can find yourself in trouble.
Winter hiking in Montana is a great adventure but remember the terrain can be harsh and prepare for it accordingly. Put on lots of layers and bring food and drink with you.