Explore Cross-Country Skiing near Helena
Cross country (or Nordic) skiing is a sport that allows you to slow down and soak in the beauty around you. Montana is known for incredible natural snow conditions, and in Helena we capitalize on this by exploring the miles of groomed and ungroomed Nordic ski trails sitting right outside our doors in Big Sky Country.
Cross Country Skiing for Beginners:
The Last Chance Nordic Ski Club (LCNSC) is Helena’s community cross country ski club. LCNSC provides affordable and accessible opportunities for individuals and families to experience cross country skiing. LCNSC offers season rentals for kids ages 3-12 as well as free weekend ski instruction for kids ages 3-18.
Each winter the snow gods smile on Helena’s Bill Roberts Golf Course for just a few glorious weeks, and we enjoy enough snow cover in town to ski where Charles Lindbergh landed his Spirit of St. Louis in 1927. The Last Chance Nordic Ski Club, in partnership with the City of Helena’s Parks and Recreation Department, grooms approximately 4km of skate and classic track (map) around the perimeter of the golf course. The track is well-maintained and runs across gently rolling terrain.
Skiing is free, and all skiers are welcome. Parking for the Golf Course is located at 2201 North Benton Avenue.
Cross Country Skiing for Novices to Advanced
Located 14 miles west of Helena on Highway 12, MacDonald Pass Trail offers over 27 kilometers (16 miles) of ski trails in four connected loops (map). The MacDonald Pass Ski Trails are four connected cross-country ski trail loops near the Continental Divide providing opportunities for beginner and intermediate skiing. The length of this trail is 4.5 km of easiest, 17 km of more difficult and 5.6 km of most difficult trail; groomed. 5 km of groomed trail for skate skiing. The trail begins off Highway 12 and makes a loop.
The Nordic ski trails on MacDonald Pass are open, snow permitting, December through April.
Cross Country Skiing with Dogs
Wondering if you can bring your dogs, snowshoes, or hike on the MacDonald Pass trails? Not on the groomed trails, however, you can go over to the Continental Divide Trail on the Southeast side of the highway with your dog and snowshoe or hike.
Stemple Pass is also a wonderful option for skiers or snowshoers with dogs. Stemple Pass Ski Area is located 37 miles north of Helena and offers 32 km (19 miles) of ungroomed ski trails in four connected loops for beginner to intermediate cross-country skiing. The trails are located off Canyon Creek Road on the south side and there is parking on both sides of the road at the top of the pass. The north side prohibits snowmobiles so it’s a wonderful place to ski, snowshoe and explore.
For all levels, Helena, Montana offers some of the most private and pristine skiing in North America. Come ski with us!
Click here for rentals or more information.