Private Snowcoach Tour of West Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is an iconic destination, one I have had the privilege of visiting in the summer months when the wildlife is plentiful and the tourists abound. But, I had never visited it during the winter when a thick coat of snow coats the landscape, making for an ethereal experience with the thick plumes of steam dotting the horizon.

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In January, Nick and I had the chance to take a private snow coach tour of the park courtesy of Visit Montana* and it was an incredible treat! We walked through geyser basins, watched the bison play, caught Old Faithful going off two times, and enjoyed the comfort and warmth of the coach as we transitioned from place to place.

Things to consider:

  1. Your guide will check in with you upon entering the park to see what type of adventure you’re interested in having. It’s a good idea to do a little research before you hit the trail so you can prioritize your destinations, whether that’s strolling through steamy plumes, visiting Old Faithful, or getting a little further on foot for views of Grand Prismatic Hot Springs in the snow.

  2. Feel free to load up on layers and snacks. You’ll have ample storage inside the snowcat for backpacks and snacks so bring layers you can take on and off as you hop in and out, and snacks for the day. You can also purchase snacks and keepsakes at the Old Faithful lodge if you make it that way!

  3. To the point above, bring your wallet! Your guide isn’t responsible for purchasing additional items for you!

  4. If you’re lucky, you’ll see plentiful wildlife while you’re out and about. Listen to your guide and maintain a safe distance between you and any animals you come upon while visiting. This is for your safety and the safety of the animals. A long lens is recommended for snapping photos from the safety of the snowcat.

That’s the long and the short of it! Get out there for your own adventure and let me know how it goes!

*The Montana State Tourism Board sponsored the trip, but has not asked me to create this content. I had such an amazing time and the experience was phenomenal so I want to share about it a little more.

Filson Women's Weekend

A few weeks ago, I took a trip to the San Juan Islands with Filson and a group of powerful women. Looking back on it, I remember the little details. A wisp of smoke on the breeze, carrying the rich scent of roasted lamb. The soft sounds of rain, tapping on the roof. The delicate pink of a glass of rosé, sipped underneath the setting sun. The rich green of the PNW forests and the sound of laughter as we wandered around, cameras clicking as we captured each moment.

Flashback to sometime in April when I received a message from Emily at Filson, asking me if I wanted to spend the weekend in the San Juan Islands, learning more about the Filson brand with a group of like-minded women. Although I had no idea who would be there, I immediately said “YES!” After all, who says no to an offer as dreamy as that? Shortly thereafter, I found myself at the Filson HQ where the inimitable Aude Tabet was showcasing the Fall 2017 Women’s line. In true Filson fashion, it features classic lines, high quality materials, and drool-worthy pieces. I'm a sucker for textiles and touched every piece, savoring the rich feel of the fabric and the attention to detail and craftmanship that's evident in every piece.

Full of inspiration, we grabbed our bags and headed to Kenmore Air to catch a seaplane to the islands. There’s something magical about flying over the sound, watching the height reduce the islands to twinkling emerald gems set amidst the deep, slate blue sea. In the distance, the Olympic mountains twinkled in the sun, snowy sentinels of the Pacific Northwest. The flight was over too soon and we packed ourselves into the van, setting off after a miraculous 27 point turn thanks to our fabulous chauffeur, Caitlin! We arrived at Doe Bay Resort and promptly grabbed snacks and some drool-worthy views from our cabins before being treated to a rustic, delicious meal at Hogstone's.

The next morning dawned bright and early and found us on the ferry to Orcas Island, intent upon visiting the Westcott Bay Shellfish Company. We were greeted warmly by Andrea, Erik, and their pups for a tour of the space. They radiated kindness and the pride they put into their operation is apparent in everything they do. They patiently taught us to shuck oysters and later BBQed some up, using a delicious bourbon brown sugar butter and we had a picnic in the rain. It was an idyllic way to spend the afternoon and I highly recommend stopping by if you’re in Friday Harbor.

After our feast, we reluctantly got in the van and headed back to Doe bay after a little bit of shopping and some delicious ice cream, intent on some down time before dinner. It was great to chat with Emily and Allie about our lives and I loved having the opportunity to bond with them over shared experiences and adventures. Once we recovered, we headed to the Doe Bay garden to harvest some greens for our upcoming dinner. Jess Townsend, resident gardener and beam of sunshine, happily showed us around the beautiful gardens and even let us feed and hold the chickens. Once our harvest was complete, we headed to the fire where Executive chef Jon Chapelle created a beautiful, perfectly seasoned, farm-to-table meal for us complete with great wine and company. As we basked by the fire after our feast, I felt content and drifted off to sleep with sounds of wind and water in my ears.

Sunday came way too quickly and before I knew it, we were on our way to our last stop before heading home. Cascade Falls is a short but worthy hike on the way to the airport and I had a blast walking beside the river, stretching my legs while taking in some classic PNW views. Soon enough we were back on the plane—winging our way through the clouds and the rain. After a smooth landing, I headed home exhausted but excited about the weekend. I have spent many a weekend in the San Juans but this one was unique and I’m forever grateful to Filson for the opportunity.