All posts by Absaroka

Favorite Montana restaurants

Red Lodge dining
Dining room of Carbon County Steakhouse, Red Lodge, Montana.

BILLINGS

Being a large city, Billings offers many great dining options. Bistecca at the Granary has the best food and atmosphere in Billings. The Granary’s bar is special and a delightful place to have a seat even if you only order a Coke. The Granary is open for lunch and evening dining and located in a quiet neighborhood on Poly Drive.

The City Vineyard is on Grand Avenue in far west Billings. This place is exceptional. Don’t miss!   Sandwiches, salads and soups, desserts, and more. Try the “create your own meat and cheese board.” Great selection of Montana craft beers and wines are served.

City Vineyard sells a very large selection of quality wines. Deer Creek Field Medal cheese from Wisconsin and other treats found here too. Next door and adjoining City Vineyard is the City Brew Coffee shop. This is a very, very nice coffee shop. MTbest™

Harper and Madison is another top eatery in Billings. Pastries, desserts, sandwiches, salads, and locally roasted coffee are on the menu. Great breakfast menu. This restaurant is very popular with locals and is located near the hospital-Billings Clinic area north of downtown area. The setting is in a local neighborhood. Open Tuesday thru Friday (7:00 am – 2:00 pm), and Saturday (7:00 am thru 1:00 pm. casual surroundings. Great Harvest Bread is always another good choice.

Bratwursts, schnitzels, apple strudel and many tasty German foods are on the menu at Oktoberfest German Restaurant on Grand Avenue in west Billings. The food is authentic German. The restaurant’s owner is from Stuttgart.  MTbest™

For an extra nice atmosphere and good prices dine at Jake’s restaurant downtown. For yummy seafood and ribs, try Montana’s Rib & Chop House on Majestic Lane in the far west end of Billings.  Don’t miss McCormick Café’s sandwiches and fresh-baked goods.  McCormick Cafe is on Montana Avenue downtown.

Meatloaf sandwiches just like you mom used to make are on the menu at The Fieldhouse restaurant in downtown Billing on Montana Avenue. The Fieldhouse has many other delicious foods too: Burrata (Benton’s ham, crouton, flathead cherry, sage); Lamb Bolognese (with orecchiette pasta, herbs, pecorino, shaved fennel salad); and many more savory temptations.

The 406 Kitchen & Taproom has a great location on north 27th Street, not far from downtown, the airport, and area colleges. On the menu Famous 406 nachos, halibut sandwich, are many more tasty delights. The atmosphere at 406 Kitchen & Taproom is very average but the kitchen has good hours of service.

The Burger Dive in downtown Billings is a favorite for a quick bite in casual surroundings. Great Harvest Bread is always another good choice.



BOZEMAN

To find dining in Bozeman, head for Main Street. Western Café on east Main Street is a favorite of locals. It’s easy to understand why.  A Western Breakfast Sandwich (large biscuit, egg, cheese, ham and sausage OR bacon) cost all of $6.50. Management at The Nova Cafe claims to serve “the best breakfast in town.” Too boastful? Well go and find out. Starbucks coffee is served on west Main Street.

Don’t miss the Baxter Hotel.This establishment features Ted’s Montana Grille and the Bacchus Pub.  As you leave the Baxter Hotel pick up some fine chocolates and other gourmet treats at the La Châatelaine Chocolat Co.

Plonk Wine Bozeman on east Main Street has, what else, a great selection of premium wines. Top shelf red is a bottle of 2014 Mommessin Monopole Grand Cru Clos de Tart, Morey St-Denis, only $495. More budget friendly is a 2016 Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, $42.  Cocktails served too. Plonk serves tasty cuisine, often prepared from products sourced from local farms and ranches. Beef tartare and pan roasted chick breast are favorites on the menu. A special ambience makes Plonk Wine a most satisfying experience.

Blackbird Kitchen is a Bozeman dining place on everyone’s list of top restaurants. You know the cuisine great when management advertise “happy local organic wood fired casual dining.” On the menu: goat shank, beef sirloin, spaghetti and meatballs, and a large selection of delicious pizzas. Find a super wine list here. If your taste is birra, order Kloster-Andechs Weissbier Heil or Propolis Brewing Spruce.

bisl offers another fine dining experience in Bozeman. As with Plonk Wine locally sourced ingredients are used when possible. Montana Short Rib and Scallop run about $31. Enjoy your meal with wine or beer, carefully selected from local, national, and international sources.  bisl is on east Main Street.

Italian cuisine is the regular fare at Blacksmith Italian restaurant. The Open Range is another restaurant with great reviews. Dining at the Bay Bar & Grille is convenient while shopping at the Gallatin Valley Mall. Other good dining options are:  Squire House, Urban Kitchen, South 9th Bistro, and Seven Sushi.

