Winter Outdoor Activities in Southeast Montana

2023-12-27 20:21:19

Calling all chilly adventurers! Southeast Montana may not be the first place that pops into your mind when you think of winter wonderlands, but guess what? It’s a hidden gem of frozen fun. Let’s dive into the frosty frolics that make this corner of Montana sparkle.


Strapping on these oversized tennis rackets for your feet turns you into the abominable snow explorer. It’s like hiking, but cooler – literally! Venture off the beaten path and leave Sasquatch-sized footprints in the snow. Bonus points if you find a yeti (or at least a really big snowman).

Winter Hiking 

Photo by Tom Shoush

Regular hiking is so last season. Throw on your coziest wool socks, grab a thermos of hot cocoa and get out here through snow-draped landscapes. If the trails are icy be sure to strap onto your boots extra traction like microspikes or crampons just to be safe. Best hiking spots to check out are listed on our website at Hiking | Visit Southeast Montana.

Ice Fishing 

Photo by Montana State Parks

Grab a buddy and get ready to reel in a frosty catch. It’s like regular fishing, but with an extra layer of challenge – and ice house hat doubles as Arctic hideouts. Bonus: the fish are as chilled out as you are. Check out our suggested ice fishing locations here.

Cross Country Skiing 

Photo by Ashton Jones

Glide gracefully (or not-so-gracefully, no judgment here) through snow-covered fields like a Nordic ninja. It's a full-body workout that leaves you feeling like an Olympian, or at least a winter sports enthusiast who earned that extra slice of pie afterward.

Winter Photography 

Photo by Cassie Solberg

Your camera is about to become your snowy sidekick. Capture the beauty of snow-covered landscapes, icicle-draped trees, and maybe even some elusive wildlife. Pro tip: snowflakes on the lens add a touch of whimsy (and a touch of chilly frustration).


You're never too old for the pure joy of hurtling down a hill on a piece of plastic, plus the climb back up-hill counts for cardio. Bonus points for catching air, executing perfect 360s, and maintaining your dignity despite the inevitable wipeouts. 


Photo by Nathan Satran Photography

Winter nights in Southeast Montana are like a celestial light show that starts early and continues into the wee hours. Bundle up, grab a cozy blanket and gaze at the twinkling wonders above. It's like having a personal planetarium, but with the added thrill of real shooting stars. Check out the Trail to the Stars website for locations with best night sky viewing.

Bird Watching 

Photo by Nathan Satran Photography

Many feathered friends of Southeast Montana don't migrate to warmer climes – they stick around for the winter party. Break out the binoculars and marvel at the resilience of our avian pals, such as chickadees, eagles and owls. For more bird watching tips and tricks check out our blog.

So, whether you're conquering snowdrifts with your trusty snowshoes or sledding like a kid hopped up on hot cocoa, Southeast Montana's winter activities are a frosty blast. Embrace the chill and let the good times snowball.