Rally in the Valley

Rally in the Valley

Reuss, Dave
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Looking for a new venue for your favorite winter activity? Just head over the hill. Doesn’t matter what blows your hair back—once the snow comes down, you can find it in Paradise Valley.

Winter camping doesn’t have to be miserable—swing by recreation.gov and rent out the Mill Creek Cabin. Once you split the fee between three friends, it’ll only cost you about $12. As the only cabin in the Livingston Ranger District with power, this log cabin offers rustic accommodations with the convenience of electricity. It stands on the edge of a meadow in front of a stand of evergreens, and you can cross-country ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile right from the front door.

For more cross-country skiing, B Bar Ranch hosts public ski days throughout the winter. Located in the Tom Miner Basin, they groom 20-30 kilometers of primo trails every year. They also arrange guided ski and snowshoe tours, so check out bbar.com for more info.

If the snow isn’t too deep, keep your cardio up to snuff by hiking a lap on the Hogback. Located in the center of the valley, this ridgeline offers dramatic views in every direction. The full loop features 1,500 feet of elevation across seven miles. This trail is accessed via an access easement across ranch property, so remember to leave no trace when you head up the hill.

Another great, albeit strenuous, hike or snowshoe is Dome Mountain. Just south of Yankee Jim Canyon, hang a left and park at the Joe Brown trailhead. You’ll have to leave the trail and bushwhack to the top at some point, so bring a good map or GPS to avoid getting lost. The tiered mountaintop has it all: fir-covered slopes, aspen groves, alpine meadows. From the northwest side, you can gaze across into the sprawling Tom Miner Basin, often holding elk and other wildlife.

For the truly adventurous, sharpen up your crampons and head over to Pine Creek. First featured in the ‘73 Chouinard Equipment catalog and responsible for launching ice climbing into the mainstream, Green Gully (WI3) is the ultimate classic ice route—and it’s just a short hike from the road. From new mixed routes to full-on alpine adventures, Pine Creek and the surrounding areas offer plenty of icy excitement.

And no trip into Paradise Valley would be complete without a long soak at Chico Hot Springs. Hang a left at Emigrant and head down to Chico for hot water, cold drinks, and often live music. Lounging in geothermally heated water while enjoying adult beverages makes for the perfect close to any snowy day in the valley.

Photo by Diana Proemm

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