Known for its tough winters, Montana is oftentimes a summertime destination. Most Montana residents would argue, however, that winter is a beautiful and exciting time to explore the state and all it has to offer. In the area surrounding the city of Butte, there are endless winter activities to participate in. Here’s a list of just a few:
Downhill and Cross Country Skiing
If you’re looking to get out and get active, skiing is a great winter activity. Whether you are hoping to hop on a chair lift and downhill ski some of the best mountains in the world, or take a hike and cross country ski your way through the beautiful backwoods, Butte is the place to be. Cross country equipment can be rented at Bob Ward’s Sports and Outdoors. Downhill equipment can be rented at the mountain you choose to ski.
If you want to get outside, but aren’t necessarily looking for a workout, finding a frozen lake will open up a world of possibilities. Two popular ice sports in Montana are ice fishing and ice skating. Less than an hour away, Georgetown Lake is a great place to give these activities a try. Both of these activities can require extensive equipment and can be dangerous if the ice is too thin. We recommend hoping into a local fishing shop or activity store such as Bob Ward’s to ask for expert opinions.
Food and Beverages
If you would rather stay in town and are looking for a good winter beverage and meal, there are many great options in Butte. Here’s a list of five places in Butte where you can find great comfort food. When it comes to beverages, there are a variety of local coffee shops and distilleries that create delicious winter drinks. If you’re in the mood for a coffee be sure to try out Oro Fino Coffee. If you’re in the mood for something stronger make your way to Headframe Spirits.
Downtown Ice Sculpting Contest
Another great winter activity in Butte is the annual ice sculpting contest held downtown. The 2020 competition has been postponed to early 2021, but typically the contest is held in early December each year. Blocks of ice weighing 340 pounds are placed in front of various downtown businesses and artists spend nearly six hours creating their sculptures, competing for various prizes. Downtown shoppers, diners and other onlookers can watch the progress throughout the day.
If you’re looking for a nice, relaxing winter activity, be sure to check out Fairmont Hotsprings. Hot springs water is pumped in at 155 degrees, cooled to various temperatures and fills two large pools and two small mineral soaking tubs. While this resort is fun any time of the year, there is something extra relaxing about sitting in 100-degree water and sipping hot chocolate while snow falls around you.
Whether you are a thrill seeker, are searching for some deep relaxation or a little bit of both, Butte is a great winter destination. For both community members and visitors alike, there is something special about experiencing winter in central Montana.