Spring? Update at Lion Mountain

Winter is slowly losing its grip on the Flathead Valley.  A lot of the old timers say that spring is arriving earlier and earlier every year.  In fact, this week my chickens have been gaining gumption to leave the coop, and I even heard through the grapevine that a local farmer planted seeds!  Longer days and sunnier skies definitely bring on spring fever, as most locals start day dreaming about their summer.  As plans to conquer Going-to-the-Sun Road or summit Heaven’s peak materialize, don’t forget about our local trail system just minutes from town.

Because Lion Mountain is the first section of trail to lose snow coverage, it is the perfect place to jump start early spring activity. Recently, we have seen a substantial loss of snow coverage on the Whitefish Trail.  As of yesterday morning, the trail at Lion Mountain is roughly 60-70% free of snow (see photos below).  My running shoes celebrated the return of natural surface single track…they have not felt dirt since November.  Traction devices are no longer needed at Lion Mountain, but because mornings are still dipping well below freezing, icy spots can exist. I imagine after yesterday’s near record warmth and this weekend’s rain, the trail will be mostly clear from snow, except for the shadiest spots.

A reminder to ALL trail users as the ground starts to thaw:  PLEASE avoid using the trail when muddy conditions exist. Hikers should avoid stepping off the trail to walk around puddles so as not to widen the trail and cause drainage issues. Please avoid riding the trail now as there are many muddy sections at this time and bike tracks can cause hardened ruts to form that can last the entire summer and cause rolled ankles.

Dust off those trail shoes and get out on the Whitefish Trail today!