By Montana Grant

Posted: June 5, 2021

So, its time to visit one of our wonderful Parks. Montana is blessed with Yellowstone, Glacier, and so many other wonderful destinations. National parks offer a passport that you can buy which will get you into every National area. Back in the day it was called the Golden Eagle passport. Every National Park site offers one.

When you plan a day to visit the Park, be prepared. Start with a plan. What are the main things that you want to see or do? Make sure that everyone is included. Visit a website or look at published materials to get the menu of ideas and things to see.

For example, Yellowstone is famous for Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon, Norris, Mammoth, and Midway Geyser basin, and many other wonderful destinations. Trailheads to secluded spots are also a good choice. In just a few miles, you can be alone in the wilderness. The more you plan to do, the longer it will take. Consider the attention span of your passengers. If the list is too big, spread it out over a few days.

Seeing is believing. Take some optics. Binoculars and spotting scopes will allow you to see distant critters such as bears and wolves. Not all the critters are next to the road. Remember that wild critters are not Zoo animals. Respect the danger and give them the right of way.

Dress in layers. Weather changes. Bugs swarm, sunburn can be a problem. Be able to adapt and adjust to the changing conditions, if you are comfortable, you will not be a complainer.

Snacks and drinks are must. Prepare lunch and goodies that will celebrate the trip. Have a selection of materials that allow each person to build their own sandwich. Ask what each like, and surprise them with their requests.

Music! Playing wonderful background music is a good idea. Music enhances the atmosphere. Search at Spotify or… for movie soundtracks. Western themes like “How the West Was Won, The Good, Bad, and the ugly, or classical themes written for the park. There is a wonderful soundtrack of classical music just for Yellowstone Park. Use your technology to play in the car or…

Keep your distance from the wildlife. If you plan to go on a trail, carry Bear Spray. Many hotels and outdoor stores rent or loan the spray just in case. If you have a pet, keep it on a leash and under control. I once watched some hikers with a small, unleashed dog heading out. An Eagle swooped down and carried the dog away. On another occasion, I saw a dog chase after a herd of Buffalo. This dog was trampled and killed.

Stay on the Trails! Leaving the well beaten paths means plants and ground cover will be damaged. Trails also guide you away from any dangers.

Hand held radios are great for speeding up parking issues. Simply drop off the crew at the head of the line, with a radio, then park and hook up. This saves folks from having to walk too far or having to wait.

Leave no trace! Pick up your trash and respect the facilities and displays. Follow the rules. Many of the Park’s features are fragile. No one is any more or any less special. Celebrate and respect the Parks

Have FUN!

Montana Grant