Spend Winter Break in the Winter Wonderland of Kalispell

Winter break in Northwestern Montana means all of the frosty adventure your mind can conjure.  The mountains rapidly fill with fluffy white stuff, streets and shops brim with holiday cheer, and winter outdoor recreation enthusiasts wax their boards and rev their snowmobile engines with unbridled glee. Kalispell’s central location at the center of the Flathead Valley makes it a perfect home base for winter break festivities; and the town’s lodging, shopping and ski package specials lighten the burden on your pocketbook.

Downhill skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts will find deep powder stashes and a whole winter’s worth of terrain at  Whitefish Mountain Resort and Blacktail Mountain. Bring your family and enroll the children in ski school to allow mom and dad a few hours of solitude.

Nordic ski lovers have many options in and around the Kalispell area, including the trails at the Izaak Walton Inn, an historic train depot near Essex — a short drive and perfect day trip form Kalispell. In town, the new Foy’s to Blacktail Trails offer spectacular cross-country skiing opportunities and views of the Flathead Valley. If you’re not a skier, grab snowshoes instead and head to the west entrance of Glacier National Park, where the wild and beautiful western Montana wilderness awaits.

For those with throttle-thumb on the brain, Kalispell’s Winter Wonderland Sports offers an opportunity to experience the backcountry of Northwestern Montana from the saddle of a rented snowmobile. Swan Mountain Snowmobiling also offers a wide range of unique guided tours, including the “Quickie” — a two-hour ride that takes you straight to the top of Desert or Crane Mountain with phenomenal summit views. Swan Mountain also offers sunrise and sunset tours and the “Cook While You Ride” upgrade, allowing snowmobilers to enjoy a hot meal on the trail with a unique device that uses the heat from the snowmobile’s engine to do the cooking.

Cozy up for the night at one of Kalispell’s familiar hotels. During the holiday season, several local hotels offer “stay and shop” and “stay and ski” packages to maximize your dollar on holiday shopping or downhill skiing.

And if you want to get one more breath of fresh Montana air before hitting the hay, hop on the ice in Kalispell’s Woodland Park for a quick hockey game or leisurely skate around the rustic pond. The ice rink is open until 11 p.m. and is free. The only expense is skate rentals and hot chocolate to warm up.

For more information on all the winter amenities Kalispell and Northwestern Montana have to offer, visit http://www.discoverkalispell.com.

The vibrant city of Kalispell is the gateway to Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, Whitefish and all of the recreation, art, shopping and adventure that northwestern Montana has to offer. Plopped in the center of the Flathead Valley, it’s an easy drive to the park entrance, the art galleries of Bigfork or the water sports mecca of Flathead Lake and well-equipped with affordable, comfortable lodging, great dining and a range of shopping from one-off boutiques to price-conscious large-format retailers. 

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