Glacier Outdoor Center Blog

Posted: February 17th, 2011 by OM

Glacier Outdoor Center is your place for family Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. We offer 10K of groomed trail for ski and snowshoe fun.  Click here to download the updated printable 2011 trail map.

Glacier Outdoor Center offers snowshoe and cross country ski rentals as well as doggie skijoring.  Come up to Glacier country to see why Glacier Outdoor Center is the place to spend time in the great outdoors this winter.

That was Darwon’s quote when he stepped off the groomer this morning.  ”They’re smooth, consistent… near perfect,” he said.  With the thermometer now hovering north of zero you can come enjoy great trail conditions without having to fend off arctic temperatures and ice cream headache.  The temperature is currently 16 degrees, but should warm into the mid 30s this afternoon.  Skies are cloudy and light snow showers are expected later today.

Our rental fleet is fully stocked so if you don’t have skis or snowshoes of your own you can always use ours!  If you have any questions or need more information give us a call at 406-888-5454 or send us an email at

See you on the trails!

Posted: January 27th, 2011 by OM

Good Morning!

It’s a calm, cool, and picturesque morning in West Glacier.  The clouds are breaking, the peaks of Glacier National Park are beginning to show, and there is a large halo of blue sky around Apgar lookout.  It’s currently 24 degrees with no wind and the trails are being freshly groomed as we speak.  The conditions this morning look to be very fast!

Temperatures are expected to warm this afternoon, so it’s a great day to bring up your pooch and begin practicing for our 4th annual Doggie-Skijoring competition.  Race day is February 19th and the event is open to all human + hound pairings.  It’s a really fun event and a portion of all proceeds will go to benefit the Human Society of Northwest Montana.

Come on out, enjoy some sun, and we’ll see you on the trail!

The view from our front porch.

Clear and Cool in Glacier Country

Posted: January 20th, 2011 by OM

The “Fresh” is Back!    While grooming and getting the Glacier Outdoor Center open this morning it began to snow, and snow a bit more, and snow even harder…  It seems to be coming down at about an inch per hour right now!   AWESOME!  We have been anxiously awaiting this storm.   So come on out and ski the Nordic Trails hear in West Glacier,  the track is set for classic diagonal stride, as well as a soft, fresh layer on the firm corduroy for skating.   Let the fun begin!

Posted: January 19th, 2011 by OM

Today was a phenomenal winter day in West Glacier.  We had cool temps and clear skies, not to mention great trail conditions.  Our trails were closed briefly last weekend so as to protect our hard-urned base from use during high temperatures and rainy conditions.  Thanks for being patient!  We’re now back to grooming the cold-brushed corduroy you’ve come to expect at GOC.

Temps are expected to warm some this weekend, but precipitation is still expected to come in flakes instead of drops.  If you are planning on coming up for a ski or snowshoe trek you can always call our office for up to the minute weather and trail condition info.  800-235-6781

See you on the trails!  

Posted: January 12th, 2011 by OM

We’ve got a bad case of corduroy… and it’s spreading!

Marc Evans, Glacier Outdoor Center’s (GOC) Head Groomer, Nordic Ski Patroler and Backcountry Guide was the first to alert us to the growing swaths of corduroy spreading through the woods near West Glacier.  “It seems that Glacier Outdoor Center is the epicenter of the outbreak,” says Evans.  “We started with 10 kilometers of groomed trail, but that number seems to be growing daily.”

According to several eye witnesses, the snow-covered hills surrounding GOC seem to be enveloped in meticulously manicured Nordic ski trails.    There is considerable speculation about what’s causing the growing expanse of skiable terrain, but few concrete facts illuminating its origin.  Some claim it’s a side effect of this winter’s La Niña weather pattern, while others think aliens might be at work.  “The grooming is just so smooth and symmetrical… like crop circles in winter.  It has to be aliens,” says Kali Tholen, GOC’s Reservation Manager.

“I think it’s because of the race,” said GOC Retail Manager, Karsten Carlson.  “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’ve got a bunch of phenomenal skiers arriving next month and our trails keep growing every day.  I mean look at the Arena.  That place was thigh deep powder just days ago and now it looks ready for international competition.”  The Race that Carlson alludes to is the The Race at Glacier /Western States Ski Festival, a huge regional Nordic race happening here on February 26th and 27th and consisting of the best young winter athletes in the West.   The Arena, as Carlson calls it, is an oval-shaped expanse of snow beyond GOC, looks to have been prepped specifically for some type of competition. Coincidence?

