As the deep winter snowpack wanes away, Montana's rivers will begin to rise and the whitewater season will arrive in the blink of an eye. During this time of year, the morning ritual of Montana's outdoor enthusiasts will switch from waking up to check the local ski reports to monitoring river levels in anticipation of the big spikes in flow that create optimal whitewater kayaking and rafting conditions.
The season is a favorite of many, because it serves as a true relief from the long, cold winter that has finally ended. However, in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, spring brings forth a new set of challenges for many species of mothers, who are getting ready to start birthing and rearing the young they have been carrying and nourishing for the past several months.
The Open Skate is a winter tradition embraced by cold weather communities all over the world, and the Bozeman, Big Sky and Yellowstone area of Montana does it as well as anyone. In Bozeman and Big Sky, there are several venues that facilitate open skates in a variety of settings. Between Bozeman's urban rinks, the fairgrounds' indoor skating venue and Big Sky's convenient outdoor facilities, this region has ice skating opportunities for all walks—and skates—of life.