Gallatin River Lodge Blog

Meet Kaitin Broumpton, our new Special Event Manager

Raised in a suburb of Denver, Kaitlin spent most of her time outdoors in the Colorado sun. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she moved to Jackson Hole and became the Reservations Supervisor at one of the top resorts in the country, Amangani. After four years, she transitioned into the Lodge Manager Role with Blixt and Company, the top Driven Shooting Company in North America. With her past experience in luxury travel and catering to the utmost elite clientele in the Rocky Mountain West, she decided to move to Bozeman Montana to become the Events Manager here at Gallatin River Lodge. She loves creating special moments and beautifully executed events for all guests. When she is not working at the Lodge, you can find her on the water, paddle boarding or fishing with her Fox Red Lab, Lola.

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Baby News

We have some exciting news to share with all of our Lodge family and friends. Two of our employees welcomed baby girls (born on the same day!!) last month. Nolan Bushman, a line cook the kitchen, welcomed Harper Ruth, and PJ Wirchansky, our Lodge Manager, welcomed their second child, Adalynn Grace. Both Moms and babies are doing well. Long time Lodge employee, Rikki Vallance, is also pregnant and is expecting a baby girl in December. Thank you to the many guests who have shared their blessings and well wishes with our new or soon to be new parents!

Harper Ruth, born October 7 at 8am. 6lbs 5oz, 19 inches long
Adalynn Grace, born October 7 at 6:30pm, 6lbs 4oz, 20 inches long

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Many Seasons, Many Reasons to Visit Montana

The Winter months in Montana are a great time to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, sled, take a sleigh ride, watch wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, or simply go for a walk in the snow. Or, you could go ahead and start dreaming about summer! January-March are the busiest times of the year for planning a summer vacation. Although we are in the middle of our winter season in Montana, and most of us are out enjoying the snow in every way possible (there is so much to do out here!), many of our guests who visit the Lodge during the warm season start planning their visit to Montana now.

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Many of us enjoy an emotional boost when planning a trip and then going away on vacation. According to’s travel research, almost half (49%) of people say a holiday or vacation brings more happiness than a big occasion in life (wedding day for example). And, three quarters of people book a holiday to cheer themselves up when they are in need of a surge of happiness.

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Once on vacation, over 70% enjoy the vacation more when they can make themselves at home. This is one area that we strive to provide for all of our guests here at Gallatin River Lodge. We have only 12 rooms, and with generally more than a 1:1 ratio of staff to guests, we want to make everyone feel at home, so that guests can enjoy the vacation/ visit as much as possible.

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Many of the staff here at GRL have been in Montana for many years, and as locals, know how to make the most of their time exploring both winter and summer seasons. To make sure that all guests have a personalized experience while in Montana, we encourage you to give us a call before your visit so we can help provide you with ideas, suggestions, and must do’s while staying in Big Sky Country. Feel free to call Stephanie, Bri, or myself, as we are more than happy to talk winter, spring, summer or fall in Montana. There are so many reasons to come to Montana for a visit, regardless of season. We can’t wait to share this beautiful place with you!

-PJ Wirchansky, Lodge Manager

To read the full article on Travel is the True Secret to Happiness, click here.

Countdown to Christmas

As December rapidly approaches, everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit with decorations and holiday traditions. Our own Lodge decorating took place this week, and everything looks amazing. Whether you decorate two months early or two days before, the Gallatin River Lodge has your event count down.

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The Christmas Stroll – Three Forks, MT  
Come join Three Forks for their Christmas Stroll, A Night of Lights on December 2nd from 5-8 pm. The festivities will be taking place on Main Street and they include a lights parade, silent auction, ginger bread house competition, and much more!

The Nutcracker -Bozeman, MT
Montana Ballet Company presents its 33rd annual production of The Nutcracker. Showings open December 2nd and run through the 3rd. Show times are at 7:00pm and 2:00pm on Sunday. Cost of admission ranges from $15-55.00 a ticket.

Holiday Organ Concert -Bozeman, MT
Hope Lutheran Church is hosting the Holiday Organ Concert on December 4th from 3:30-4:30pm. A donation of $10.00 is greatly appreciated.

The Christmas Stroll – Bozeman, MT
Bozeman’s very own Christmas Stroll is happening Saturday December 3rd from 4:30-7:30 on Main Street. Those of you who stayed with us this summer will recognize a similar theme to the summer’s biggest attraction, Music on Main Street, Main street will be blocked off and the festivities going on throughout the shops and street. Get your thermoses of hot cocoa out and get ready to see the streets in lights and filled with holiday cheer. 

