5 Winter Activities to Enjoy on Our Property

December 27th, 2015 by julia

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Winter in the mountains means miles of powdery ski runs, snow-covered vistas, gently-falling flakes that soften the landscape. It’s a time to explore, but also a time to appreciate the small things, like a hot cup of coffee and evenings spent with family and friends.

The Historic Tamarack Lodge is more than just a place to sleep: we offer a mountain retreat with plenty to do right on the property, not to mention the goldmine of activities just minutes away. If relaxation is your goal, book a room at the Historic Tamarack Lodge and enjoy these five onsite activities in the gateway to winter fun.

Cozy up by the fire

Great Room Historic Tamarack Lodge
As the snow piles up, snuggling by the fire becomes more and more appealing. Good thing the lodge great room is stocked with board games, books, and good times to help you enjoy unwinding in a cozy atmosphere. The rustic Montana charm inside the historic lodge building dates back to the time of its construction in 1907, ideal to enjoy with friends and family.

Watch a movie on your flat screen

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Alongside rustic appeal, the lodge and cabins come fully updated with modern amenities like wifi and satellite TV on large flat screens. There’s nothing like cuddling under the covers on a cold winter’s night with a favorite film to entertain you.

Say hello to Star the Llama

Star the Llama Snow
The property’s resident quadruped, Star the Llama, lives in the back right corner of the property. Llamas are known for their fierce natures, which makes them excellent guard animals against predators. That being said, Star doesn’t relish being pet by people she doesn’t know, but a friendly hello from the fence line is always appreciated.

Walk or snowshoe to the beaver pond

Beaver Pond Bob Marshall Wilderness
It may seem like we talk about the beaver pond a lot, but that’s because it’s not every day that a keystone species builds up a vital part of the ecosystem just steps from your back door! Econerdism aside, the beaver pond is a beautiful place to explore, especially in winter, when the term Winter Wonderland doesn’t even begin to describe the sparkling splendor of the area. Slip on some boots or rent snowshoes from the front desk and check it out!

Grab a drink at the Saloon and enjoy dinner at Oso’s

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With some of the smokiest barbecue and zingiest Mexican cuisine around, Oso’s serves up the area’s tastiest meals year round, open Friday and Saturday nights for dinner and Sunday morning for brunch through the winter. Pair a tasty meal with a stiff drink (including the Sunday brunch Bloody Mary bar) or invigorating coffee from the Saloon, and you’ve got a good handle on Montana gourmet.

Reserve your stay at the lodge and enjoy the best of a Montana winter right on the property!

Romantic Winter Retreat in Glacier National Park

December 22nd, 2015 by julia

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Modern buildings constructed with historic flair, the Couple Cabins back up against the Flathead National Forest in a secluded wooded haven perfect for contemplative solitude or a romantic retreat.

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While the snow falls outside, snuggle up inside with a cup of hot chocolate, or head to the slopes in nearby Whitefish Mountain Resort, with a cozy cabin to return to after a day at the mountain. With our property just a short drive from the west entrance of Glacier National Park, it’s a quick jaunt to cross country ski trails and snowshoeing galore. Ask our friendly front desk staff for information on in-house snowshoe rentals and trail recommendations!

Glacier National Park Snowshoeing

A short stroll beyond our back fence, the beaver pond in the Bob Marshall Wilderness gives guests a taste of winter wonderland when the the water freezes over and snow dusts the treetops, with the hills rising up behind in a vista of snow-sprinkled wilderness.

Beaver Pond Bob Marshall Wilderness

For guests with reduced mobility, the Merritt Cabin offers ADA-approved bath design with full roll-in wheelchair access, and both cabins feature parking directly in front with no steps or stairs.

The intimate interior offers hardwood floors and lofted ceilings, alongside a full kitchen and bath in the studio-style cabin that lends an intimate feel.

Just down the path in the main lodge building, guests can enjoy the warmth and cozy of the common room, with overstuffed leather couches to curl up on in front of the fireplace.

Great Room Historic Tamarack Lodge

Reserve a Couple Cabin at the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins for an intimate mountain getaway this winter!

Cross Country Skiing in Glacier National Park

December 17th, 2015 by julia

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One of the highlights of visiting Glacier National Park in winter is getting to take advantage of the snowy trails, open to snowshoers, cross country skiers, and outdoor-lovers of all sorts. Work up a sweat and check out this sampling of routes on the west side of the park, ranging from beginning to advanced.

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Layer up and hit the trails to enjoy a day sliding through a quiet wilderness winter scene. To check on trail conditions and road closures, call the park service at 406-888-7800 or check the website before heading out.

