Summer 2014

Most Montanans agree that summer is the season, but it's short and sweet, and it's hard to do it all. Let Outside Bozeman be your guide. This issue features stories about a family's deep connection to wild places, the benefits of taking the road less traveled, and an expert's guide to one of southwest Montana's most classic climbing destinations. As always, our gear reviews highlight the essential tools you'll need to get the most out of your endeavors, and our experts keep you up-to-date on area news and the best seasonal activities. So tune your bike, organize your climbing kit, and outfit your raft: it's going to be a great summer.  

 

 

 

Features

  • Surrender

    Patience may just lead to perfection.When I first observed spey casting, it looked like a man waving in surrender, or perhaps a horsetail swatting flies off its ass. There is nothing graceful about either image.As any local…
  • Sweet as Honey

    Multipitch alpine climbing in Beehive Basin.Exit the tram atop Lone Peak, let the view wrap your mind with 360-degree exposure—the wild Montana landscape, its dramatic rise and fall of range and valley—and 99% of the time,…
  • A Path Less Traveled

    Biking Bozeman's hidden trails. Mud spun off the tires and splattered my legs as I cycled through another pedal-stroke. The sun dipped low on the horizon, turning the skyline orange—the kind of evening that makes you want…
  • Igniting the Passion

    How wilderness flows through time.There is much I don’t know about the things that have shaped me, but I do know the moment when my passion for wild places was lit. I was 11 years old. My schoolteacher parents had summers…

Departments

  • Paddler's Paradise

    A solo adventure to Shoshone Lake After an unusually bad week working at one of Yellowstone Park’s restaurants, I needed an escape to the backcountry. I’d been fishing frequently at Lewis Lake, but now, by the middle of…
  • Get Stoned

    Mountain biking Stone Creek.In the scenic Bangtail Range north of Bozeman lies the Stone Creek trail—an unbeatable out-and-back that tests riders’ endurance and switchback skills, both on the ascent and descent. The climb…
  • Edible Berries of the Wild

    Wild berries around Bozeman suitable for human consumption.So there you are, walking down the trail, and you see a plump, juicy berry dangling among the shrubbery. Should you eat it? Maybe, maybe not – some berries are…
  • Pasture Perfect

    The skinny on grass-fed beefTo make the perfect grass-fed beef burger, you need three things: an understanding of grass-fed beef, an instant-read thermometer, and some quality ground grass-fed beef.Grass-fed beef is a very…
  • True Tales: Circle of Wolves

    A close encounter in Yellowstone Park. I left Yellowstone’s Gneiss Creek trailhead on a cool, late-summer afternoon. After hiking through dense willows, I emerged into a deep, grassy meadow tinted a beautiful golden-brown…
  • Float It In

    Canoe camping made easyAs middle age shrinks in the rearview mirror, one becomes somewhat less enamored with dragging luggage over rugged Rocky Mountain ridges. If you’re over backpacking and still want to camp, you can…
  • Bozangeles Betty

    This summer's hottest fly.Most trout guides agree: despite countless nights at the fly-tying vice, that innovative next-level fly is a rarity, as elusive as a 28-inch brown. But every once in a while, the magic happens.Two…
  • Walk This Way

    Livingston's in-town trailsFrom almost anywhere in Livingston, you can enjoy stunning views of the Crazy Mountains, the Absaroka Range, or the Gallatin Range. But you don’t have to leave town to get on a trail. Just a few…
  • Get Higher

    What you need to know about altitude sickness.Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is caused by lack of oxygen at higher elevations. While AMS doesn’t conjure up as much fear as a grizzly…
  • Old Bozeman Vs. New Bozeman

    After years of lopsided matchups, with Bozeman trouncing one seemingly worthy adversary after another, it’s become clear that most other places simply don’t compare. So after a lengthy search, we found the only town that…
  • Sweet Summertime

    Bozeman Parks and Recreation updateSummers are sweet in Bozeman, but they’re relatively short, and with so many amazing activities to take part in (it’s a tough life) you may feel you need a small fortune to complete them…
  • Sweatin' Season

    Where to get racy this summerWith mud season behind us, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the thousands of trail miles and vertical feet that Montana has to offer. Drop those weights, get away from the sweaty guy on the…
  • Disinclined to Drift

    The effort makes the catchAnyone who spends time during summer and fall below Holter Lake on the Missouri becomes intimately familiar with one of the most prolific hatches on the storied water: not baetis or caddis, but…
  • Alpine Exposure

    Uncovered in the high country.It was a long time ago. I was young, independent, and full of myself. Having grown up an hour north of Yellowstone Park, I was used to the great outdoors. Our ranch buildings were mere steps…
  • Scared Sheepless

    Turning around is never easy. Sheep Lake is a deep body of crystal-clear water, maybe 20 acres in size. It sits in a glacial cirque at an altitude of just over 9,000 feet near the south end of the Madison range, not far…
  • A Capitol Time

    A weekend of outdoor adventure in Helena.A short drive from Bozeman is Montana’s state capitol, Helena—a perfect weekend destination for mountain biking, geocaching, hiking, trail running, fishing, water sports, and a…
  • North by Northwest

    Three days in western Montana. Some places are just made for playing, such as western Montana. Within its 22,000 square miles of wild terrain are blue-ribbon trout rivers, colorful cliffs, wide valleys, thousands of miles…
  • Stay on Top

    An argument for dry-fly fishingWhen I was young and learning to fly fish with my ever-patient grandfather, I asked him why we had to fly fish. He had been kind until then, but the thread was wearing thin and he hesitated…
  • Bears, Birds, and Bark

    The tangled web of the whitebark pineAfter countless water breaks and switchbacks, you finally approach timberline. Before entering a world of ankle-eating scree, you’re greeted with one last chance for shade. Gnarled by…
  • Go West, Young Man

    West Yellowstone in a day.The quirky, tourist-meets-nature town of West Yellowstone is just a scenic 90-minute drive from Bozeman. Best known as the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, the town itself is an…
  • How Annie Got Her Gun

    Shooting ain't just for the boys.When I was growing up, the boys in high school would return victoriously from sighting in their guns and I would hear things like, “308 BR549 Roger 4 Clicks MRAD Over.” I had no idea what…
  • The Time is Meow

    Running with your cat.Much has been said about the relationship between man and dog, but a man and his cat? More glowing prose has appeared above a truck-stop urinal. It’s true that cats lack many of the qualities that make…
  • Hounds of Summerville

    Keeping your pets safe this seasonSummer is finally here, and with it comes more time outdoors for us and our four-legged friends. Veterinarians see more patients with activity-induced injuries this season than any other.…
  • Whistle Pig Stew

    The other, other white meatUnfortunately, we live in a time where a fat guy eating deep-fried swine-gut in the Caribbean is considered entertainment. I’m serious here—there are a half-dozen programs on various networks…
  • Summer, Slowly

    Learning to take it easyLast summer, my kids and I spent four or five days by the Yellowstone River. I watched them play for hours as the river cruised by.Swallows skimmed the water, darting from nests in nearby cliffs.…
  • The Boy Who Cried Balto

    A "courageous" case of mistaken identityI am probably the only person on Earth who can tell a story about smacking a wolf, and still manage to come across as soft.Pine Creek Lake and Jewel Lake, resting high in the Absaroka…
  • Move It Or Lose It

    Physical activity has many benefits.It’s often said that laughter is the best medicine, and while there’s no doubt that a bit of mirth can be good for the soul, it won’t do much to solve the health problems plaguing 21st-…
  • This Land is Your Land

    Bozeman Ranger District dipatchIn Bozeman, public lands are right outside your back door in any given direction—they’re one of the reasons we love living here. The Bozeman Ranger District alone has over 900 miles of trails…
  • Slingin' in the Rain

    Fishing through the storm. As our Jeep bounces down the winding dirt road, I peer at the massive thunderheads rolling in above us. The sky is dark and the air thick as pudding.“Are you sure you want to do this?” I yell over…
  • Current Class

    Kayaking destinations for beginnersEven if you’ve already rowed a raft, cast a line, or floated a tube down a southwest Montana river, there’s another exciting option for anyone wanting to try something new: kayaking. This…
  • Pounding Trail

    The ups & downs of Chestnut Mountain.   For the last three summers, I’ve been running Chestnut Mountain once a week as part of my training regimen. It’s one of my favorite runs, but only after the first 55 minutes—after…
  • Finer Floating

    Pro tips for boat tripsI spend winter evenings thumbing through catalogs and browsing the interweb looking for the perfect accessory to outfit my precious boat. I love my boat. I mean I really LOVE my boat. The affection I…
  • The Cattiest Canine

    The red fox's feline traits explainedA red fox is not actually part cat, although they do possess various traits that can make people think otherwise. One of three wild canine species in southwest Montana, this highly-…
  • The Smidget

    A versatile trout-tricker. Near the small town of Dillon lies one of the most productive tailwaters in the great state of Montana: the Beaverhead River. The Beaverhead is famous for its large trout and their sly, selective…
  • Stay in the Flow

    Understanding Montana's stream-access lawAll surface waters that are capable of recreational use may be so used without regard to the ownership of the land underlying the waters.In January, the Montana Supreme Court again…
  • Slightly Stoopid

    Redefining nature’s hierarchyI live in a remote mountain cabin at the end of a dirt road in a thick pine forest. It’s slightly more accessible than North Korea and looks as if it was built by Habitat for Humanity on a…
  • What's Your Sign?

    Bozeman summer astrologyAries: March 20 to April 20An increased level of physical and mental energy will help you send that climbing project or epic mountain bike ride. Matters involving family or home may fall to the…
  • Letters - Summer 2014

    Fountain of YouthDespite the arrival of Medicare cards, more gray hair, and the consternation of our friends, we thought we had trained pretty well for our fourth trip to the Bozone. Fixated on goals, we did manage to…
  • Outlook - Summer 2014

    The grass is always greener, be it a fence or a cloudy day. We wait for the snow to fall or the rain to stop, the trails to dry or the rivers to flow.But summer—summer is the other side of the fence. Where everything is…
  • Choose Your Season

    It’s not always easy to tell when summer begins.In my experience, there are two ways to accept summer: adopt early or cling to spring.Early adopters are fueled by anticipation; they’re tubing the Madison on the first 65-…
  • It's a Gamble

          Sandhill cranes pull up their stockings, tie down their nests;an upset storm creeps in, smokes a cigar down the crackof Saddle Peak, rests its legs over Sacajawea, puff puffs abit of rain and hail before coughing up…
  • Granite

          Slate, like faces staring into the suncold from the internalnessof stonelying open and exposedwaiting to be warmedClinging for its lifea flower ties a bond with its saviorand plants itself in a cracksheltered and put…

Gear Reviews

  • Lowa Tibet GTX Hi

    When the peaks and alpine lakes call, pick up the Tibet GTX Hi from Lowa and head to the high country. With its 9-inch height, this burly backpacking boot protects your feet from impact and keeps your ankles from rolling…

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