South Beaver Loop Trail Report
If the short break in downhill powder days has you down, grab some snowshoes, micro-spikes, and/or a fat bike and head to the Beaver Lakes Trailhead on the Whitefish Trail. At about nine miles from downtown Whitefish, this section offers winter solitude and some amazing winter trail conditions, thanks to the many dedicated users who keep the trail packed even after the biggest storms. The plowed parking lot has room for about 10 cars, but yesterday, only one other car was present when I arrived. As I pulled micro-spikes over my tennis shoes, a fat biker came down the trail, followed closely by his two panting pups. He was a local resident from Whitefish and said, “The trail is in the best shape I’ve seen all winter!” I would have to agree. Soft packed snow covers 100% of the trail, and slick icy patches are few and far between. Although 3-4 trees have come down since the snow started flying, fat bikers have packed down easy walk-arounds, making the trail friendly for all users. My personal preference is to complete the loop counter clockwise, making the 400 foot ascent a little gentler (see elevation below). Both the trail leaving the loop towards Rainbow Lake and the trail heading south towards Lion Mountain have seen less traffic, so be prepared for unpacked snow in these sections (see photo below). Total distance of the loop from the trailhead is 3.8 miles. Try something different and head out to the South Beaver Loop this winter…you won’t be disappointed!