Chief Joseph Cross-Country Ski Trails

Darby, Montana

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1 Review
5 out of 5
The Chief Joseph Pass Cross-Country Ski Trails are at the confluence of two mountain passes that are significant in Western history. Trails begin at the top of Chief Joseph Pass, next to Lost Trail Pass. Chief Joseph and his band of Nez Perce Indians traveled through this pass in 1877, fleeing U.S. Army troops and the federal government’s attempt to place them on an Indian reservation. Their 1,300-mile journey ended just 40 miles short of the Canadian border and freedom. Once they surrendered, they were sent to a reservation in Oklahoma and later one in Washington. Trails are not groomed for skating and dogs are not allowed. Note that severe winter storms can blow in very suddenly. Skiers should be prepared with layers of clothing, backpack, water, a snack, and a map. The trails are well marked and most are marked for direction. Because the trailhead is at the top of the pass, the trails generally go downhill with a return ski uphill. Be aware that beginner skiers may have difficulty climbing from the low point of 6,800 feet at Lower Loop back up to the summit. Surface quality: Machine-groomed weekly.
Winter Trails: Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Winter Trails: Montana

by Jean Arthur (The Globe Pequot Press)

The Chief Joseph Pass Cross-Country Ski Trails are at the confluence of two mountain passes that are significant in Western history. Trails begin at the top of Chief Joseph Pass, next to Lost Trail Pass. Chief Joseph and his band of Nez Perce Indians traveled through this pass in 1877, fleeing U.S. Army troops and the federal government’s attempt to place them on an Indian reservation. Their 1,300-mile journey ended just 40 miles short of the Canadian border and freedom. Once they surrendered, they were sent to a reservation in Oklahoma and later one in Washington.

Trails are not groomed for skating and dogs are not allowed. Note that severe winter storms can blow in very suddenly. Skiers should be prepared with layers of clothing, backpack, water, a snack, and a map. The trails are well marked and most are marked for direction. Because the trailhead is at the top of the pass, the trails generally go downhill with a return ski uphill. Be aware that beginner skiers may have difficulty climbing from the low point of 6,800 feet at Lower Loop back up to the summit. Surface quality: Machine-groomed weekly.

©  Jean Arthur/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Cross-Country Skiing
Nearby City: Darby
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Easy to Difficult
Duration: Day use
Trailhead Elevation: 6,800 feet
Top Elevation: 7,420 feet
Local Contacts: Sula Ranger District; Avalanche Advisory, (800)-281-1030
Driving Directions: Directions to Chief Joseph Cross-Country Ski Trails

Recent Trail Reviews

12/26/2009
1

Great area. It is groomed and kept up by the Bitterroot Ski Club http://bitterrootxcskiclub.net/index.htm



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