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New West Experience - Road Trips and Scenic Drives in Montana

New West Experience

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Experience the best of Montana and the birth of a season. 

Spring in Montana symbolized the birth of the next generation. The transition from a dull winter brown to a resplendent green studded with countless wildflowers is a sight to behold. Mid-May through June are the prime months to witness this explosive growth. The mountains are still snow-capped, the rivers often gorged with impressive run-off, and the abundant wildlife have or are bearing young. Yellowstone Park, in particular the Lamar Valley, can be a fantastic place to behold this regeneration of life. Although this is the wettest time of year in Montana, it is also the greenest and the blue sky looming over endless fields of wildflowers will make a shower or two worthwhile.

7-Day Recommended itinerary for two: $1,350 - $1,950 depending on desired accommodations.

Day 1. Arrive Bozeman. A New West representative will meet you at the airport and escort you in your rental Subaru Outback to the office. We will then go over maps, itinerary changes due to weather and add adjustments accordingly. Depending on arrival time, visit historic downtown Bozeman and/ or the Museum of the Rockies. Overnight at the historic Silver Forest Inn, located in the Bridger Mountains just 15-miles outside of town. Overnight, breakfast, and pack lunch included.

Day 2. After breakfast at the Inn, head south towards Livingston, Montana via the scenic Jackson Creek Road. Via backroads, head towards McLeod and the Boulder River Valley. Witness the stunning "Land Bridge" in full spate. Return to Big Timber and continue on interstate 90 for approximately 40-miles. Exit towards Absarokee on one of the prettiest pastoral roads imaginable. Enjoy the sights of the Beartooth mountains and abundant roadside wildlife, dinner and overnight in Red Lodge (not included, price range $70 - $160 for accommodations).

Day 3. The Beartooth Highway. Enjoy the day exploring the numerous vistas and hiking opportunities on what Charles Kuralt has deemed the most beautiful road in America. Overnight in Cook or Silver City (not included, price range $80 - $170/ night).

Day 4. The Lamar Valley. Buffalo, elk, big horn sheep, grizzly bears, and wolves abound in this extensive valley creating one of the premier large mammal wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. Finish the day having a soak in the natural hot springs of the Boiling River and overnight in Gardiner ($90 - $200) or at Chico Hot Springs ($80 - $200) just outside of the Park.

Day 5. Chico/ Gardiner through the Yellowstone Geyser Basin. Heading south through Yellowstone, witness the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, the wildlife resplendent Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Lake, Fishing Bridge, Old Faithful, and the Geyser Basin. Overnight in West Yellowstone ($70 - $200).

Day 6. Head west into the Centennial Valley. Spend the day viewing the countless migratory birds, particularly swans, in the Red Rock Lake Wildlife Refuge or enjoy your own playing on your pristine high mountain lakes. In the late afternoon, head north via Henrys and Quake Lake, overnight in the small town of Ennis, perhaps if you have enough time, sneek over to Norris Hot Springs for an evening soak- or if you have an early departure flight return to Bozeman.

Day 7. Depending on departure time, head to Virginia and Nevada City to witness a perfectly preserved western mining town or head straight to the airport.

 

Pricing: Rental car with touring package, concierge/ planning services, and overnight at Silver Forest Inn; $850. Additional accommodations, depending on your budgetary wishes $500 - $1,100, full camping package $300.

Camping in Montana- comfortably!

The best way to truly experience Montana and Yellowstone National Park is to sleep under the stars. Perfect summer nights and countless public campsites and back country opportunities abound. New West, through our partner company Phasmid Rentals, is able to provide assistance and rental gear for inexperience car camper to the die-hard backpackers.

Phasmid provides everything you need for a Montana camping adventure. Tents, sleeping bags, pads, cots, camp furniture, cooking kits, coolers, optics, guidebooks, maps, and fly-fishing equipment (Simms waders and boots, Outcast float tubes, etc). Phasmid is also the sole provider of rental bear spray in the Bozeman area.

New West Experience is able to incorporate Phasmid's services and rental gear into all of our prepared itineraries and packages.

Montana and Yellowstone packages from New West Experience

New West Experience is the resource for planning Montana and Yellowstone National Park fly-drive holidays. Our partners; ranging from rental car agencies to unique locally owned accommodations, enable our guests to make the most of their Montana Experience. Although we recommend customizing packages for seasonal conditions and each guest's desires and budget, here is a sample of some of our recommended Montana and Yellowstone packages- each offering value, local knowledge, and an emphasis on Experience.

New West Experience

At New West Experience we understand the difficulty of arranging small group trips. From getting the group to decide where to stay, when to travel, and the worst- collecting money from people, we are here to make it as painless as possible. New West is able to do everything from arranging your accommodations, planning your itineraries, arranging guided trips, providing rentals cars and gear, to collecting payments from everyone,  to even making sure the fridge is stocked upon your arrival. 

Let us deal with the hassle so that you can enjoy your time together as friends in the mountains, on the snow, or on the water; whatever your desires may be. Boy's trips, girl's trips, family trips- we have got you covered.

Driving from Destination A to Destination B is much more than just time in the car when you are in Montana. Unique small towns abound, all surrounded by stunning landscape and incomparable wildlife. Scenic driving in Montana is major part of the Experience out here. Distances are grand and seemingly each bend in the road will reveal a vista more beautiful then the last.

