"Winter in Montana" Columbia Falls by MizScout

Columbia Falls Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 13 photos

Our Experience

We stayed at the Meadow Lake Resort–NeNastako Village in Columbia Falls, Montana from December 28, 2004 to January 2, 2005. We lucked into getting this resort over the Christmas holidays, by way of booking at the last minute. The Meadow Lake resort is easily accessed from Kalispell and Whitefish, Montana and is large and quite beautiful. I can only imagine what a great golf course it must be in the summer. We found the front-desk staff to be pleasant and always willing to help with questions. Every day there was a list of activities to do at the resort and in the area.

Our first day consisted of driving into Whitefish and exploring the area. We headed up to the Big Mountain ski hill just north of Whitefish in the afternoon. It was a glorious day, very clear. Because we were travelling with my parents, who don’t ski, we took the chair lift to the summit of Big Mountain on the passenger lift pass ($9 per person). The view was fantastic. There is a small restaurant/cafeteria at the top. The mountain is pure adrenalin. There are 90 runs in total that range from beginner to expert.

Once we returned to the ski resort village, we went in search of Meadow Lake Lodge (available for people staying at Meadow Lake) located somewhere in the village. It was on the main strip with the shopping and was central to everything on the mountain. We enjoyed complimentary hot chocolate and use of the facilities. There is a small kitchen for one to store their lunch in while skiing, a sitting area with a large-screen TV, and ski storage. The lodge was certainly an added bonus during a day of skiing.

We didn’t end up trying the on-site resort restaurant, as we had a full kitchen in our townhouse and a barbeque on the deck. However, we did have one dinner out in Whitefish at the Pollo Grill Rotisserie & Bar (863-9400). It was very nice, with decent portions and friendly service. If you can, try to request a table in the covered sunroom overlooking the front of the restaurant. The atmosphere is much nicer here.

One aspect of the resort that we had a minor problem with was the concierge service. Because we enjoy winter activities so much, we wanted to enjoy as many excursions as possible. We had booked our snowmobiling excursion through the resort, but as it turned out, our reserved time was full. We were informed the night before we were to go snowmobiling that we had to reschedule. Luckily, there was time available later in the week. Snowmobiling ended up going off without a hitch, and we had a great time.

We were also interested in dog sledding while in Montana. We asked at the resort whether or not there was space available for anytime during our stay. We were told everything was booked and that there was also a wait list. However, we decided to call the company directly ourselves (Dog Sled Adventures, 881-BARK). It’s a good thing we did, as the owner was able to fit us it when he had a couple of cancellations. It turns out that dog sledding was one of the highlights of the trip. The dogs, ranging from 8 to 12 dog pull teams, take you on a 12-mile run through peaceful snow-covered landscape. It was absolutely magical. I know that if we had relied upon the resort to book us into the dog sledding, it would not have happened.

Overall, we had a wonderful time on our holiday and would definitely go back.

  • Last visit to Columbia Falls: Dec 2004
  • Intro Updated Aug 19, 2008
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