MISSOULA

Missoula restaurants and bars are tops. Most of the best restaurants and bars are concentrated along a five-block section of Higgins Avenue, a major north-south artery though the downtown area. The Shack Cafe is a good choice for breakfast, lunch and evening dining. For fresh pastries, breads, and desserts, don’t miss Bernice’s Bakery.

The Iron Horse Brew Pub sells every beverage imaginable, plus has good food, especially sandwiches. The Iron Horse Brew Pub rocks even on weekdays. Tasty sandwiches and veggies are served at Worden’s Market and Deli. Tamarack Brewing (downtown) is a popular sports pub with a low-key, dining experience on the upper level.

The Pearl Café is open for upscale dining. Try the “Boneless trout with Dungeness crab,” cost a mere $29. The menu at Caffe Dolce lists house-made pasta, pizza, salmon, lamb burger and more. Wines are from Italy, France, and Spain.  Red Bird at 111 N. Higgins offers upscale dining.  Scotty’s Table has tasty delights, local meat, produce, and grains for an exceptional dining experience.

Plonk Wine Missoula on Higgins Avenue has, what else, a great selection of premium wines. Top shelf red is a bottle of 2009 Domaine Clerget Echezeaux Burgundy, only $320. More budget friendly is a 2013 Tangent Grenache Blanc, Edna Valley, $32.  Cocktails served too. Plonk serves tasty cuisine, often prepared from products sourced from local farms and ranches. Alaskan halibut, $32. and grilled local bone-in park chops, $25., are favorites on the menu. A special ambience makes Plonk Wine a most satisfying experience.

GREAT FALLS

Great Falls has many good dining spots. Tops is the Celtic Cowboy in the Hotel Arvon in downtown Great Falls. The Celtic Cowboy is a pub and restaurant. On the Menu for breakfast try “Scotch Eggs” for $9  or Irish Porridge (Irish oatmeal) $6. For lunch try their Celtic Burger (ground bison or elk, with cheese, tomato, and slaw) $15. A favorite for dinner is Irish Whiskey Glazed Salmon, $24.

On the pub side, the Celtic Cowboy offers about 35 craft beers made in Montana. Go for a craft beer or to dine, the Celtic Cowboy is an amazing place. MTbest™

Dante’s Creative Cuisine has a nice atmosphere and, according to management, offers “casual [dining] elegance in the heart of Great Falls, Montana.  Perfect steaks and prime rib, delicious seafood entrees, southwestern specialties and delectable desserts make us hard to resist!” On the menu, Manicotti Italiano, $18.95, Chicken Milano, $19.95, Charbroiled Salmon, $28.95, and Grilled Ribeye, $29.95. A great selection of wine, beer, and spirits here, too.

Wheat Montana Bakery and Deli makes delightful sweet baked goods, soups and salads, and sandwiches. Made from the best Montana ingredients. Great Harvest Bread is always a good choice. JB’s Restaurant is a family dining restaurant near major shopping areas and the city’s main mall.

HELENA

Restaurants are plentiful in Helena. Those who like superior Italian cuisine and good wine dine at Lucca’s on Last Chance Gulch.  Exceptional service here.

For other upscale dining, try The Wassweiler Dinner House & Pub.  Pan Seared Salmon with creamy goat cheese couscous, tomato, mushroom, sweet corn, spinach, and lemon caper beurre blanc is on the menu at $34. Drive a short distance west of Helena on U.S. Highway 12 to arrive at the Wassweiler.

For a good wine selection and splendid cuisine, many dine at On Broadway near the downtown. The Brewhouse Pub & Grille in the Great Northern Town Center, a few blocks north of the downtown area, is very popular.

The Parrot Confectionery, located downtown on Last Chance Gulch, opened in 1922 and serves famous chili, malts, and milk shakes. Best of all you can try over 100 kinds of home-made, hand-dipped chocolates and caramels. This place has an old-time atmosphere, sort of like out of the 1950s. A neat spot if you have a sweet tooth.

Try Steve’s Café for the best breakfast. For tasty coffee, tea, baked treats, and lunch in Helena try Hub Coffee on Last Chance Gulch downtown. Great Harvest Bread is always a good choice.  The Grub-Stake, a few miles north of Helena on I-15, is an interesting hang out for locals.



KALISPELL

Tourists can choose from many good restaurants in Kalispell. Vivienne’s Fifth Street Cafe is very popular. The cafe serves breakfast and lunch. The sandwiches and daily specials are extra good. Rocco’s Restaurant, located east of Kalispell on U.S. Highway 2, is another favorite dining spot.

The Montana Club restaurant is in the downtown area just off Main Street. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  For this reason, the Montana Club is a good choice. Sometimes it’s hard to find a restaurant that serves breakfast.

RED LODGE

The Carbon County Steakhouse on Main Street has a wonderful dining atmosphere and cuisine is first-rate. A large wine selection is served. This is upscale dining Red Lodge, so don’t look at prices on the menu.

