Cross-Country Skiing Glacier National Park & Western Montana

Cross-Country Skiing

Enter today for a chance to win monthly prizes in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Enter today for a chance to win monthly prizes in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Cross-Country Skiing: Groomed Trails Galore

Western Montana provides plentiful options for cross-country or skate-skiing on groomed trails. This winter activity offers a healthy, heart-happy alternative to downhill skiing. Plus, when you can ski trails like ours that offer the peaks of Glacier National Park, the Cabinet Mountains and the Swan Mountains as your view, you really can't go wrong.

The Yellowstone you haven’t seen yet.

The wild beauty of Yellowstone National Park spills over for miles. Snow seekers come to Yellowstone Country Montana for panoramic expanses of pure white against impossibly blue skies.

Ski Centers and Groomed Trails

North Shore Nordic Club

The North Shore Nordic Club provides high-quality Nordic skiing and snowshoeing opportunities in the Flathead Valley

Whitefish Mountain Nordic Center

Located just below the Base Lodge Ski Shop (base of Chair 6) the trails wind through pristine forest and offer a variety of terrain for all skill levels. The more than 14 kilometers of cross-country ski trails offer beautiful views. Rental equipment and cross-country ski instructions are available, while a fee is required to use the trails.

Double Arrow Resort

Double Arrow Resort can show you 15 miles of groomed trails that fit a variety of experience levels. If you like, you can also snowshoe or skin your way to some of the finest off-site skiing in the world.

Glacier Nordic Center

Located on the gently rolling terrain at the Whitefish Lake Golf Course, the 12 kilometers of trails at the Glacier Nordic Center for skate and classic skiing are maintained by the Glacier Nordic Club. The trails are groomed daily and offer great views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Plus, three kilometers of trails are lit for night skiing until 11 p.m.

Holland Lake Lodge

Located in the heart of the Swan Valley between the Mission and Swan mountains, Holland Lake Lodge offers 25 kilometers of groomed trails. Rentals are available at the lodge and trails are groomed weekly.

Izaak Walton Inn

Named as one of the top 10 cross-country ski resorts in the Rockies by Snow Country magazine, the Izaak Walton Inn offers 33 kilometers of sheltered trails. The trails wind gently through forested terrain with views of Glacier National Park. Trails are groomed daily for skate and classic skiing, while a one kilometer loop is lit for night skiing.

Stillwater Nordic

Located eight miles northwest of Whitefish, Stillwater Nordic offers 20 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails that wind over ridge tops, along lake shores and through forests. Trails are groomed for skate-skiing, with tracks for classic. They also have 3.5 kilometer trail that is dog-friendly.

Swan Mountain Guest Ranch

Offering a unique cross-country ski experience, Swan Mountain Guest Ranch has more than 30 kilometers of groomed trails that make their way through the Swan River State Forest. Daily trail passes are available.

Trails Map

National Forests Offering Cross-Country Trails

Bitterroot National Forest Trails

Saddle Mountain

Lost Trail Pass Ski Trail is not groomed. The trail begins at the Lost Trail Ski Area and follows the road up to Saddle Mountain.

  • Length: 4.8 km of most difficult (mountain touring) trail.
  • Trail Begins: Lost Trail Ski Area.
  • Trail Ends: Saddle Mountain.

Saddle Mountain Burn

Lost Trail Pass Ski Trail is a mountain touring trail that begins in Lost Trail Pass Ski Area parking lot and ends on Highway 93 at the East Camp Creek Road. This trail is not groomed.

  • Length: 1.3 km of easiest, 1.3 km of more difficult and 1.4 of most difficult (mountain touring).

Wildfire Trail

Lost Trail Pass Ski Trail takes off from Saddle Mountain Trail and follows ridge out into the Saddle Mountain Burn. Provides three separate routes through the burn; one most difficult and two more difficult. Trails are marked, signed and maintained. This trail is not groomed.

  • Length: 5 km of more difficult and 1 km most difficult (mountain touring) trail.

Flathead National Forest Trails

Blacktail Mountain Ski Trail

The trail is intermittently groomed. No skiing on plowed Blacktail Mountain Road. Spectacular views of Flathead Lake, valley and four surrounding mountain ranges.

  • Length: 39.5 km total tails (10 km easiest, 29.5 km more difficult trail).

Essex Ski Trail Complex

Essex is a trail system that consists of seven trails. To access the complex, park at Izaak Walton Inn. The trails are maintained and groomed by Izaak Walton Inn. There is a required trail fee of $5.00 per person.

