By Michael Huseby
A scenic five-hour drive from Yellowstone National Park takes you across the jagged Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge, Montana. With a population of two thousand, Red Lodge is away from the crowds, getting you in touch boundless nature that delights from season to season.
Get your ski gear together and take the fifteen-minute drive from town up to Red Lodge Mountain. Founded in 1960, the six-chair mountain has fresh powder, $69 full-day lift tickets, and good vibes all around.
A day on the slopes is the perfect way to appreciate the idyllic Montana beauty. After several hours of weaving through forests or attempting tricks on terrain park, you’ll deserve a relaxing night by the fire.
Thawing snow opens up a wealth of trails that criss-cross Southern Montana. Consider the five-mile Glacier Lake trail to get a view of glassy water surrounded by blooming wildflowers. If you’re feeling bold, brave the 18-mile Hellroaring Plateau hike.
Spring is also a great time to break out the fishing rod. Red Lodge is a stone’s throw from trout-filled waterways like the Stillwater River. Cast from the banks or hire a guide to float down the river in style.
Drive up the hill from downtown Red Lodge and you’ll find a residential area with a golf course. Hit the driving range before starting your 18 holes and be sure to bring some extra balls. Rivers and ponds make frequent appearances.
Multiple ranches dot the countryside near Red Lodge. Renting horses is a great way to cover a lot of ground. Consider hiring a guide to show you around and point out the different species of plants and animals.
As the leaves fall down, the guns go off. No, not hunting. Pig races. Test your luck by betting on galloping hogs at the Bear Creek Saloon. You might get lucky and win a few bucks. Or, your chosen competitor might not even realize it’s supposed to be racing. You can’t win ’em all.
Red Lodge is a charming town surrounded by endless nature. Whether you’re snowshoeing across frozen rivers or whitewater rafting in the summer, you’ll feel the freedom the instant you arrive.