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LISA Jan 20th, 2001 01:43 PM

Heading to montana in july where should we stay? We don't want a ranch. Maybe a B&B with hiking close buy.

dnorrie Jan 20th, 2001 02:26 PM

What part of Montana? It is a huge state. I grew up there (Bigfork) and maybe can help you out (maybe not too).

Al Godon Jan 20th, 2001 08:27 PM

Hmm. Montana is 2.5 times the size of Georgia -- 147,000 sq miles versus 59,000. That means it is larger than South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama combined. So if I told you that I was going to be in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama and asked where should I stay, what would you tell me?? <BR>I think you need to narrow the choices a little. If I had to give you one answer, I would say Whitefish or Big Fork.

x Jan 21st, 2001 05:21 AM

want us to tell you what to eat, what to pack and what airline to fly, too? truly, what's with this post and others lately being so vague and asking other to what it amounts to, practically planning their whole trip? like i would soley base my vacation on random opinions. ACK!

whoever Jan 21st, 2001 06:11 AM

Dear x([email protected]) <BR>Wow that was a really rude response. Lighten up!

dnorrie Jan 21st, 2001 06:17 AM

Thanks for your response. I realize how huge Montana is and am overwhelmed. <BR>I need to start somwhere. We have backpacked in other states in the west and want ot get to Montana. We'll have about 2 weeks to see the state and probably won't backpack. If you can give me some areas to begin I can call the local tourist board for suggestions. If there is something you think we should't miss let us know. Thanks.

dnorrie Jan 21st, 2001 09:48 AM

I am curious, Lisa, how you managed to post a reply using my name and email address???? Or, if you didn't, who did? Hmmm. <BR> <BR>Anyway, not that it really matters I guess as long as what is posted is clean and meant to inform. <BR> <BR>Montana had HUGE wildfires last year around the Missoula area and in the Southern part of the state. They did not affect the Whitefish/Bigfork areas or Glacier. Both Whitefish and Bigfork are very expensive and filled to overflowing in the summer with tourists. The cheapest place to stay in Bigfork is the Timbers Motel and it is quite close to the town. The town hosts the Bigfork Summer Playhouse which has four productions on every summer and they are usually excellent but you must book well in advance. Around Bigfork, there is the Swan Lake area and lots of hiking, fishing etc. areas. Between Bigfork and Whitefish is Kalispel - it is not as trendy as the other two and tends to be a bit cheaper. It is between two mountain ranges. Whitefish again is expensive but quite fun. <BR> <BR>From there you could head to Waterton Glacier Int. Peace Park in Alberta - again pricey but with the exchange on the US $, it could prove reasonable for you. Or head up into Alberta via BC to the Crowsnest Pass area - If you head of the Hwy in BC (Sparwood) you can get to a small town called Elkford that is great. <BR> <BR>If you need any further help, feel free to email me - Denise <BR> <BR>All of those areas are full, full, full in the summertime.

Bob Brown Jan 21st, 2001 02:24 PM

I suggest confining your visit to the western part of the state. Eastern Montana is flat and quite hot in the summer. It is as you say huge. Just try driving from the Washington border to the North Dakota border sometimes!! <BR>I think you would find the area around Red Lodge, near Billings to be interesting. It is near a wilderness area where you could backpack or make day trips. Also the Beartooth Pass highway is a special, scenic drive that leads over to Yellowstone NP. So you could see it, too from Red Lodge. <BR>There are some fairly nice motls in Red Lodge; my son likes the Yodler. Reasonable in price, yet acceptable in comfort level. <BR> <BR>Also, we were in Big Fork two years ago and thought it nice, but a little small. It is fairly close to Glacier NP. Glacier is a hikers park par excellence. I could go on for a long time about hikes in Glacier. <BR>You can do day hikes or backpack as you see fit. There are some gorgeous views in Glacier, that is for sure. Just start at Logan Pass and walk north along the Garden Wall and you will need to use bandaids to keep your eyes in place!! <BR>

Teresa Jan 21st, 2001 06:34 PM

I agree with Bob's suggestion of the Red Lodge area. It's beautiful and close to the "urban" area of Billings if you need to fly in and rent a car. Stay at Rock Creek Resort just outside of town--our family has stayed there many, many times over the past 25 years and it's just wonderful. It's located at the base of the Beartooth Mountains and is right by the river with excellent hiking and fishing nearby. Head to Yellowstone from here and go over Beartooth Pass--absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and you'll be able to stop and throw a snowball or two, even in July.

dnorrie Jan 22nd, 2001 06:17 AM

I agree too about Red Lodge - it is one of my favorite places in Montana - I also like the Yodler Motel - the owners are wonderful and prices reasonable. The Rock Creek Resort is considerably more glamorous but also more expensive and is out of the town area so you would not be able to walk around. I also love Cooke City on the edge of Yellowstone and have stayed there many times. It is very small and very western.

Matt Jan 22nd, 2001 06:42 AM

<BR>I grew up in Missoula, and having never had much reason to stay in a hotel in the area, I can't offer much advice in that area. For hiking though, I have to put in a word for my hometown. Great trails are found in any direction within an hour's drive, or much much less. Up the Bitterroot, south of town, nearly every canyon on the west side of the valley offers a trail into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. One of my favorite hikes is to the old fire lookout on top of St. Mary's Peak. Further south is the stunning Blodgett Canyon, though there might be signs of last year's fires there. <BR> <BR>The Rattlesnake Wilderness and National Recreation Area is about a 10-minute drive from the corner of HIggins and Broadway in Downtown Missoula and is a local favorite for dayhikes, overnight trips (there's a great loop of about 25 miles), and after-work strolls. <BR> <BR>To the west, about 35 miles down I-90, is the Great Burn Wilderness Study Area. Take the Fish Creek exit (66). This is one of my favorite hikes. The 30-mile loop takes you along the State Line Trail for several miles, then dips down into old-growth groves. It's fantastic. Gorge yourself on huckleberries and maybe wake up with a herd of elk. <BR> <BR>East of Missoula, the Welcome Creek Wilderness is easily accessible and has trails that are nearly deserted. <BR> <BR>Of course, the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wilderness areas are reasonably close too, if you get in the mood for some longer trips. <BR> <BR>Geez, I'm getting homesick. Have a great time next summer! <BR>

donnie Feb 23rd, 2001 05:49 PM

Just head out to the Glacier National Park. There is much wild life and plenty of sunshine. I really enjoyed my stay there.l

joy Jul 7th, 2001 05:24 PM

Just spent the 4th of July in Big Fork at The Marina Cay Resort located on the Swan River and Flathead Lake. Big Fork was a great little town with many good shops and restaurants. We played 18 holes at the Eagle Bend Golf Course and also spent a day in Kalispel which was only 30 minutes by car. For golfing and fun in the sun in one of Montana's most beautiful towns check out Big Fork.

traveller Jul 7th, 2001 05:58 PM

I find Bigfork to have changed an awful lot from when I lived there as a child. It has become quite trendy and a bit on the expensive side but is still a fun place to visit. Great food and golfing as was stated earlier but it is certainly not inexpensive but rather more on the expensive side. The positive is that you can travel to Echo Lake or Swan Lake where there is still good food and beautiful scenery at much less cost. I find Marina Caye a bit pricy and prefer the Timbers Motel as how much time do you really spend in your room anyhow? Just MHO.

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