Winter Sports

The weather outside is frightful... and we love it

As Montana’s Basecamp for Art and Adventure, Great Falls is centrally located to some of the best things to do in Montana in the winter: skiing – alpine, downhill, and cross country – being one of the most popular. Other wintertime favorites include snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, skijoring, and more – you won’t run out of adventures out here.

Note: As of December 2020, many ski areas have alternative schedules and open times, so call ahead before you hit the road to the hills.

Places to Be

  • Showdown Montana: Located 65 miles southeast of Great Falls in the Little Belt Mountains, Showdown is where the locals ski. Because of the mountain’s high base elevation, the moisture level is low, making the area known for outstanding powder that often comes in late winter. 1,400 vertical feet of mountain await you every season, which generally begins mid-December through early April. Ski on, friends.
  • Teton Pass Ski Area: If you head 75 miles northwest of Great Falls, you’ll run into Montana’s magnificent Rocky Mountain Front and with it, Teton Pass Ski Area. With 43 downhill runs of various difficulty, zero lift lines and a friendly staff, get ready for your best ski day ever.
  • Great Divide Ski Area: Located 90 miles south of Great Falls near the capital, Helena, you’ll find “Montana’s sunniest ski area.” Great Divide was designed to be a “wilderness skiing” experience, offering an amazing 107 trails over three mountain peaks and in three distinct valleys
  • Bear Paw Ski Bowl: This “Last Best Ski Hill” offers an inexpensive, old-fashioned, friendly ski hill experience. But this hill isn’t for the faint of heart: of 24 ski runs, half are advanced and the other half are split between beginning and intermediate.
A man wearing orange tinted snow goggles smiles for a photo with a snowy background behind him in Great Falls, MT

Other Snow Activities

Skiing not your forte? No worries, there are endless other possibilities for having fun in the sun snow.

Take in the beauty of Montana’s scenery and wildlife, from frozen lakes to snow-capped mountain and billy goats, with a cross country ski or snowshoeing day trip. You can rent skis and snowshoes from one of several outfitters in town and hit the road as the sun rises. Silver Crest is a fan favorite for cross country skiing and snowshoeing – we promise, the views are like you’ve never seen.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, snowmobiling is a pastime you’ll love from the start. Teton Pass, Belt, and King’s Hill in the Little Belt Mountains are great places to start with hundred of miles of trails between them.

If you’re into fishing, you’ll have to try your hand at ice fishing. Layer up in your warmest gear and head to Holter Lake, Canyon Ferry, Lake Elwell, among others.

The Great Falls Ice Plex is a favorite for ice skaters and hockey fans of all ages. The Ice Plex is also home to the Great Falls Americans, a North American 3HL team.

A child and her father use ski poles for support as they walk through the snow, with the father carrying a sled behind them


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