Ten Interesting Things to Explore in Montana

Glacier National Park, Going to the Sun Road

1. Visit Garnet Ghost Town – Drummond, Montana

Garnet has been named one of “America’s Coolest Ghost Towns” by Travel + Leisure. Garnet is home to a preserved gold rush town. In Garnet, experience the ways of the past, and experience your inner frontier. Experience the real Wild West! Garnet is near Missoula, Montana.

Garnet Ghost Town
Photo Credit: Laura Kelly Information and License

2. Explore the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas – Arlee, Montana

Designed to be a spiritual pilgrimage destination for people of many faiths, the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is a sight that is sure to bring peace and mindfulness.

The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
Photo Credit: Flea8888 Information and License

3. Experience the Montana Vortex and House of Mystery – Columbia Falls, Montana

The Montana Vortex and House of Mystery is a place that makes one reorient their understanding of physics and nature. The experience is sure to be mind-blowing! The location is an internationally known sacred site. Native Americans often visit.

Montana Vortex and House of Mystery
Photo Credit: sporst Information and License

4. Travel Glacier National Park and the World-Renowned Going to the Sun Road

Visit the Crown of the Continent and experience nature at its best! Glacier National Park (United States) is one-half of the world’s first international peace park with Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada) being the other-half to form Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Glacier National Park is designated a Biosphere Reserve by the Man and the Biosphere Programme of the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Plus, Glacier National Park and its sister park, Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada, are recognized as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA). One can see breathtaking views in Glacier National Park and on the Going-to-the-Sun Road!

Glacier National Park, Going to the Sun Road
Photo Credit: Mountain walrus Information and License

5. Encounter Yellowstone National Park and the Largest Supervolcano on the North American Continent!

Yellowstone National Park is the first national park in the United States of America and widely considered the first national park in the world! The supervolcano located at Yellowstone National Park is one of the few supervolcanoes around the globe. The cornerstone of the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance of the Park in Gardiner, Montana, was laid by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Yellowstone National Park Waterfall
Photo Credit: Scott Catron Information and License

6. Discover the Spectacular Great Falls of the Missouri River, known by the Lewis and Clark Expedition to Be a Grand Sight

Visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana, near the falls to learn more about Lewis and Clark and the falls. Seeing the Great Falls of the Missouri River will connect individuals to history!

Great Falls of the Missouri River
Photo Credit: Tim1965 Information and License

7. Encounter the Ringing Rocks of Montana

The Ringing Rocks of Montana are a natural phenomenon. The rocks will allow you to hear nature! The Ringing Rocks are near Butte, Montana.

Montana Ringing Rocks
Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management Information and License

8. Voyage to Pompeys Pillar, and See William Clark’s, of Lewis and Clark, Signature

Pompeys Pillar, near Billings, Montana, bears the only remaining evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Visit Pompeys Pillar and experience the Lewis and Clark Expedition!

Pompeys Pillar in Montana
Photo Credit: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Information and License

9. Take a Scenic Cruise to Wild Horse Island on the Crystal-Clear Flathead Lake

The world-recognized Flathead Lake is home to the Wild Horse Island. Take a relaxing cruise around Flathead Lake and run with the “Wild Horses!”

Flathead Lake
Photo Credit: Paul Frederickson Information and License

10. Visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument contains a United States National Cemetery, Custer National Cemetery. The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument includes self-guided tours that have audio.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Photo Credit: Durwood Brandon Information and License

 

Nicolas R. Ream, the author, is studying Marketing, Management, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Pre-Law at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. Nicolas works at Montana Heritage Home Builders, Inc., a high-performance luxury custom home builder in Columbia Falls, Montana.

Nicolas Ream
Nicolas R. Ream

Connect with Nicolas: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn

References and Sources: See hyperlinks, also personal experience and knowledge.

This blog post has been created in the BMKT 440: Marketing Analytics class with Professor Mario Schulzke.

How to not be THAT tourist when visiting National Parks

 

Every year more than 318 million people visit our National Parks (NPS). What many call our nation’s “best idea”, National Parks have been treasured by Americans for over a century. Some might say we’re even loving them to death. 

I have spent the last 10 years living and working in multiple National Parks including Olympic, Glacier, and, most recently, Yosemite. As both a resident of and tourist to the Park’s, I have a unique perspective of the intersection between natural and human communities that call these special places home. Both your experience and the impact you have on the National Park(s) you chose to visit will be greatly improved if you avoid these 5 classic missteps.

 

  1. Driving like a Tourist

The chance to see a wild animal, especially from the safety of our cars, is a thrilling experience. And sometimes the beauty of a place can cause you to forget you’re driving at all. However, the temptation of stopping in the middle of the road to take a picture, swerving into oncoming traffic while your gaze stays on the “wild” deer, driving so slowly that the ground squirrels can keep up with you is not only a bother to the locals but is actually dangerous. We know it’s beautiful. We know it’s exciting. Just please pull over.  