So, what is causing this pandemic of perfect trails?  Is it weather?  Aliens? Or just a grooming crew suffering from mild OCD?  We may never know.  But for now I recommend you make a pilgrimage to Glacier Outdoor Center and see for yourself.

Posted: January 11th, 2011 by OM

Good afternoon from the Glacier Outdoor Center!  It has been clear and cold up hear all day… beautiful.  The track was groomed to perfection this morning and the cold temperatures have made for crisp, fast conditions.

The peaks inside Glacier Park have been peaking out from the clouds from time to time, creating some amazing views from our front door.  Come on up, bring your skis (or rent some from us) and your camera!

Temp: 5 Degrees

Wind: None

Cloud Cover: Moderate

More than 150 x-country skiers and snowshoers started 2011 on the right foot… then the left… then the right again as they meandered their way through the Glacier Outdoor Center’s Nordic trails. Many listed the mild weather, great snow conditions, and complimentary trail use as their reasons for coming out, but I think the free cookies and hot chocolate were big selling points.
Many first time Nordic skiers took advantage of the event, and GOC’s rental skis, to try a new winter sport. Others warmed up on our trails before launching into an afternoon of exploration in Glacier National Park.
Thanks to everyone who came out and helped us enjoy a great start to 2011! If you weren’t able to make it on Sunday please visit us soon. We’ve got more events on the horizon and many great ways for you to enjoy winter in West Glacier.

Posted: December 30th, 2010 by OM

At Glacier Outdoor Center we offer an array of winter activities including Doggie Skijoring.  Never heard of Doggie Skijoring?  Here’s a brief overview from Wikipedia:

Skijoring with a dog is a sport in which a dog (or dogs), assist a cross-country skier. From one to three dogs are commonly used. The cross-country skier provides power with skis and poles, and the dog adds additional power by running and pulling. The skier wears a skijoring harness, the dog wears a sled dog harness, and the two are connected by a length of rope. There are no reins or other signaling devices to control the dog: The dog must be motivated by its own desire to run, and respond to the owner’s voice for direction.

Many breeds of dog participate in skijoring. The only prerequisite is a desire to run down a trail and pull, which is innate in many dogs. Small dogs (less than 35 pounds) are rarely seen skijoring, because they do not greatly assist the skier; however, since the skier can provide as much power as is required to travel, any enthusiastic dog can participate. Athletic dogs such as Pointers, Setters and herding breeds take to skijoring with glee, as do the northern breeds, such as Siberian and Alaskan Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds, and Inuit dogs; however, any energetic dog is capable of enjoying this sport. Golden Retrievers, Giant Schnauzers, Labs, and many cross-breeds are seen in harness. Pulling breeds work well also such as American Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, American bull dogs, and mastiffs.

We offer Doggie Skijoring set ups for rental and purchase.  If you find yourself interested but slightly intimidated, don’t be!  We offer lessons as well for $35 per person per hour.  Call for availability.  Bring your furry friend out for an exciting time that is great exercise for both you and Fido.

Posted: December 22nd, 2010 by OM

Expert mountaineer and pro skier Kim Havell was recently up in Whitefish for a screening of a never-before-seen Salomon Freeski TV episode from Morocco at the Whitefish Mountain Film Festival.  Kim has scaled and skied some of the most impressive mountains in the world, having traveled to over 50 countries.  She most recently just completed a ski decent from 7,400m on Shisha Pangma in Tibet.  She took time out of her schedule to come up to Glacier Park where she took a Nordic ski tour of the park with us.  She and Glacier Outdoor Center guide Karsten Carlson had a great morning–she said it was a big highlight of her Montana visit.

Kim and Karsten skied up at the head of Lake McDonald to Sacred Dancing Cascade.  The Sacred Dancing Cascade tour is a 5.3 Mile round trip that goes along McDonald Creek and offers some spectacular views.  It may not quite be mountaineering 6000m plus peaks but the tranquility can’t be beat.  Thanks Kim for spending time with us up in Glacier Country, and come back any time!