Within Glacier Park itself, accommodations range from many-room lodges and hotels to motels, rustic cabins, and campsites with and without facilities. Most places are closed from October to May, except for a primitive campground at Apgar near the park's west entrance. Winter campers find the experience peaceful and challenging. Beginning in late November, back-country camping regulations take effect. Weather is unpredictable, and skiers in particular must beware of avalanches and hypothermia.
Off-season visitors who prefer amenities often choose nearby towns as a base. For campers, there's a KOA three miles south of Whitefish on Highway 93 and an in-town RV park with tent sites, both open all year. Skaters can perform figure-eights at the Olympic-size Mountain Trails Ice Skating Center in Whitefish or take a walking tour enlivened with intriguing tidbits of town history. Although the Big Mountain Resort (www.bigmtn.com) has a few "no-snow" activities such as mountain biking and hikes, it's better known for its winter sports. Snow tubing, snowboarding, and snowcat skiing join downhill and Nordic skiing on the slopes.
Skiing down a mountainside with wind in your face may be fun, but it's hardly unique. What better way to end a snow-laden holiday than a once-in-a-lifetime travel at the "Speed of Dog"? Just minutes from Whitefish on Highway 93 is Dog Sled Adventures (406/881-2275; www.dogsledadventuresmontana.com). Wrapped in a cocoon of elk fur and pulled by a bevy of eager, tail-wagging dogs, you're off on an exhilarating 12-mile-loop ride through the Stillwater State Forest. Cookies and hot chocolate are a warm-up treat at trail's end.
Be Advised: The information presented in this column is, to the best of our knowledge, correct and accurate at the time of publication. However, because of our lengthy lead time, we recommend you call the proper authorities or local experts for confirmation before visiting.
Editor's Note: Mud or snow on your windshield give you chills? Four-wheeling your weekends away? Got a good story to tell about it? Send us all the gear-popping seatbelt-tightening dust-kicking details in 500 words or less, along with your best photos (color slides, preferably), and we'll pay $300. Send to Truck Trend, c/o "On the Road," 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. We'll publish your adventures.