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Ski for Stewardship 2023

Help support stewardship and celebrate winter in Western Montana during our 2023 Ski for Stewardship Challenge!

There are three ways to participate:

  • Skate ski clinic on February 3rd from 4:30 - 6:00 pm.
  • Classic ski clinic on February 14th from 12:00 - 1:30 pm.
  • Self-led 100k ski challenge (62 mi) to be completed between February 1st-14th.

Registration donation is $25. All registrants are entered to win a raffle for a skate ski setup from MTCX! Ski clinics will be held at the UM Golf Course (map). Clinics will be capped at 50 participants each will be divided into skill-level groups. Participants who complete the 100k challenge or attend a clinic will get a Five Valleys headband!

Special thanks to our Board member Shaun Radley at MTCX for donating the clinics and supporting this event!

Ski Meetup

Finish your last km's by joining us for a casual ski meetup on February 14th from noon-1:00 pm at the UM Golf Course. Five Valleys and MTCX staff will be there handing out Valentine's Day cookies and cheering you on as you finish your final km for the 100k challenge (62 mi).

Go the extra kilometer: tag Five Valleys in an Instagram or Facebook post about your XC adventure.

Not a big social media user? Email your photos to Madison at madison@fvlt.org and we'll share them for you!

We at Five Valleys talk a lot about stewardship. But what is stewardship?

Conservation and stewardship go hand-in-hand. Conservation is the momentous, one-time act that protects a place. Stewardship is the care that ensures that place will continue to be protected in perpetuity.

Five Valleys currently stewards 81,000+ privately-owned acres across Western Montana. As land passes from one owner to the next, Five Valleys is there to ensure that the land remains healthy and intact. We do this by building strong relationships with our conservation easement landowners, providing them stewardship resources and information, and visiting each of our nearly 200 conservation easements at least once per year.

At the same time, we steward the properties we own-- the Rock Creek Confluence, the Lincoln Community River Park, and Marshall Mountain. These properties enable Five Valleys to provide recreation and educational opportunities for our community, enhance and protect wildlife habitat, complete land restoration projects, and cultivate diverse, equitable public access.

At its core, stewardship is a labor of love. Like you, we feel privileged to call this place home and want future generations to experience Western Montana in the same ways we do now. While stewardship is a big commitment, it is achieved through every day acts, big and small: every time you move a branch off a trail or pick up after your dog on a hike, that’s stewardship. Helping to restore a stream bank? Stewardship. Attend a work day and pull weeds? Stewardship. Giving to the organizations that help protect, provide, and manage the lands you love? That’s supporting stewardship.

Where to Ski

Want to expand your ski horizons and visit some new trails? You're in luck as Western Montana offers a wide range of options that are suitable for skiers of all levels.

Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Trails

The trails in the Seeley Lake area are managed by the Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Club, and through December 1st-March 31st are ski only. The 18km of trails are groomed regularly and offer loops at varying distances. These trails are free to use, but a donation to Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Club is encouraged.

Directions to Seeley Lake Nordic Trails

General information and grooming report

Echo Lake Nordic Ski Trails

Located in between Philipsburg and Anaconda lie the Echo Lake nordic ski trails at the base of Discovery Ski Area. The Echo Lake trails offer miles of groomed and un-groomed options. These trails are free to use, but a donation to the Echo Lake Trails Association is encouraged.

Directions to Echo Lake Trails

General information and grooming report

Around Missoula

There are several great ski options in Missoula or within a 30-45 minute drive. They include: Pattee Canyon Recreation Area, the UM golf course, Lolo Pass Ski Area, Lubrecht Experimental Forest, and the Rattlesnake Recreation Area. Each of these places has their own guidelines, but many of them are managed and groomed by the Missoula Nordic Ski Club. Donations are encouraged to help support maintenance of these trails.

General information and grooming reports

Huge thank you to MTCX for donating the ski clinics, the members of the Missoula Nordic Ski Club, Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Club, and Echo Lake Trails Association for their tireless love and stewardship of the XC ski trails that enable our community to get outside and enjoy our landscape throughout the year. Stewardship has long been baked into the heart of the Nordic ski culture. Club volunteers groom trails before dawn, clear downed trees, and organize events. Love your local Nordic trails? Please respect local rules and guidelines, and consider joining, supporting, or volunteering for one of these fantastic local clubs.

Header photo courtesy of Five Valleys staff

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