Spring 2021

Features

Departments

  • Chins Up

    Enduring adversity on Cliff Lake. We launched our kayaks onto the calm surface of Cliff Lake on an early May morning. The sun was just cresting the forested horizon surrounding the lake, and cold water slightly deflated…
  • Fierce Creatures in the Sky

    A lunar eclipse on a flowery spring night. Spring brings fierce creatures to prominence in the evening sky—as Dorothy in Oz might say, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” For our sake, subtract the tigers. Go out on an…
  • Shavings of the Past

    A dubious discovery on the banks of the Madison. A young Indian sat at the top of a rise along a cut bank of the river. The village tipis were scattered behind him on flat ground. He watched the river. He could smell smoke…
  • Dream vs Reality: Van Life

    A true paradise? Whether you live in a van full-time or own one for weekend exploration, having a modest-sized home-on-wheels lets you shack up anywhere that’s accessible by road. Built-out camper vans are popping up in…
  • A Gobblin' Good Meal

    Montana Merriam sliders on the Burch Barrel. Some people get a bad taste in their mouths when they hear the words “wild turkey,” and it’s not from that high-school kegger that went awry. For some reason, turkey meat lacks…
  • Springing to Life

    Hiking North Cottonwood. At 8,700 feet directly below Hardscrabble Peak, the headwaters of North Cottonwood Creek cascade down the Bridgers’ western slope and eventually drain into the Gallatin Valley. For a luscious…
  • Sneak Creekin'

    Spring boating below the beaten path. The secret’s out: Montana isn’t only a great place to ski—the spring, summer, and fall seasons are just as savory. In a kayaker’s mind, there’s nothing more satisfying than the dank,…
  • Wave of Reflection

    Finding gratitude in spring. “I would maintain that thanks is the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” —G.K. Chesterton This past year served up a healthy plate of introspection. We…
  • Stressful Serenity

    Finding peace when fear comes knocking. The river sounds a quiet rumble and a soft breeze fills the air. Afternoon sun warms the canyon, but in the shade the gneiss is still cold and grippy beneath my hands. I’m halfway up…
  • Carefree Highway

    Packrafting perspectives on the Madison. Someone wiser than me once said that everything is in a constant state of decay. Initially, I dismissed this claim entirely. But after thinking about it, I decided that he had an…
  • Treasure Island

    Getting to know the Pryor Mountains. We all have our favorite retreats in the stately Absaroka, Gallatin, and Madison mountain ranges. But what about our love for the “island ranges?” These mountains, which exist in…
  • Warmer Climes

    Head north for a Missouri multisport. Another dreary day in the Bozone: just cloudy and cold enough to quash enthusiasm for the weekend ahead. Fear not, brave Bozemanite: microclimates abound in Montana, and within a short…
  • Laws of the Land

    Politics & outdoor affairs. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of national headlines and policy, but what happens out our back door is just as important. Many a fierce battle are fought by local organizations and…
  • Godforsaken Gulo

    Why wolverines need Wilderness. Somewhere high in the remote Rocky Mountains, an unfortunate mountain goat has been killed by an avalanche. Buried deep in hard-packed snow, its body waits for a lucky scavenger. Only one…
  • What's in a Name?

    A call for protection of species in the Custer-Gallatin. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) is one of the last remaining large, nearly intact ecosystems of north temperate zones on our planet. Because of the GYE’s…
  • Watching Your Waste

    Perceptions and misconceptions of recycling in Bozeman. If you could substantially reduce your greenhouse-gas emissions without a major lifestyle change or adding significant time or cost to your day, would you do it?…
  • Glamping Down

    A proposal on the Gallatin leaves a sour taste. Forty-four years ago, Gordan and I landed on the Gallatin River and never left, living in our own home in Gateway since 1981. We were captivated by the same allure that draws…
  • Suspended Service

    Gear check, spring edition. Come springtime, when sun graces the Gallatin Valley for days on end, you’re going to want to break out the mountain bike. But unless you prepared ahead of time—unlike all of us—your rig is…
  • One Step Ahead

    How to prepare for car emergencies. “We can’t stop here, this is bat country!” —Hunter S. Thompson Not long ago, on the way home from fishing the upper Madison, the tongue on our trailer broke, sending the boat into a…
  • Wingin' It

