End Games

Four last-gasp adventures. 

Fall is a bonus season: two more months of great weather before the snows of winter come calling. That’s two months sans tourists, to hike, run, bike, and fish to your heart’s content.

If you aren’t careful, though, you could miss the moment all together and find the trails buried with snow. 

To maximize my time, I like to plan four final outings to undertake before switching the bike rack for the ski rack. Here they are:

Fish an Alpine Lake
For the most part, the high country around Bozeman is fair game through October. Fish in alpine lakes sense the lean months of winter are near and right up until the water temps really drop, they’re active and hungry. Like bears, they want to fatten up. Take advantage and spend a day casting for the last few cutts until next summer. 

Take a Backcountry Bike Ride
In summer, there’s so much daylight that we can commit to four-hour rides after work. Once the equinox rolls around, daylight becomes precious—but that doesn’t mean long rides are out of the question. Choose a Saturday and plan a long ride. The somewhat-crowded trails of summer will be empty, and you won’t have to contend with mosquitos or the heat. 

Fuel Your Adventures
Sola Cafe Market

Plan a Road Trip
There’s no bad season to hit the open road, but winter might be the least pleasant. While chasing powder is a rite of passage for any diehard ski bum, short days and unpredictable weather make for occasional disappointment and constant white-knuckle driving. That’s why one last long autumn weekend pushing miles is a good idea. Explore a new part of the state, perhaps something to the east at lower elevations. Bring the fishing gear, a canoe, your bike, and camping gear—roll in one last long outing before winter descends. 

Run a Race
You’ve been training all summer—why not go out on top? Of your fitness level, that is. There are several longer runs in the fall, and plenty of fun runs and charity 5ks. Because we’re sane, we’d never advocate running in winter, so this might be your last chance to stride it out for a good long while.