• "Lake McDonald" by John Fery. Courtesy of Glacier National Park

    Gift helps preserve Glacier of the past

    We highlighted some good news for Yellowstone earlier this week, and now it’s time to share some good news from Glacier.

    The park was given 21 historic paintings from the early 20th century from its former concessionaire, a goodwill move that will keep the paintings in their original homes.

    As Missoulian reporter Vince Devlin tells us, Glacier Park Inc. donated the paintings to the park last week, even after losing its concessionaire contract for the park to Zanterra.

    "Man on Horseback" by R.H. Palenske. Courtesy of Glacier National Park

    “Man on Horseback” by R.H. Palenske. Courtesy of Glacier National Park

    All the paintings originated between 1909 and 1915, and were either originally owned or commissioned by the Great Northern Railway. All depict scenes in and around Glacier.

    The railroad, anxious to lure tourists to travel on its passenger trains, was instrumental in getting Glacier Park established in 1910. It built Many Glacier Hotel in 1915, and in 1930 acquired Lake McDonald Lodge, two of the properties where the paintings are located.

    They include pieces by John Frey, Frank Stick, R.H. Palenske, Charles Defeo and an artist with the last name Richmond, about whom little is known. Some of the donated work is by unknown artists.

    The only stipulation to the donation was the paintings remain in the properties for which they were created, Devlin wrote.


  • A Yurtski yurt in the Swan Mountains. Courtesy of Yurtski

    Yurts help skiers access private powder

    It’s one thing to head up to the ski hill to find some Montana snow – but more and more these days the skiers are heading to the backcountry to what writer and photographer Aaron Theisen calls the Holy Grail of winter sports: A mountain all to themselves.

    Theisen’s story, Riding the White Swan, introduces readers to a company that’s using ancient structures to help backcountry skiers stay in remote places like the Swan Mountains, where crowds are never a problem.

    Courtesy of Yurtski

    Courtesy of Yurtski

    Yurtski has two yurts that it rents each winter to skiers looking for private powder.

    Every December, Missoula’s Carl Sievers and Adam Simon coordinate a barn-raising of sorts. Except that the buildings perch at nearly 7,000 feet on a steep, snow-clad peak in the Swan Mountain Range.

    And the structures will house skiers, not swine.

    Read the preview story here; find the full story in this month’s issue.

    But what exactly is a yurt? 

    According to Missoula-based yurt manufacturer Shelter Designs, yurt consists of a round wall and roof system that is free standing using a tension ring at the wall and a compression ring where the roof rafters tie together. These versatile structures have been around for at least 2,500 years. Traditionally, yurts were used in central Asia by nomadic herding groups and tribes. Recently, the yurt (or “ger” as it is traditionally called) has been imported to North America and Europe. Modern design changes, such as using steel fasteners and architectural fabric coverings, have been incorporated. Three types of yurts are predominant in the world today. The fabric yurt is a portable, fabric covered yurt based on the Mongonlian ger. A frame-panel yurt is a permanent structure built of wood with a yurt-style roof. Lastly is the traditionally ger from central Asia.

    Learn more at Shelter Designs’ site.


  • Sunset Lake inside Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Peggy Hamlen

    You gotta see this: Yellowstone makes NYT’s top place to see list

    The New York Times thinks Yellowstone National Park is among the best of the best of the best. Why? The newspaper named the park as one of it’s top 52 places to see in 2015 because of its eco-friendly lodges and new walking and biking trails.

    It was on a list that included places like Macedonia and Rome.

    In fact, Yellowstone was No. 4 on the list.

    The park broke visitation records again this year, welcoming more than 3 million in 2015. No doubt that number will keep climbing with recognition like this.

    Photo by Tom Murphy

    Photo by Tom Murphy

    Need more reasons to visit YNP? We’ve got a few:

    Like what you’re reading here? Subscribe to get much more about Montana all year long.


    • 2015

      "Riverfront property" by Mark Larowe

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      Outside Missoula, by Jake Stufflebeam

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      Cold New Year's Eve night in Montana, by Catherine Dotson

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      Montana's capitol on Christmas Eve, by Teri Garrison

    • 10885131_10153040186206719_5598305993946466358_n

      Electric sunset over Lake McDonald, by Traun Foto

    • 10885379_1006449852704618_3959800579736601_n

      The Bitterroot River near Hamilton on New Years Day, by Sherry Myers

    • 10887512_10200161428034044_1122314902005868703_o

      The night sky near Libby, by Kyle Ames

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      The first 2015 sunset on Lake McDonald, by Call of the Wild Photography

    • 10888771_10203081499748935_2442689441486642148_n

      The Bull Ranger Station historic cabin, by Yvonne Moe Resch

    • 10888844_1054532467906834_4472734854877455418_n

      Sunset over the Purcell Mountains near Yaak, by TheBobFactor.com

    • 10896966_10203439971060931_5677967509754689811_n

      Between Avon and Garrison Junction, by Teri Garrison

    Snow! Beauty! A Montana wintertime slideshow

    Montana has been SHOWING OFF so far this winter, with it’s snow-covered mountains and sun-filled afters making for some spectacular scenery.

    We gathered a few of the best-of-the-best that we’ve seen, courtesy of our wonderful Facebook friends. We’ve got images from several gorgeous images of New Year’s sunsets over Glacier National Park’s Lake McDonald, as well as some shots of the winter skies lit up with stars.

    Thanks to all who shared photos for our first 2015 wintertime slideshow.

