Archive for the ‘Area activities’ Category

Cabin Fever Days 2016

January 27th, 2016 by julia

This photo speaks for itself.

This photo speaks for itself.

What do you get when you cross adult beverages with barstools on skis, tons of live music, and fundraising? Cabin Fever Days, of course! This year’s festivities are fast approaching, with ample opportunity for fun and friendly competition.

An uninitiated cabin fever-ite may have heard only rumors of mythical barstool ski races and get out of jail buttons, which photos certainly don’t do justice – you have to be there to appreciate it.

But where logistics are concerned, here’s the breakdown of all you’ll need to have an awesome time!

What on Earth?

Fundraising winter festival and general get-out-of-the-house debauchery with plenty of family friendly activities thrown in.

Where in the Heck?

Event locations range through the whole canyon from Hungry Horse to the Dew Drop Inn, with a free shuttle included with your admission button.

When Exactly? 

Saturday, February 13, 12:00pm – 2:00am
Sunday, February 14, 12:00pm – 8:00pm

How does this work? 

Buy a button and snag the shuttle up the trapline, with stops along the way for sustenance and libation, not to mention a barstool race or two…

Dirty Details:

Pick up your $3 Cabin Fever Days buttons and $5 Get out of Jail buttons at Stonefly Lounge, Packers Roost, Southfork Saloon, Deerlick Saloon, Dam Town Tavern, or Dew Drop Inn.

For complete details, parking information, and a schedule for the weekend, click here.

3 Glacier Guided Winter Adventures

January 16th, 2016 by julia

Glacier National Park Winter

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There’s no such thing as a bad season to visit Northwestern Montana’s Glacier Country: summer brings miles of hiking, swimming, and boating; fall larches bring fiery color changes to the hills; spring melts bring white water and clear roads for cyclists with cool weather. But winter is the crowning glory, with snow sports making for an outdoor culture as lively as in summer, just minus the crowds.

Winter may give pause to summer-weather sports enthusiasts not used to the colder conditions, but never fear: you don’t have to be an expert cross country skier, snowshoer, or snowmobiler to enjoy the utopia that the Crown of the Continent offers in winter.

Guided excursions let the novice winter explorer delve into backcountry goodies without having to spend years studying the nuances of a particular sport.

Make a reservation and grab your gloves, because that’s all you’ll need to bring along on these guided getaways to the wilderness.

Swan Mountain Snowmobile Rentals & Tours

The guides at Swan Mountain will take you out on a tour of Canyon Creek, Desert Mountain or Crane Mountain. With family friendly options, hotel pickup, and tours as short as two hours on top of professional instruction, you’ll be ready to sled in no time.

Dog Sled Adventures

Speaking of sleds, Dog Sled Adventures will bring you closer to nature, nestled under cozy elk furs on a 12-mile loop through the Stillwater State Forest. Take in the view pulled by a team of sled dogs, exploring winter without the sounds of modern day before finishing up snuggled by the fire with cookies and hot chocolate.

Glacier Adventure Guides

Can’t pick which sport to try? Head to the hills with Glacier Adventure Guides, offering snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, cross country skiing, and winter overnight trips in Glacier and the surrounding area. And with full gear rental options with lunch and transportation included, really all you have to do is show up.

 

Pair a winter adventure with a cozy lodge room stay at the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins and return to an intimate fireside retreat after a long day exploring! 

Guide to Flathead Valley Downhill Ski Deals

January 9th, 2016 by julia

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With runs upon runs of fresh snow, the powder hound should feel perfectly at home on the slopes here in northwestern Montana. Skiers and snowboarders have their pick of world class Whitefish Mountain Resort to the north and budget-friendly Blacktail Mountain to the south, without even getting into the boundless backcountry all around.

While lift ticket prices soar and the snow levels drop in recent years, it can seem difficult to find good snow on a budget. Not to worry: this handy guide can help you put down some fresh tracks without stretching your wallet. Pair it with a budget stay in one of our cozy Unit Cabins and you’re golden.

Tips for great deals

Whitefish Mountain Resort

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Just 25 miles away from the lodge, Whitefish Mountain Resort offers 105 marked trails over 3000 acres that stretch across three faces, enough to keep everyone from the most avid skiers to the greenest of green beginners occupied.

Costco members rejoice! The Kalispell Costco sells lift ticket specials for the mountain, with Whitefish Mountain Resort day passes going for 2 for $107, a savings of $20 per ticket.

Another perk: there’s no age cap on great skiing. If you’re still riding at 70+, ski for free. Armed forces, including active duty, retired, and dependents/spouses, enjoy half price lift tickets.

This mountain is a great place to learn, with day passes for the four-lift beginner area going for $21.

 

Blacktail Mountain

via Flickr user Kate Brady

via Flickr user Kate Brady

Blacktail may be smaller (it’s a 3-lift operation), but you can’t beat the laid back atmosphere and great lift ticket deals if you’re looking to save a bit. And fresh powder days are not to be missed! A 75 mile drive around scenic Flathead Lake makes the journey more than worth it, on top of the deals to be had.

Thrifty Thursdays let you ski for $25 all day. Winter birthdays seem even sweeter when you get to ski free (with proof!) on your birthday.