Make sure you get out and participate in these great community events happening throughout the month of December.

Need a place to relax and unwind? Come stay with us, and take advantage of our Winter Romance Package! This winter package included lodging, dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine ($30 credit), and a full cook-to-order breakfast. Click here to book now!

Fall and the Changing of the Seasons

Although summer is typically the most popular time for visitors to come to Montana, fall is secretly our favorite time of the year for many Montanans. It is full of peaceful outdoor exploration, as well as winter preparation. October and November are two of the driest months of the year, and with average temperatures during the day in the 40’s & 50’s, it is still a fantastic time to get outside, and enjoy the many outdoor recreational opportunities. Of course, fishing and hunting are two of the most popular pastimes, but there is also hiking, horseback riding, trips into Yellowstone, wildlife watching, among others.

November sunrise

This is also a time to prepare for the exciting winter season ahead, with many of us getting out our skis, boots, snowshoes, sleds, and anything else that allows us to enjoy the fluffy white powder that Mother Nature typically blesses us with from November-March.

The mountains around the Lodge see anywhere from 250-400” of snow each year, making it one of the most reliable areas for snow sports. We are fortunate to have two world-class ski areas within an hour of the Lodge, with Bridger Bowl (35 minutes away) and Big Sky Resort (an hour) both accessible for downhill skiing. If alpine skiing is not your thing, we highly recommend Nordic skiing, as it is a fantastic way to get out on the snow, explore the trails, see wildlife, and get an incredible workout.

Winter Dogsledding

Around Bozeman, there are some great areas for ice climbing, and snowshoeing. If you head down towards Big Sky, and West Yellowstone, you are sure to see plenty of snow as well, along with some great opportunities for snowmobiling, dog sledding, and sleigh rides.

Located just 15 minutes from Bozeman, for those who enjoy more in-town offerings, there is plenty of entertainment, shopping, great local food (especially at the Gallatin River Grill!), museums, art galleries, special events, year round farmer’s market, and live music.

While we continue to enjoy this fall season, and dream often of our upcoming winter adventures, we would love for you to come stay with us, dine at our Grill, and choose however you want to immerse yourself in this stunning area.

To help you get ready for Winter, check out Whitney’s blog for more helpful tips.
We hope to see you soon!

-PJ Wirchansky, Lodge Manager

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Much of what we enjoy around Montana are the many outdoor activities that this area provides. Regardless of the season, there are always plenty of things to do outdoors. With the stunning backdrop of mountains, rivers, and plains, it is easy to see why so many people come to Montana throughout the year. With all of those activities and adventures, comes the ocassional discomfort or pain associated with enjoying all this fun. When that time to heal and relax comes along, be sure to take care of your body the best you can, as it is the only one you have, and why not use it as long as you can, right?

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Massage therapy can be a life saver for those experiencing pain or discomfort from illnesses, health disorders, or sports related injuries. It has a number of incredible benefits for a wide variety of individuals. Here are just some of its benefits:
-relief from neck or back pain
-can reduce insomnia
-improves circulation
-helps with muscle soreness
-stress reducer
-helps to control high blood pressure
-helps control anxiety and depression
-can relieve arthritis pain
-boosts immunity
-feels great!
Once you take the first step to healing with a professional massage, you will be on your way to restore, rejuvinate, and decompress your body. This will lead to a healthier, happier, less stressed you, and one that can take on any of Montana's adventures. For guests staying with us here at the Lodge, we do offer in-room massage therapy to help you to heal and relax.

Get Ready for Winter 2016-17

Although it may not seem like it, with our recent mild, sunny weather, winter is just around the corner! Whether you are an adrenaline junkie who only skis black diamond runs, or a classic Nordic skier who enjoys listening to the sounds of nature, we have everything you are looking for right here to prepare you for winter fun, including, opening dates, activity suggestions, and the Farmer’s Almanac predictions for local Montana weather.

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Tentative opening dates (subject to snowfall):
Big Sky Resort, November 24, 2016
Bridger Bowl, December 9, 2016
Red Lodge Mountain: November 25, 2016
Whitefish Mountain, December 7, 2016

Cross Country/ Nordic
Bohart Ranch, December 7, 2016

Rendezvous Trails, November 22, 2016
Lone Mountain Ranch, December 9, 2016

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Can't wait to start out the new ski season with a fresh pair of skis? Then, checkout Bridger Ski Foundation's Annual Ski Swap, happening the first weekend of November. Drop off for items you wish to sell is Friday, November 4 from 10am-7pm at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. The Ski Swap begins Saturday, November 5 at 10am-6pm, and continues Sunday, November 6, 10am-2pm. It's a great way to get a new pair of skis, boots, poles, and a way to get rid of your old ones for cash.

