Vista Butte is a great option for beginner to intermediate backcountry skiers and snowboarders. The route is entirely off trail with limited views to keep you oriented, so it is important to be familiar with map and compass or GPS unit while you are on this adventure. The easiest ascent follows the western ridge to the summit. All aspects are skiable from the summit, but the eastern face is often the most desirable. From the summit, a southwest descent holds a consistent gradient and drops you onto the snowmobile trail. Use caution as people often drive snowmobiles at high sped along this stretch. However, on a slow day it is nice to use the trail to return to the Vista Butte Sno-Park.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.