A prominent mountain location in Montana, Red Lodge is an hour southeast of Billings and offers expansive beauty to discover. From the village, the striking Beartooth and Absaroka Mountains may be seen in every direction. And the breathtaking Beartooth Highway exits the city and enters these mountainous regions.
The northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park is located at the other end of the Beartooth Highway from Red Lodge. Red Lodge is a great starting point for exploring Yellowstone, the nation’s first national park, due to its closeness. These mountainous environs also encourage leisure all year round.
Red Lodge is among the nicest little towns in Montana, but it’s not all huge mountain adventure. Red Lodge’s historic downtown area promotes enjoyable interludes between outings. The tastes and culture of Red Lodge are also interesting to explore, from neighborhood coffee shops serving the city’s signature cinnamon buns to meeting locals at a wildlife refuge. If you are searching for things to do in red lodge mt in the winter, continue to read this article.
1. Travel the Beartooth Highway
The Beartooth Highway is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful drives in the nation and a contemporary engineering wonder. From Red Lodge in Wyoming to the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, this 68-mile All-American Road runs. Amazing mountain panoramas unfold with each twisting switchback as the road ascends to the almost 11,000-foot Beartooth Pass.
There are no closures on the Beartooth Highway between Memorial Day and October (depending on snow conditions). The route offers stunning mountain vistas when it is open for business. The roadside attractions include glacial lakes, vast river valleys, and fiery sunsets, to name a few.
The journey itself is enjoyable, particularly with a suggested halt at Rock Creek Vista. However, there are also a ton of scenic chances and entertainment options along this mountain road. The Beartooth Highway is lined with trailheads that beckon day outings and overnight treks into the nearby national forest.
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2. Red Lodge Mountain ski
One of Montana’s top ski areas is Red Lodge Mountain. The mountain exudes a distinctive atmosphere from the rest of the state and has a more relaxed appeal. Additionally, there are less lift lineups and more affordable lift tickets.
However, don’t discount the skiing and snowboarding at this resort that is a residents’ favorite. The whole ski region has more than 1,600 acres and receives 250 inches of snow on average each season. Additionally, with a lengthy season from Thanksgiving to April, nearly half the year is available for certain runs.
Lessons, rentals, and a welcoming Main Lodge with cafeteria-style eating are some of the other services offered at the summit. The mountain also hosts a number of wintertime events, including as the well-known Winter Carnival, which features races, costumes, and fireworks.
3. Meet the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary Residents
Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary, which is situated between Red Lodge High School and Coal Miners Memorial Park, provides a haven for species that are not suitable for living in the wild. For more than 30 years, this nonprofit animal sanctuary has been in operation. The facility just received accreditation from the American Sanctuary Association. This certification was given to the refuge for the first time in Montana.
The facility’s whole animal population is indigenous to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. At the moment, the zoo is home to a few bison, black bears, and mountain lions. A number of bird species, including hawks, owls, and falcons, are also housed at the sanctuary. Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary has around 40 species in addition to wonderfully designed gardens.
In the summer, the sanctuary is accessible to the public six days a week (closed Tuesdays). In the winter, it’s only open on weekends (Nov 1 – Feb 28). By prior agreement, unusual animal encounters are possible.
4. Discover Something New at the Museum of Carbon County History
The Carbon County Museum, located on the northern edge of the business center, offers a view into the past. This striking structure, which dates back to 1909, is a part of history in and of itself as the state’s first Labor Temple.
The museum’s exhibits trace the county’s history from aboriginal civilizations through contemporary rodeo customs. In addition to text on the wall, each exhibit at the museum includes relics, old photographs, and interesting exhibits. The museum’s employees and volunteers also aid in telling the history of Carbon County.
Numerous other programs and events are held at the museum. Every last Wednesday of the month, with the exception of November and December, a Lecture Series introduces a new speaker to the audience. There are other guided tours offered outside of the museum, such as a walking tour of Old Red Lodge.
5. Visit the Montana Candy Emporium for some treats
Sweet tooths thrill at the Montana Candy Emporium on Broadway Street. This confection supermarket is simple to find owing to a big marquee outside that advertises the newest candies. The Montana Candy Emporium has been a staple destination on a Red Lodge trip for more than two generations due to its lengthy history there.
