Shouldering Through

Making the most of mud season.

Spring is a strange season in Montana. On any given day, you might be skiing, you might be biking, you might be fishing, or you might be doing all three. To help guide you through, we dug into our cumulative experience for ways to make the most of the season.

Spring’s Loaded
Every season has its required activities, and spring is no different. Here’s what you have to do before June rolls around.

1. Fish the Mother’s Day caddis hatch. Doesn’t matter where, just make sure you do it.
2. Run the Baldy Blitz. You won’t find a more enjoyable sufferfest anywhere we know of.
3. Attend the Big Sky Pond Skim. Better yet, ski the Big Sky Pond Skim.
4. Cook a morel-based meal. With morels you gathered in the woods that day.
5. Road bike to Hyalite Reservoir or around Yellowstone. While the roads are closed to cars and before the tourists descend.

First Areas
Come mid-March, we’re dying to get out and enjoy some warmer weather. But where to? Here are some of our favorite spots

If you’ve been stuck in the gym all winter, you’re probably ready for some real rock, but you might not want to posthole through knee-deep snow to find it. Head to Pipestone for dry approaches and warm rock, or over to the Madison Valley for any number of routes at Revenue Flats. 

Mountain Biking
Even the lowest-elevation rides around Bozeman don’t dry up until well past Memorial Day, so for your two-wheel fix, visit Lewis and Clark Caverns, or push a little farther down I-90 to the Continental Divide Trail just this side of Butte. 

Even if you were brave (read: stupid) enough to spend a winter night out, you’re probably itching to sleep under the stars. Bannack State Park offers great campsites in a beautiful setting—so long as you aren’t afraid of ghosts. Not a fan of the supernatural? Head to Beartrap Canyon before the masses descend come summer.