Locals and visitors enjoy tasty cuisine at the Carbon Fork Restaurant in downtown Red Lodge. Try their Huckleberry ice cream for dessert, so good. There’s a lot to love at the Carbon Fork.  Foster & Logan’s Pub & Grill on Main Street is another spot to have a good meal. A special at Foster and Logan’s is a Folo’s Dog, a 1/4 pound all beef hot dog with extras for only $7.95.  Bogart’s serves a variety of Mexican food.

For a tradition pub atmosphere, go to the Snag Bar. A beer at the Snag goes for $3.00, a burger $8.00. A pool table and a few video gaming machine attract some visitors to the Snag Bar.

The Rock Creek Resort (1-800-667-1119) is located a few miles south of Red Lodge on U.S. Highway 212. The nearby Old Piney Dell Restaurant and Bar is a favorite dining spot for locals. The restaurant has a very rustic  setting, along the banks of Rock Creek.

MontanaTraveler.com

Wyoming guest ranch

Northwest Wyoming Guest Ranch A Best Kept Secret

Shell, Wyoming: population 83….people, that is….not horses or cows. Lots more of the four-legged variety in that vast and open expanse.

I’ve just returned to California from The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch – my second visit and wish I had extended just ONE more week, but alas! This all-inclusive destination resort has a loyal and well-deserved following that is not about to wait for me or you to figure it out – the Hideout gets booked up fast!

If you are looking for a truly special guest ranch experience, you will find the most unexpected pleasure you’ve sought about an hour and a half east of Cody, Wyoming.

Since 1992, the Hideout’s current owners Marijn and Peter De Cabooter have made this family-owned operation the guest ranch lover’s dream come true.

If you want to learn about horsemanship as a beginner or enjoy the skills you already possess on lovingly cared-for animals The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch is a wonderful place to go: At the Hideout, you’ll feel both free and safe on horseback; explore some of the most beautiful and varied terrain in Wyoming; be part of a cattle drive or roundup on a working cattle ranch; and feel embraced as a single, couple or family group. You will really enjoy The Hideout. It is the best kept secret I know of.

And aside from feeling like family with owners and staff, you are treated to end-of-day slide shows of your adventures, a social hour before your gourmet dinner, comfortable, rustically elegant accommodations and stimulating conversation with an international group of 25 or so VERY interesting dudes and dudettes!

The Hideout is not for young kids or spa-loving softies looking for facials, massages and general pampering, but the accommodations and meals are top notch, as are the guests, owners, staff and stock.

You will never forget your week at the Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch and will reluctantly leave, longing for your next visit.

A. McDowell
Southern California

MontanaTraveler.com

Horseback riding Montana

Montana horseback riding
On a horeback ride in the wilds of Montana. Photo courtesy Summer Star Ranch, Helena.

Horseback riding is an activity many visitors enjoy in Montana. The rider and horse come together in a way nothing else can match. Horseback riding takes skill but anyone with patience can learn. Fun for sure. A bonus, ranches which offer horseback riding are found in scenic areas of the state.




This is an activity that families can enjoy together in the great outdoors. Memories never forgotten. If you stay at a guest ranch, horseback riding is usually part of the package. Ride as often and as much as you like.

For other visitors a short ride, maybe an hour or half-day, is all that’s wanted. Many ranches/outfitters offer this more limited service. A few are listed here. Always contact the ranch/outfitter in advance before arrival to make sure horses and wranglers are available when wanted.

Billings: Bitter Creek Outfitters (406) 855-6075

Absarokee: Paintbrush Adventures (406) 328-4158

Livingston: Bear Paw Outfitters (406) 222-6642

Bozeman/Gallatin Gateway: Broken Hart Ranch (406) 586-5421

Red Lodge: Elk River Outfitters (406) 860-3699

Missoula: Dunrovin Ranch (406) 273-7745

Whitefish: Bar W Guest Ranch (406) 863-9099

Gardiner: Yellowstone Horseback Riding (406) 848-7510

Glacier National Park: Swan Mountain Outfitters (406) 387-4405

Cooke City (near NE entrance to Yellowstone): Skyline Guest Ranch (877) 238-8885

Helena: Summer Star Ranch (406) 461-2659

West Yellowstone:  The Diamond P Ranch (406) 646-0606

Pray (south of Livingston): Rockin’ HK Outfitters (406) 333-4933

Big Sky: 320 Guest Ranch (406) 995-4283

 

MontanaTraveler.com

Transportation in Montana

Montana
General Map of Montana showing major cities and towns and Interstate Highway System. From base map FHWA, U.S. Department of Transportation. Extra towns were added to the base map.

