Stay safe and have fun skiing on the trails at MacDonald Pass or the Bill Roberts Golf Course.
- These trails are not patrolled. Call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.
- Ski in control and watch for unmarked obstacles.
- On the Mac Pass Trails, in particular, watch for and avoid rocks in the trail.
- Trees fall down; don’t ski in strong winds. Beware of trees, branches, and cones that may have fallen onto or across the trails.
- Give moose, if you’re lucky enough to see one, plenty of room.
- At the Golf Course, watch for gravel when crossing cart paths.
- Skiers are responsible for their own safety, and for using the trails in a manner that doesn’t endanger others.
- If you stop, move to the edge of the track and stand where you’re visible to other skiers.
- Obey signs.
- Have a great ski!
Additionally, for the enjoyment and safety of all ski trail users, please keep the following in mind:
- Most trails are skied in two directions; please ski on the right side of the trail.
- Faster skiers, please pass with care and kindly let those being overtaken know you’re about to pass them.1
- A few trails are always one-way, or one-way just on weekends; watch for signs and please ski accordingly.
- Climbing skiers yield to a descending skier.
- Fill your sitz marks.
1This is opposite the trail etiquette on many cross country ski trails where, more usually, the custom is for slower skiers to get out of the way of those skiing faster. For a variety of reasons, the practice of most Mac Pass skiers is to expect faster classic skiers to leave the track and go around slower skiers. The rule-of-thumb for skate skiers is to skate on the right, pass on the left.
- Please keep dogs off the groomed tracks (see Dogs section below).
- Snowshoers and hikers, please stay off the groomed ski tracks. Boots and snowshoes chew up the groomed tracks.
- Don’t walk or skate ski across a groomed classic ski track.
- On the Golf Course, please stay off the greens and tees. Skis, combined with Helena’s thin and flaky snowpack, can harm the grass.
- If the trails are groomed but still soft, please postpone your outing until the tracks firm-up.
- Skiers pulling pulks or sleds should use the skate lane and not degrade the classic track.
- While skiing the Mac Pass trails, please pee in the toilet or well away from the trail.
- Pack out litter.
The Club grooms frequently. Dogs churn up the smooth surface and the crisp tracks our groomers have worked hard to create. Our groomers typically work within the constraints of a thin snowpack. Thin snowpacks can be delicate, and difficult to repair. More to the point, chewed-up groomed tracks make skiing more difficult, less safe, and less enjoyable. The MacDonald Pass Cross Country Ski Trails are groomed for cross country skiers, and they are harmed by mans’-best-friends’ paw prints on the groomed trails. We ask that you please help by keeping dogs off the trails.
At the summit of MacDonald Pass, on the south side of the highway, there is a large parking area and great spot for wintertime outings with dogs or on snowshoes. Stemple Pass is another fun place to enjoy a day in the snow with your dog.
Fat bikes feature super-wide tires (four inches or wider) that can be run at less than ten pounds of pressure, allowing them to float on firm snow. Unfortunately, the Mac Pass Nordic trails are narrow and usually suffer a shallow snowpack. On the trails, cyclists would present a danger to skiers, and would most likely put ruts in the groomed trails. When biking on Nordic trails is discouraged, the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) asks bikers to not bike on Nordic ski trails. Please don’t bike on the snow-covered, groomed MacDonald Pass Cross Country Ski Trails.