Starting December 1st, the Lolo Pass Visitor Center has new operation plans for the winter, due to COVID-19 restrictions in Idaho and Montana. Lots of folks take advantage of the eight miles of classic and skate ski lanes, a marked snowshoe loop trail, an avalanche beacon testing park and almost 100 miles of snowmobile trails.

Some of the things remain the same - the classic and skate ski trails are groomed weekly, depending on snowfall. And some things are different - the staff will be at a window station at the main building and a window at the warming hut.The warming hut and beverage service will not be operating this winter, and visitors will not be permitted in the main building, either. Winter hours for the center at the Idaho-Montana line on US Highway 12 are 7:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time, not Montana Standard Time. Good news - the restrooms will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You'll need a Winter Recreation Pass on your vehicle. The $5 pass can be purchased at Lolo Pass or from local vendors or on-line at Discover Your Northwest website. Day pass is $5, season pass is $35. However, Lolo Pass will not be able to sell the required Idaho snowmobile validation stickers, so make sure you have your needed permits for Idaho and Montana before you head on up the pass. You can get your permits online for Montana and Idaho.

So, with no access to the warming hut or beverages, bring your own food and drink and dress in layers. If you need more information, call the Lolo Pass Visitor Center at (208) 942-3113 or check the online site.