Major Cities and Towns

Major cities: •Billings, pop. 110,323 •Missoula, pop. 72,364 •Bozeman, pop. 45,250 •Helena, pop. 31,169 •Great Falls, pop. 59,178 •Butte, pop. 34,553

•Glendive, pop. 5,332 •Kalispell, pop. 22,761 •Miles City, pop. 8,647 •Lewistown, pop. 5,870 •Havre, pop. 9.846 •Dillon, pop. 4,257

Car Rentals, Taxi Services.  Shuttle Services.



BILLINGS:  Car rentals at Billings Logan International Airport:  Hertz (406) 248-9151, Alamo (406) 252-7626, Avis (406) 252-8007. For taxi service call City Cab (406) 252-8700 or Yellow Cab (406) 245-3033.

BOZEMAN:  Car rentals at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport:  Avis (406) 388-6414, Hertz (406) 388-6939, Alamo (406) 388-6694. North of Yellowstone Shuttle & Charter Service, operating out of Livingston, provides long-distance transportation to several towns in southwest Montana. They offer taxi, shuttle, and private car service to Big Sky, Livingston, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Chico, Gardiner, West Yellowstone, and other locations (406) 580-2286. The company does not provide service in the city of Bozeman. For taxi service in Bozeman, call Greater Valley Taxi (406) 587-6303.

MISSOULA:  Car rentals at the Missoula International Airport:  Avis (406) 549-4711, Hertz (406) 549-9511, Alamo (406) 543-0926.  airport. For taxi service, call Missoula Green Taxi (406) 728-8294 or Yellow Cab of Missoula (406) 543-6644. A Web page by Missoula airport lists shuttle services.

HELENA:  Car rentals at the Helena Regional Airport:  Alamo, (406) 442-1765, Avis (406) 442-4440, Hertz, (406) 449-4167. For taxi service, call Capitol Taxi (406) 449-5525.

KALISPELL:  Car rentals at the Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell:  Avis (406) 257-2727, Hertz (406) 758-2220, Alamo (406) 257-7144. For taxi service in Kalispell, Whitefish, and Columbia Falls call Glacier Taxi (406) 250-3603. Arrow Shuttle also provides ground transportation in the Kalispell area (406) 300-2301.

GREAT FALLS:   Car rentals at the Great Falls International Airport:  Alamo (406) 727-0273, Avis (406) 761-7610, Hertz (406) 761-6641. For taxi service, call Diamond Cab (406) 453-3241.

Bus Lines

Bus transportation is available for many cities. Check out Greyhound or Jefferson Lines. Another choice, travel by train on AMTRAK’S Empire Builder.

Airports

Some folks may choose to fly. Modern airports are found in major cities. Billings (BIL), Bozeman (BZN), Missoula (MSO), Helena (HLN), Kalispell (FCA), Butte (BTM), and Great Falls (GTF) airports are especially nice and all are served by major airlines and conveniently located near downtown areas. Booking flights on Expedia or other travel Web site is easy.

Travel tip: How far is Missoula? Montana is a very big state and distances between major cities can be as much as 100 miles or more. Plan ahead with the DOT’s distance calculator.

OFFICIAL STATE HIGHWAY MAP

MontanaTraveler.com

Alternative lodging in Montana

Montana has many great hotels in cities, big and small. But some travelers want alternative lodging. Montana offers several choices.

Bed & Breakfasts are sought by many. Campgrounds are often the choice of RVers.  More recently, vacation rentals are all the rage.



In some cases you can book lodging with the proprietor or a local vendor. Commercial travel Web sites can also help you find and book lodging at many different kinds of alternative lodging;

Consider special Montana places to stay:

MontanaTraveler.com

Favorite Montana hotels

BOZEMAN HAS EXCELLENT lodging
The Lark (downtown)(866) 464-1000
RSVP Motel(406) 404-7999
Howlers Inn B&B(406) 587-2050
Hilton Garden Inn(406) 582-9900
Sacajawea Hotel in town of Three Forks not far from Bozeman(406) 285-6515




Billings has excellent Hotels
Hilltop Inn by Riversage(406) 245-5000
Riversage Billings Inn(406) 252-6800
Ledgestone Hotel(406) 259-9454
Home2 Suites by Hilton(406) 252-2255
The Crossings Bed & Breakfast(406) 672-6878




MISSOULA HAS EXCELLENT LODGING
Holiday Inn
Missoula Downtown
(406) 721-8550
Gibson Mansion
Bed & Breakfast
(406) 251-1345
DoubleTree by Hilton
Hotel Missoula -
Edgewater
(406) 728-3100
Residence Inn by Marriott Missoula(406) 542-6252




HELENA HAS EXCELLENT HOTELS
DoubleTree by Hilton
Helena (Downtown)
(406) 443-2200
Great Northern Best
Western Hotel
(downtown)
(406) 457-5500
Jorgenson's Inn
& Suites
(406) 442-1770




GREAT FALLS HAS EXCELLENT HOTELS
Hotel Arvon406-952-1101
Great Falls Inn by Riversage406-453-6000
O'Haire Motor Inn406-454-3141

 

MontanaTraveler.com

Guest ranches in Montana

Montana
Photo courtesy Summer Star Ranch, Helena.

