• A P2v fighting fires in California. Photo by  Bryan Walton

    Planes of Montana: ‘The backbone of firefighting aviation’

    Fighting wildfires is a serious business. And the airplanes that have helped in that fight for decades call Montana home.

    In our recent feature, “Vintage Fighters” writer and photographer Jessica Lowry tells us about the P2v Neptune air tankers that were originally built for war, but have for the 50-plus years been used to fight wildfires. And, the planes are meticulously maintained in Missoula.

    The large facility houses space to service aircraft and craft parts that need replacing.  Crews work around the clock to keep the planes in top condition between flights and during the off-season.

    Learn more about the planes at the Neptune Aviation website.

    To read the entire story, find our March/April issue on newstands now.

    Want more of Montana all year long ? Subscribe today!



  • ‘A lot of detail’ in the clouds

    Photographer Bob Hosea, AKA thebobfactor.com, often shares great Montana images with us on our Facebook page. And we’ve shared many here.

    But Hosea also makes videos. And often, those videos allow us to get a unique glimpse of the clouds in the Big Sky.

    The time lapse videos are make with thousadns of images. In fact, for his most recent video showing the sunset over Indian Head Mountain near Libby, Hosea took almost 5,000 shots (see the video here).

    “I used 4,500 pictures, and it took 24 hours of processing between two computers to create this 45 second time lapse of one hour of real time,” Hosea told us. “There’s a lot of detail in this thing. Time lapse is just plain cool stuff!” 

    Below, is one of Hosea’s videos showing clouds moving over Ibex Peak.


  • Sean Kochel. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    Kochel Guitars are made from Montana

    How do you make a guitar FROM Montana? Sean Kochel showed our readers how he does it in our March/April feature on his business.

    Check out the full story online now. The guitar map below details where and how Kochel integrates Montana into each instrument.

    For more Montana all year long, subscribe today.

    MT Mag_MA15_47

    • alex sholes photography outside great falls

      Sunset outside Great Falls. Photo by Alex Sholes Photography

    • jullie powell photography shepherd, mt sunset

      Sunset over Shepherd. Photo by Jullie Powell Photography

    • katie la salle lowery Red Migration Morning near Freezout lake snow geese

      "Red Migration Morning," snow geese near Freezout Lake. Photo by Katie La Salle

    • mary jo siarkowski sunrise over flathead lake

      Sunrise over Flathead Lake. Photo by Mary Jo Siarkowski

    • mike williams sunries snowgess at freezout lake

      Snow geese near Freezout Lake at sunrise. Photo by Mike Williams

    • pat mallard lady of the rockies in butte

      Lady of the Rockies, Butte. Photo by Pat Mallard

    • Robin K Hao exploring perma

      Spring near Perma. Photo by Robin K Ha'o

    • singing sky photography moorise over the tobacco root mountains

      Moonrise over the Tobacco Root Mountains. Photo by Signing Sky Photography

    • teri garrison kinsman near ulm pishkun

      Near Ulm Pishkun. By Teri Garrison Kinsman

    • the Bob Factor ever changing spring conditions at Kootenai Falls

      The ever-changing conditions at Kootenai Falls. Photo by The Bob Factor

    Signs of Spring: A celebratory slideshow

    There’s still a little snow on the ground, but Friday officially marks the start of spring.

    That means the green is beginning to peek out and so are the photographers. So, it’s time for us to post our annual Signs of Spring slideshow. It’s  a pretty good one this year.

    We’ve got everything from greening meadows to brilliant sunsets to snow geese leaving Freezout Lake.

    As always, we’re lucky that so many of our readers share images with us. Thank you to all who shared!

    Do you have images to share? Email jpg images, along with photographer information and a brief description of the photo to us at editor@montanamagazine.com.

    Want more of Montana all  year long? Subscribe today!

