Summer 2020

Features

  • SoWeMo

    Traveling fast, far, and on foot through the rugged backcountry of southwest Montana.A mix of blood, sweat, and mud soaked into the shoes of four runners as they began their descent from Hyalite Peak. It was the 25th of…
  • Epic Outings

    Five all-day adventures for the summer season.At times it feels like Bozeman residents are in some sort of arms-race to extremity. Everywhere you look, people lope or bike along, checking heart-rates and Strava times. Cars…
  • Angling at Altitude

    Pursuing cutthroats, goldens, and grayling in thin air.Stumbling out of my tent in the soft light of dawn, I wondered if the fish would be in a similar less-than-lucid state. At 8,400 feet, deep in the Gallatin Range, our…

Departments

  • Giants in the Summer Sky

    What to look for this season. The Big Sky has some big players in it this summer, with the largest planets in our solar system holding court during our brief and balmier nights. After the sun goes down and it (finally)…
  • Thunderstruck

    How to avoid a lightning strike. Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee you won’t get struck by lightning. Every bolt of lightning contains about five billion joules of energy, which is enough to power the average home…
  • Push & Pull

    Essential ingredients for running and climbing. As the snow melts, the trails dry, and the long summer days offer “send burns,” we can all benefit from reflecting on our upcoming goals. Whether it’s a weekend ridge…
  • Runner's Digest

    A new all-natural metabolic aid. With shelf-upon-shelf of nutritional health supplements to choose from, it can be difficult to know which is right for you. But what if there was an all-natural, sustainably harvested,…
  • Raging Bulls

    Photographing the bison rut. The bison rut, from late July through August, is an extreme and physically exhausting period for Yellowstone’s bulls, where they lose up to 10% of their bodyweight. The challenges are constant…
  • River Renovation

    Gallatin access points get a facelift.Ever since the mid-’90s, when Paul Maclean took shadow-casting mainstream, scores of anglers have descended upon our little corner of paradise. Many set up shop along the banks of the…
  • Happier Trails

    A private-public partnership in the Bridgers.If you’ve visited a Bozeman-area trailhead in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed something: they’re all crowded. This past spring, when schools and workplaces were…
  • Wet Dreams

    Overnight canoe trips around Bozeman. In the summer, when the weather is warm and our outdoor playground abounds with opportunities for adventure, there appears a strange sense of urgency. How much can we cram in before…
  • Animal House

    The public benefits of private lands.As we extol our public lands—of which we can be justly proud—let us not overlook the importance of private working lands. For these are the most valuable lands in Montana, in terms of…
  • Our Time

    Yellowstone Park in the year of the Bug.This past spring was a rough one, but one silver lining for inhabitants of southwest Montana (along with '90s-era traffic and elbow room during the salmonfly hatch) is the opportunity…
  • Training Day

    Introducing your puppy to the trail.  If you think about it, hiking with your dog can subject her to the same maneuvers as an agility course—jumping and weaving between obstacles, maybe even balancing on a log bridge. …
  • Chute Show

    Skiing the Great One.’Tis the season for the Great Northern Couloir of Naya Nuki; aka, the Great One; aka, TGO. Where, on the 4th of July, Bozeman skiers assemble en masse, like fishermen at the Mother’s Day caddis hatch.…
  • Packin' Meat

    A breakthrough for bear defense.For decades, there have been just two choices for active bear repellants: firearms and bear spray. Now, there’s a third—a compact pistol that shoots canisters of fragrant, exploding meat…
  • Enraptored

    Photographing birds of prey.Our Montana skies are full of raptors. red-tailed, rough-legged, sharp-shinned, Swainson’s, and Cooper’s hawks; American kestrels; bald and golden eagles; ospreys and turkey vultures; harriers…
  • Doggone Dos & Don'ts

    Summertime hazards for dogs.With the long-awaited summer season comes sunny days, green grass, and river trips. We have the benefit of living in a beautiful area filled with outdoor activities that are fun for us all, and…
  • Mighty Whitey

    In defense of trashfish.As marked by the publication of Isaak Walton’s Compleat Angler in 1653, people have been getting fishing line tangled in branches for at least three and a half centuries. Catch-and-release angling is…
  • More for Montana

    20 years of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.If there’s anything the year 2020 has reminded us so far, it’s that life is more complicated than it used to be. The past 20 years in southwest Montana have brought new opportunities…
  • Hebgen Bronzie

    A small fly for big trout.If you’re not privy to Hebgen Lake’s chironomid (lake midge) hatches, treat yourself. Swarms of buzzing gnats entice the trout—if you listen closely, you can actually hear the hum. And Hebgen’s big…
  • Liquid Legacy

    Keeping our rivers wild and scenic.It is hard to over-exaggerate how much Montanans love rivers. From Class V rapids to 50-mile riffles, rivers are the arteries that pump life into our state’s outdoor heritage, recreation…
  • Protect Your Joggin' Noggin