The shop’s interior is decorated with antique antiques, giving it the feel of a bygone country store. More significantly, the shelves are stocked to the brim with sweets. You shouldn’t be surprised if you leave the store with a sizable bag of sweets, which may include popular confections like Walnettos as well as taffy, fudge, jellybeans, and jawbreakers.
6. Take a backpacking trip in the Beartooth Mountains
Around Red Lodge, the Beartooth and Absaroka Mountains are covered with hundreds of hiking routes. Not just long backpacking routes, either. Both day hikers and backpackers benefit from the unspoilt landscape and some of the best hiking paths in the country.
The options for hiking from Red Lodge are quite daunting. Fortunately, most routes pass by the region’s beauty. The East Rosebud Trail, sometimes referred to as “The Beaten Path,” is a first option that is consistently popular. This well-traveled path passes by the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.
The whole length of The Beaten Path, from East Rosebud Lake to the Clarks Fork Trailhead on the Beartooth Highway, is 26 miles. Setting shuttles at the trailheads on each side is a common technique to traverse the complete distance. On The Beaten Path, day hikers are also well-liked, and various lakes provide great rest stops. For instance, Elk Lake is located 3.5 miles from the trailhead at East Rosebud Lake.
On the Wyoming side of Beartooth Pass, in a region known as Beartooth High Lakes Country, hiking is a different popular activity. Here, high elevation lakes like Becker and Albino provide picture-postcard views of the mountainous landscape, beginning with locations like Beartooth Lake Campground.
7. Wild Bill Lake fish
From Red Lodge, thousands of acres of the Custer Gallatin National Forest are just waiting to be explored. At Wild Bill Lake, a seven-mile drive from Red Lodge, you may find one of the shortest routes to explore the wilderness.
Off the west fork of Rock Creek Road, south of the town, lies this little but lovely lake. Families wishing to get outdoors and explore love it. Wheelchair-accessible fishing docks are connected to the half-mile Wild Bill National Recreation Trail, which encircle the lake. The lake also has a number of picnic sites with views of the peaceful surroundings.
Many fisherman often use the entry points to Wild Bill Lake. Rainbow trout are routinely stocked in the lake by the U.S. Forest Service. To throw a line, a fisherman must be 12 years of age or older and possess a current Montana fishing license.
8. Play the Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course’s Greens
Red Lodge Mountain’s golf season starts after the skiing and snowboarding season concludes. For those who love playing golf while admiring the stunning scenery, the public Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course is popular. Although walk-ons are also accepted at this 18-hole, par-72 course, tee times are available.
A second round is often played because of the beautiful mountain surroundings and low green fees. The whole course is surrounded by stunning mountain vistas, and many of the holes contain picturesque elements like lakes and rivers. The 15th hole, one of the trademark holes, with a difficult island green.
Red Lodge Mountain’s golfing season typically lasts from mid-May to mid-October. The golf course’s pro shop offers a variety of clubs, clothing, and club rentals for sale. A driving range and various open-play tournaments are additional features.
9. Use a horse to go around
It simply seems appropriate to view the Montana scenery from on a horse, whether it’s the leisurely pace or the lofty viewing point. And Red Lodge’s picturesque surroundings are no exception. For individuals without their own horses, a few neighboring guide businesses provide this legendary form of Montana travel.
Red Lodge’s most well-known guiding company is Elk River Outfitters. Elk River Outfitters offers guided horseback excursions that start at Rock Creek, minutes from the commercial area, and swiftly ascend to a hilly area. Trips range in duration from an hour to full-day and overnight excursions. Elk River Outfitters is open from May through September.
Other outfitters further from the city, such as Whispering Winds Horse Adventures and Paintbrush Adventures, also provide picturesque horseback rides.
10. Enjoy a Full Day of Skating at the Red Lodge Ice Rink
Locals and visitors alike enjoy the chilly weather at the Red Lodge Ice Rink when the wintertime lows fall below freezing. This community-run and volunteer-run ice rink has been providing the town with a place to skate since 2006, and it is located in Lions Park.
The ice rink offers several opportunities for free skating as well as special hockey and figure skating tournaments. The rink offers a variety of pick-up adult and child hockey leagues that don’t need any prior hockey expertise.
Keep this list of things to do in Red Lodge mt in the winter in mind and plan your visit accordingly. Then you can go ahead and grab all the great experiences coming on your way during your visit.