Backcountry Skiing

Escape the resort and find your line on a backcountry skiing tour.

backcountry ski montana

Glacier Adventure Guides now offers backcountry skiing trips in Flathead National Forest. Earn your turns on a guided tour of some of the best ski terrain in the state. On clear days, views of the huge mountains of the Great Bear Wilderness and Glacier National Park are breathtaking.

On the slopes above Dickey Creek, you’re sure to find the run of a lifetime. In remote settings like ours, we rarely cross paths with other skiers. Whatever you’re looking for, our avalanche-certified guides can find you a line you’ll love. Participants must provide their own skiing and avalanche gear. Please note that access to our permit area includes a three-mile skin in and out. A cat shuttle is available from the Izaak Walton Inn for a fee.

*Glacier Adventure Guides does not lead backcountry ski tours into Glacier National Park or the Great Bear Wilderness.

For newer backcountry travelers, we can teach you the following skills:

  • BC Ski Techniques (Kick turns, pole use, etc.)

  • Backcountry XC Ski Equipment

  • Avalanche Awareness

  • Tour planning & Route-finding

ITINERARY:

  • Day trips: Meet at the Glacier Adventure Guides office at 9 a.m., where we will drive to the trailhead to begin the day. We also offer a shuttle service to pick guests up from their lodging at 9 a.m. Full day ski tour, return to Columbia Falls before 5 p.m.

  • *Izaak Walton Inn Guests: Meet downstairs at the guide kiosk at 9 a.m. Load up and head to the trail, full day ski tour, return to the Inn around 4 p.m.

EQUIPMENT LIST

-DOWNLOAD THIS LIST IN A .PDF-

SKI GEAR
CLOTHING
PERSONAL GEAR

Glacier Adventure Guides leads backcountry ski tours to the Dickey Creek Drainage above Essex, Montana. Our ski tours require moderate off-piste ski skills and a reasonable level of fitness. Everyone earns their turns in the Middle Fork.

DICKEY CREEK - Deep powder in a remote mountain setting

DICKEY CREEK

backcountry ski glacier park

Dropping the west-facing slopes
above Dickey Creek on a sunny powder day.

The slopes above the mountain village of Essex are a backcountry skier’s dream. Tucked away in John F. Stephens Canyon, the glades and chutes of Dickey Creek offer deep powder and long runs. A cat shuttle to the slopes is available to and from the Izaak Walton Inn for $300.

TRAILHEAD:  IZAAK WALTON INN (50-MINUTE DRIVE FROM COLUMBIA FALLS)
BEST SEASON: JANUARY – MARCH
LENGTH: 7 MI (11 km) round trip from Inn, 1 MI w/cat shuttle
ELEVATION GAIN: 600′-1200′ (60-365m)
DIFFICULTY: MODERATE – STRENUOUS

Columbia Falls is located in northwest Montana and is known as “The Gateway to Glacier.”

The town is also a short drive from the North Fork of the Flathead River, and is surrounded by the Whitefish, Livingston and Swan mountain ranges and several national and state forests. “C-Falls” is a prime destination for skiing, hiking and camping. Adventure lives here!

Drive times to Columbia Falls:

Glacier International Airport (FCA): 15 min.
Whitefish Train Depot: 20 min.
Whitefish Mtn. Resort: 35 min.

Hotels: We encourage you to check out the historic Izaak Walton Inn, located in beautiful Essex, Montana. Tucked away in the forest, the Inn offers trails right from the hotel, a full restaurant and bar, hot tub and private suites.

Cost includes:

Guide(s)

Food

Transportation from the office to trail head

Does not include:

Backcountry ski/avalanche gear

Hotel costs before, during, or after the trips

Transportation from lodging to office (shuttle rates: $75 from Whitefish, $125 from Whitefish Mountain Resort).

Guide Gratuity

Ready to book? You have the option to either call and book via phone or through our secure Online Reservation System.

Need more information? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Free inquiries can be made by calling us at 877-735-9514 or emailing Greg Fortin, owner and lead guide.

All participants must read and sign an Assumption of Risks/Liability Waiver, fill out our Guide Questionnaire and agree to our Reservations and Cancellations Policies.