Montana is the heart of the West. You can experience a western lifestyle when staying at a guest ranch. Wranglers saddle-up the  horses when guests are ready for horseback riding, a most popular activity. Of course Montana’s guest ranches offer much more, activities galore. Here are a few of the ranches:

So how to choose the best fit. You want to pick the right guest ranch to satisfy your interests and needs. The Montana Dude Ranchers’ Association provides valuable insights. Paradise Guest Ranch is helpful too. Other tips are shared by the Dude Ranchers’ Association.

Travel tip: Before you go be sure to ask the guest ranch about their horses. How many do they have? Are the horses suitable for pros as well as riders with little or no experience. What sort of terrain is near the ranch’s corral? Horseback riding on flat land is okay, but trails off in the hills and up in the mountains are more fun.



MontanaTraveler.com

Native American Powwows in Montana

Indigenous Americans celebrate at Crow Fair Powwow, Crow Agency, Montana. Photo courtesy Crazy Crow Trading Post.

Indigineous American powwows and fairs are special events held annually at various cities around Montana. Powwows highlight singing, drumming, stories, dancing, and dress of indigenous American peoples. Fun for the entire family. The granddaddy of them all is Crow Fair near Hardin, Montana. Crow Fair attract thousands of visitors.

Montana Powwows/fairs:

    • Kyiyo Powwow, Missoula
    • American Indian Council Powwow, Bozeman
    • North American Indian Alliance Powwow, Butte
    • Little Shell Chippewa Powwow, Ulm
    • Last Chance Community Powwow, Helena
    • MSUB (Montana State University-Billings) Powwow, Billings
    • Sweetgrass Society Powwow, Havre
    • Salish Kootenai College Powwow, Pablo
    • North American Indian Days, Browning

 

  • Valley of the Chiefs Powwow and Rodeo, Lodge Grass
  • Rocky Boy Powwow, Box Elder
  • Wadopana Powwow, Wolf Point
  • Hays Powwow, Hays
  • Poplar Indian Days, Poplar
  • Crow Fair Powwow and Rodeo, Crow Agency





Dates of events may change from year-to-year. Just do a look-up on Google for a powwow/fair and find dates and a description of activities. NOTICE: Many events in Montana are being cancelled in 2020, due to concerns about coronavirus. So check on an event before you go to see if it still scheduled to take place in 2020.

MontanaTraveler.com

Laughing Horse Lodge, Swan Lake, Montana

What is the Laughing Horse Lodge all about? The name sounds a bit whimsical, but a little more digging tells the full story about this lodging gem. To begin, the Laughing Horse Lodge is a seasonal business, opening on May 12 and closing in October in 2019. May 12 is Mother’s Day and the Laughing Horse aims to please mom. At brunch you’ll be entertained with music by Second Wind. At supper, Electric Avenue Blues is on the “stage.” In the main lodge, visitors are greeting by a cozy dining area and a bar. Chef Kathleen is a wonderful lady and she wants to make you feel right at home.





In case you want authenticity, listen to Kathleen:  “In our 18th years here at the Horse, the practices we have tried to implement as much as possible are providing natural, hormone-free, known-sourced food…”  Dining here is special. Try Kathleen’s baked cambozola topped with Turkish figs and warm organic fig preserves served with crostini. A lovely garden is immediately out the back door. A few steps away are several small cabins all nicely decorated with log furniture and western art. Cozy quilts cover the beds. No TVs, great! Very homey for sure. Laughing Horse Lodge is located a few miles south of Bigfork on Montana Highway 83. Glacier National park and Flathead Lake are not too far away. If I were asked to give a rating, I’d say the Laughing Horse gets five stars. Contact them at 406-886-2080. Laughing Horse Lodge.

MontanaTraveler.com

Red Lodge Music Festival Montana

2020 Season is cancelled, due to coronavirus concerns
Join us June 5-13, 2021

The highly acclaimed Red Lodge Music Festival is a premier event in Montana. Participants learn and perform:  musical groups include wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, and orchestras. Talent shows, ball games and more make this event so enjoyable.



Performances, by faculty and students, are scheduled for the general public and are held at the Red Lodge Civic Center Auditorium. For 2019, this event runs June 1-9.

Schedule of performances open to public, Red Lodge Music Festival:

Faculty Chamber Concerts are June 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8.
Concerts begin at 7:30 and are held at the Civic Center.
Tickets are $12.00 each per concert.

Student ensemble concerts are Thursday and Friday the 6th and 7th and start at 7:00.  No charge. The final band and orchestra concert is Sunday afternoon, June 9th.

Don’t miss this one. A ton of talent here. So nice.

