For cross country and nordic skiing enthusiasts, Missoula hosts six fantastic trail systems within a hour of the city.
The Pattee Canyon Recreation Area is a 3,200-acre recreation area on the southeast end of Missoula boasting 6 miles of groomed cross country ski trails. Trail access points are at the picnic area, main trailhead, Crazy Canyon Trailhead and the Larch Camp Road.
The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area is five miles north of Missoula. When there is snow, the ski club grooms the main road to Franklin Bridge about once a week. It offers a quick getaway to recreate in the national forest. With many trails to choose from, the difficulty and duration of a ski/snowshoe trek will vary based on choice of trail.
The Lubrecht Experimental Forest ski trails are 30 miles east of Missoula on Highway 200. The Missoula Nordic Ski Club grooms these trails which are classified as 25% easy, 35% intermediate, 40% difficult. Dogs are allowed.
Lolo Pass offers 8 miles of groomed Nordic trails suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers located just 45 miles southwest of Missoula. It is scenic terrain in an area of historical interest where Lewis & Clark camped. There is a $5.00 fee per day.
Just 63 miles northeast of Missoula, the Seeley Creek Nordic Trail System boasts skate and classic styles of Nordic skiing along different trails located in the Lolo National Forest. The trails are named in loops and segments connecting loops. Most people ski a 3, 5, 7, or 10 km loop, and then add variations as desired.
Located about 63 miles south of Missoula lies Como Trails, a system of trails developed in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service. From December through March, more than thirty miles of Como Trails are groomed for skate and classic skiing and touring. Maps are available at the trail head. Dogs are allowed. See the Como Trails website for more information.