The yurts sit nestled high in the Southern Swan Mountains of Montana, in between the Mission Mountains and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. They are situated deep in the Montana backcountry, approximately eleven miles via snowmachine or eight miles skinning from the trailhead. The trailhead is approximately an hour from Missoula, Montana.
The trailhead is located on Cottonwood Lakes road at the winter plowing boundary just past Rich’s Montana Guest Ranch. The trailhead has limited parking so please consider carpooling.
About two hundred vertical feet and ¾ mile separate the two yurts. Both yurts are similarly equipped. The Lupine maybe better suited for skiing off the Lookout/ Supernatural Area of the horseshoe where as the Alpine is slightly better situated for skiing the back bowls.
The Alpine Yurt sits at approximately 6800’ and the Lupine yurt sits at approximately 6600’
The Seeley-Swan area of Montana is known for its colder weather and heavier snow falls. This translates to incredible cold smoke powder skiing. On April 1st of 2009, we had almost 14 feet of snow pack, not fall at the Alpine Yurt. The average seems to be around 10 feet. Storms dumping multiple feet of snow are not uncommon.
Take the weight off your back and off your mind. YurtSki will haul your group’s gear to the door of the yurt. Loads are limited to one 3’x8’ toboggan. $200 per extra load.
Gear haul includes a tow rope for your group from the parking lot across the first ~5 miles of road. From there, you will skin up 1.5 miles and 1500’ with only a daypack, skipping miles of switchbacks and badly snow-drifted roads. While you’re skinning up, our driver will deliver your gear to the yurts.
The minimum allows us to ensure exclusivity to your group while staying at the yurts. We have different minimums for each yurt to accommodate different group sizes. Minimums are in dollars, not people. For example, groups of 2 or 3 are more than welcome to rent out the Lupine Yurt on a weekend night, they will just be paying the price of a 4 person group.
There is sleeping for up 6 to 8 people in each yurt. Sleeping arrangements include mattresses, 4-inch sleeping pads, cots, futon and pull out single. These differences allow for a variety of sleeping combinations.
The immediate Yurtski terrain consists of a horseshoe shaped ridge that is separated into three main bowls by short finger ramps. The skiing in these areas ranges from steep cliff sections and chutes to mellow burnt tree runs which funnel back towards the yurts. There is also ample opportunity to tour the ridge and drop off the backside towards the Bob Marshall & Scapegoat Wilderness. Longer tours may decide to drop off the backside to a lake for lunch and laps.
There are Book Now buttons on every page of our website. These buttons direct you to our booking service where you can do everything online! Upon completion of your reservation, We’ll email you all the details you need to know for your upcoming trip.
Yes. A beacon, shovel and probe are mandatory for anyone visiting the yurts. The Swan Mountains are avalanche country and need to be treated with respect. Avalanches can and do occur in the area.
Absolutely! Splitboards have made great strides in recent years and work quite well. Splitboards are our recommended choice for snowboarders. Otherwise, a traditional snowboard combined with snowshoes or approach skis are an acceptable way to enjoy the backcountry.
Cross-country skis are not recommended. There is A LOT of snow. Snowshoes seem to work for some snowboarders.
We utilize a mountain spring for drinking water. Drinking water can be retrieved on the way into the yurts. With gear hauls, we will gather at least 5 gallons of water for your group. If not using gear haul, water jugs are recommended, as is a hatchet to break the ice that forms over the spring. We drink from the spring untreated; however this decision is ultimately yours. Boiling or treating water with iodine are good options. Otherwise, culinary/ washing water is gained from melting snow.
The yurts are heated by wood burning stoves and all firewood is provided. Inside the yurts there are wood bunks full of dry, split wood. Outside the yurts there are woodpiles where rounds can be found for splitting.
Yurtski provides a wood burning stove, firewood, ax, maul ax/splitting tool, cook stove, propane, lantern, white gas, pots, pans, plates, bowls, cups, cooking and eating utensils, kettle, snow melt pots, at least 5 gallons of spring water for drinking (only if a gear haul is elected), sleeping mattresses/pads/cot/futon, Life flight extraction kit (helicopter specific backboard, splints, neck braces, emergency blanket, six man carry, basic first aid), and most importantly, super terrain!
There is a three sided outhouse located directly behind each yurt in order to answer nature’s call in relative comfort.