5 Small Town Montana Summer Events You Won’t Want To Miss.

There are some events in Montana that never fail to satisfy the need for adventure. While we all may have some events already planned, the true Montana gems are the events located off the beaten path. These events lead you to the heart and soul of Montana, and are always well worth the extra drive time on Montana’s back roads. With summer just around the corner, most of our calendars are filling up like college frat boys at the China Buffet. So take a three-day weekend, pack the car with a few rowdy friends, and make sure you hit these lesser known parties this summer.


Reed Point Boat Float: Yellowstone River (Livingston, Big Timber, Reed Point, Columbus MT) July 10-13

 The annual boat float is a three-day float with two overnight stops where hundreds of great people hop on their tubes, rafts, and anything else that floats and let the river take their worries away for a few days. With beach parties, partying like Lewis and Clark,  and a killer street dance in Reed Point this event is a sunny, sandy, sometimes sun burnt path to the best days of your summer.


Pony Duck Races: Pony, MT May 24th

While attendance to this event and most of the others on this list is growing every year, it is still very much an event for the locals. Whether your first time or not, the people you will find in this one horse town are sure to leave you with a cornucopia of memories. For roughly ten bucks you can buy a beer, a plate full of amazing home cooked barbecue, and a little rubber duck with a number on it. Put your duck in the creek and if you are lucky enough to have your duck beat the rest to the finish line, you will be handsomely rewarded. After the races the beer flows all night long, centered around the legendary Pony Bar with live music.


 Miles City Bucking Horse Sale: Miles City,MT May 15-18 

The 64th annual Bucking Horse Sale will be taking place this summer in Miles City, and while horses may not be your thing, if you like good people, music, and atmosphere don’t miss this event. You may be up to your knees in mud and beer by the end of the night but it is all in the experience of this full-blown party. During the day you can find yourself watching about every cowboy event under the sun, including some of the most outrageous such as the wild horse race and sheep shaving.


Darby Logger Days: Darby,MT July 18-19 

 Located right in the heart of the Bitteroot Valley just follow that smell of fresh-cut timber and you will find yourself in one of the more impressive events of the summer. The Ma and Pa race is something you will not want to miss(Google it) as well as the self-explanatory boxing over water competitions. Like all great events live music plays all night long and other than a little sawdust in your beer this event is the cat’s meow.


Augusta Rodeo: Augusta,MT June 29th

Bulls and blood, dust and mud, this is the rodeo to go to this summer. If given the chance to go to any rodeo in Montana this summer I wouldn’t pass it up anymore than I would a free chalupa on Cinco de Mayo. If you are going to pick one though, Augusta is the one to choose, what has been named as the Tourist Event of the Year, this event truly lets you immerses you in the experiences of small town Montana.


Bonus: Paul Bunyan Days: St. Maries,ID August 29-September 1

A carnival, firework show, and the worlds largest topless bar (not exactly what you think) come together in this small logger town in northern Idaho to create a must have labor day weekend adventure. Just a quick drive over the border and a few more twists and turns you will find yourself in St. Maries, Idaho which while not in Montana, is still full of the small town atmosphere that makes for a great party.

 

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Denali Seen From Above 10,000 Feet

Denali aka Mt. McKinley is the highest mountain peak in North America with a summit of 20,237 feet.  At some 18,000 feet, the base to peak rise is considered the largest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level. Measured by topographic prominence, it is the third most prominent peak in the world after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. They are working towards changing the name officially back to Denali, meaning the “the great one”, considering the fact that the mountain is named after a president that never even laid eyes on it. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of Alaska, McKinley is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve. The air in Denali National Park is exceptionally clean, allowing for spectacular views of the Alaska Range when the mountains are free of clouds. National Park Service air quality monitoring has shown that Denali consistently has some of the best visibility and cleanest air measured in the country. That being said, I was blessed with these views due to the fact that the middle of July (time of my trip) is considered to be the rainy season, during this period these mountains are commonly covered by a blanket of clouds. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do, and that they inspire as much awe as they did while I took them.