    Breaking Down the raptors of southwest Montana. It’s fair to say that most of us could learn a thing or two about our local birds of prey. Sure, there are the easy ones, like the mature bald eagle, osprey, and red-tailed…
  • Spring Strength

    Transitioning back into trail shape. As the snow melts and temperatures warm, we transition from skiing to trail running and hiking. When the trails dry out, people often make the mistake of returning to dryland activities…
  • The Art of Looking Beyond

    Capturing spring's flowers through macro-photography. My lens struggled to focus and suddenly my subject became a blur of pink, pastel shades. I gradually dissected it, petal by petal. In experimenting with what I wanted…
  • Road to Recovery

    Marten restoration in the Little Belts.One of Montana’s smaller predators is reclaiming part of its native range this spring, thanks to a collaborative effort between Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and several…
  • Hell on Keels

    Amphibious kayaking takes off. “On your left,” mankind’s version of a car-horn beep, has always been the courtesy alert of fast-approaching hikers, runners, and bicyclists. But today, this heads-up is being co-opted by a…
  • Pillory: Horrible Bosses

    Turning the sights on ourselves.Over the years, the Pillory has served to degrade outdoor offenders of all sorts. From untidy dog owners to thoughtless boat launchers and impatient spring pedalers, anyone whose selfishness…
  • Piping Hot

    Springtime biking at Pipestone. VitalsDISTANCE: 9.6 milesELEVATION GAIN: 1,280 feetTIME: 2 hours for described routeROUTE: LoopSEASON BEGINS: AprilNEAREST TOWN: WhitehallHOT TIP: Hand signals motorized folks use: when…
  • Wisdom from the John

    Q&A with good ol' Johnny Bozeman. Though more widely known for his gear expertise, Johnny Bozeman is wise in other ways, too. Think about it—the dude’s been around the Gallatin Valley for what, 140 years? Times may…
  • Charismatic Microfauna

    Yellowstone's case for microbial preservation. Our system of wildlife preservation tends to focus on a handful of large, fuzzy critters—the “charismatic megafauna”—and is, therefore, “absolutely inverted,” says Dr. Mark…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Kurgo Zippy Bowl

    It’s inevitable—on those first few hikes and bike rides of the season, you always forget to pack something: moleskin, extra tube, wildflower-ID booklet. One thing you should never leave behind is a water bowl for your…
  • Review: Kane Revive Shoe

    We’ve reviewed a lot of rugged footwear for outdoor activities, but what about when you’re back at the trailhead and want to slip into something more comfy, yet still supportive? Check out the Kane Revive: a shoe designed…
  • Ooze Cruise

    Quick-hitting energy. Staying energized during long endurance activities ain’t no piece of cake. Whether you’re going out for a long trail run, a grueling pedal, or a springtime ski mission, keeping calories on board will…
  • Review: Cotton Carrier Skout

    I always find I take more—and better—photos when my camera is handy. With the Cotton Carrier Skout, my camera is always accessible and I never have to worry about missing an opportunity. The proprietary twist-and-lock…
  • Review: Nocs 8x25 Binos

    The more you see, the richer life becomes—which is where a good pair of binos comes in. To this end, Nocs Provisions has built a new binocular that’s compact, lightweight, waterproof, fogproof, and affordable—meaning,…
  • Review: VOORMI Drift Jacket

    Mountain style meets rugged performance in the Special Edition Drift Jacket, a go-anywhere, do-it-all, full-zip midlayer. Constructed with VOORMI's signature 21.5-micron wool with a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coating,…
  • Review: Rapid Rope

    After a long winter, when boats, bikes, and backpacks emerge from hibernation, another item quickly follows: rope. And while cam-straps serve a purpose, good old-fashioned rope is still the original and best tool for most…
  • Review: OtterBox Defender Series

    Old-school outdoors folk remember when OtterBox cases were essential equipment on river trips—those bright-yellow cases that kept your camera safe and dry through the most unexpected eventualities. The company’s Defender…

Newsletter

Sign up here to be added to our mailing list. You'll be apprised of weekly goings-on, contests & giveaways, and great local content. We'll also let you know when a new print issue hits the stands and when our digital edition goes up online.