The Linkup: June 13th

With all this talk of domestic spying, phone records and internet shenanigans, it's good to know there are places you can go to unplug from the NSA. They just so happen to involve amazing views and endless opportunities for adventure! Here are a few places to escape this summer if you can bear to part with your WiFi connection:

The Lee Metcalf Wilderness

If you live in Bozeman you've no doubt spent time in one of the four units that make up the LMW.  This summer marks the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, and Lee is celebrating! Visit the Summer of Lee website and find out how you can participate. The goal is to raise awareness of and participation in Wilderness issues.

The Lee Metcalf Wilderness encompases 259,000 acres, has 28 trailheads, 300 miles of trails and over 70 alpine lakes. You can hike, trail run, raft, kayak, canoe, fish, ski, swim, camp and more.

Get out and enjoy your public lands, but also take a moment to appreciate what we often take for granted - that 30 years ago some people fought hard to protect part of what makes Montana and the West such a beautiful, inspiring place in which to live. 

Beartooth Highway


Seriously? A highway? I thought the point of getting away from it all was to get off the beaten path. Well, the Beartooth Highway lets you do just that. Jump on the highway and cruise through some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. Then park, jump out and start hiking into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness (in some cases just steps from your car). 

There are unlimited opportunities for recreation, including skiing well into the summer. One of our favorite activities at the shop is to make laps on some of the classic Beartooth lines like the Gardiner Headwall and Hourglass Chutes. Park at the top, hike to the headwall and ski nearly 1,500 vertical feet of corn (if the weather cooperates). Then hitch back up. 

You can find weather information, closures and other info at Friendly Tip: hitching a ride on a Harley is pretty cool, except when you're carrying skis!

Gardiner Headwall from Brian Reavis on Vimeo.

Float the Boulder River

Ian Garcia, Natural Bridge plummet.
Depending on what you're looking for, the Boulder can either be a leisurely float trip or an intense whitewater experience. If you're looking for fish, try the portion of the river below Natural Bridge Falls. If you're out for an adrenaline rush, look no further than the portion between Hells Canyon and Falls Creek Campgrounds. The water there is continuous Class II - IV, ending in a plunge over the Natural Bridge. Of course, you'll want to take out before the falls, unless you're crazy, like Ian Garcia (see the photo to the right).

If water isn't your thing, Natural Bridge has an amazing number of climbing routes, including some of the most difficult climbs in Montana. It's also worth going just to see the falls, both at high and lower water, as the falls change dramatically as the water upstream disappears underground and shoots out of the lower rock formation.

Here's a good place to start if you've never been there: Visit

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