Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Montana Suggestions
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  • #576266
    matty_mcd
    34 Posts

    Hello Montanans and splitters who have been.

    A buddy and I are doing a 3 week road trip from BC down into Montana. we will be starting up north at Whitefish then heading down to Bozeman to hit big Sky and Bridger. We’ve never been to Montana so we’re looking for any recommendations you might have (where to shread, where to stay, good eats & drinks, do-not-miss’, etc).

    Most of all, I’m looking for recommendations for an overnight cabin stay. I’ve found a bunch here: http://www.bozemannet.com/forest_service_cabins/

    but would really appreciate a recommendation. We’re looking for a relatively easy access (1-3hrs with overnight packs on) to a cabin that has good terrain around.

    thanks in advance for your help, there’s nothing like fellow splitboarder inside knowledge!

    -Matt

    #651007
    digerati
    82 Posts

    I can help out with info on Missoula and surrounding area, but can’t be a huge help around Bozeman.

    #651008
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    Sorry to break the news but I don’t think you’ll find one that meets the criteria of 1-3 hour trip AND good terrain – depending on how far you want to travel for that terrain. The USFS cabins around Bzn tend to be in areas that aren’t close to good terrain. The Maxi Cabin or Window Rock Cabin near Hyalite Reservoir are very short skins/walks to get to and are in the vicinity of good riding (check the MT conditions thread for pictures of Blackmore, Hyalite Pk, etc) but you would actually be better off leaving the cabin, getting in your car, and driving closer to the trailheads for those trips.

    Garnet Mtn Lookout Tower is the best cabin in terms of scenery but other than a couple short (100 ft vert) shots near the cabin you may not want/be able to ride other lines considering how little snow there is this year. Those lines would consist of steep open south facing shot that I’m not sure how you’d return from OR an obvious avy chute to the north that I’ve only heard of being ridden/skied a few times in the past dozen years.

    Little Bear Cabin used to be the most comfy but I hear they removed the warming stove and now only have the small fire box on the (awesome) wood fired cook stove. No riding near there without a snowmobile.

    Both of those cabins will take longer than 3 hours to skin to.

    You could probably access a couple places from Mystic Lake cabin (Mt Ellis and Lick Ck meadows) but again you’d really be going out of your way to stay at the cabin (which is about a 10 mile skin depending how you went about it).

    Lastly, they may all be booked up already. Wifey and I tried finding something for a weekend in Feb/Mar and were pretty much out of luck.

    I don’t know if Brackett Ck cabin is available in the winter but that would put you at the eastern base of the Bridgers and maybe in striking distance of some of the terrain up there. Most people use snowmos to get to those lines in the winter though.

    #651009
    Colin
    153 Posts

    If the snow is there, I’m a fan of the bitteroots, as well… a bit west, but worth checking. Resort days at lost trail can be pretty rad, too.

    #651010
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    @colin wrote:

    Resort days at lost trail can be pretty rad, too.

    Sounds like they have WAY more snow than Bridger or Big Sky this year too. Definately compare snow conditions before settling on Bozeman. I know lots of BB and BS season pass holders that are really really depre$$ed this season.

    #651011
    straightliner
    36 Posts

    Big sky area has twice the snow pack that bridger does. I took an avy class in the bridger back country last weekend and the snow is not very good there. The base layer is about a foot of faceted snow. Just got my split so I havent been anywhere else but I definately would go somewhere other than the bridgers.

    #651012
    samh
    726 Posts

    Every rentable Forest Service cabin can be found at http://recreation.gov

    Beaver Creek Cabin NW of West Yellowstone and Ibex Cabin in the Crazy Mountains probably provide the best access to good skiing. The rest are typically too far from good terrain.

    --
    samh.net

    #651013
    rcboarder
    6 Posts

    About half hour north of Whitefish, right on 93, is a place called “Great Northern Powder Guides”, I know they have a backcountry yurt that they can take you to. But like all cat operations, it ain’t cheap.Don’t know if thats an issue for ya but it might be worth a call. They have a web site and they are on facebook. I know Big mountain has been getting good snow as of late,but it rained quite a bit yesterday,don’t know what it did at there elevation though. Good luck!

