Take advantage of early snow at Lolo Pass Visitor Center
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests officials invite the public to take advantage of the early season snow at Lolo Pass. The Lolo Pass Visitor Center, located off of U.S. Highway 12 at the Idaho-Montana state line, is currently operating under its winter hours. Customer service is available from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (PST), Thursday through Monday. Restrooms are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The Visitor Center will be closed Thursday, Nov. 26 in observance of Thanksgiving.
Starting December 1, visitors to Lolo Pass are required to display a Winter Recreation Pass on their vehicle. Day passes can be purchased on-site or from local vendors for just $5. Season passes ($35) and a bundle of five day passes ($20) can also be purchased online through the Discover Your Northwest website (https://www.discovernw.org/lolo-pass-winter-recreation). Proceeds from these sales directly support winter trail maintenance and grooming, snow plowing, bathroom cleaning, facility maintenance, and winter staffing at Lolo Pass.
Forest Service officials note that operations at Lolo Pass will be a little different this winter because of the dynamic COVID-19 situation efforts to provide visitors with a safe and enjoyable experience while complying with requirements implemented by Idaho’s Governor and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
“Although visitors will not be permitted inside the main building or the warming hut this winter, we look forward to sharing a variety of fresh air, outdoor winter recreation opportunities at Lolo Pass,” said Kearstin Edwards, Recreation Staff for the Lochsa-Powell and Moose Creek ranger districts on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.
Lolo Pass boasts eight miles of classic and skate ski lanes, a marked snowshoe loop trail, an avalanche beacon testing park, and nearly 100 miles of snowmobile trails, offering plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities. Classic and skate ski trails are groomed weekly, snow conditions permitting, beginning December 1. Staff will continue to provide customer service through a window station at the main building and additional weekend services through a window at the warming hut.. Visitors should dress in layers and bring their own hot beverages, since the warming hut and beverage service will not be available.
Visitors are encouraged to purchase required winter recreation passes and snowmobile stickers online in order to minimize lines and wait times and allow for adequate social distancing on-site. Snowmobilers are also encouraged to purchase their Montana trail riding passes and Idaho validation stickers online prior to their arrival at Lolo Pass. Due to the new online registration process and connectivity limitations, Lolo Pass will no longer be able to sell required Idaho snowmobile validation stickers.
“We hope that visitors will continue to explore their public lands this winter and come up to enjoy the snow and pristine views that our forest has to offer,” Edwards said.
For more information, please call the Lolo Pass Visitor Center at (208) 942-3113 and visit the following websites: