Wild Places

  • Adventure in the Little Belts

    By Amy Grisak
    With 9,000+ foot peaks surrounded this untamed area that’s home to countless elk, moose, a smattering of wolverines, black bears, mountain lions, and the rumored grizzly. For those seeking adventure or solitude, the Little Belts are the place to be.
  • 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?
  • A Day In The Life of a Smokejumper

    By Greg Anderson
    Two jumpers are in the air – they make sure they stay a safe distance apart on their descent to the jump spot. The first jumpers land in the spot. The J-13 is now over the exit point, and the second two jumpers exit the plane.
  • Running Free

    By Jessianne Wright
    Confined to the 39,000 acres that is the Pryor wild horse range, these horses are wedded to the landscape. Many are clothed with the very colors of the Pryor Mountains themselves. Horses the color of dampened limestone, faded grass, and mudstone.
  • The National Bison Range - A Story of Vision, Tragedy and Homecoming

    By Doug Stevens
    Bison play a central, integral role in the cultural, spiritual and ceremonial life of many western Native American tribes in both the plains and the intermountain areas, such as Montana. Their relationship to the bison runs deep and is ingrained into who they are as Native people
  • Touring the Medicine Line

    By Michael J. Ober
    Members of Montana’s Native peoples called it the “Medicine Line,” the White people’s invisible trace of the 49th parallel. They knew that the “medicine line” offered safety from pursuing U. S. military units bent on forcing them onto reservations in the late 19th century.
  • Montana Glaciers From Above!

    By Garrett Fisher
    Glaciers add a nuance of complexity to mountain flying. As it is, mountain flying is complicated and can be dangerous due to wind, terrain, altitude, reduced aircraft performance, turbulence, and weather.
  • 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.