  • Length: 16.3 km of easiest, 12.5 km more difficult and 2 km most difficult trail; intermittent grooming.

Round Meadows Ski Trail

Round Meadows is intermittently groomed December 20 to March 15. Trailhead parking for 50 vehicles, plus accessible restroom. Trail maps available at entrance sign. Snowmobiles prohibited. Dogs are allowed but need to be under control of owners.

  • Length: 12.5 km total trail (3.5 miles easiest, 3.5 miles more difficult, 2 miles most difficult trail).

Kootenai National Forest Trails

McGuire Mountain Trail

This trail is an easy hike with very few steep pitches. It follows McGuire Creek for the entire length and is close to the creek the last two miles. Trail length depends on snow plowing of access road. Limited parking.

  • Length: 5.6 to 15.1 km of more difficult trail; no grooming.
  • Trail Begins: 0.3 mile up McGuire Creek off Highway 37.
  • Trail Ends: Upper fork of McGuire Creek.

Birch Creek Ski Trail

The trail is intermittently groomed and provides an opportunity for the cross-country skier to easily access the foothills of the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. There are several marked trails varying in skill levels.

  • Length: 6 km of low difficulty trail and 0.6 of difficult trail.
  • Trail Begins: Birch Creek Recreation Area .
  • Trail Ends: Loop.

Laughing Water Creek Ski Trail

This trail, which leads to Martin Lake, is an ideal tour for beginners and offers a good view of the Tobacco Valley and Salish Mountains. There is also a good view of the Whitefish Range. There are a number of connecting trails available if snow conditions are favorable; up to an additional 11 miles.

  • Length: 4.4 miles.
  • Trail Begins: Road 7008 adjacent to Murphy Lake Ranger Station.
  • Trail Ends: Martin Lake.

Lolo National Forest Trails

Pattee Canyon Recreation Area

This area offers groomed trails for skating. Parking capacity for 40 cars. Closed to motorized vehicles. Dogs prohibited on groomed trails. Ski trails are groomed by the Missoula Nordic Ski Club.

  • Length: 1.6 km of easiest, 4 km of more difficult and 5.4 km of most difficult trail; intermittent grooming.

Seeley Creek Nordic Ski Trails

The trails are a series of linked ski trails. You can select a short, medium or long route. These trails are groomed for skating. No dogs are allowed on groomed trails. Snowmobiles prohibited. Parking available for 12 vehicles. Maps available at the District Office. These trails are groomed intermittently.

  • Length: 3 km of easiest, 12 km of more difficult and 3 km of most difficult trail.
  • Trail Begins: Trailhead on Forest Road 477.
  • Trail Ends: Loop.

Lookout Pass Ski Trails

These trails are next to and part of the snowmobile trail system. There are nine ungroomed trails that make a total of more than seven miles down into the basin. The Lookout Pass Alpine Skiing Area is right next to the cross-country ski trails and offers snowmobiling opportunities. These trails are not groomed.

  • Length: 3.6 km of easiest, 3.5 km of more difficult and 4.5 of most difficult trail.
  • Trail Begins: Lookout Pass Ski Area.
  • Trail Ends: Loop.


Cross-Country Skiing in Montana & Glacier National Park

Western Montana's Glacier Country

News from Glacier National Park: Currently 12.5 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

Bird Woman Falls

An icon in Glacier National Park, Bird Woman Falls is a glistening 492-foot-high waterfall that cascades down the side of Mt. Oberlin. From West Glacier, travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Bird Woman Falls Overlook, located on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Trail of the Cedars

This short boardwalk trail (ADA accessible) takes visitors through an old growth cedar forest. It’s also the beginning of the Avalanche Lake Trail (just over two miles long) that leads to Avalanche Lake—one of the most popular day hikes in Glacier National Park. Trail of the Cedars is located about five and a half miles north of Lake McDonald Lodge.

Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road

If your time in Glacier National Park is limited, one must-see attraction is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 50-mile long road takes travelers between St. Mary and West Glacier through the heart of the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. There are numerous pullouts along the road, ideal for taking photographs and enjoying the scenery.

See a Glacier

As you’re traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road, pull over at Jackson Glacier Overlook (located east of Logan Pass). The overlook offers the best opportunity to see a glacier from the road.

Many Glacier Valley

Home to incredible mountains, active glaciers, abundant wildlife and miles of hiking trails, Many Glacier is located in the northeast section of Glacier National Park. Trails leave from this valley in numerous directions, with popular hiking destinations including Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel.

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