You have probably seen the pictures and thought that the Running of the Bulls looks like a pretty crazy scene, right? Well here in Genuine Montana you don’t just run with the bulls, you ski – and we aren’t talking about some domesticated, about to be a whopper, cow. We have real, free range, born and bred wild – buffalo. Well technically they are American bison.
Looking for some quiet time away following the COVID holidays of 2020, we booked a cabin outside Gardiner on the north entrance to Yellowstone NP in early January. We got a lazy start on a Saturday and still made the easy and scenic three-hour drive to Gardner around mid-day . Awesome.
First stop, geyser skiing! This is one of my girls’ fav’s, although to me its always surreal The Park Service grooms a nice rolling trail around the Mammoth Hot Springs geysers. A quick 40-minute ski on the trail yields great views including looking into several boiling caldera’s – on your skis. We actually spotted some tracks that I am fairly sure were wolverine.
The Park Service has also started grooming cross-country ski trails on the closed winter roads, which offers a great backcountry experience. Taking advantage of that opportunity, on day 2 we skied the Blacktail Peninsula Road, where we met up with a small bachelor group of bulls. Fortunately, they were content to let us ski by without incident.
We timed our ski in late afternoon so we would return to the car around sunset. Stopping trailside, we offered up a couple howls knowing there are wolf dens on a ridge several miles off the Blacktail road. As we skied back in the fading light, we could hear the wolves in the far distance returning our call and watched some wary elk on the ridge above us.
I am raising two young kids in one of the most amazing places, offering countless adventures. Decades from now I hope their grandkids listen to these stories and wonder if they ever really happened.
Great Falls has a plenty of jobs available, great schools, 15 minute commutes and is one of Montana’s most affordable communities. Consider a trip to find your own Genuine Montana adventure or make “G Falls” your permanent location and adventure your new back yard!