Distinctly Montana

Unique opportunities along the Yellowstone.

As the days get longer, the nights get shorter, and the air gets warmer, it’s common for even the stodgiest of homebodies to seek out a change of scenery. Fortunately, good scenery and a healthy dose of deviation from the norm are easily found in Paradise Valley. From Livingston to Gardiner, locales along the banks of the Yellowstone River offer up a host of activities that are sure shift your spring into high gear.

Brew Fest
Beginning April 3 and continuing through the ninth, Livingston plays host to the second annual Tap into Montana craft-beer week and brew festival. This brew fest is loaded with beer-related events and 20 Montana breweries are on hand with over 50 beers to sample. After a day throwing flies on the Yellowstone, come off the river for plenty of great food and drink. Now, a festival just wouldn’t be a festival without music, and this year’s lineup features local favorites Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs, as well as Tom Catmull’s Radio Static. For more information, visit tapintomt.com

Fur Ball
Perhaps you prefer to meld your good times with a good cause, and you think a trail run is always more fun with a canine companion. In that case, the Stafford Animal Shelter’s 17th annual Fur Ball is highly recommended. Held at Chico Hot Springs, this event is a major fundraiser, and a great party. This year’s ball includes a sit-down dinner, live and silent auctions, as well as libations and live music. The Fur Ball takes place Friday, May 20 and tickets usually sell out early. Visit staffordanimalshelter.org for details. 

Gettin’ Western
If experiences that lean more toward the capital “W” western are what you’re searching for, then the Hells’ A-Roarin’ Outfitters horse drive in Gardiner will surely put the fever in your spring. The event kicks off with a horse viewing at noon on Saturday, May 28 at the Gardiner rodeo grounds. By 2pm, the horse drive passes right through Gardiner, and travels nine miles up the Jardine Rd. to the Hells’ A-Roarin’ Ranch. Twenty bucks gets anyone over the age of eight inside the ranch gates for a colt-training clinic, BBQ, cowboy-poetry reading, and live music by Wylie and the Wild West. Proceeds from this event benefit the Park County Sherriff’s canine unit. 

Springtime is also the beginning of rodeo season and the Gardiner Round-Up is as good as they get. Now in its 38th year, this National Rodeo Association–sanctioned event begins on June 17 and culminates with a parade and final go-round on the 18th. All rodeo events take place at Gardiner’s Jim Duffy Arena.

For more info on the horse drive and rodeo, visit gardinerchamber.com.