For families traveling with kids, bring proof of your child’s fifth-grade status (report card, student ID, or letter from a teacher) and they ski free, while 7 and under rides free as well.

 

Reserve your stay at the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins and take advantage of unbeatable downhill ski deals!

Guide to Glacier National Park Ranger-Led Snowshoe Walks

December 29th, 2015 by julia

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West Glacier National Park Snowshoeing

Good news for outdoorsy folks who love to float over some fresh powder: the schedule for this winter’s ranger-led snowshoe walks in Glacier National Park is up, with weekend walks from January 6 through March 20!

These group strolls through the park make for an invigorating and fresh way to see the scenery. To get an idea of what to expect on the walks (free with park admission!) check out the nuts and bolts below.

The Basics
Walks start at the Apgar Visitor Center every Saturday and Sunday, January 6 through March 20. They begin at 10:30 am and 2:00 pm, and run for about two hours. Participants should come prepared with warm layers, good shoes, snacks, and water, and the Park Service recommends the walks for ages 6 and up.

Snowshoes
Participants can rent snowshoes from the Apgar Visitor Center for $2, pick up rentals from outfitters in the area, or bring their own. The lodge also rents snowshoes to guests who want to hit the trails!

The Experience
Park rangers lead walks on gentle terrain, giving interpretive talks along the way to immerse participants in the ecology and animals of the park while savoring the remote calm of the mountains in winter.

Spend the time tromping through one of the country’s most scenic areas, and relish the freedom from summer crowds while still getting to enjoy the arresting panoramas and snow-topped mountain peaks.

 

Only 8 miles from the park’s west entrance, the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins offers some of the closest year-round lodging to Glacier National Park. Reserve your room to enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains in 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.

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!

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

Winter Activities in Glacier National Park

January 13th, 2015 by teresa

Nordic skiing in Glacier National ParkThe quiet and serenity of Winter in Glacier National Park makes it the ultimate vacation destination for all those in need of respite from the crowds and constant consumerism of the holiday season.  Bring yourself back to all that is really important by getting out in the snow-covered vistas and breathing in the envigorating mountain air.

Nordic skiing is a great way to burn off the calories of over-indulgence and encourage an appetite for life and adventure, and there’s no better place to get on your skis than Glacier National Park.

Glacier offers a variety of routes for skiers of all abilities.  Spend a day exploring the easier routes here, or travel to nearby Izaak Walton Inn, the North Shore trail network, or Stillwater Nordic Lodge.

Ask us about local ski rental or, if you’re sold on nordic skiing as a Winter activity, purchase a great value package from local Sportsman Skihaus stores.

Reflect on your day’s adventure with a Moscow Mule or a Hot Buttered Rum by a crackling fire and start your year off the right way when you book a stay with us.

Winter Ecology in Glacier National Park

November 30th, 2014 by teresa

 

side-activities7Experience the beauty and stillness of Glacier National Park in Winter.  Stay at the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins, the closest lodging to the park that stays open year round.  Our facility is fully prepared to handle all four seasons in Montana.  Enjoy an espresso in front of our original stone fireplace and warm your toes after spending a day snowshoeing with the Glacier Institute on their Winter Ecology course as described below:

 ‘Winter in Glacier is a special time that is free of crowds, exceptionally quiet, and beautiful beyond belief.  In this course, we will explore the Lower McDonald Creek area to learn how plants and animals adapt to survive winter in Glacier National Park.   This course focuses on the adaptations of evergreen trees, shrubs, and forbs that allow them so survive Glacier’s harsh winter challenges.  We will also focus on the adaptations of a few selected animals and birds that Field Ecologist Brian Baxter has studied in winter.  

These animals include:  Snowshoe hare; Canadian lynx; White tailed Ptarmigan; Rocky Mountain Elk; Long tailed weasel; Boreal owl; and Wolverine.  Additional concentration will focus on specialized predator/prey relationships; hunting and escape strategies; camouflages; habits and habitats.

 Brian Baxter, B.S. is a wildlife researcher and forester who spent numerous winters studying animals such as the wolverine, lynx, fisher, and marten.  Brian is an experienced instructor in Glacier National Park that will help you greatly improve your ability to ‘read’ the landscape. So beat the winter blues, bring your camera and sense of humor, and come enjoy winter with a few like-minded folks!

 This trip takes place on December 6th, 2014 for a rate of $65.

 9:00 AM start. Depending on the interests of the group, the course will wrap up between 3:00pm and 5:00pm.

 Meeting Place:  The old Apgar visitor center in Glacier National Park, located across the street from Eddie’s Cafe.  This should not be confused with the new Apgar visitor center that is connected to the Apgar transit center. 

Food:  Please bring a sack lunch; trail snacks, and plenty of water.

Equipment:  Please dress appropriately in layers; bring lunch, snacks, water, hot drinks; and provide your own snowshoes (or contact the Institute in advance if you need to borrow a pair).  If we’ve had a light snow year in West Glacier, a good pair of boots will suffice.

Physical Requirements:  Moderate. Hiking distance covers less than four miles with less than 500 feet elevation gain.

 Transportation during course:  After meeting at the old visitor center, participants may need to  drive their own vehicles to the nearby trailhead.

 Weather: This course will not be canceled due to weather.’

Visit the Glacier Institute website for details and to book.

 

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