Local art is woven into the Whitefish Community
The arts and cultural pursuits are intensely vibrant and heartfelt in Whitefish. Take a walk around town and it becomes apparent how expressions of our history, culture and the arts are not just the pursuit of a few aficionados, but woven completely into the community fabric.
A local's guide to a perfect February day
An aromatic waft of coffee slips up my nostrils. I stir awake. The anticipation of that cuppa joe is immediate and prompts my exodus from bed. Montana Coffee Traders’ Dust ‘til Dawn beans, freshly roasted, freshly ground—nice wake-up call.
With cup in hand and nose in the weather report, I decide my cross-country ski fate for the day: Big Mountain Nordic trails. It snowed six inches at the base of the mountain last night. Glacier Nordic Club (GNC) grooms both skate lanes and classic track on the mountain trails, starting to lay down corduroy around 9 a.m. and finishing up around noon. Snow conditions will likely be soft, so it will be a classic-ski day. In a day or so, the trails will be packed down nicely—perfect for skate skiing.
But first, breakfast.
Over the years I’ve come to know that the joy invoked by a plate of eggs benedict made by deft hands is unsurpassed. So I head to Loula’s Cafe, home to that silky and satisfying breakfast treat and a bunch of other breakfast items (pie!) that enrich your day. Ah, Loula’s breakfast, guaranteed to please.
With happy belly in tow, I head home in time to get dressed and catch the 10:44 a.m. SNOW Bus up the mountain. A free bus service for skiers of all stripes, the SNOW Bus has many convenient stops throughout Whitefish. Knowing I’m going to burn a lot of calories on those mountain Nordic trails, I top off breckie with a tall glass of locally made Hammer Perpetuum, a sport drink that keeps me from dragg’n fanny on steep climbs (available at Glacier Cyclery & Nordic, Great Northern Cycles & Ski, and Sportsman Ski Haus).
I head out the door, hop the bus up the mountain, and begin my ski.
Big Mountain Nordic trails call your name if you enjoy steep and curvy dissents and challenging climbs. The amount of snowfall at the base of the mountain pretty much guarantees that trail conditions remain excellent throughout the ski season. And boy, those trails are a complete blast. Up, down, around.
To up your skiing pleasure, the Big Mountain Nordic trails connect to the Iron Horse groomed trails for a total of about 25k of mountain Nordic trails. Sweetness of life. The only public access to these trails is located in between the two Willow parking lots located at the Base Lodge of Whitefish Mountain Resort. GNC day passes and donations fund grooming operations. The Club doesn’t collect day-pass fees on the mountain, but happily collects donations on its website, should you feel an overcoming sense of appreciation for the fabulous ski you just had.
OK, you skied, you sweated, you burned calories…it’s time for beer!
Bonsai Brewing, a small-craft, beer-making phenomenon—that’s where you want to go, and it’s conveniently located on the bus route. A three minute walk south from the Stumptown Ice Den stop is all it takes to throw down incredibly delicious beer and hang out with Whitefish locals—a crowd you don’t want to miss.
Now, THAT is a perfect day.
- As told by Rita B., Board member of the Glacier Nordic Club
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