Category Archives: Spring

Must-Stop Family Road-Trip Attractions

There’s nothing quite like loading up the family and embarking on an epic road trip to make some everlasting memories and there’s no place to make those memories better than Montana. From the Bitterroot Valley to Glacier National Park, Western Montana has enough scenic byways for a lifetime of cruising. We love road trips and camping so we partnered with Bretz RV & Marine to bring you a spring camping gear giveaway. So enter to win, load up your RV, chart a route through our charming small towns and make it a point to pull over and check out these fun and unique roadside attractions.

A Hefty Hereford

Stoney’s Bull sits at Clearwater Junction and greets travelers along Highways 200 and 93.

Along Highway 200 at Clearwater Junction, you’ll find a 15-foot-high, 18-foot-long Hereford steer.

50,000 Silver $ Bar

50,000 Silver $ Bar

Stop in St. Regis to visit the infamous 50,000 silver dollar bar, stay for the burgers, shakes and souvenirs.

Stay: Salmon Lake State Park, Clearwater Junction, Big Larch Campground

Flathead Cherries

Flathead Cherries

At 3,000 feet above sea level, Flathead Lake has the perfect growing climate for cherries. Make your way around the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi to see the orchards, and be sure to stop at a roadside stand for a taste of this prized fruit.

Stay: Campground St. Regis, Nugget RV Park

Amazing Fun Center

The Amazing Fun Center in Coram, MT

When you’re done exploring Glacier National Park take the kids to the Amazing Fun Center in West Glacier. With a 1.5-mile maze, go karts, bumper boats and mini golf, you won’t leave without being at least a little a-MAZE-d.

Stay: Flathead Lake KOA in Polson, Polson Motorcoach & RV Resort, Edgewater R.V. Resort & Motel in LakesideDiamond S RV Park in Ronan

Seeley Lake

A family docks their boat as the sun sets over Seeley Lake

With easy water access, a walk-up burger joint (Bay Burgers, right on the lake!) and ice cream shops (try a blue-goo swirl cone at The Ice Cream Place), your family will fall in love with this little lake town.

Stay: Seeley Lake Campground

Darby

What road trip is complete without a stop at an old-fashioned candy store? Darby, Montana’s Old West Candy Store is the perfect spot to satisfy your sweet tooth. Don’t miss out on the huckleberry options!

Stay: Travellers Rest Cabins and RV Park

Float the Clark Fork and Ride the Carousel

A Carousel for Missoula

Stop in Missoula to ride one of the fastest carousels in the West. If you’re there on the weekend, be sure to check out one of several farmers markets on Higgins Avenue. Cool off with a scenic float down the Clark Fork River afterwards.

Stay: Jellystone RV Park, Cabins, Campground, Boat & RV Storage, Jim & Mary’s RV Park, Missoula KOA

A couple enjoys their RV stay in Glacier Country

We’ve partnered with Bretz RV & Marine of Missoula to help you on your journey to find these Western Montana roadside gems. Store gear, grill and lounge with this custom camping set perfect for your next adventure.

Enter to win here:

Explore-Worthy Excursions in Western Montana

We all need a little adventure in our lives, and we all have different thoughts about what that means, so here are a handful of travel ideas to explore, depending on your “adventure type.”

The Bookish Explorer: Montana Valley Book Store

Montana Valley Book Store in Alberton, Montana

You know the type—they carry a novel in their bag everywhere they go and insist on stopping in a bookstore in every new town they visit. If this is you, we’ve found your heaven on earth in Alberton, Montana. The Montana Valley Book Store houses more than 100,000 unique and rare books at any given time. Their shelves are constantly rotating, waiting for the perfect book lover to walk in. Open year-round, the owner lives only five minutes away and will come unlock the store for whomever stops by.

Inside Montana Valley Book Store.

Pro tip: For lunch, stop at the Flyin’ R Café for a homemade patty melt on marbled rye. Write your name next to ours on the wall, snap a pic and use #GlacierMT to say hello!

Write your name on the wall at Flyin’ R Cafe’.

Patty Melt at Flyin’ R Cafe’ in Alberton, Montana.

The History Seeker: Garnet Ghost Town

Overlooking Garnet Ghost Town.

The most intact ghost town in Montana—Garnet—takes its name from the ruby-colored stone. The town itself hasn’t been inhabited since the late 1940s, though volunteers help visitors explore the buildings for anyone who hikes in during the summer. If you’re a cold-weather history seeker, click into your cross-country skis and glide into town. Be sure to peek in the windows of the hotel, general store, post office and saloon. Visit our ghost towns page to learn more about the old mining campsites on Garnet Range Road and how to get there.

Pro Tip: The Bureau of Land Management rents out two Garnet Ghost Town cabins in the winter.

The Backcountry Rambler: Holland Lake Waterfall

Stand-up paddleboarder enjoys an early spring day on Holland Lake.

Nestled in the Seeley-Swan Valley and good for an adventure in any season, Holland Falls is a three-mile round-trip trek up trail #42. To get there in winter, strap on your snowshoes, or hike up on a hot summer day to cool off in the mist of the massive falls. The trail ends just before the falls and overlooks Holland Lake. Then, head back down for a little water play in the lake. It’s is a popular spot for campers, canoers and stand-up paddleboarders.

Overlooking Holland Lake from Holland Falls.

The Pioneer: Martin City + Hungry Horse

Hungry Horse Reservoir.

There are three things you need to know about Martin City and Hungry Horse, Montana.

  1. In 2017 they held their 39th annual Cabin Fever Days and Barstool Ski Races.
  2. The towns were created after World War II during the construction of Hungry Horse Dam.
  3. They love your dam puns.

The Romantic: Fire Lookouts

Come on, we know you’ve dreamed about escaping to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, wistfully sipping coffee while you watch the sun rise over the Rocky Mountains. Well, here’s your chance, you romantic, you. The U.S. Forest Service rents fire lookouts and cabins throughout Montana on a first-come first-served basis. This off-the-beaten-path getaway can be yours for a small reservation fee. Western Montana houses eight of these 360-degree-view, picturesque lodging options. Reserve your spot at recreation.gov.

The Foraging Fiend: Huckleberries

Huckleberries.

This finicky native shrub only grows in high elevations, making Montana’s mountains a perfect home for its tasty berries. Huckleberries look like small blueberries and taste like a cross between a blueberry and blackberry. While you can find huckleberry syrup and jam at many Western Montana stores and farmers markets, the true forager will take to the hills looking to find their own “purple gold.” Most Montanans won’t give just anyone their secret berry spot, but we can tell you that the state’s legislature coined Trout Creek the “Huckleberry Capital of Montana.” Plan to visit in August for the Huckleberry Festival, and they just might share their secrets.

Pro Tip: If you decide to forage for huckleberries, be sure to make some noise and carry bear spray. Montana is bear country, and huckleberries are bear food.

Kayaker paddles through Holland Lake on a peaceful fall morning.

What’s your adventure type? Tell us by tweeting or gramming @glaciermt or #glaciermt.

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Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana’s Glacier National Park

You guys, I have to tell you something: riding Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road on a bike is one of the best things you could ever do.

Hello, you gorgeous thing.

Hello, you gorgeous thing.

Sure, parts of it are hard (at least it’s hard if your name starts with a T and ends with an -ia) and yes, you may wonder how in the world your legs can and will keep pedaling uphill as you slowly make the elevation climb from the valley floor toward the tunnel and up to the loop but I’m here—alive and well—to tell you that those things are well worth the experience of biking in one of the most beautiful places in the world—Glacier National Park.
Sidenote: while parts of this road may be difficult if you don’t bike regularly, it is totally doable and quite literally one of the best things I’ve ever personally done. 

A bit of backstory: in mid-May, I grabbed three new friends who were here exploring Western Montana’s Glacier Country and we headed for Glacier National Park with one mission and one mission only: to pedal our bikes up the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

You and me, baby. (And yes, apparently the bike is now my baby.)

You and me, baby. (And yes, apparently the bike is now my baby.)

And pedal we did. To sum it up in three words: it was awesome.

Here’s the other thing: I had done this before, back in the days of yesteryear, and I drive this road regularly. But there is nothing that compares to biking the road in spring when it’s just you, your bike and your riding companions making your way up the road before Glacier National Park opens it to vehicular traffic.

Take a look…

This view, and moment, is one I won't soon forget.

This view, and moment, is one I won’t soon forget.

Low-hanging clouds made this day even more magical.

Low-hanging clouds made the day even more magical.

Stopping for a moment to record this moment with friends. PS: don't mind the line on my forehead. The "one size fits all" helmets don't apply to this big-headed girl.

Stopping to record this moment with friends. PS: don’t mind the line on my forehead. The “one size fits all” helmets don’t apply to this big-headed girl. The good news? My head was very safe. 

This view during spring can only be seen by hikers and bikers on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

This view during spring can only be seen by hikers and bikers on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

For this Montana-lovin' girl, this is perfection.

For this Montana-lovin’ girl, this is perfection.

Heading back down the road through the tunnel.

Heading back down the road through the tunnel.

I had to stop time and time again to soak this experience in.

I had to stop time and time again to soak in this experience. 

Wind-swept hair + watery eyes ironically equal my perfect May day in Montana.

Wind-swept hair + watery eyes ironically equal my perfect May day in Montana.

If you want to bike in Glacier National Park, here are a few things to note:
-You can bring your own bike or rent one. If you’re renting, I recommend picking up a rental bike at Great Northern Cycle & Ski in Whitefish. While their whole team is fantastic (special shout out to Craig and Stella!), Willy gave our group incredible service and detailed explanations about our bikes when we picked them up.
-Plan to ride in spring before the road is open to car traffic.
-Take advantage of the brand new and free bike shuttle service. The biker shuttle runs daily from Apgar and Lake McDonald Lodge to Avalanche Creek now through June 26, 2016 or when the Going-to-the-Sun Road opens to vehicular traffic, whichever comes first.

xo,
TT

20 Spring Adventures in Montana’s Glacier Country

Let’s face it: when it comes to seasons of the year in Montana, spring tends to get overlooked. Summer typically takes center stage, while spring serves as her understudy. She studies really hard and is so well-behaved that sometimes we don’t give her the accolades she deserves. To which I say: spring, I see you. And I think you’re awesome.

A gorgeous spring day earlier this week called for a scenic drive.

A gorgeous spring day earlier this week called for a scenic drive.

So without further ado, please meet my friend: spring. In an effort to help us all get better acquainted and to take advantage of one of the best times of year to explore Big Sky Country, I’ve put together a list of 20 spring adventures in Montana’s Glacier Country.

1. Bike in Glacier National Park.
A little known fact: biking in the Crown of the Continent is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Montana. Prior to the Going-to-the-Sun Road opening to vehicular traffic, it’s open for bikers and hikers. Plus with the spring snowmelt, more of the road tends to be open to bikers on both the west and east sides. The Apgar Bike Path is also a fun place to bike, especially if you have small children.
Sidenote: with the arrival of spring, wildlife are active in the park. Be sure to carry bear spray when hiking or biking in Glacier National Park.

Biking on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Biking on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

2. Fish Flathead Lake.
As the largest freshwater lake in the West, it’s probably no surprise that fishing on Flathead Lake is incredible. The lake is home to a variety of fish, including lake trout, whitefish and northern pike. You can go on your own or book a guided fishing trip with a local outfitter.

2. Hike the M in Missoula. 
One of the most popular hiking trails in Montana, this trail starts at the base of Mount Sentinel and works its way up to the M. A total length of .75 miles, the trail has 11 switchbacks, an elevation gain of 620 feet and an incredible view of the Missoula Valley, the Clark Fork River and the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area.

The view from the M. Photo: Chris Mickey

The view from the M. Photo: Chris Mickey

4. Drive the National Bison Range.  
Situated at the base of the Mission Mountains, the National Bison Range is one of the most easily accessible and beautiful adventures in Western Montana. In early spring, visitors can travel along the west loop, while Red Sleep Drive (the 19-mile-long one-way drive that winds through the range) opens in early May. Be sure to keep an eye our for baby bison.
Insider tip: bring your binoculars.

The view along Mission Creek.

The view along Mission Creek.

5. Pan for sapphires + visit a candy store.
Hands down, one of Montana’s most charming small towns is Philipsburg. Home to cute boutiques, a fun brewery and the world-renowned Sweet Palace, it’s also a great place to pan for sapphires. Make plans to visit Gem Mountain or the Sapphire Gallery to try your luck at landing a few Montana gems.

6. Attend the Annual Kyi-Yo Pow-Wow.
Taking place in April at The University of Montana, the Kyi-Yo Pow-Wow brings many of the nation’s American Indians together to dance, sing and share stories, as well as preserve the incredible heritage of our First Nations.

7. Visit Kerr Dam near Polson.
Sitting at 204 feet high, Kerr Dam controls the water flow along the Flathead River. For views of Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountains, follow the long boardwalk down to the dam overlook and watch the powerful water coming through the spillway. An added bonus: it’s only a 10-minute drive from downtown Polson.

The view from the boardwalk at Kerr Dam.

The view from the boardwalk at Kerr Dam.

8. First Friday in small town Montana.
Many communities in Western Montana have First Friday celebrations where artists display their work at various galleries and shops around the region. Check out First Friday happenings in Missoula, Stevensville and Hamilton.

9. Take a trail ride in West Glacier. 
Starting in mid-May, Swan Mountain Outfitters offers trail rides from their West Glacier corral.

Time to saddle up.

Located just off Highway 2, the West Glacier corral offers a variety of trail rides.

10. Golf.
With the warm spring temperatures, many of the golf courses in Western Montana open and welcoming players in April. Recommended courses include Buffalo Hills Golf Club in Kalispell, Canyon River Golf Club in Missoula and The Wilderness Club in Eureka.

11. Tour the St. Mary’s Mission in Stevensville. 
Opening for the season in mid-April, the Historic St. Mary’s Mission in Stevensville is an important place in Montana history. Be sure to take a guided tour of the complex and peruse the incredible American Indian photos inside Chief Victor’s cabin.

St. Mary Mission.

St. Mary’s Mission.

12. Stand-up paddleboard (SUP) on the Whitefish River.
Bring your own paddleboard or rent one in Whitefish at Paddlefish Sports.

13. Get ice cream.
When temperatures rise above freezing, it means ice cream time in Montana. My favorite places for locally made ice cream are Big Dipper Ice Cream in Missoula and Sweet Peaks in Whitefish, Kalispell and Missoula.

My favorite treat: a coconut (coconut ice cream dipper in chocolate and covered in nuts) at Big Dipper.

My favorite treat: a co-co-nuts (coconut ice cream dipped in chocolate and covered in nuts) at Big Dipper.

14. Yell “We Are Sparta” at the Montana Spartan Race. 
Taking place on the shore of Flathead Lake, the Montana Spartan Race is held in early May and consists of two parts: the Spartan Beast and the Spartan Sprint. As for me, I just want an excuse to yell “We are Sparta!”

15. Soak in a natural hot spring.
With comfortable temperatures during the day and cooler nights, spring is ideal for soaking in one of Montana’s many natural hot springs. For a weekend visit, try one of the hot springs in Paradise or the aptly named town of Hot Springs.

Paradise found at Quinn's Hot Springs.

Paradise found at Quinn’s Hot Springs.

16. Stand on the swinging bridge over Kootenai Falls. 
Take the short walk down from Highway 2 and make your way to the swinging bridge. Be sure to take your camera to capture the view of the water tumbling over the falls.

17. Attend Garden City Brewfest. 
Held in early May in Missoula at Caras Park, Garden City Brewfest introduces attendees to a variety of Montana beer. Between sampling beer and dining on local food, you’ll also be able to watch kayakers and surfers at Brennan’s Wave.

18. Go birding at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. 
A  30-minute drive south of Missoula and a few minutes from Stevensville, the Lee Metcalf is a 2,800-acre refuge that’s home to a variety of wildlife and birds. The refuge also has accessible trails and offers gorgeous views of the Bitterroot Mountains.

A spring day at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge.

A spring day at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge.

19. Attend the Bigfork Whitewater Festival. 
Watch some of the world’s best kayakers navigate the Class IV whitewater along the Wild Mile of the Swan River at the Bigfork Whitewater Festival. Held over Memorial Day, the festival includes whitewater kayaking races, whitewater rafting races and SUP events.

20. Paddle the Clearwater Canoe Trail.
One of my favorite spring activities is to paddle this quiet stretch of the Clearwater River as it winds through a willow marsh before flowing into Seeley Lake. My advice: go in the early morning and watch the sun come up.

Paddling the Clearwater Canoe Trail.

Paddling the Clearwater Canoe Trail.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Montana during the spring?

xo,
TT

A Montana Road Trip: Highway 200

Earlier this week, I decided it was time for another adventure. One that would lead to one of Western Montana’s quietest areas: Highway 200. (I’ve shared my love for this region before….read more about it here). For this particular trip, I grabbed one of my favorite road trip buddies and we headed out to explore as much as we could in one day.

And explore we did. We made various stops along the way, including Paradise, Plains, Thompson Falls and Trout Creek.

One of the river put-ins on the Clark Fork River between Dixon and Paradise.

One of the river put-ins on the Clark Fork River between Dixon and Paradise.

The Clark Fork River winds through the aptly named community of Paradise.

The Clark Fork River winds along the aptly named community of Paradise and flows through Plains.

One of the major items on our list: Heather’s Country Cafe. It was recently featured on an episode of Restaurant Impossible on Food Network and since the episode aired, we’ve been jonesing to check it out.

A peek inside Heather's Country Kitchen in Plains.

A peek inside Heather’s Country Kitchen in Plains.

After filling our tummies, we drove to Thompson Falls for a bit of shopping in its cute downtown. Along the way, we saw a herd of bighorn sheep grazing in the fields west of Koo-Koo-Sint Bighorn Sheep Viewing Area.

The Koo-Koo-Sint Bighorn Sheep Viewing Area is about six miles east of Thompson Falls.

The Koo-Koo-Sint Bighorn Sheep Viewing Area is about six miles east of Thompson Falls.

I couldn't resist picking up this locally made bracelet at the Sunflower Gallery in Thompson Falls. The shop has 16 local artists who display their work at the gallery.

I couldn’t resist picking up this locally made bracelet at the Sunflower Gallery in Thompson Falls. The shop has 16 local artists who display their work at the gallery.

Taking in the view in Thompson Falls.

Taking in the view in Thompson Falls.

We also ventured to the Old Jail Museum and were lucky enough to have a sneak peek. The museum officially opens for the season on Memorial Day.

We also ventured to the Old Jail Museum and were lucky enough to have a sneak peek. The museum officially opens for the season on Memorial Day.

After a walk around Thompson Falls, we headed to Trout Creek — one of my favorite small towns in the region.

A mix of spring and winter at Noxon Rapids Reservoir.

A mix of spring and winter at Noxon Rapids Reservoir.

Needless to say, it was a good day.

xo,
TT

Plowing Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road

Every year about this time, the major undertaking of plowing the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park begins. And it’s no small feat.

The Garden Wall and Going-to-the-Sun Road on April 8, 2013. Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

The Garden Wall and Going-to-the-Sun Road on April 8, 2013. Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

During the summer, driving this 50-mile-long road is one of the highlights of any trip to Glacier National Park and Western Montana’s Glacier Country. For me, it’s one of those experiences that never gets old. While I’ve driven the road countless times, each and every times leaves me awestruck and wowed. It’s also a permanent reminder that no matter what is happening around us, we live in a beautiful world. 

In an effort to prep the road for its June 21 opening (weather dependent), the plow crews have started the task of clearing the massive amounts of snow. And, thanks to Glacier National Park’s Flickr site, we can all follow along with their progress.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road above The Loop on April 11, 2013.  Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

The Going-to-the-Sun Road above The Loop on April 11, 2013. Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

The initial cut through the slide path on April 16, 2013.  Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

The initial cut through the slide path on April 16, 2013.
Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

West Tunnel icicles in April 17, 2013. Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

West Tunnel icicles on April 17, 2013. Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

A bulldozer and avalanche spotter work together to plow a section of the road. Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

A bulldozer and avalanche spotter work together to plow a section of the road. Photo: Glacier National Park Flickr site

To stay up-to-date on the plowing efforts, follow along here.

Happy plowing,
TT

Spring in Montana: It’s Here

I don’t know about all of you, but this time of year gets me excited. Like SUPER excited. As soon as spring hits, there’s a multi-month long smile on my face and I’m filled with childlike wonder—the kind I used to have when I was a just a little miss running around outside, complete with messy hair, skinned knees and missing my two front teeth.

In my toothless days with two of my sunshine lovin' buddies.

Today, while I now have two front teeth and only the occasionally skinned knee (don’t worry, the messy hair is still intact), I find myself filled with the anticipation of soaking up the spring sunshine. Winter is great and all, but there’s something about this season that makes my heart sing. While I’ve been spending much more time outside with the warming of temperatures, I still have to remind myself that it’s spring—something that I seem to forget quickly. Earlier this week, I was fairly certain that frostbite was in my destiny on my walk to work. Don’t worry, I survived. But apparently that lesson wasn’t enough and today I jackets are no longer required. Again, incorrect. (It is April in Montana, after all).

Even in a spring storm, the Mission Mountains take my breath away.

Even in a spring storm, the Mission Mountains take my breath away.

And while I may not like to dress appropriately for Montana’s spring weather, I can very appropriately and solidly tell you that this is one of the most delectable, delicious smelling and happy times of the year.

Sometimes in my travels and line of work, I come across folks who are truly baffled by what to do in Montana during spring. (It’s like being in between clothing sizes…do you squeeze yourself into a smaller pant or let that darling dress fall off your body? After all, winter is over and you can’t hit the groomed slopes, but it’s certainly not summer and it’s too soon to wakeboard). To which I say, never fear. There is plenty to do in Montana in one of our most underrated and undiscovered seasons.

Biking…

I’m fairly convinced that spring was made for biking. Some of my favorite biking destinations include the Kim Williams Trail in Missoula, the Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway in northwest Montana, The Whitefish Trail just outside of Whitefish and Glacier National Park.

Lake Koocanusa. While it's beautiful year-round it's a fantastic spring biking destination.

Lake Koocanusa. While it’s beautiful year-round it’s a fantastic spring biking destination.

Golf…

Many Western Montana golfers have already started to work on their swing at area golf courses, with many others following suit shortly. This corner of Montana is a standout as a golfing destination with plentiful courses, complete with gorgeous views.

Bonus: Our friends at The Flathead Beacon just wrote a story on golf courses in Glacier Country. Check it out here.