    – Jenna

  • Western Art Week begins March 22 in Great Falls. Courtesy of the Charles M. Russell Museum

    Montana Mag Show and Tell: Events around the state

    Montana is a big state. And there’s lots going on. Especially as spring gets going.

    So, we launched a new feature inside each issue this spring, and we’re calling it “Montana Magazine Show and Tell: our Big Sky Country events calendar for March and April.”

    It’s a rundown of most any kind of event going on around the state.

    calendar image 1For example, did you know it’s Western Art Week in Great Falls this month? If you’ve never gone to the Charlie Russell week of festivities, you should try and get there.

    Here’s the other events we wanted to tell you about:


    Do you have an event you’d like to share?

    To submit a Montana event for the Montana Magazine Show and Tell calendar, email the time, date, place and short description of the event to editor@montanamagazine.com.


  • A cyclist yields the right of way to a herd of bison walking along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Chris Jorgensen Billings Gazette

    Time to Ride: Road ride suggestions from biking pro, Yellowstone

    Thinking about the best way to get out and enjoy the springtime in Montana?

    How about a bike ride? As usual with outdoor adventures, Montana offers some pretty spectacular road rides.

    First, there are 49 miles of roads inside Yellowstone that have just been opened. As Billings Gazette reporter Brett French writes, it’s a great way to see the park – but riders better come prepared. 

    A bicycle trip into Yellowstone this time of year is not to be undertaken lightly. The quickly changing weather can be challenging. Snow and ice may still cover sections of road, which may be lined with tall snowbanks. Pullouts may remain snow packed. Extra caution is advised traveling through the five-mile long road construction zone north of Norris Junction, which is not paved and may be muddy.

    Still, we think the scenery would trump any bad weather. 

    TJ van Garderen. Courtesy image

    TJ van Garderen. Courtesy image

    For perhaps a less intense ride, here’s our story about Tour de France competitor and Bozeman native TJ van Garderen – who shared with us his favorite Montana road ride in a feature last year.

    It’s only a one day committment, and the scenery’s not bad outside Bozeman either. 


  • Jessie Royer. Courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

    Iditarod: Montanan Jessie Royer keeping pace with leaders

    Montana musher Jessie Royer is doing Darby (and the entire state of Montana) proud up in Alaska.

    She and her team of dogs are sitting around fifth place on the Iditarod trail, which was rerouted due to lack of snow but musher have since been battling extreme cold.

    Musher Jessie Royer mushes past the Riverboat Discovery on the Chena river during the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race last week. AP photo

    Musher Jessie Royer mushes past the Riverboat Discovery on the Chena river during the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race last week. AP photo

    On Sunday, Royer was the only non-Alaskan to be in the top five. On Monday, another women musher took the lead at the Iditarod.

    Royer is a well-known musher across Montana. In February, she won the Race to the Sky out of Seeley Lake.

    Last year, Royer took seventh in the Iditarod.

    Good luck, Jessie!


  • "The Great Easter Buffalo Visits the Festival," by Walter Hook. Image courtesy of MMAC

    Montana museum full of hometown artists’ work

    Of the thousands of works art in the Montana Museum of Art and Culture, there are plenty of Montanans represented. 

    We highlighted a several in our “Art of the State” feature by writer Kelsey Dayton. They include Edgar Paxon and Rudy Autio, all the way to Fra Dana and Kevin Red Star – whose works are in the shown in the image below by Ken Barnedt.

    The MMAC is celebrating the 120th anniversary of its permanent collection in 2015. Art by Ken Barnedt

    The MMAC is celebrating the 120th anniversary of its permanent collection in 2015. Art by Ken Barnedt

    The MMAC’s permanent collection is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year and running an exhibit through May in Missoula.

    As Dayton explains, the collection, divided into two galleries on the University of Montana’s campus, is meant to be a global experience.

    The special events for the exhibit include a one-day showing of a pair of tapestries so large that they can’t be displayed longterm.

    If you’re in Missoula, be sure to check it out.


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