Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all ready for a weekend full of great weather and hopefully a little less smoke! I have no doubt you have all been noticing all the smoke in town lately from the fires all around the state. It is a huge bummer to not be able to see all the beautiful views around town and can also have a pretty big negative effect on your health. Make sure you’re checking out the various weather apps and websites to keep an eye on the Air Quality Index (AQI) and avoiding too much activity when it’s unsafe. For today’s functional Friday post I will be writing about places to go and things to do in the area that can help you get away from the smoke and have some fun!
First of all I would recommend visiting https://data.greatfallstribune.com/fires/ or http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/. Both of these sources will give you the most up to date information on air quality, smoke density and the status of the fires in the country. Based on today’s data the best places in the state to visit around us is the Yellowstone and Red Lodge areas. The good news is there is SO much to do around there.
If you are looking to just go for a drive and maybe take a few short walks I highly recommend driving through the North entrance of Yellowstone, through the Lamar Valley, on to Cooke City, over the Beartooth Highway, and into Red Lodge. This is a long day of driving but it offers spectacular views the whole time and some great opportunities to get out of the car. In my opinion the Lamar Valley is the most beautiful part of Yellowstone and it also happens to be the least trafficked (shhhh let’s keep it this way). Check out this link for some pretty moderate day hikes in the Northeast Yellowstone area (https://www.nps.gov/tripideas/day-hikes-in-the-tower-area.htm). If you want to challenge yourself a little more try the Slough Creek Trail, more details can be found here (https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/wyoming/slough-creek). An important note, the Lamar Valley is home to the preponderance of wildlife in Yellowstone, including grizzly bears. If you are going to do any of these hikes follow basic bear safety. Primarily, carry bear spray, hike in groups of 3 or more, and stay away from wildlife. Check out this link for a variety of great hikes in the Beartooths Mountains between Cooke City and Red Lodge. If any of you want to get a group together and go on one of these hikes let me know, I am always down!
Hopefully this post was helpful in giving you guys some good ideas to get outside and play amidst all of the smoke we are currently dealing with. Keep on the lookout for the good areas to go and when in doubt, climb high and you’ll be out of it. I hope you all have a great weekend!
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