Early Season Hiking…

Even though the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park doesn’t open until June 21 (weather dependent), there are still so many opportunities to be found in the park during spring. The Camas Road is open for vehicular traffic and I’m told that Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Creek should be open by early May. Plus, if you like stunning scenery, McDonald Falls is an outstanding early season hike.

*Wildlife are starting to move, so be sure you practice proper protocol and carry bear spray when hiking.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road last May.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road last May.

Last June at Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park.

Events…

We all know that summer takes center stage when it comes to ridiculously awesome events. But spring is no wallflower.

Some of the events on my own personal must-see list include Rendezvous Days in Eureka (April 25 – 26), Montana Storytelling Roundup in Cut Bank (April 26 – 27), Garden City Brewfest in Missoula (May 5), Spartan Race in Kalispell (May 11 – 12) and the Bigfork Whitewater Festival in Bigfork (May 25 – 26).

Now if you’ll excuse me, me and my Montana bracelet have some playing to do.
mtbrac

Happy, happy spring.
TT

These are a Few of my Favorite (Montana) Things

While raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens may have a song about them, I must say they don’t compare to a few of my favorite things…which are early morning sunrises, cutesy small towns, crisp mountain air and sparkling night stars.

And I’m delighted to tell you that in the last few days, this girl was able to see many of my favorite things, plus a hearty helping of some new favorites…

Trapper Peak (seen in the distance) is the highest point in the Bitterroot Mountains.

Montana's state flower: the bitterroot.

Dear Darby, thank you for the welcome. I'm tickled to be here.

Perhaps the cutest bathroom signs in Montana.

Lake Como is absolutely stunning.

I've never met a milkshake I didn't like, but this one from Memories Cafe in Corvallis was delicious.

Every good Montana girl should own a pocket knife.

Locally made huckleberry fudge at The Old West Gallery, Antiques & Candy Store in Darby.

The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for birding and bonding.

Happy weekend,
TT

Montana May: Events & Travel Deals

It’s officially May in Montana and that means: summer is on the way!

While typically a quiet time of year, it’s also a pretty prime month to visit. Sure, you can expect showers and cooler days but there are also fewer crowds, a quiet peacefulness and the distinct clean smell that means spring has arrived.

May. Even the Grizzly Bears love it! Photo by Tony Bynum - www.tonybynum.com

And please, don’t let May’s temperamental nature fool you. While she is a bit rough around the edges, you’ll find that under her layers, cloud cover and sporadic snowstorms, she’s hiding sunshine, the most brilliant blue sky you could ever lay your eyes on, Glacier National Park (open year-round) and some absolutely stellar events and vacation deals.

May Events
International Wildlife Film Festival
-Held annually in Missoula, the film festival (May 7 – May 14) brings award-winning wildlife films to downtown with showings at the Wilma Theatre and special events at the Roxy Theater.

Glacier Outdoor Center: Spring Boat Swap & Tent Sale
-Looking for a new raft, kayak or inflatable? On May 14 – 15, head to West Glacier’s Glacier Outdoor Center for fresh May deals on boats, rafting accessories, flies, clothing and cabin home furnishings.

St. Regis Annual Flea Market
-Each Memorial Day weekend (May 28 – 30), St. Regis hosts Montana’s largest flea market, with more than 200 vendors selling treasures. Warm up your casting arm for summer by bringing your fishing pole and trying your luck on the waters of the Clark Fork River.

Fresh Vacation Deals
Play Dirty in May
-Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish has a special package that’s valid through the end of this month. Their “Play Dirty” package includes two night’s accommodations, dinner for two (with a Mud Pie Dessert!), two muddy martinis and more. Check out the full package details here.

Spring’s On Sale
-Marina Cay, located in the adorable town of Bigfork on Flathead Lake, is offering a 25% discount when you make your reservation online. The offer’s valid from May 6 – June 9. Book online here. Enter promotional code: SPRING.

And just for fun, check out local Missoula musician John Floridis and his song “Late May Moon.”

Happy May!
TT