    Running helmets hit the market.These days it’s easy to imagine that everyone in the world has suffered a major head injury. Just join a protest or political rally—it’s like being in a live-action infomercial for TBI.…
  • Signified

         Under a Montana sky, blue-black with smoke from August fires,the weight of my line unspools, pushing away from the fly rod in cursive loops. Where the water calms, the cliffside shimmersin the creek’s mirror, looking…
  • Aesthetics Precede Ethics

        The doors of the brook trout’s pink gills openand close as it wriggles in my palm, back yellow and black, variegated like coral. Light appears at the fish’s exposed sides, and the sound of water collects in backwash…
  • Face-Off: For the Record

    Tallying the spoils of war.The quarterly face-off—it started in 2006, when Bozeman, then a smallish Montana mountain town, felt its oats and started squaring off with similar towns across the country. We came out swinging,…
  • Crazy Days

    Summertime's offbeat activities. When the long Montana spring finally gives way to summer, it feels like there’s so much to do and so little time to do it. Our exuberance drags us into a whirlwind of adventure: summit that…
  • Pass the Dutchie

    Cast-iron cooking over the campfire.From the campfires of adventurous explorers across the Rockies to the great chuckwagon trails, cast-iron camp ovens have been an integral part of forging the American experience. Paul…
  • The High Life

    A bucket-list fishing trip.Most anglers dream of a true backcountry fly-fishing experience. Getting away from the bumper-boats on busy rivers and the crowded roads of the summer season; climbing high into the mountains and…
  • Clean & Clear

    Water-purification options.Few things ruin the outdoor experience like intestinal parasites. Though the symptoms of Giardia often don’t set in for a while, when they do, you’ll wish to High Heaven you’d been more careful—…
  • Eat Your Woods

    Foraging while you play. Like locally sourced food? Summer’s a great time to keep an eye out for organic grub in the area to supplement camping dinners, post-hike barbecues, and fishing trips. Foraging—from the Old French …
  • Power Picnic

    Suffering through summer.A few years ago, I rolled out of my car at 2:30am to tackle the Grand Teton in one day. After a successful jaunt up the Owen-Spalding route, I drove into Jackson to enjoy a few beers with some…
  • Van Go

    Caving in to creature comforts.It didn’t sink in until I began to fill the cooler with ice. Wait a second. We don’t need a cooler. This thing has a fridge.And so began a series of adjustments, from our normal car-camping…
  • Back on Track

    Three tips to a faster recovery.After a long, muddy spring, it’s finally time to hit the trail. Since summer goes by in an instant, you want to make the most of it, and no one likes passing up a hike or ride from being too…
  • Show Pony

    The story of a one-horse town.They say he stood five-foot-two, based on Civil War military records, but his character and perseverance must have made up for what he lacked in height because the man called Tecumseh Smith (…
  • Ouzeling Along

    Liesurely climbing at Natural Bridge.On a warm and cloudy Saturday April morning, we pack up the truck and head for Natural Bridge. It’s south of Big Timber, in the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, and was named for a…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: Collaps-a-Bowl

    Hot and dry—that’s summer in Montana. On those long hikes where water’s scarce, keep your hound hydrated with the Collaps-a-Bowl by Kurgo. Strong and sturdy, it holds a whopping 24 ounces and flattens for easy storage after…
  • Review: Wood-Burning Stove

    There’s something extremely satisfying about cooking over a natural fire. But when backpacking, there’s generally something extremely inconvenient, too. Not so with Patagonia’s Wood-Burning Stove, a clever, cone-shaped…
  • Review: Walker GTX Tennis Shoe

    LOWA’s Walker GTX is a lightweight, waterproof, breathable, sneaker-inspired walking shoe that features a seamless Gore-Tex lining to reduce hot spots, and LOWA’s speedhiking sole to ensure superior traction on both trails…
  • Review: Hero Charcoal Grill

    Food cooked over charcoal tastes better—but when floating the river, or out of space in an overloaded vehicle, a gas stove is the only option, right? Wrong, says Fire & Flavor, whose HERO charcoal grill brings the best…
  • Review: Hybrid

    When sleeping solo, I’ve always preferred a hammock—except when it’s raining, in which case a tent is the superior option. Crua’s Hybrid puts the best of both into a single, choose-your-own-elevation package. On the ground…
  • Review: Evo Hiking Shoes

    These are way too nice to wear on the trail. That was my first impression of the Toro Evo GTX Lo from LOWA. With a dark gray leather upper, these hikers look as nice as some of my dress shoes, but their trail performance…
  • Review: Campstove 2

    With the ability to turn fire into electricity, the super-slick Biolite Campstove 2 brings the caveman back to the future. The stove creates a vortex of smokeless flame for a portable campfire that can cook your meals and…

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