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Featured Photo by The Resort At Paws Up

Best Winter Adventures Near Montana Rivers

If you’re on the hunt for new winter adventures and experiences, Montana is a great place to look this winter season. Along their many rivers, visitors can find both traditional and unique outdoor winter experiences that can help you get out and enjoy the season. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of cold weather or snow, there is something for everyone to enjoy at these Montana resorts and winter destinations.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Photo by Bridger Bowl

Montana Winter Adventures: Bridger Bowl Ski Area (Bozeman)

Best For Skiing and Snowboarding
It’s hard to go wrong with a skiing or snowboarding winter adventure in Montana, especially with top resorts like Big Sky Resort and Whitefish Mountain Resort. But if you’re looking for cheaper lift tickets, shorter lift lines, and smaller crowds, there are plenty of ski areas and resorts that fit the bill. One great Montana ski area to visit this winter season is Bridger Bowl Ski Area in Bozeman. Bridger Bowl offers skiers and snowboarders a big mountain experience paired with a friendly local vibe, not to mention the lower priced lift tickets. The ski area has a great section dedicated to beginner skiers and snowboarders, numerous groomed runs for experienced beginners and intermediate guests, and a variety of steeps and natural features for advanced skiers and riders. With a total of over 75 runs and a terrain park, and rental gear, Bridger Bowl is perfect for hitting the slopes and taking in the Montana outdoors.

Bridger Bowl Trip Tips
Season: December – April, Nearby Lodging: Howlers Inn Bed & Breakfast & Wolf Sanctuary, Popular Local Attractions: Custer Gallatin National Forest, Museum of the Rockies

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Montana Winter Adventures: Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort (Paradise)

Best For Hot Springs
Getting outdoors during the winter can be unpleasant, especially if you’re not someone who looks forward to the first snowfall every year. But at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort in Paradise, Montana, the cold will be the last thing on your mind while you’re soaking in one of their natural hot springs with a drink in hand. Quinn’s features five one hundred percent natural flowing hot springs pools that range from 100 to 106 degrees fahrenheit, two salt treated pools ranging from the upper 90’s to 100 degrees, plus a cold plunge pool at 55 degrees. As a guest, you can plan a day trip to Quinn’s, or lodge at the resort and spend all day soaking in the hot springs and taking in the beautiful Montana scenery. The resort also offers 2 lodges and over 25 cabins, ranging from rustic to luxury, making it easy to stay right on site with your friends or family.

Quinn’s Hot Springs Trip Tips
Season: All year round, Nearby Lodging: Quinn’s Riverview, Canyon, and Mountainside Cabins, Popular Local Attractions: Bayern Brewing, Seeley Lake Winterfest

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Montana Winter Adventures: See Yellowstone Alpen Guides (West Yellowstone)

Best For Snowcoach Tours
Stay cozy and warm while journeying through America’s first national park! See Yellowstone Alpen Guides offers snowcoach tours through Yellowstone National Park each winter season. Snowcoaches are snow friendly vehicles with tracks that can easily travel along groomed winter roads, making otherwise inaccessible outdoor attractions available during the winter. On a snowcoach tour you can see the snow covered sights of Yellowstone like Old Faithful, Firehole Canyon, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Hayden Valley, while staying warm and dry all day. There will also be multiple stops where visitors can explore the snow covered areas, take in the sights, and warm up in a warming hut.

See Yellowstone Trip Tips
Season: All year round, Nearby Lodging: Three Bear Lodge, Popular Local Attractions: Museum of the Yellowstone

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Montana Winter Adventures: Cripple Creek Horse Ranch (Trego)

Best For Sleigh Rides
Though the days of horse-drawn traveling are long gone, a sleigh ride through Montana’s winter wonderland is an amazing experience to have this holiday season. Located in Trego, Montana near Missoula, Cripple Creek Horse Ranch can make one of your winter holiday dreams come true with a horse drawn sleigh ride through the snowy Montana countryside. You can cuddle up with friends and family under warm blankets in the sleigh and enjoy the jingle of sleigh bells and the unmatched outdoor scenery. Afterwards stop by the cabin for a delicious three course meal, or sit by the fire pit to warm up.

Cripple Creek Trip Tips
Season: All year round, Nearby Lodging: Kalispell Grand Hotel, Popular Local Attractions: Glacier National Park, Northwest Montana History Museum

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Montana Winter Adventures: The Resort At Paws Up (Greenough)

Best For Skijoring
Skijoring means “ski driving” in Norwegian, and is a thrilling winter activity you can try this season at The Resort at Paws Up. Paws Up recently introduced skijoring, which involves a skier or snowboarder being pulled through Montana’s finest powdery snow by either a horse or by dogs. This unique winter experience is great for skiing enthusiasts or adventurous guests looking for something new this winter, with the resort providing everything you’ll need to skijor. Add in ice skating, beautiful holiday décor, the stunning Montana scenery and much more, and you can look forward to an all around holiday experience at the Resort.

Paws Up Trip Tips
Season: Winter, Nearby Lodging: The Resort at Paws Up, Popular Local Attractions: Garnet Ghost Town

Content Writer and Social Media Coordinator. I paint, listen to music, and play with my dogs a lot. When I’m not doing all that, I love to read and try new things.

Maeve Miller

Writer , River Travel Magazine