Little Belts community ready for first snowstorm of the season

Posted at 6:26 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-22 10:07:10-04

The National Weather Service in Great Falls has issued Winter Storm Warnings for the Little Belt mountains Friday night through Sunday evening in anticipation of the first major snowfall of the season.

Up to 4 inches can be expected in lower elevations, while the higher peaks could reach 2 feet. Travel over mountain passes, such as Kings Hill Pass in Meagher County, will deteriorate Friday night as snow adds up through the weekend.

The snow may be a dreaded sight for some, but Neihart residents are delighted to welcome the snow and the business it brings to their community.

Janice Smith-Bagheri, owner of Bob's Bar, Dining and Motel, bought her business 4 years ago and urges folks to take the drive down Route 89, "Showdown is a short 8 miles from here. We have dog sledding and cross country skiing. There is just a crazy amount of things to do here in the Little Belts and then you stop by for a cold beer and something good to eat."

Summer and fall are quieter for communities in the Little Belts, so residents are looking forward to welcoming visitors back into their businesses and communities.

The scenery in the Little Belts is stunning, but it's the heart and soul of the residents that makes the area so special. Janice explains, "It's an honor to get to live here. What an opportunity!"

Charley Willett spent most of his life in Neihart and is the owner and operator of "Into the Little Belts." He recommends travelers stop by the Inconvenience store right in town, "One of the great parts about Neihart is the Inconvenience store. It's actually not that inconvenient because you're out in the middle of nowhere. It's got just about everything, it's like a miniature Walmart. The people here are just awesome."

The website has plenty of resources to plan your trip to the Little Belts, along with several cameras along Route 89 to check on road conditions. Camera locations include Neihart, White Sulphur Springs, Showdown Montana and Monarch. It is important to check on weather conditions ahead of your travels, as the road climbs to nearly 7,400 feet over Kings Hill Pass!

Wintry start to general hunting season