    If you hadn’t heard, we’re known for photography and you can see it all by becoming a subscriber. Click here to learn more.


    • Maria and John Groenning, Karl and Karin Oman - 1915

      Maria and John Groenning, stand with Karl and Karin Oman with "A Montana Man's Catch" near Libby in 1915. Courtesy of Laurren Nirider

    • Cherney-Sleigh_we_took_to_school_1930s cherney

      A horse drawn cart that took children to school in Northeastern Montana in the 1930s. Courtesy of Lila (Cherney) Harden

    • Darlington Ranch Thanksgiving miekle

      "Darlington Ranch Thanksgiving" shows Millie Mielke shoots skeet. Courtesy of John Mielke

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      Margaret Weigand and friends gather for a picture during a wedding celebration near Huntley Project circa 1920. Courtesy of Doris Redinger

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      Members of the Hoines family gather for a portrait. Courtesy of Mike Hoines

    • jeff nelson

      Jeff Nelson stands with his brother near Lake Upsatta. Courtesy of Jeff Nelson

    • lady rider

      A image from the Montana Magazine "parade" archive.

    • pictured in history2

      A group of WWII German POWs working to harvest beets in Northeastern Montana. Photo courtesy of LeRoy Tietz

    • rabbit catch

      An 11-year-old Russell Milne shows off a near Poplar. Courtesy of Russell Milne Jr.

    • roper

      "Expert bullwhip specialist" Frank Struck shows off his skills while riding Cheyne in the Miles City Parade circa 1976. Photo by Michael Crummett

    ‘Expert bullwhip specialist’ and other equally awesome historical photos

    It never fails: Looking through the old archived photos that have been used in Montana Magazine’s past is always entertaining. Sometimes, it’s even hilarious.

    Many of our readers who have sent in photos have proven that their family members in past generations have a sense of humor.

    Take the picture submitted by John Mielke, which he title “Thanksgiving Montanica.” It shows his mom shooting a gun on Thanksgiving day.

    “I’m sure she hit the clay,” he said.

    Or the cleverly titled “A Montana Man’s Catch,” submitted by Laurren Nirider, showing two couples with an impressive fish caught near Libby.

    I found an image of a “expert bullwhip specialist” in our archives this week, who showed off his skills during a Miles City parade decades ago.

    Do you have photos that show Montana pictured in history? Funny or just awesome? Send the images and their stories to us at editor@montanamagzine.com.

    Like what you see here? See all our Pictured in History photos and more by subscribing today.


  • The Crown of the Continent Festival takes place in late July each year in Bigfork. Photo by Jessica Lowry

    Music across Montana: Bigfork’s guitar heaven, Missoula’s devotion to its symphony

    We featured more than a couple of very musically-minded Montanans in our latest issue, as writer Jessica Lowry introduced us to the founder of the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival and the people behind all the successes at the Missoula Symphony.

    Both produce sweet, sweet music, and have pretty sweet stories about how they’ve helped music thrive.

    Festival founder, David Feffer, for example, has convinced dozens of the world’s best guitar players to come to Bigfork each year for a week of instruction and concerts. It’s not only introduced the Flathead Valley to great guitar music, it’s caused some of the guitar greats to fall in love with Montana.

    See a video from the 2014 fest here.

    Missoula Symphony music director Darko Butorac. Photo by Jessica Lowry

    Missoula Symphony music director Darko Butorac. Photo by Jessica Lowry

    In Missoula, Lowry introduces us to Virginia Vinal, who has played the violin in the Missoula Symphony since it was founded in 1955. That’s 60 years.

    It’s people like Vinal, Lowry tells us, who have helped the symphony grow into a thriving organization that often plays to sold out crowds.

    Like I said, it’s a pair of sweet stories. Check out all our preview content here. And if you like what you read, here’s how you can subscribe.



  • Montana river surfing was recently featured on DailyMail.com. Photo by Paolo Marchesi

    Montana surfing makes international waves

    Montana got some international attention recently for a new sport that’s catching on as more and more surfers are catching river waves.

    A short feature in the Daily Mail showed how Missoulians in particular are using the river more and more to surf.

    K.B. Brown. Photo by Tom Bauer

    K.B. Brown. Photo by Tom Bauer

    K.B. Brown, who owns a custom river surf board making shop in Missoula, was featuring in the photos, by Paolo Marchesi.

    The British tabloid featured a host of images and a video of Montana river surfing.

    Photographer Marchesi said the Big Sky surfers are “revolutionizing” the sport.


  • Cover photo by Michael Gallacher

    New year, new issue: Take a look at our Jan/Feb magazine

    It’s a new year and we’ve got a new issue to share. Our January/Februrary 2015 issue is in the mail now and we’ve got all our preview content up at montanamagazine.com.

    Some highlights to share include our new partnership with The Last Best Plates, a food and eating blog by Lynn Donaldson and Corinne Garcia, who both are awesome, longtime contributors.

    The first in the year-long series focuses on Amaltheia Dairy. Along with the story and recipe, we’ve got a slideshow of wonderful images from the farm just outside Bozeman.

    We’re also going to be introducing you the Treasure State Hometown Gems throughout 2015. Our first is Monture Cabin.

    We’ve got a wonderful Portfolio by Larry Mayer, who shows us the Big Sky Country from the sky.

    We’ll also introduce you to the Woodpecker Men and have a sweet story about the Missoula Symphony.

    Cheers to a wonderful 2015!


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