If you want to ski a surreal, remote wilderness, then head to Glacier National Park in northwest Montana, a location often overlooked for backcountry touring.
Start with Marias Pass, near Essex at the south end of the park. The terrain is mellow with plenty of low-angle, sheltered trees. More advanced tours are possible here on nearby peaks including Scalplock, Rampage and Snowslip mountains. Marias Pass is one of the lesser-visited areas of the park, and Essex makes a good, little base camp.
In late spring, drive to Logan Pass (elevation 6,680 feet) via the venerable Going-to-the-Sun Road after the road has been cleared of snow. The low-angle snowfields above Logan Pass are perfect for late-season turns, while Clements (8,760 feet) and Reynolds (9,125 feet) mountains provide steeper slopes, bowls and chutes. With good timing, you may even get some late-season powder. It’s also possible to ski here in the fall depending on snow conditions.
Meanwhile, West Glacier, at the southern tip of Lake McDonald, provides a good launch point for excursions into the Apgar Mountains to the west and a chain of peaks and glaciers to the east. Much of this terrain is barely known so grab a topo map and talk to the locals.
Fly into Glacier Park International Airport located in Kalispell, Montana, then take US Hwy 2 into the park.
MORE BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURES:
- Mt. Baker, Washington
- Berthoud Pass, Central Colorado
- Tenmile Range/Summit County, North-central Colorado
- Mt. Lassen, California
- Wasatch Range, Utah
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho
- Teton Pass, Wyoming
- Mount Greylock, Western Massachusetts
- Bolton Valley Backcountry, Northern Vermont
- Cardigan Ski Reservation, Western New Hampshire