MontanaTraveler.com

Mountain Man Rendezvous in Montana

The era of the mountain man, the most active period being roughly 1810-1850, is one of the most interesting periods in northern Rocky Mountain history. People who live in Montana have not forgotten this special period.

Modern day folks gather to celebrate the culture and history of mountain men. These events are called a rendezvous. This summer a dedicated bunch of locals in western Montana puts on a great show.



No Green River excesses (as of early day gatherings, 1830s, of mountain men in Wyoming) at this rendezvous. This event is pure family fun.

In 2020, Wild Horse Rendezvous is  May 22-25. Active participation or just hanging out is okay.  Public welcome. Vendors come too with period clothing and food.

Due to coronavirus concerns, this event is cancelled for 2020.

sapphiremountainmen

MontanaTraveler.com

Cafes in Montana Locals Like

Popular wisdom says, if you want to eat at good cafes with best prices go where the locals go.   Even while travelers and tourists occasionally want to seek out fine dining in new cities, at times just a great meal is all that’s wanted.  A few good cafes in Montana come to mind:  In Helena, Steve’s Cafe; in Bozeman, Western Cafe; in Missoula, Burns Street Bistro; and in Billings, Dude Rancher Restaurant.



Price comparisons are interesting.  For example bacon, eggs, and biscuit/toast cost:

Steve’s Cafe, Helena:  $7.95
Western Cafe, Bozeman:  $6.50
Burns Street Bistro, Missoula:  $9.00
Dude Rancher Restaurant, Billings:  $9.00 (includes hashbrowns)

Tourists are usually unfamiliar with local communities, so finding the best cafes can be elusive.  Hey you can always pay more. The Shack Restaurant in Missoula quoted $13.00.  Asking a local on the street corner or a clerk in a store often points the way.  Another clue is to watch  where local policemen dine.  As a tourist, you don’t want to turn this search into a science.  But money saved on dining can leave more cash for other fun things.

*data from phone interviews March, 2, 2019 or from online menu

MontanaTraveler.com

Glacier National Park Can be Dangerous; Death for Some

Glacier National Park is a place where nature is king, and nature operates and plays by its own rules, not the niceties and within boundaries understood and set by man.  Since 1910, when Glacier National Park was established, 260 people have suffered death at the hands of nature  and from other causes in Glacier.  Many more experienced dangerous situations and lived to tell about it.



The National Park Service does all it can do within its power to make the park safe for visitors. But when nature and people come together, bad things can sometimes happen.

For those who want to learn more about tragedy from Glacier’s history, the book Death & Survival in Glacier National Park: True Tales of Tragedy, Courage, and Misadventure by C. W. Guthrie (Farcountry Press, 2017) tells the story.  Still another book, “Death in Glacier National Park: Stories of Accidents and Foolhardiness in the Crown of the Continent by Randi Minetor (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) recounts much of the same.

Perhaps the most shocking and tragic event in Glacier’s history occurred in August,1967.  Within the space of a few short hours, at separate locations in the park, two teenage girls, Julie Helgeson from Minnesota and Michele Koons from California, met death at the hands of marauding grizzly bears. This story is told in a book entitled Night of the Grizzlies, by Jack Olsen (Homestead, 1995).

Visitors to Glacier should learn lessons from the past and be careful; further, religiously heed and follow the rules and guidelines for visitor activities and behavior set forth by the National Park Service. Every visit to Glacier should and can be a wonderful and safe experience.  This post is not of the cheery sort, but of important things to know about nevertheless.

MontanaTraveler.com

Bozeman MT – Town of High Prices

Bozeman is a very expensive city for travelers. A local hotel recently charged $339 for a one night stay in late September. At one restaurant on Main Street a simple buffalo burger with coffee cost $20.13 (including tip).



A car rental (Wednesday to Wednesday) in September, from a local new car dealership, for a Chevy Malibu cost $591.43. One visitor offers, “visitors to Bozeman should plan to leave their wallets behind when they drive out of town.”

MontanaTraveler.com

Grizzly Bear Science

High interest and much progress in grizzly bear science is reported in a recent technical paper by John Sandy. This research appears in the journal Science & Technology Libraries.



ABSTRACT:

Grizzly bears inhabit wilderness areas in the northwestern region of the lower forty-eight states, western Canada, and areas of Alaska. Because of the settlement of the west and loss of prime habitat, populations declined rapidly in the nineteenth century, and in 1975 federal action was taken to protect grizzlies under the Endangered Species Act. Since 1950 about 722 technical papers have been written on the grizzly bear. Major research has focused on ecology, conservation, reproductive biology, behavior, dietetics, anatomy, and physiology, among other topics. Due to geographic distribution of the species, much of the research has been carried out by authors and organizations in western regions of the United States and Canada where major grizzly populations exist. A significant number of technical papers appear in three key journals: Ursus, the Journal of Wildlife Management, and the Canadian Journal of Zoology. According to data in WorldCat, about 1,167 records, covering monographs and technical reports, contain information on grizzlies and present research findings. The bulk of monographs appeal mainly to a general audience. However, citation analysis reveals a core of highly cited technical papers, many written with an emphasis on special themes or topics, whereas others focus on the grizzly itself, all together advancing the science on this species.

