When winter comes knocking, you want to find the ultimate in stunning scenery to complement the fluffy white blanket of chill. While the Headwaters region may get less snowfall than the other side of the valley, you can still find plenty of winter wonderland to satisfy your inner Jack Frost. Head out to find these top spots for some winter scenery.
Missouri Headwaters State Park
Hey, you’re staying at the headwaters of the Missouri River—it only makes sense that Missouri Headwaters State Park would be an impressive spot to enjoy. When snow flies and temperatures drop, this riverside stop will make you swoon. Expect to see ice jams clogging the flowing waters, scenic overlooks dressed all in white, and winter wildlife to spot along the riverbanks. The best news is it’s only 10 minutes from the center of Three Forks.
Under the shadow of the craggy Tobacco Root Mountains, Pony, Montana, brings small-town charm to a whole new level. This community is technically listed as a ghost town, boasting fewer than 100 full-time residents in a community designated on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll find a backdrop of the snow-capped Tobacco Roots and the intriguing ruins of long-forgotten structures from the pioneer days. Grab a drink at the famed (cash only) Pony Bar, and enjoy a little local flavor while you savor the winter.
Norris Hot Springs
Snow falls while the water steams at Norris Hot Springs, setting the scene for the ultimate relaxation in muscle-easing natural mineral waters. Grab a bite or a sip or two and settle in for the live music featured on weekends, soaking in the winter scene while you stay toasty warm. If temperatures really drop, you may want to pop a hat on your head, but the 120-degree water will keep the rest of you warm.
Madison Buffalo Jump State Park
Just a few miles down the road from Three Forks, you’ll find an unrivaled winter viewpoint at Madison Buffalo Jump. You don’t have to be a history buff to find the story of this spot fascinating: Native Americans ran herds of bison over the brink of the cliff, revolutionizing a way of bringing down big game without rifles. Today, you’ll find a panoramic view of the valley and the Tobacco Roots on a clear day, with white-blanketed hills rolling out to the edge of the mountains.
Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
Even though the caverns themselves shut down for tours at the end of September (with the exception of the December-only candlelight tours), the park itself makes for a photo-worthy snowy destination. Smell the sagebrush and take in the high London Hills, while you try to spot the cave entrance from the trails below. You should be able to see the condensation rising from the hole of the natural entrance if the weather is humid enough.
Three Forks Ponds
You don’t have to go far from Three Forks for a hearty dose of winter scenery. Take a stroll out around the Three Forks Ponds to watch ice fishermen bravely taking on winter with motivation. You don’t have to brave the frozen surface yourself, though. Paved paths meander around each of the three ponds, actually leading as far as the Missouri Headwaters if you feel like a good snowy walk.
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- How To Plan For An Unforgettable Winter Vacation To The Headwaters
- Soak It All Up At Norris Hot Springs
- Yellowstone National Park In The Winter
- Where To Go Skiing Around Three Forks