Wild Places

  • Skating on Swan Lake

    By Kay Bjork
    Skating on wild ice is truly a spiritual experience. The sensation of gliding along a frozen lake can be like flying. An experience that is surreal, exhilarating, uplifting and at times—frightening. 
  • When Yellowstone Erupts!

    By Joseph Shelton, with graphics by Rob Rath
    The blast is unthinkable, impossible to understand in human terms. Still, there are some who are far enough away that they have a moment to try. They can see a flash that overtakes the horizon, and then for a moment, they see a black streak rising into space. The scale of it is enormous beyond reckoning.
  • Alone at Many Glacier: Being a Winterkeeper at One of Montana’s Least Accessible Hotels

    By Amy Grisak, with photos by David and Rebeccah Wilson
    It’s practically impossible to mention a winterkeeper’s position without thinking of The Shining, but aside from the wind sounding like people singing down the halls of the grand old hotel, David assures us it is far more grounded. Barely skipping a beat from his summer work, he had plenty to accomplish when the guests were gone.
  • Life During Wartime at the Charter Oak Mine

    By Carl Davis
    The crucial role of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company and other big mining enterprises in World War II materials production is widely appreciated. Less so is the contribution of Montana’s many small-scale mine operations.
  • Exploring Montana’s Best Last Places

    By Ellen Baumler
    Ever walked through a cemetery and imagined footsteps behind you, rustling in the leaves, or bony hands reaching up through the layers of the moldy earth?
  • Indian Summer - Montana Style

    By Doug Stevens
    Take crisp, cool mornings and sunny, warm days – mix in a little early snow high in the mountains and add some beautiful fall foliage, elk bugling during their rut in the High Country, and you have a recipe for what many believe are the very finest days of the year to get out and enjoy what Montana has to offer.
  • Montana’s Wild Heart: The Rocky Mountain Front

    By Bill Cunningham
    Two centuries ago when Lewis and Clark explored the vast land we now call Montana, they encountered a wilderness of some 93 million acres. Today, less than a tenth of this land remains wild and undisturbed.
  • Larch Madness: Fall-Foliage Destinations in Northwestern Montana

    By Douglas A. Schmittou
    At peak color, the contrast between their foliage and dark green coniferous forests, set against the backdrop of Montana’s majestic mountains and brilliant blue skies, is absolutely breathtaking, surpassing anything that New England can offer.
  • Montana's Mysterious Rock Show

    By Holly Matkin
    They seemed oddly out-of-place in the landscape, as if they had been dumped out of the sky and onto the forest floor below. Their rusty color contrasted with the drab gray of the boulders lying outside the perimeter of the pile.
  • The Big Sky at Night: A Journey Into Darkness

    By Doug Stevens
    Montana is blessed with some of the darkest skies in the country, due to lack of any large light-polluting cities. Couple this with the many wildernesses and other wild and scenic set-aside areas, and one can get far away from even the light of small towns.
  • The Near Grazing of Glacier

    By John Clayton
    Then, brooding at the hotel in East Glacier, he overheard the conversation about wildflowers. “It won’t look like this after the sheep are allowed to eat it all up for a sack of silver,” Albright told the men. Intrigued, they encouraged him to explain. One of them, it turned out, was Walter G. Hansen, owner of a meat-packing facility in Butte, Montana.
  • A Fisherman's Guide to the Beartooth

    By Sean Jansen
    With each mile gained in elevation, the oxygen deprivation distracts your driving as does the granite splendor you behold at every turn. Even in July the snow stays on the ground at this elevation and skiers, sunny skies, swaying wildflowers, and tourists alike indulge in this rugged high beauty and marvel at the ingenuity of the highway.
  • Montana’s 5 Worst Winters

    By Phil Knight
    Montana is infamous for its extremes of terrain and weather. Snowstorms can howl across this state like packs of white wolves, screaming through the streets, burying cars and stranding drivers in white-out conditions. Roads become glazed with ice and ground blizzards destroy visibility.
  • Glacier in Winter: A Great Escape

    By Kay Bjork
    Winter is a most elegant time in Glacier Park with a landscape that appears donned with feathers, furs and jewels. On a sunny day evergreen trees appear to be cloaked in white sequins and frost forms a delicate lace on bony branches.
  • On the Trail with Sheepherders, Groundskeepers of the Land

    By Hallie Zolynski, with photos by the author
    The name Montana conjures up cowboys herding cattle on the open prairie, and gunfighters hiding out in canyons to hide from rope-swinging vigilantes. But does Montana summon images of the lone sheepherder tending his flock and enduring days of solitude, bitter cold and the intense summer heat?
  • Montana's Rocky Mountain Front - More Than Just "The Bob"

    By Doug Stevens
    Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front lies to the west of Highways US 89 and 287 from the southern border of the Blackfeet Reservation to south of Augusta. It is where the northern Great Plains meet Rocky Mountains in a dramatic convergence of cliffs and rolling grassy hills.
  • Bannack - Montana's Best Preserved Ghost Town

    By Doug Stevens
    The early history of Bannack is very “colorful” and reads like a Hollywood western. With Virginia City also booming to the north, there was an active stage line between the two gold towns.