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Glacier Park and Gateway Communities - Open for Business All Winter Long!
COMMUNITY: Columbia Falls
Beacon file photo
It’s a common misconception that our beloved backyard park is closed during the winter months. Not true! Glacier National Park is open seven days a week, year-round (barring any unforeseen budget crises). The small businesses flanking the park and the Flathead National Forest are open for business and eager to serve the Flathead’s residents and visitors. This is the time of year when we enjoy getting to know our local customers and share our experiences and knowledge. Entertaining guests this winter? Pack up the car and head through Bad Rock Canyon to show off our spectacular sights!

Those who live in and around Glacier take advantage of these crowd-free, snow-filled days and strike out on Glacier’s trails on skis and snowshoes for fresh air and exercise, looking for winter animal signs, or just to gaze at the stunning snow covered peaks across Lake McDonald. There’s something for everyone here, from peaceful winter solace taken in through the car window to adrenaline-infused adventure. Poking around the park in winter reveals much more than deep untouched snow, like giant moose tracks heading off through the woods and the swoosh of eagles gliding about as if they owned the place. No matter how you see yourself exploring the Gateway to Glacier area this winter, one thing is certain; there are winter memories waiting to be made!

There’s so much more than Glacier National Park to explore when you follow the Flathead River upstream. Head towards the Hungry Horse Dam for more accessible winter wilderness and see if you can spot the elusive lynx. Strike out on the ice of one of our solid frozen lakes to try your hand at ice fishing, and throw those old ice skates in the trunk in case you find glassy ice to skate on. Rent snowmobiles and sled to the top of Desert Mountain for a breathtaking view without having to sweat for it. Pack a lunch in a backpack, strap your cross country skis to the roof of your car and head to Essex for some challenging groomed skiing, or stop and trek up one of the many forest service roads along the way.

With thousands upon thousands of easily accessible acres of public lands embracing the Flathead Valley, it is easy to find new places for weekend day trips. If you aren’t the solo adventurer type, we have professionals to help you. From guided snowmobile rides and cross country ski adventures to ranger-led snowshoe walks, you can feel safe and get the most out of winter in northwest Montana. On your way home, be sure to stop in to one of the restaurants or watering holes to brag about your day. You are sure to find some friendly folks who are happy to swap their best Montana winter stories.

All too often we hear of people in the Flathead Valley who haven’t ever set foot in Glacier or it’s friendly gateway communities in winter. Don’t let this be you! You can find more information and contact the winter adventure experts by checking out the Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce member directory on our website: www.columbiafallschamber.org. Get out and enjoy this beautiful winter while you can.
 
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