Archive for the ‘Winter Activities’ Category

3 Montana Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

February 12th, 2016 by julia


Love is about more than just roses and chocolates. This Valentine’s Day, make your celebration as Montana as possible with these three date nights straight from the Treasure State.


Barstool Ski Races and BBQ

This photo speaks for itself.

This photo speaks for itself.


Cabin Fever Days shares a date with Valentine’s this year, making for ideal celebrating with Barstool Ski Race Finals at 3:00pm and great food along the route all day. The lodge’s own Oso’s Smokin’ BBQ will be serving mobile at the Stonefly, and our Saloon will be open for that intimate evening cocktail for two.


Dog Sled Ride



Make your sweetie swoon with a cozy sled ride, hosted by man’s best friend. Dog Sled Adventures sweeps you off your feet with trained teams and guides ready to woo you through miles of pristine wooded wilderness, covered in a gentle blanket of snow. Snuggle up for warmth and watch the natural beauty slide past, with an apès sled waiting when you return.


Beer and Torchlight Parade

Beer Tasting Flathead Lake Brewing


Celebrate a day early and gear up on Saturday for the Big Sky Tap Takeover at Grouse Mountain Lodge, then head up to Whitefish Mountain Resort for the annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks at 6:15, all in honor of love (and mostly Presidents’ Day). Smooch by starlight and breathe in the chilly air with your amour.


Stumped on the best gift for your valentine? Plan a Montana adventure and book your stay at the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins to celebrate love at any time of year.

Long Weekend Itinerary | Montana Winter

February 10th, 2016 by julia


Winter in northwestern Montana remains one of the great undiscovered gems in the Crown of the Continent – fewer crowds, glistening snow, mountain views. The only problem would be choosing how to spend your days if you’re operating on a limited schedule. We’ve broken it down for you into the long weekend itinerary of dreams, with time for fire relaxing and madcap adventure alike.

Arrive on Friday in time to check in before savoring a local microbrew, paired with Prime Rib night on site from Oso’s Smokin’ BBQ. Spend the evening in the lodge, relaxing and digesting in front of the fire before heading up to your cabin for a deep mountain sleep.

Grizzly Room

Saturday, caffeinate with a tasty latte from our Coffee Bar, then hit the road and mosey 8.1 miles up the street to Glacier National Park with a stop at the Trap Line Cafe for breakfast, and snag some sandwiches from the Glacier Center next door for a lunch in nature.

Lake McDonald Lodge Winter

Arrive at the park in time for a ranger led snowshoe walk (rentals available at Apgar visitor center or from our front desk), taking in the sights and sounds of serene Glacier in winter. Stop in at Glacier Distilling for a tasting as you return, then make your way back for dinner at Oso’s, or attempt to down an entire Packers Burger (just one minute from the lodge).

Snowmobile Jump

Sunday, start slow with a brunch at the lodge at 9 o’clock, then head out to carve up the slopes, whether that be with a lesson and après ski at Whitefish Mountain Resort, a Snowmobile tour with Swan Mountain Snowmobile, or a dog sled ride of a lifetime from Dog Sled Adventures.

Say goodbye with a promise to return (and great guest loyalty deals when you do!)

Book your long weekend at the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins and get ready for a winter adventure.

50 Things to do During a Montana Winter

February 4th, 2016 by julia


Winters in northwestern Montana may be long, but there’s no shortage of fun. Plan your stay at the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins around some of these 50 riotously fun activities:

1. Go skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort or Blacktail Mountain.
2. Have a dog sled adventure.

Winter activities at The Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins
3. Head out backcountry skiing in the Flathead National Forest.
4. Get cozy with a yeti at the Whitefish Winter Carnival.
5. Buckle up for barstool ski races at Cabin Fever Days.
6. Follow along on a guided Snowshoe Walk in Glacier National Park
7. Take a snowmobile excursion with Swan Mountain Snowmobiling. 
8. Drink hot chocolate or coffee by the fire.
9. Cross country ski in Glacier National Park.
10. Savor a delicious dinner at Oso’s Smokin’ BBQ.
11. Build a snowman.
12. Have a snowball fight.
13. Make snow angels.
14. Make a snow throne and pretend to be royalty.
15. Make homemade snow cones.
16. Shop boutique shops in downtown Whitefish.
17. Enjoy a whiskey tasting at Glacier Distilling.
18. Hunt for the Northern Lights.
19. See the parade at Night of Lights in Columbia Falls.
20. Catch Ski Joring in Whitefish.
21. Enter the Dummy Derby at the Winter Brewfest.
22. Search for the best sledding hill.
23. Go ice skating.
24. Beat the vertical record at the mountain.
25. Cook over the fire like a pioneer.

