Early in the morning, a layer of mist sits over the rustic wooden houses of the small town of West Yellowstone, located outside the famous Yellowstone National Park in Montana.
I like those early hours here, when nature slowly awakens to life and the sun makes its way across the vastness of these beautiful landscapes.
A Morning Stroll Along the Madison River
One of my favorite regions for a morning hike is the area around Baker’s Hole campground minutes north of West Yellowstone. Here you can pitch your tent and spend the night along the Madison River and listen as it meanders through untouched terrain. Again and again, trout rise in the river, which is also renowned to fly fishermen.
The views from here are simply stunning. It’s no wonder this spectacular scenery has drawn Hollywood movie producers to film classics such as Robert Redford’s “A River Runs Through It.“ As I stroll along the riverbank, a feeling of stillness and relaxation come over me that help me forget the stresses of everyday life.
Parade Rest Ranch: An Original Montana Western Ranch
Not far from here, our journey continues at Parade Rest Ranch. We arrive just in time to watch as the horses, which have been pastured over night, return to their stables. Dust swirls up into the air as the horses gallop past us, and we have the feeling of being among some true cowboys. The ranch offers a variety of guided horseback tours, and with its rustic cabins and welcoming hospitality, we quickly feel like we are among friends. After a hearty breakfast, our journey continues to Big Sky, which is about an hour away from here.
Big Sky Resort: Fun for the Entire Family
All around Big Sky, the landscapes remind me of quaint little mountain villages in the Swiss Alps, the rustic houses perfectly blend with surrounding landscapes and exude an inviting warmth. Here you also find the amazing Big Sky Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in the U.S. The 3,400-meter Lone Peak towers over the landscapes and we are about to ascend it on the resort’s Lone Peak expedition.
After a short lift ride, the trip continues with a huge all-terrain vehicle, that takes us higher up the mountain and over steep and rugged landscapes, that appear to be from another planet. The views from up here are truly stunning and the expression “big sky“ really lives up to its name. Many mountain ranges are visible from here and not far from us, some mountain goats jump along the steep slopes. The resort also offers zipline tours and a variety of thrilling downhill mountain bike tours.
Back in the valley, we let our day come to a relaxing end in one of the more than 40 restaurants of the resort. Yellowstone Country has fascinated me with an almost-meditative stillness and picture-perfect views that I will certainly not forget easily.