Beginner: Covey Meadow Loop

A great option for young children, this 3-mile loop heads around a natural meadow in the Polebridge area, an outing with level terrain and a taste of the North Fork area of the park. Trails start from the Polebridge Ranger Station (closed in winter), and skiers should check road conditions before driving the unpaved road.

Intermediate: Sacred Dancing Cascades

From parking in the Lake McDonald Lodge parking lot, ski 1.8 miles up the unplowed road to Lake McDonald Creek, turning left to ski to the bridge over the creek to take in the view of McDonald Falls. Cross the bridge and ski right, continuing on to Sacred Dancing Cascades and back to the road, in a 5.3-mile round trip.

Advanced: Apgar Lookout

For an ascent that offers a challenge, this 10.6-mile round trip trail to Apgar Lookout offers a hearty workout that pays off big in amazing views of Lake McDonald. Park in the lot across from the barn and continue up beyond the end of the plowed section across Quarter Circle Bridge and up the hill. Take the right fork and continue half a mile until the marked trailhead, then head up the slope for the Lookout views!

Our front desk staff would be excited to recommend outfitters for gear rentals, as well as other ski trails in the park. Reserve your room at the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins for the winter mountain getaway of a lifetime!

Great Glacier Institute Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Lover

December 15th, 2015 by julia

Glacier National Park Winter

Glacier National Park Winter

With the upcoming winter holidays, shopping for the adventurers in your life can be a challenge. Winter Ecology adult field camps from the Glacier Institute make great gifts, with this exciting roster of upcoming dates to pick from. The adult winter camps give a unique perspective on Glacier National Park for a new kind of exploration.

Register the outdoor enthusiast in your life for a class and tag along for some quality time enjoying the fresh air together. Pair it with a stay in a cozy lodge room at Historic Tamarack Lodge for the outdoor getaway of a lifetime!

North Fork Animal Tracking and Sign Interpretation: January 9, 2016
Learn to experience the great outdoors in a whole new way, with an in-depth tour of the prints and scat of all the park’s residents. Get acquainted with the sights and sounds of wildlife, with plenty of opportunities for photos and sightseeing over the moderate four-mile guided hike.

Cattail, Pine Needle, and Willow Basket Weaving: January 22-24, 2016
This three-day study of ancient crafting traditions includes the experience of harvesting your own supplies and learning the varied techniques of plaiting and weaving to create one-of-a-kind baskets and mats in the custom of the region’s native peoples.

Winter Nature Photography: February 27, 2016
You bring your gear, Glacier National Park brings the views, and the Glacier Institute brings the guides to lead you through a lesson in nature photography. The course builds plenty of memories to go along with the photographs during this day excursion.

Winter Birds of Prey: March 19, 2016
Along the stunning banks of McDonald Creek, wander through the winter ecosystem and explore the park’s feathered predators. With camera in hand, learn about winter birds of prey and investigate the park while the season still shows off a winter wonderland.

Owls of the Mission Valley: April 9, 2016
Take short hikes under the guidance of Matt Larson from the Owl Research Institute, seeking habitats and telltale signs of the many species of owl in the area. With nine species in the valley alone, the area is one of the best areas in the nation to spot the impressive birds.

Winter Getaway in a Lodge Room at Historic Tamarack Lodge

December 8th, 2015 by julia

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Built in 1907 in the town of Belton (now known as West Glacier), the lodge now sits at its present site in Bad Rocks Canyon, bookended by the Bob Marshall Wilderness  at the back of the property and the Teakettle and Columbia Mountains stretching their legs for sparkling sunset views to the west.

 

Montana Sunset at Historic Tamarack Lodge

 

In the updated eco-friendly lodge, find a feel of old-time serenity with the addition of modern amenities, whether downstairs in the common areas, or up above in the snug log cabin accommodations.

Upstairs in second-floor lodge rooms, lofted ceilings show off the original rough-hewn log beams, maintaining the charm of the building’s historic heritage while bringing guests modern updates, including ensuite baths and complimentary wifi. Satellite TV, coffee makers, and iPod docking station come standard in the rooms.

 

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If you’re looking to unplug and unwind, the cozy lodge Great Room provides a fireside retreat ideal for curling up with a book while the snow drifts down outside. Select from our library of books and board games, or sip a latte or hot chocolate from the Saloon. If you crave something stronger, sample the array of local micro brews and locally-distilled whiskies, crafted in surrounding towns for that unbeatable Big Sky flavor.

 

Great Room Historic Tamarack Lodge

 

In a fusion of rustic history and modern updates, the lodge at Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins provides a winter wonderland retreat, best enjoyed after an invigorating day of snowshoeing in
Glacier National Park, skiing in Whitefish, or exploring local shops.

