Summer in Montana! And what is better than enjoying the wondrous beauty of this vast and majestic state! Much of Montana is publicly held lands, either National or State Forest and wilderness areas. One could spend a lifetime hiking and exploring Montana and barely scratch the surface. This past weekend, my son Lex and I had the pleasure of introducing grandson and nephew Thomas, age 10, to the joys and challenges of back packing. We headed into the Beartooth Mountains, located a 3 hour drive south of Bozeman, close to the Wyoming border. It is an immense region of aptly named mountains, alpine lakes, streams, glaciers, forests, and tremendous boulders.
Thomas had never back packed before, he lives at near-sea level in Kansas City. Strapping a 35 pound pack on him and having him hike up 1,500 feet in elevation gain to our 7,500 feet base camp was a real test, and he passed with flying colors, but not without a few moments of doubt and effort. We camped beside Mystic Lake, the largest lake in the Beartooths, and day hiked to Froze To Death Plateau. Thomas–knowing I work in high-end real estate–commented, “This is not an attractive name.”
A few years back, Montana launched a tourist campaign titled “Get Lost in Montana“. A few days in the Beartooths and you understand how quickly, and easily, one can leave civilization behind and enter into a world that is untouched by humans. It is an experience worth having!
After leaving the wilderness, we drove back roads to Roscoe, Montana, and the Grizzly Bar, whose tag line is: Where the Hell is Roscoe. As much as Thomas enjoyed Lex’s cheese dogs cooked over the campfire, he REALLY enjoyed the 1/2 pound cheeseburger with onion rings at Grizzly Bar. And, he’d earned it.
There’s no place better than Montana in the Summer! And Fall, Winter, and Spring.