Welcome to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (GNFAC) web site. This site is brought to you by the Friends of the GNFAC, a non-profit supporting avalanche awareness and education through a partnership with the GNFAC.

Based in Bozeman, Montana, the GNFAC covers an area of approximately 6,000 mi2, including the Bridger, Gallatin, and Madison Ranges, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone, and the mountains around Cooke City.

Danger Scale

GNFAC Instagram

I went hunting for buried surface hoar in Taylor Fork today, but did not find it to be reactive. Instead, my snowpit showed instability near the ground on facets formed in November: ECTP24. #gnfacobsLots going on today. 
1. Snowmobiler buried and killed near Reas Peak in Centennial Range (outside advisory area, but similar snowpack to Lionhead).
2. Skier triggered, caught, not buried on Naya Nuki, Bridger Range.
3. Large natural avalanche in Divide Peak basin in N. Gallatin Range, NE aspect (picture). #gnfacobs @gabriellejantonioliLionhead near West Yellowstone: Weak facets buried 3-4’ deep can still produce large avalanches. This layer is becoming trickier to assess with less widespread signs of instability. It might not be triggered by the first person on a slope, but could be triggered by the second or last. Recently buried surface hoar could become a problem with more snow. #gnfacobsAVALANCHE WARNING
We are issuing a Backcountry Avalanche Warning for the Lionhead area outside West Yellowstone. Over 2' of snow has fallen onto a weak and unstable snowpack. Very dangerous avalanche conditions exist and the avalanche danger is rated HIGH on all slopes. #gnfacobs


You should dig snowpits and perform stability tests, but how many is enough? Well that depends... Doug and Eric discuss the relationship between your objectives and pit digging.

King and Queen of the Ridge, Saturday, February 3rd. A Hike and Ski/Ride-a-Thon fundraising event to support the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. Sign up and start collecting pledges HERE.

On Tuesday, January 2, a snowmobiler was caught and killed in an avalanche in Cabin Creek to the west of Sage Peak in the southern Madison Range. Alex and Doug investigated the slide on Wednesday and wrote a detailed report HERE.

The beacon park is set up at Beal Park in Bozeman. Stop by and hone your search skills. How often should you practice? Check out the newest Dashboard Talks, Episode 2: Don't "Hope".


Weather Stations

Weather Stations provide the GNFAC forecasters with information on snowfall, wind and temps from around the region. The Weather Log summarizes this daily.

Avalanche Education

GNFAC partners with groups around the region to provide evening avalanche classes, plus full day and multi-day courses, including some weekend field days. All our class offerings, along with courses from other providers, are on our Education Calendar.


Use this map to find the locations of unfamiliar places mentioned in the advisory. Also take a look at our glossary of avalanche terms.


Donate to the Friends of GNFAC; or order DVDs or 'Snow Sense' avalanche safety handbook.