Give us a call or reserve online to explore the Crown of the Continent when it’s dressed in white, a frosty wilderness of winter sports and relaxation.

 

Snow-covered mountains

5 Hidden Benefits of Visiting Glacier National Park in Winter

December 5th, 2015 by julia

Snow-covered mountains

The secret is out: Glacier National Park in the winter is a sight to be seen and an epic outdoor playground to enjoy when the snow falls.

Winter Wonderland

Northwestern Montana and Glacier National Park remain picture-perfect and a beautiful place at any time of year, but the winter holds a few special benefits. Enjoy a glittering winter wonderland and take advantage of all the hidden perks the season has to offer.

Reduced Winter Rates
From reduced park admission to unbeatable winter season room rates, deals abound for the budget-conscious traveler throughout scenic northwestern Montana during the snowy months. Although it’s impossible to put a price on blissful vacation memories, the days are all the sweeter with a little extra kindness to your wallet.

Fewer Crowds

West Glacier National Park Snowshoeing
The serene ski trails and powder-covered mountaintops might seem like a no-brainer, but as the summer crowds subside, the space stretches out into a peaceful retreat nestled in the crown of the continent. Only the savviest travelers remain around Glacier as days spin on into winter, letting you savor a calm and relaxing mountain stay.

Winter Sports Galore

Glacier National Park Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing and xc skiing in Northwest Montana

Between snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, and snowball fights, all steps away from your cabin’s porch and only a short drive to world-class ski resorts in Whitefish, the only problem you’ll have will be figuring out how to fit it all into a single stay.

Going-to-the-Sun Road Open to Skiers and Snowshoers

Snow-covered mountains

Take those winter sports and head into the park, where the Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed only to four wheels. Skis and snowshoes can head up the road beyond closures, leading to walks tread in serenity, with views enjoyed by only sliding skiers and the park wildlife.

Wildlife to Spot

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Speaking of wildlife, when winter weather brings colder temperatures, the park’s animals descend from their alpine summer homes to winter in the lowlands, making it possible to observe them in their natural habitat. Just make sure to give them plenty of space! Check out these tips for spotting the park’s furry residents.

Reserve a stay at Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins and enjoy a relaxing apres-ski at the onsite Saloon, where we offer a selection of cocktails and local craft brews to help you unwind!

How to spot winter wildlife in Glacier National Park.

November 29th, 2015 by teresa

As the crowds of visitors recede and winter settles over Glacier National Park, the new found calm and quiet makes for an ideal environment to spot the park’s many inhabitants as they move about their habitats.

Many of the animals in the park have stealthy winter camouflage, which can make spotting them a fun challenge.  That said, one of the benefits of wildlife spotting in winter is that many critters that usually move to the highlands in warm weather (to forage and get away from humans) will come down to the milder, more accessible lowlands in winter.

While bears spend a good portion of the season hibernating, the park’s 70 other species of mammal like elk , red fox, white-tailed deer, and bald eagles come out to play in the winter wonderland giving visitors outstanding photo opportunities and great memories.  No selfies though! Stay safe and be sure to stay well away from wildlife (the law is 300 feet from bears, 75 feet from other animals) but don’t be afraid to keep your eyes open and look for these telltale signs of furry and feathered park inhabitants.

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1. Check for Tracks 

The snow forms a perfect canvas to check out animal tracks, with fresh, well-defined footprints telling a detailed story of passersby. You don’t have to be an expert tracker to pick up on what the tracks mean. Does the animal have claws, paws, do they hop or run, how many toes? See what you can discover just by observing.  

2. Look to the Water 

When lakes and streams freeze, any liquid water draws animals like crazy. This makes springs and thin-iced lake-sides the ideal place to spot thirsty animals in their own habitat, taking a sip of that refreshing, icy water.

Lake McDonald in the Winter

Glacier National Park in the Wintertime

3. Scat 

No, we don’t mean skidaddle. While in the summer, animal scat blends in with the undergrowth, the bright white snow makes it easy to spot in winter. Small pellets in a cluster? Probably a deer. The bigger the scat, the bigger the animal that left it behind. If you look closely you may be able to tell what’s on the menu during winter in Glacier National Park.
Book a stay today and take your family on a tour of our winter wonderland.  We guarantee great memories and outstanding views, all year round.

