Wild Places

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Crazy Mountains: Montana’s Less-Heralded Alternative to the Tetons

    By Doug Schmittou, with photos by Robert Schmittou
    Encompassing an area roughly 30 by 15 miles in size, the Crazies are Montana’s most impressive island range. With 23 summits that exceed 10,000 feet in elevation, the highest of which is Crazy Peak (11,214 feet), the Crazies also are Montana’s third-highest mountain range.
  • 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.
  • Travelers' Rest: A Study in Precision on the Lewis and Clark Trail

    By Lindsay Tran
    The team also found several artifacts that could be attributed to the Corps, including a blue bead, melted lead, and a tombac (metal) button. Most interestingly, the latrines they uncovered contained a not insignificant amount of mercury, a dead giveaway that the poop in the pit belonged to non-Native individuals.
  • 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.
  • Trapper's Tales: Early Stories From Yellowstone

    By Doug Stevens
    Like Colter before him, the more seasoned trappers did not believe him. For the “greenhorns,” new to the wonders of the American West, he laid it on thick. Believed or not, he surely would have had a captive audience around the fire. 
  • Brilliance and Beauty: Celebrating the Gift of a Blackfoot Map

    By Dr. Shane Doyle
    Stretching from Oregon to North Dakota, and from Alberta to central Wyoming, the map identifies 14 major tributaries of the Missouri River, from the Milk River in the north to the Bighorn River in the south, and includes the location of prominent island mountain ranges interspersed between the rivers.
  • 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.
  • Seeking Solitude Along the Continental Divide Trail

    By Hallie Zolynski
    I spent time recently on a couple of sections of the CDT, finding out what makes this trail unique and why thru-hikers say this trail is by far one of the hardest to hike out of any of the long-distance trails in the U.S.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Driving in the Steps of the Corps of Discovery

    By Holly Matkin
    We invite you to hop in your car to set off on a trip back in time, crossing paths with the Corps of Discovery’s route through central and southwest Montana as you embark on an expedition of your own.
  • 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?
  • Chief Mountain: Iconic Landmark and Sacred Site

    By Doug Schmittou
    In September 1892, however, Stimson was a member of the first non-Indian party to climb Ninaistákis. At its summit, they discovered evidence of the mountain's long history of ceremonial use. On terrain far too rugged for bison to traverse, three bison skulls were found, two of which were so old "that the black sheaths of their horns had been worn away by winds and storms, and the sheaths of the other horns had turned from black to yellowish white." 
  • Get To Know a County: Broadwater County

    By Bryan Spellman
    Toston, like Radersburg, owes its existence to the gold mines in the nearby hills. The Toston Smeltering Company processed ore for a short period in the late 1800s, but that was long enough to bring in a population that stayed on and farmed the area.
  • 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.
  • 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.