We get this. One of our favourite things to do ourselves is to hop in the car, pick a direction and drive. One will never be let down with monotony in Montana, and many of the best sites and experiences you will have will happen in the car. This being said, if you want to see Montana you have to drive. There is simply no good public transportation. Our partner, Phasmid Rentals, is able to provide rental vehicles and touring gear for your Montana road trip. Combined with New West's planning services we are able to get you the road trip of a lifetime.

Whether you enjoy the Beartooth Highway, Yellowstone Park, the unique small towns, or the endless gravel roads we are able to get you there and back- in style.

Yellowstone National Park consists of hundreds of miles of well-paved roads with ample opportunities to view wildlife from the countless roadside pull-offs. However, the best way to view the abundant wildlife, whether in the Park or not, is to get off the beaten path. New West Experience is able to provide you local insight on where to go and when to experience our abundant wildlife in their natural settings.

Montana is unique in that the amount of accessible public land is incomparable in the lower 48 United States. Countless state and national parks comprise over 27-million acres of publicly accessible areas. Wildlife viewing opportunities for large mammals are simply unparalleled. Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park offer prime viewing opportunities. A simple drive through either park will most likely reveal mule deer, fox, coyotes, badger, white tailed deer, elk, antelope, big horn sheep, mountain goats, and bison. One also stands a very chance of seeing black bears, grizzlies, and wolves.

Whether you come to Montana and Yellowstone National Park to specifically view wildlife, or if viewing our native macro-mammals is simply an added bonus, New West is able to assist in going to the right places at the right times.

 

Winter is one of the best times of the year to explore Yellowstone National Park- especially as a wildlife photographer/ enthusiast. Crowd numbers are very low and most of the wildlife is seeking shelter in the lower elevation valleys. This is a prime time of year to witness bison breaking through snow drifts, wolves feeding on carcasses, or the iconic coyote or fox pouncing on a mouse under the snow. Only the northeastern corner of the Park is open to road traffic in the winter. This road to Cooke City traverses the Lamar Valley, one of the prime spotting area for wolves and wildlife in the Park. The Southeast Geyser Basin area is only open to over-snow travel- snowmobile (guided only), snowcoach, or by your own two feet. The geothermal colors against a white backdrop are truly a sight to behold. 

Recommended 6-day, 7-night itinerary:

Day 1. Arrive Bozeman, a representative from NWE will meet you at the airport and escort you to the office in your rental Subaru Outback. At the office, we will go over map details, off-the-beaten path photo opportunities, and last minute changes to itinerary due to weather conditions. Overnight at Chico Hot Springs, just outside of Yellowstone National Park in the Paradise Valley. 

Day 2 - 3. Explore the Lamar Valley and surrounding areas, overnighting at Chico or in Gardiner.

Day 4. After a morning of shooting, head back towards Bozeman and then down to West Yellowstone. This is a very beautiful drive along the Gallatin River Canyon and offers photo opportunities for scenic, elk, big horn sheep, and moose. Overnight in West Yellowstone.

Day 5. Snowcoach into the Yellowstone Geyser Basin. Overnight West Yellowstone.

Day 6. Return to Bozeman via Quake Lake, Henrys Lake, Ennis, and the Madison Valley. Stop for a soak in Norris Hot Springs, overnight in Bozeman.

Day 7. Depart.

Package price $550 includes rental vehicle and concierge services. Accommodations range from $500 - $900 based on double occupancy. West Yellowstone guided snowcoach tours, from $100 per person. Total price vehicle, tour, and accommodation from $625 per person.

 

Go with the right professionals.

Guided activities and guides are abundant in Montana and Yellowstone. Most are good, few are exceptional. Reduce your risk of getting a bum and wasting your money, and let New West Experience utilize our extensive network of trusted professionals. We understand that a guided trip isn't just about catching fish, going on a horseback ride, or rafting down a river. To us, is about the total Experience. Enjoying stunning natural surroundings enhanced by the services of a true professional. A professional who understands the ecology and history of the area. A professional who is intelligent and a pleasure to be around. A professional who will likely become a long-lasting friend and will create an unforgettable day.

Let New West take the burden and risk out of booking your guided adventures.

Montana and Yellowstone National park are perfect locations for the serious birder. Just outside of Bozeman, experience one of the largest raptor migrations in the world. Witness droves of migratory waterfowl in the fall, or a bald eagle scooping a cutthroat trout out of a recently thawed lake in the spring. New West is here to help point you in the right direction.

There are numerous excellent resources for providing formalized birding tours in the area ranging from Montana Audubon to small, private companies/ individuals. Although we are happy to recommend and organize formalized trips, we also encourage our guests to simply get outside with their binos and enjoy. Montana boasts incredible concentrations of raptors and migratories- all set with a backdrop second to none.

 

Without  doubt, one of the most beautiful places on earth (and we have looked everywhere!)

Unspoiled natural scenery, unique small towns and individuals, crystal clear lakes and rivers, and abundant wildlife is what Montana is about. At New West Experience, our goal is to share our spectacular surroundings and our love for this state and area.

Bozeman, Montana is your starting point with New West Experience. Offering the best airport in the state (BZN), and only a short jaunt from Yellowstone National Park, your options for outdoor exploration and adventures are seemingly limitless from here. New West  Experience excels in do-it-yourself exploration; whether your goals are fly-fishing, scenic driving, or simply relaxing in beautiful surroundings we are able to assist you in the perfect Montana vacation.

We are passionate about everything outdoors ourselves, and with our own personal experiences we are able to assist the visitor in having a trip of a lifetime.

Copyright New West Experience, 2012. All rights reserved.

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