26. Take a day for ice fishing.
27. Make a snow maze or snow fort.
28. Turn out for Seeley Lake Winterfest.
29. Relax and unwind at the Hot Springs.
30. Check out a hockey game with the Missoula Maulers.
31. Strip down to your skivvies for a polar plunge for charity.
32. Hitch up the horses for a sleigh ride.
33. Sip on local wines at a wine tasting.
34. Explore local artists at Going to the Sun Gallery.
35. Pick the most photogenic peak in Glacier National Park.
36. Set out on a scavenger hunt to find the biggest icicles.
37. Go on a snowcoach tour.
38. Search for animal tracks in the snow.

39. Taste seasonal brews from local breweries.
40. Watch a biathlon (or train for one!)
41. Capture stunning photos of snow ghosts.
42. See dramatic inversions from above.
43. Catch a show at the Alpine Theatre Project.
44. Paint pottery at Stumptown Art Studio.
45. Get the best cappuccino in Montana at Off the Beaten Path.
46. Take a spa day.
47. Participate in a snow safety course with Flathead Avalanche Center.
48. Pay a visit to Star the Llama.

Star the Llama Snow
49. Go square dancing at the Bar W Guest Ranch.
50. Check out live music at the Great Northern.

Flathead Valley Cross Country Ski Getaway!

January 24th, 2016 by julia



We’ve written about Glacier National Park ski and snowshoe trails before, but there are miles more options in the National Forest right off our back step at the lodge.

The Flathead National Forest includes the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Great Bear Wilderness, and the Scapegoat Wilderness under its umbrella. In that forest complex, you can find endless opportunity for snowy adventure to keep you entertained season after season.

Cross country (or Nordic) skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy scenic northwestern Montana in winter, with miles of ski trails to choose from and some of the best snow coverage in the continental United States.

Of course, ungroomed trail systems are never ending with so many miles of National Forest in our backyard. But for the groomed action, check out these three convenient spots for classic and skate skiing.

Izaak Walton Inn

Situated between West Glacier and East Glacier, the Izaak Walton Inn maintains 20 miles of cross country trails behind the property in the Great Bear Wilderness, running alongside icy streams and up rolling hills. Trails mix of easy, intermediate, and difficult levels. With rentals and lessons offered right onsite, head out for a day of skiing on a whim.

Click here to get directions to Izaak Walton from the lodge.

Bigfork Community Nordic Center

With nearly 5 miles of gentle terrain, the Bigfork Community Nordic Center makes a great location to get a start free-heeling. Bring your skis and Montana Recreational Use license and hit the tracks for a day skating in one of the area’s scenic small towns.

Click here for directions to North Shore Nordic from the lodge.

Glacier Nordic

Nordic trails crisscross Whitefish, from the slopes of Whitefish Mountain Resort to the tracks groomed by the Glacier Nordic Club in town, on the mountain, and up the road in Round Meadows. With 43 miles of trails in the immediate vicinity, the snow will get your blood pumping. Rentals and lessons are also available at most Whitefish-area locations.

Click here for directions to Glacier Nordic from the lodge.


Conveniently situated at the epicenter of groomed and backcountry free-heel fun, the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins makes for an unbeatable alpine adventure destination! Reserve your room or cabin for a gliding winter getaway.

3 Glacier Guided Winter Adventures

January 16th, 2016 by julia

Glacier National Park Winter


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


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

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!

A Winter Drive to Hungry Horse Dam

January 6th, 2016 by julia


The most beautiful part of a snow-covered winter is that the mundane and everyday become transformed in a wash of white that alters reality, turning simple trees and houses into fantastical postcard scenes. When you combine that with already stunning panoramas, you have winter in Montana.

A snowfall highlights mountain ranges and sweeping vistas in a broad brushstroke of sparkling light, which comes out even stronger when the sun peeks around the clouds.


The drive from the Historic Tamarack Lodge to the Hungry Horse Dam traces five miles of some of the most scenic views outside Glacier National Park.

Turn off of Highway 2 onto West Side Road, right before the town of Hungry Horse. Take the curves slowly to better enjoy the views that stretch out on the right as the road winds past North Lion Lake and South Lion Lake, a scenic route that holds the promise of wide-reaching mountain views on a clear day.IMG_3725The miles pass by, building anticipation in the deepening valley until you wind your way around the last corner. In front of you, the dam stretches down to impossible depths, the mountains reaching up to wild heights above.


Constructed between 1948 and 1953, the dam climbs 564 feet high, built from concrete on a foundation of Siyeh Limestone. But facts alone don’t suffice to impress upon us the force of seeing the dam from a distance.

A feat of engineering and of nature in the same view finder, an experience of appreciation designed to be shared, in a level of awe that can only be described as jaw-dropping.

With a winter stay at the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins, explore the much-loved sights of the Crown of the Continent in a whole new way, nestled in a snowy paradise that makes every view original.

5 Winter Activities to Enjoy on Our Property

December 27th, 2015 by julia




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

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

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!

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.

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.



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.