Best of Montana in Winter: Shopping

Check out these stores for one-of-a-kind Montana-made gifts and outdoor gear for winter travelers.

Gallatin Alpine Sports, Big Sky

Gallatin Alpine Sports (G.A.S.) in Big Sky sells everything people need to play outside, plus one essential plenty of winter travelers forget they need: bathing suits to wear in the hot tub. The lodge-style store’s extensive rental inventory—snowboards, snowshoes, beginner-to-expert ski packages (skis, boots, poles)—also makes it easy for vacationers to travel light and gear up onsite. No purchase is required, however, for trail recommendations or other local tips from the outgoing staff, most of whom live and play in Big Sky year-round.

“We all work here because we know and love the mountains and are passionate about our outdoor sports,” says G.A.S. sales associate Cassandra Werner. “So, if someone comes in and wants to try something like snowshoeing for the first time, we don’t just rent them snowshoes. We get them in the right gear, send them out to a good beginner trail, and try to do whatever we can to make sure that they have a fun day.”

Montana-Made Holiday Shopping

Shop local for the holidays to bring home one-of-a-kind Montana-made gifts, and maybe even meet some of the state’s homegrown artists and craftsmen. At the Whitefish Pottery retail store in downtown Whitefish, each handcrafted stoneware pie plate comes with a copy of Aunt Bonnie’s Huckleberry Pie Recipe tucked inside. Bonnie is a close friend of Whitefish Pottery owner Tom Gilfillan. And while Gilfillan can’t give you pointers on making the pie, he is glad to give you a tour of his studio (located just west of Whitefish) where the “Handmade on the Wheel” stoneware items sold in his store are made.

Whitefish Pottery is just one of the more than 2,300 participants in the state-sponsored Made in Montana Program. The initiative promotes awareness of products that are grown, created, made, or enhanced in Montana.

When shopping for holiday gifts, help support local artists, craftspeople, farmers, and manufacturers by looking for products bearing the trademarked "Made in Montana," "Grown in Montana," or "Native American Made in Montana" labels.

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