Picture: An example of “tourist driving” (Washington Post)

 

 

2. Dismal Bathroom Etiquette

This misstep is the main reason that you cannot drink straight from a mountain stream without fear of giardia. It’s not the animal poop that will make us gut wrenchingly sick, it’s our own human feces. So please, PLEASE, bury that poop! The vast majority of people either choose not to or are uninformed of this critical Leave No Trace protocol. Also, pack out your toilet paper if you choose to use it. “Paper lilies,” as they are sometimes referred to, not only pollute the environment but are a major eye sore while hiking. 

Picture: The dreaded paper lilies (Pacific Trail Crest Association) 

 

 

3. FOMO (fear of missing out)

A large draw of our country’s remaining open, undeveloped spaces is the silence. Many seek to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and connect with nature. If you are coming to the National Parks for “solitude” and “relaxation,” do not fall into the trap of FOMO. The hoards generally start hiking around 10:00 a.m. and all go to the same “can’t miss” trails. If you really want some solitude, start your hike either before 9:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. and put in the effort to hike the longer trails.

Picture: Glacier’s famous Hidden Lake Overlook Trail at its worst (NPS)

 

 

4. Domesticating the Wildlife

Yes, they are cute– and their fur makes them seem so cuddly! But please, don’t be the person who feeds mountain goats skittles. Not only is human food unhealthy for wild animals, feeding wildlife can disrupt their natural foraging rhythms, causing them to starve in the winter months. Or worse, animals that become aggressive towards humans often have to be put down by Rangers. Resist the urge! Save a bear. 

 

Picture: The first director of the National Park Service, Steven Mather, feeding a bear in 1923 (PBS). We know better now. Read the “Night of the Grizzlies” if you still think feeding bears (or any other wildlife) is a good idea. 

 

 

5. Accidental Death

There is a 607 page book called “Death in Yosemite.” Do not make the book 608 pages! A major rising cause of accidental deaths in recent years is, you know it, the “selfie.” Though selfies appear innocent and safe, if you’re trying to get that –perfect– shot dangling over a 2,000 ft. waterfall luck may not always be on your side. The quest for extreme selfies killed 259 people between 2011 and 2017…don’t be the next selfie victim! (BBC)

Picture: Dumb Selfie (National Park Trips)

 

 

 

 

Author: Sara Edwards

Sources:

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/annual-visitation-highlights.htm

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-45745982

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/if-youre-dumb-there-are-lots-of-good-ways-to-have-a-bad-time-at-a-national-park/2019/05/14/ec3eade0-7653-11e9-b3f5-5673edf2d127_story.html

https://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/media_detail/280/ Continue reading “How to not be THAT tourist when visiting National Parks”

Camping Without the Crowds

By: Breanna Harmer

Choosing the correct time of year is crucial.

Think a little outside of peak season when camping.

I’m personally a fan of mid-May and September.

Two Medicine, Glacier National Park in September

Consider backpacking. Yes, it is a bit more work but it is also 100% worth it.

Waking up to a backcountry sunrise is an unbeatable feeling.

I would highly recommend the Grand Tetons in August, especially if you’re a fan of wildflowers. It is still chilly so pack your warm gear!

Get your backcountry permit early! It is surprising how quickly these go and there are limited sites. If you’re unlucky and don’t get a permit you might be forced to find a different hike or abandon your backcountry plans altogether.

Check out apps like AllTrails

We went backpacking in the Mission Mountain Wilderness on the 4th of July and it was one of the best ideas we’ve had. There weren’t many people, the weather was perfect, and we were away from the National Park chaos.

Holidays like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day are major camping holidays. Opt-out of the beer and think whiskey and backpacking. Look for trails that are more under the radar. There might be some like-minded people like you on the trail but far less then if you were to try to claim your stake on Seeley Lake or Flathead.

Be flexible! If a site seems too busy, don’t be afraid to look for a different one. Some of my favorite camping sites have been found after leaving a less exciting one behind.

Checking a map for a water source is a good way of finding a good site. Chances are that if it’s near a river or lake that it’ll come with a view as well.

Avoid geotagging on social media. If you like a site because there weren’t many people there, don’t expose it.

This might be controversial but I really do believe every little bit helps in preserving the things we love. It’s one thing to tell a few friends but if you have 1,000 followers on Instagram, you could possibly be telling around 1,000 people about this newfound gem. Mum’s the word

Don’t worry, he wasn’t caught. Just an expert fence climber!

I also think part of the joy of camping comes from discovering new spots on your own. It has become too easy to look everything up, it’ll mean more to you if you find it yourself.

Road Trip to Hot Springs

On a cold winter weekend some people prefer shredding the mountains, others enjoy a cold beer in a 100 degree natural hot spring pool. The beautiful drive along Highway 12 is a huge perk, especially when you’re the only one on it!

The video was shot on my Canon 5D Mark III with a 35mm f1.4 lens.

Thanks for watching!

Winter Hike Along the Montana/Idaho Border

by Myles McKee-Osibodu

Quick video highlighting some of the views available along the Montana/Idaho border! Just about an hour and a half southwest of Missoula, Montana, we made a Sunday trip to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in Idaho County, Idaho. We explored the Mocus Point Trail and surrounding areas, took in some wintertime views and made our way over to the Weir Creek Natural Hot Springs.