Gaynor Ranch and Resort is tucked into the Flathead Valley, an expanse of jagged peaks and windswept lowlands carved out by glaciers during the last Ice Age. Within the valley—and fewer than 7 miles from the resort—is the charming alpine village of Whitefish. Restaurants, specialty boutiques, and a microbrewery are dotted along the main drag of Central Avenue, and jutting out of the skyline to the north are the snowcapped peaks of the Northern Rocky Mountains. Though outdoor activities are a major draw, Whitefish also features an independent theater company, art galleries, a historical museum, and a Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building—one of a scant few in Montana.About 30 miles away from the ranch resides the west entrance to Glacier National Park, where the glittering Lake McDonald comes into view as visitors drive down Going-to-the-Sun Road. Although heavy snowfall can close down portions of the park's internal roads, the National Park Service regularly plows the 10-mile stretch of road that runs from the entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge. Rangers can lead expeditions and referee snowball fights on guided snowshoe walks departing from the nearby Apgar Visitors’ Center; several skiing and snowshoeing trails splinter off in the area as well. Depending on snow melt, the warmer spring months mark the opening up of scenic hiking trails such as Logan Pass—the highest point on Going-to-the-Sun Road and a popular launching point for backpackers.
The Northern Hemisphere is always changing, and its varied plant and animal life must deal with the extremes of both hot and cold weather. ZooMontana celebrates these resilient creatures. Trees and shrubs—many not native to the Montana area—surround exhibits, where more than 50 animal species make their homes. Here are just a few of the zoo's stars:
To meet more of the animals, check out the other exhibits, or try one of these activities:
Navigating the placid waters of the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, licensed captains steer their skiff through serene, tucked-away spots during chartered cruises. Home to the Wyoming skyscrapers–which are cliffs that tower more than 1,000 above the water–the surrounding area is home to a variety of wildlife that sailors can spot, including wild stallions, bighorn sheep, and bald eagles.
DA Photography owner David Ashby offers a versatile slate of photography services to clients in the Great Falls area. At his studio, David frames subjects under the glow of professional lighting and in front of colorful backdrops, and they can choose to pose with a multitude of fun props. He also totes his camera to client-designated locations to snap photos, preserving all photos in edited, professional prints.