Snow-covered hills under big blue skies: that’s winter in Billings. Though it does get cold (sometimes as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit!), it’s still an invitation to get out and adventure in ways that just aren’t possible without a little windchill.
Whether you can’t wait to get out in the snow or would rather warm up by the fire, there are countless winter activities in Billings, from sledding and snowshoeing to brewery tours and art viewing. Get a taste of winter in Billings with these 10 (indoor and outdoor) things to do—then come experience it for yourself right here at Montana Trailhead Inn.
Is Montana pretty in the winter?
The short answer: yes, Montana is pretty in the winter. The long answer: imagine quintessential Montana scenery blanketed in fresh snow. What’s not to love about snow-covered hills, white-capped mountains, and treetops dusted with fresh powder?
Get up close to these snowy sights on skis or snowshoes, or settle in beside the fire and gaze out over the hills. However you spend your winter, you’ll find plenty of pretty views in Billings and beyond.
What do people do in the winter in Montana?
In the winter in Montana, people either cozy up inside or bundle up for snowsports. Montana is a mecca for snowsports, thanks to impressive peaks, well-developed ski areas, and countless places to back-country ski and snowshoe. But even those less adventure-inclined can enjoy Billings’ many fun sledding hills or meandering snowshoe trails—so long as you’ve got a cozy winter jacket.
10 Best Winter Things to Do in Billings
If you’ve got a warm jacket and a good pair of boots, Billings in the winter is yours for the taking. Get out and adventure or warm up over a beer and a good book, both of which are best enjoyed under Montana’s big blue skies.
Here are the ten best winter things to do in Billings, whether you can’t wait to get outside or love the idea of staying in.
- Sledding: Nothing says winter like sliding down a snow-covered hill on a plastic saucer. Though sledding may be perfect if you’ve got kids in tow, it’s also a great way to enjoy winter without getting into the backcountry. There are several sledding hotspots right here in Billings, including popular Pioneer Park. More adventuresome sledders can also head up to the Billings Rimrocks, where you can find more hidden (and often steeper) sledding spots.
- Snowshoeing: Snowshoeing is another winter activity perfect for all skill levels. Though you can snowshoe up steep peaks, you can also strap on snowshoes to traverse the same trails you would on foot. Check out some approachable trails near Billings, or use AllTrails to find more challenging treks.
- Cross-Country Skiing: Cross-country skiing is yet another winter sport that’s as difficult as you make it. Though you’ll likely break a sweat, either way, it’s up to you whether you ski along groomed trails in a nordic center or cross-country ski across peaks and valleys in the backcountry. Billings is an ideal destination for either approach since there are nearby trail options for both.
- Downhill Skiing: When people think of skiing in Montana, they often think of the breathtaking peaks and luxury resorts in Big Sky. But there are other equally scenic places to ski—with much shorter lift lines. Hit the slopes at nearby Red Lodge Mountain, an underrated (yet stunning) destination for downhill skiing.
- Fishing: Don’t put the fishing poles away just yet! Though fishing may be a quintessential thing to do in the summer, it’s actually just as compelling in the winter in Billings. Thanks to underground springs, the Yellowstone River doesn’t freeze, so many of your favorite drive-up spots are still accessible in the winter. Ice fishing is also popular in Billings since there are plenty of nearby lakes and reservoirs.
- Billings Brewery Tour: Billings is for beer lovers. There are six world-class breweries covering just a few blocks in quaint downtown Billings. Though you’ll want to bundle up for the walk between them, cozying up in a brewery is a great way to enjoy winter views without the cold.
- Yellowstone Cellars & Winery: If breweries aren’t your thing, try a winery instead. Yellowstone Cellars & Winery is just half a mile from our hotel, making it a great spot if you’re looking for indoor things to do. Stop in any time for a complimentary tasting, or visit the tasting room on Friday and Saturday nights for live music and a quality glass of wine.
- Yellowstone Art Museum: Visit Montana’s largest contemporary art museum right here in Billings! The Yellowstone Art Museum is packed with pieces from all over the world. Escape the snow to peruse everything from drawings to paintings to special exhibits from their artists in residence.
- Indoor Rock Climbing: Who says you can’t adventure indoors? Indoor rock climbing is perfect for winter since you’ll be able to break a sweat while avoiding the cold. Strap into a harness to scale the walls at SteepWorld Climbing & Fitness or attend one of their weekly yoga classes. Drop-in rates start at just $19.
- Catch a Show: There’s no better place to warm up during the winter than a cozy theater seat. The Alberta Bair Theater hosts live entertainment of all kinds, from ballets to illusionists to the Billings Symphony.
Experience Winter in the Big Sky State
Winter in Billings is something special. But then again, anything under Montana’s big blue skies is worth experiencing at least once. Whether you’ve got skis or snowshoes in tow or just want to take in the sights without braving the cold, Billings has an activity you’ll enjoy—and even dream of coming back to.
Get in the winter spirit at Montana Trailhead Inn, with cozy rooms right off I-90 all overlooking the snow-dusted Billings Rimrocks.