5 things to remember when you snowshoe Glacier National Park

November 27th, 2015 by teresa

Have you tried Snowshoeing yet?  Fun for all the family, and easy to do,it is also an amazing way to get in some snow-covered mountain time while accessing pristine spots in Glacier National Park, even when areas are closed to vehicle traffic. Food coma from too much festive fun? You can’t beat a workout with views like this:stnick

As we’re gearing up for the winter season to start we are busy getting ready for snow.  Thoughts begin to turn to fun activities and great ways to get out into our backyard, and snowshoeing is one of our favorite ways to explore. These tips and tricks help make the snowy path to winter recreation a little easier:

1. Keep a slightly wider stance

Try not to exaggerate this too much, but keeping your legs slightly farther apart than normal gives you more balance as you walk.

2. Kick-step going uphill

This technique helps you get the most traction going uphill in fluffy powder, without sliding back down. Lift up your foot and kick into the slope with your toe so the crampons dig into the hill right under the ball of your foot.

3. Bend your knees

Going downhill can make you feel like leaning back and tensing up, but don’t lock your knees! Keeping them gently bent helps you maintain balance and stay stable.

4. Stay to the side of ski tracks

Showing respect for others using the trail is key when snowshoeing on shared trails with cross country skiers. Since snowshoes have an easier and safer time moving to the side, skis have the right of way on joint trails, so step aside and wave hello when others pass.  

5. Remember to walk naturally!

You’ve read all these tips, you’ve strapped some snowshoes on, but don’t forget, snowshoeing is really just walking. Put one foot in front of the other and try to be as natural as possible.

Rent snowshoes at the lodge and explore the Beaver Pond area behind our property.  Find your groove and then head out into Glacier National Park, or onto the many trails of the Flathead National Forest.  Ask our staff about the best trails for your ability, we’ll be happy to help!

Here’s some helpful links to get you started:

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/snowshoeing-first-steps.html

http://www.redfeather.com/techniques.html

http://snowshoes.com/learn/article/going-downhill

Christmas Parties at the Historic Tamarack Lodge

November 9th, 2015 by teresa

Glacier National Park Event Venue

Host your Christmas party and visit Glacier National Park

Tis most definitely the season, and this year we are open as a venue to host your Christmas party with (sleigh) bells on!

On the menu is:

Lodging from $54* per cabin
Choose from a cozy room on the upper level of the lodge or a private cabin
(cabins range in size and sleep from 2-6)

 The use of our 100 yr old lodge with original stone fireplace, cozy interior and restaurant seating for 40+

20% off drinks at our bar 

A selection of menu options to choose from by our in-house caterers Oso’s.

Traditional Christmas decorations throughout the lodge will give your photos a fabulous backdrop, local products from distilleries and breweries throughout the region will enable you to Shop Local and support the local community, and, with Glacier National Park on our doorstep its a perfect reason to stay and play the next day.

Let that fresh mountain air blow the cobwebs away
(or choose the hair of the dog with our special Sunday Bloody Mary bar!)

*regular Winter rack rates less a 20% discount for events

5 things to do in Glacier National Park when the snow flies

November 6th, 2015 by teresa

Lake McDonald in the Winter

Glacier National Park in the Wintertime

Winter is a fabulous season to experience Glacier National Park.  The snow caps dazzle on the mountains, everything is still and peaceful and the busy sounds of civilization are muffled by a blanket of snow.  There’s no better time to relax, reflect on the past year and make plans for times still to come.

Glacier National Park is open ALL year round and offers an abundance of activities regardless of the season.  Here’s just five things to get you out there and experiencing the beauty of snow season:

  • Snowshoeing – a traditional way to cross snow covered terrain, snowshoeing is suitable for all the family and allows you to experience the extraordinary silence of the Park in Wintertime.  Take a ranger-led snowshoe for the skinny on all the behind the scenes activity during snow season.
  • Nordic Skiing – A great way to get a full-body workout whilst getting a lungful of that clear mountain air!  A popular place to ski in the Park is the Camas Road, but dependent on your level of experience and yearning for adventure, there are unlimited options for you to choose from.
  • Photography – Winter brings the contrast that makes for perfect shots for aspiring Ansel Adams’.  The added bonus is that you get to experience the landscapes in 3D for new inspiration and perspective.
  • Sightseeing – the Going-to-the-Sun Road is typically plowed up to the Avalanche Creek pullout, enabling visitors of all ages and physical conditions to travel through breathtaking scenery including the shores of Lake McDonald and the glittering peaks that lie beyond. Beachcombers can explore the shoreline at Apgar and at Lake McDonald Lodge and there are plenty of places for visitors to bundle up and reflect on the views.
  • Wildlife spotting – while the bears may hibernate, there are plenty of Winter residents to be found such as snowshoe hares, deer, chipmunks and eagles.

When you are all done adventuring, choose your favorite toddy from the bar and curl up beside a roaring fire in the lodge.  We have all you might need for a relaxing break far from the madding crowd.

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