For any interested the flight tour was taken with K2 Aviation located in Talkeetna, Alaska.

 

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10 Montana Summer Activities.

Montana’s summer months are the perfect time of the year to experience the outdoors.

The summer months in Montana are from May to September.

These months are the perfect time of the year to get out and enjoy Montana’s beautiful lands, mountains and waterways.

Here are some incredible summer activities to do in Montana this summer.

 

1. Off The Grid Camping

Jeeps and tents in camp

Montana has are many public campgrounds and state parks that you can camp in for a small, nightly fee. However, to really experience the wild side of Montana, camping off the grid is the way to go. There are many camping locations through out the state that are free to camp in. Just find a dirt road in the mountains and drive til you’ve lost cell phone service. You’ll find that perfect place to camp and relax for the weekend is just a few miles up the road.

2. Hiking & Backpacking

hiking

Montana has numerous back-country hiking and backpacking trails.  All of the State and National Parks in Montana have hiking and backpacking trails. Some parks even offer guided hiking and backpacking trips. So pack up the essential hiking gear and  hit the trails this summer.

3. Mountain Biking

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If hiking the back-country trails isn’t your thing, try mountain biking. Most of the same back-country trails in Montana are open to mountain bikers, as well as hikers. So go grab your mountain bike out of the garage and hit the trails in Montana’s wilderness.

4. Fishing

Adult lake trout

With numerous rivers, creeks and lakes, Montana has an abundance of fishing locations. When Montana’s summer weather is gloomy and wet, fishing is the perfect outdoor activity. So grab your fishing pole and tackle box, because there are tons of fish to catch.

5. Visit The Parks

Montana-state-park-map-300x191Photo Credit

Montana has many state parks to visit. In fact, Montana has 54 State Parks and 2 National Parks. Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks attract numerous visitors every year during the summer months. All of the parks in Montana have numerous outdoor activities for families, as well as avid, outdoor explorers.

6. Farmers Markets

farmers market

If back-country travelling isn’t on the weekend agenda, the local farmers market is a great way to spend Saturday mornings. During the summer months, Montana has numerous farmers markets. The top three farmers markets are located in Bozeman and Missoula, Montana. These markets have delicious foods, beautiful handmade items, fresh fruits and vegetables and live events.

7. Floating The Rivers

river floating

When the summer heat really starts to get unbearable, floating the river is a great way to cool off. Just call your friends, grab some inner-tubes and a cooler of beer, and hit the river for the day. Floating the rivers in Montana is the perfect way to unwind and enjoy the summer heat.

8. Sapphire Mining

Gem Mountain

One unique to Montana summer activity is sapphire hunting at Gem Mountain in Philipsburg, Montana. At Gem Mountain, you purchase buckets of mined soil that contain sapphires. Sifting through soil to find precious gems is a wonderful way to spend a summer day in Montana.

9. Huckleberry Picking

Day one, about a half hour in:  First Berries!!!

One outdoor activity that is a must for Montana summers is huckleberry picking. It’s a great way to spend summer days in Montana mountains. From July to the middle of September is the prime time to pick huckleberries in Montana. And huckleberries are delicious summer garnishes for ice cream, baked treats and smoothies.

10. Cooling Off On The Lake

flathead wake boarding

Enjoy some water sports and boating on the largest, fresh water lake west of the Mississippi River. Flathead Lake is a great place to camp, fish, boat and swim during the summer months. The water is just the right temperature and the fish are always biting. So check out the Flathead this summer.

 

These are just a few of the amazing activities of Montana summers. Whether you live in Montana or you’re just visiting the state during the summer time, try to enjoy at least one of these great activities.

Thank You For Reading 🙂

 

Which Montana Microbrew Are You?

Big Sky Brew

Just in time for Missoula Beer Week and the Garden City BrewFest, put your taste to the test, and find out which Montana microbrew you are.

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