Category Archives: Traveling Tips for the Pacific Northwest – ID, MT, WY

Winter travel tips to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

Apex Predators in Yellowstone National Park

Due to a controversial, yet very successful reintroduction program, wolves are now a fixture in Yellowstone National Park after an absence of over 70 years. Several dozen wolves were captured in Canada and then turned loose in Yellowstone during March of 1995. Since their reintroduction in the park, the animals have done remarkably well—reproducing at a rapid rate. Wolf packs are now located in various parts of the park. Wolves prey on a variety of species, notably elk in the Yellowstone area, but will also pursue moose, deer, sheep, and other animals.

Although these wolf packs have wandered outside of Yellowstone’s boundaries, the best place to see them is still inside the park primarily in the Lamar Valley between Mammoth and Cooke City. While it is still very early in the morning and it’s still dark, we will set up at our overlook to watch and listen very quietly and intently. Chances are we’ll hear them howling, and we may see them in this vast open sagebrush area as they hunt. Viewing wildlife in Yellowstone is an amazing experience not to be missed!

This exciting adventure, along with luxurious lodge accommodations where elk and bison can be observed from the front door await you as part of our Wildlife and Waterfalls Yellowstone Adventure. To learn more about this amazing trip, please contact Rhonda Sand or Linda Bruno today at 1-800-975-7775.

The Majestic Rocky Mountain Elk

One of the treasured wild animals here in the Inland Northwest is the Rocky Mountain Elk (also known as wapiti). There are still many large herds of these majestic animals roaming throughout Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Washington.

The name wapiti is from the Native American word waapiti, meaning white rump and is of Shawnee origin. Rocky Mountain Elk (C. canadensis nelsoni) are more than twice as heavy as mule deer and generally have a more reddish hue to their hair coloring, as well as large, buff colored rump patches and smaller tails. Elk cows average around 500 pounds and stand 4½ feet at the shoulder, and are 6½ feet from nose to tail. Bulls are some 25% larger than cows at maturity, weighing an average of 700 pounds, standing 5 feet at the shoulder and averaging 8 feet in length. Only the males have antlers, which start growing in the spring and are shed each winter. The largest antlers may be around 4 feet long and weigh 40 pounds! Their antlers are made of bone and may grow at a rate of 1 inch per day.

Learn more about these magnificent creatures and see them for yourself on one of TMI Tours’ Wildlife and Waterfalls in Yellowstone Vacations. Don’t forget to pack your camera too. You will definitely want to capture photographs of these beautiful animals!

Flathead Lake – A Western Montana Gem

Flathead Lake is not only the largest lake in the state of Montana, but it is also the largest lake in the western part of the United States. It is even larger than Lake Tahoe found in Nevada. Flathead Lake stretches about 27.3 miles from north to south and is about 15.5 miles wide at its widest point. It was created when the Flathead River was partially dammed by a moraine and silt at the end of the last ice age. Today this lake continues to be fed by the Swan River, and it is fed and drained by the Flathead River. With an average depth of 164.7 feet, and a surface area of over 191 square miles, Flathead Lake a vacationer’s paradise.

Fishing

One of the most popular activities to do on Flathead Lake is to fish. The lake is stocked annually with a variety of fish that are perfect for anglers of all fishing skill levels. Dock fishing is a great activity for kids. This is because smaller fish like minnows and perch love to school around the protection of local docks and boat houses.

On the other hand, if you are interested in fish that put up more of a fight, then you will want to hit the open waters of the lake where you can find cutthroat trout, brook trout, lake trout, Northern pike, brown trout, golden trout, kokanee salmon, large mouth bass, small mouth bass, rainbow trout, bull trout, and whitefish. Also keep your eye open for the Flathead Lake Monster!

Boating

Boating is another very popular activity to do on Flathead Lake. Pontoon boats work well for fishing adventures on this lake, as do smaller vessels. Fortunately, you can rent and/or launch boats at any of the local marinas. The local marinas include the Arrowhead RV Park and Marina found 15 miles north of Polson, Big Arm Marina found 12 miles north of Polson, Bigfork Marina and Boat Center found in the Northeast corner of the lake and the Marina Cay Resort found at Bigfork Bay. If you have your own boat you can launch it at nearly any lake access park.
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Top 10 Winter Travel Tips to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

The Inland Northwest is a wonderful place to visit during any season. Winter is a great time to explore the beauty of this area. However, since winter is a bit more challenging than other seasons, we wanted to give you some tips to make your visit here even more enjoyable!

1. The weather changes frequently from beautiful billowy snow to slush to amazing sunshine within 24 hours. Be sure to bring layers!

2. Bring binoculars and your camera! People come from all over the world to watch our majestic bald eagles feed. You will be able to see them snatch fish right out of the water and then go up to the tree tops right above you to gorge on fish. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is one of the best places for eagle (raptor) viewing in the US!

Bald Eagle on Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Bald Eagle on Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

3. Bring a thermos. Have one of North Idaho’s local coffee roasters fill it up with fresh coffee for you each morning.

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