Keywords:  Grizzly bear, Ursus arctos horribilis , brown bear, zoology, ecology, wildlife, Yellowstone ecosystem, conservation, recovery, bibliography, citation analysis, Alaska, California, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington

MontanaTraveler.com

Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana

A new technical paper on Little Bighorn Battlefield is ready for readers. Just released. Abstract of paper is  shown below. This technical paper is a preprint on deposit in the Institutional Repository at The University of Alabama.

URL:  https://t.co/V79tmSlcL7





Characterization of Geographical Aspects of the Landscape and Environment in the Area of the Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana

John H. Sandy

 Abstract:  On June 24, 1876, a large military force of the United States Army 7th Cavalry converged on the lower Little Bighorn Valley in the Montana Territory, aiming to capture a large number of Native Americans. A major military battle ensued over the following two days. The landscape near the Little Bighorn Battlefield is both gentle and very rugged. The upland to the east of the Little Bighorn Valley is highly dissected by a complex drainage system, consisting of ravines, coulees, and ridges. Elevations from the valley floor to the upland change as much as 340 feet. The slope in parts of the upland is greater than 10 degrees, and in rugged areas of the bluffs and along some ravines and other erosional features in excess of 30 degrees. The Little Bighorn Valley itself is a gentle northward sloping plain, with the Little Bighorn River flowing to the east side of the valley adjacent to the upland. Local vegetation of the area is highly diverse, bearing a close relationship to the physiographic features, hydrology, and climate of this area. Certain characteristics of the Little Bighorn River and the bordering riparian zone add to the diversity of the landscape. A brief analysis suggests ways that elements of the landscape and environment affected the course of the battle.

Keywords:   Little Bighorn Battlefield, physiography, weather, topography, vegetation, Montana, military history, Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, U.S. Army, George Custer, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull

Visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

MontanaTraveler.com

Montana Farmers’ Markets for Tourists too

Montana Farmers’ markets sell mainly to locals, but travelers and tourists can find some very good fresh fruits and vegetables at these places too. Farmers’ markets are located in most major Montana cities.




Think of food from local Farmers’ markets as an alternative to dining out for three meals a day. Sure Montana has many great restaurants, but travelers and tourists can save money and get great nutrition at the same time when buying food at farmers’ markets. That you help independent farmers make a little extra money is nice as well.

MontanaTraveler.com

New Web Addresses (Montana) Launch this Week

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Categories: travel; tourism; business; lifestyle

This week MontanaTraveler.com launches three boutique Web addresses: Bozeman.MT, Missoula.MT, and Helena.MT  With these addresses users have another way to find Montana Traveler on the Web.  These new, easy to remember Web addresses look and sound Montana down home.  It’s a great way to focus travelers and others on Bozeman, Missoula, and Helena local.    And, of course, all the stuff Montana Traveler offers to sophisticated travelers is available as well.   Montana Traveler is the leading Website covering the best things related to travel in Montana. 

Montana Traveler is on the Internet at www.MontanaTraveler.com

Contact:

John Sandy, publisher, Montana Traveler

JS@RedLodge.us

MontanaTraveler.com

Cabin Rentals Montana

Staying close to nature is a special way to experience Montana. In the Bitterroot Valley, south of Missoula, a rental cabin is the way to go.




Cabins are private, in scenic areas, and away from the busy side of life.  www.Bitterrootcabins.com can help you choose from many extra nice properties. Cabins can sleep four (4) or more and range from 1 to 4 bedrooms. A plus, some cabins are pet friendly. Great for a family get-away.

MontanaTraveler.com

Montana Hot Springs

Hot springs are big business in Montana and very popular with visitors. Hot mineral water is thought to have therapeutic value for many of life’s common ailments. Depending on the location, businesses with hot springs offer a variety of amenities, ranging from spas, restaurants, lodging, entertainment, and more. As the hot springs industry has grown, guests are offered plenty of things to do besides taking a dip in pools of warm mineral water.



Bozeman Hot Springs is a great place to relax in one or more of their 12 pools. Bozeman Hot Springs is a full fitness facility too. This business is located about 8 miles west of Bozeman.  (406) 587-3030. Norris Hot Springs about 39 miles west of Bozeman also attracts lots of visitors. (406) 685-3303.

The village of Hot Springs (pop. 557), located about 30 miles southwest of Flathead Lake, is famous for hot mineral springs. Fine indoor bathing facilities are offered at Wild Horse Hot Springs (406) 741-3777. In the same area:  Spa Hot Springs Motel (406) 547-3366  and Clinic (406) 547-3377. Hot Springs also boasts a new outdoor hot mineral pool at the Symes Hotel (406) 741-2361.

Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort is a very popular destination. Quinn’s is located northwest of Missoula in the small village of Paradise not far from Plains (pop. 1,050). This resort offers a pool, lodging, restaurant, and a tavern.  Cabins are modern and extra nice.  Harwood House Restaurant at Quinn’s gets rave reviews. And the wine list at Quinn’s is superb.  (406) 826-3150.

Chico Hot Springs is south of Livingston, in Paradise Valley, in the village of Pray, Montana. Chico features pools, lodging, spa, and dining. This is one of Montana’s best known hot springs . A great location, not far from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. (406) 333-4933

Elkhorn Hot Springs is several miles south of Butte in southwest Montana. Guests can stay in cabins or a lodge.  (406) 834-3434. Jackson Hot Springs is located in the same vicinity, a few miles southwest of Elkhorn Hot Springs. (406) 834-3151.

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is near Butte in Anaconda, Montana. As the name resort suggests, this place offers much to do. Lodging, dining, golf, spa, are more here. (406) 797-3241

Lolo Hot Springs is southwest of Missoula on U.S. Highway 12. Lots of extras offered here, such as entertainment, trails, horseback riding, and more. Lodging and restaurant are on the property. (877) 541-5177

If your trip takes you to Helena, try Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness, located abut four miles west of town. Several pools and hot tubs offered here. A fitness room on site is a way to boost health.  Some visitors take water fitness classes. Sauna and steam rooms are available too. Guests can enjoy beverages and feast at The Springs Taproom and Grille. (406) 443-5777.

Boulder Hot Springs Inn, Spa, and Retreat Center is located a few mile south of Helena on IH 15 in the town of Boulder.  (406) 225-4339.

MontanaTraveler.com

Red Ants Pants Music Festival

2020 RED ANTS PANTS FESTIVAL IS CANCELLED DUE TO CORNOAVIRUS PANDEMIC. THE FESTIVAL WILL BACK IN 2021.



The Red Ants Pants Musical Festival is pure fun for all.  The festival is this summer in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, July 23-26, 2020. Entertainment of all kinds makes this festival so enjoyable:  music, hayrides, dance, kids’ tent, a beer garden, and more with plenty of good food for everyone.  Non-refundable tickets available April 4, 2020.

Treat yourself and go!!

MontanaTraveler.com

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

Today grizzly bears thrive in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). More than 700 grizzlies live in the GYE. Most of these bears are found in Yellowstone National Park.

Grizzly bears also live in other areas of western Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

You can see grizzly bears in captivity at Grizzly & Wolf  Discovery Center in the town of West Yellowstone and at Montana Grizzly Encounter near Bozeman.



MontanaTraveler.com

We want to hear from you about travel in Montana

Montana Traveler wants to hear from you about the good stuff related to travel in Montana.

Categories are: (1) Why tourists will love my town in Montana; (2) For the best cultural attraction in Montana don’t miss this place/event; (3) An outdoor activity/experience in Montana that visitors will remember for a lifetime; (4) A favorite Montana restaurant tourists will write home about; (5) For nature at its best see this area in Montana; (6) Lodging in Montana that is superior in every way; (7) Just to have a good time in Montana, tourists, children or adults, will really enjoy this.



Write a short “story” in any category and e-mail (no attachments) to JS@RedLodge.us. If your “story” is interesting and convincing, Montana Traveler may publish it. Limit 100 words or less, subject to editing, if accepted, by Montana Traveler. No guarantees, however, as publication of submission(s) is entirely at the discretion of the publisher. Only one (1) submission per person, please. Published submissions may be removed from the site at a later date. Please give your name, home town, and state and this will appear in your post.

MontanaTraveler.com

Yellowstone National Park Our Natural Heritage

The slogan at the top of the Roosevelt Arch, a huge monument located at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner, Montana says, “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.”  Is this the best way to think of the park?



Let’s work with the National Park Service to change the mission of Yellowstone and refocus on nature. To start with, let’s lobby the National Park Service to build new structures/monuments and place them at  all entrances of Yellowstone National Park, to express as follows:

Yellowstone National Park:

“For the Conservation of our Natural Heritage.”

The forests, wildlife, rivers, and the landscape, more generally, are what makes Yellowstone a special place worthy of preservation and protection.

As for the Park’s cultural history,  the man-made structures/buildings in Yellowstone are only of minor interest and importance. They are a reminder of   commercial ventures, past and present, seeking to exploit this natural wonderland.

Contact Yellowstone today:

Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Call today (307) 344-2002.

On Twitter, mention @yellowstonenps

posted by John Sandy

About grizzly bears.

Promote and protect grizzly bears.

More on protecting grizzly bears.

MontanaTraveler.com