    #651014
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    This is seriously not the best year to be making a road trip to MT. Where the riding’s good, the snowpack is really touchy and everywhere else, the riding is pretty bad. Unless you are truly fired up to come down here, I would seriously suggest other destinations (such as BC!). I’m not trying to rain on your parade, but it’s pretty grim right now. Be prepared to deal with an unpredictable snowpack and volatile conditions if a storm ever does head this way.
    Let me know if you want some beta on anything specific if you do wind up down in Bozeman.
    Good luck!

    #651015
    friday
    4 Posts

    Conditions in the Missoula area are pretty good right now. I would suggest hitting up the Bitterroots with a resort day or two at Lost Trail and also check out the Swans. Last I checked, the Twin Lakes Snotel at 6400′ in the southern Bitterroots was reporting about 8 feet of snow. I have a couple of buddies that run a yurt business from the Swan range and that might be another good option that’s reasonably priced. You can find them at: http://www.yurtski.com Avalanche report can be found at http://www.missoulaavalanche.com

    hope this helps

    #651016
    matty_mcd
    34 Posts

    thank you Montanans!! :headbang: Lots of great info and suggestions.

    From this site:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode&q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov%2Fftpref%2Fdata%2Fwater%2Fwcs%2Fearth%2Fsnotelwithlabels.kmz&sll=45.467836%2C-108.446045&sspn=5.369953%2C8.712158&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=4

    I see that Bridger is indeed hurting, Big Sky and Moonlight are pretty much on par, and up north including Lost trail are killing it. I’m looking into yurstki.com and perhaps Great North Powder Guides but they are indeed a little pricey.

    Thanks for all the info. Feel free to keep it flowing. If anyone one near Big Sky has accommodation recommendations (cheap slopeside with kitchen), please share.

    #651017
    lifelinksplit
    282 Posts

    i gotta echo the sentiment of the others, not doing to great around here with some pretty sketchy snowpack where there is snow. however it is snowing right now and there are places to go find fun turns. As far as cabins go near riding terrain, not really happening here but I’ll throw out the hantavirus hotel( Fox creek cabin) in cottonwood drainage. It’s still a little ways from decent terrain but it’s around, ask samh since i think he was recently in the area. Anyways its an easy skin in from history rock and NOBODY rents it in the winter, shit there is prob still a bunch of firewood split from the last time I went in(december). oh its pretty tiny though. Anyways good luck with the trip and feel free to hit me up if you’re in bozeman as I’m not working right now. if you have the cash i would be heading south ie jackson

    geoff

    p.s. search over on TGR about the lodging in big sky, has it pretty covered

    #651018
    straightliner
    36 Posts

    @matty_mcd wrote:

    thank you Montanans!! :headbang: Lots of great info and suggestions.

    I see that Bridger is indeed hurting, Big Sky and Moonlight are pretty much on par, and up north including Lost trail are killing it. I’m looking into yurstki.com and perhaps Great North Powder Guides but they are indeed a little pricey.

    Thanks for all the info. Feel free to keep it flowing. If anyone one near Big Sky has accommodation recommendations (cheap slopeside with kitchen), please share.

    I work at the Summit hotel in Big Sky. Its at the base and ski in ski out. We have some small rooms that have a murphy bed, pullout couch and kitchen. Sounds like what you are looking for. The rooms can be pricey at certain times since we pretend we are a 4star hotel. The village center is another hotel affiliated with us, it is also ski in ski out and has similar rooms to the one I described. A lot of times we have deals when you combine tickets and lodging.

    If I were you I would stick to resort riding if you want to safely get the goods around here. Our tram is like taking a heli ride, you can ride some sick wide open steeps here. Let me know if you have anymore questions. You can hit me up when your here, i dont mind sharing a few secrets.

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