Do you prefer to walk/ snowshoe in the winter? We have some great trail recommendations for you. Whether you enjoy snowshoeing on a regular basis or just when the weather warms up a bit, these 9 trails will be sure to impress!

-Sourdough Nature Trail
-Triple Tree Trail
-Galligator Trail
-Pete's Hill
-Bozeman Pond
-Cherry River Loop
-Sourdough Canyon Trail
-East Gallatin Recreational Area
-Gallatin County Regional Park (sledding too!)

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For complete directions, and trail descriptions, click here:

As everyone knows, these winter wonderland activities are completely dependent on Mother Nature, including snowfall and temperatures. Weather in Montana can change without notice. If you don't like the weather, just wait 10 minutes, and it just may change! Are we destined for an average winter, or a snow-filled doozy of a season? According to the 2017 Farmer's Almanac, we are in for an average start with a colder and snowy season beginning mid-season. So, enjoy this mild stretch of weather for now, as winter is just around the corner. 

YNP Bison

We have all kinds of winter activities around Gallatin River Lodge to satisfy every type of winter enthusiast, including those who want to sit fire-side, or enjoy an in-room massage while the snow falls. Check out our luxurious lodging options, including our Winter Romance Package to enjoy an unforgettable getaway with that special someone in your life!

For those planning a trip to Montana, let us know how we can help you take advantage of all that this beautiful area has to offer. We look forward to welcoming you to our Montana home! 
-Whitney, Sales and Reservations
(Photos compliments of the amazing Montana Office of Tourism)

Halloween Events in Montana

Happy October! The fish are still biting, and many of the leaves have changed and fallen off the trees around Gallatin River Lodge. Whether you are a local patron or an out of town guest, we have compiled a list of the top 5 spookiest October events for the weekend to get you outdoors in our wonderful Montana community.
#5 Spookiest Event:
 Big Sky Bigfoot Conference in Hamilton, MT. Have you ever been hiking and feel like someone is watching you? Or perhaps you have gone hiking and are trying to hunt down this elusive creature. Either way, head over to the Bitterroot River Inn and Convention Center to listen to the cryptozoology community talk about Bigfoot. Perhaps we will catch a glimpse of him here at the Lodge someday! Tickets are $25 in advance and include both days of activity. Friday Oct. 21 – Saturday Oct. 22, 2016.

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#4 Spookiest Event:
 Halloween Cemetery Ghost Hunt at Sunset Hill Cemetery here in Bozeman. With SyFy’s hit series Ghost Hunters on its 12th season it’s no mystery why this event will no doubt draw a crowd. Everyone is curious about the afterlife and those weird paranormal happenings that seem to always coincide with some tragic event in years past. These expert local ghost hunters will be there will equipment and knowledge to lead you on your own ghost hunt Saturday Oct. 22, 2016.
#3 Spookiest Event:
 Bannack Ghost Walk in the historic Bannack Ghost town just outside Dillon, MT. This was a close battle for the number 2 spookiest event spot; however, with a tour guide how scary could it be? ;) Bannack was established in 1862 as a gold mining town on the Grasshopper creek. With locals leaving when the gold mining slowed down in the late 1940’s, the once vibrant town slowly dwindled till in 1950 the state of Montana accepted it as a state park. The evening walks are scheduled for Friday Oct. 21, 2016 7-9 pm and for those daring adventurers Saturday Oct. 22, 2016 9-11pm. Each tour can accommodate up to 100 people and reservations are needed.

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#2 Spookiest Event:
 Winning the spot of #2 is the Old Prison Museum Haunted House in Deer Lodge, MT. Known as one of Montana’s most haunted locations, this old prison is sure to be scary when Halloween’s touch is added. It is recommended 12 years old and up, so mom and dad grab a babysitter for those little ones before heading out! Price of admission is $10.00 and the event will run every Friday and Saturday from Oct. 21 to Oct. 19, 2016.

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#1 Spookiest Event:
 The grand prize winner is Field of Screams in Hamilton, MT. Established in 1998, Field of Screams is considered Montana’s scariest Halloween attraction. Featuring live haunters, this attraction is sure to scare your pants off! Their website advertises Depends for sale at their concession stand. Not to be upstaged by the live haunters, the Children of the Candy Corn section is sure to be a hit with the younger enthusiast. Admission for all ages is $6.00. Open October 1- October 31. Those of you checking out the Big Sky Bigfoot Convention should make the time to swing on by the Field of Screams!
Let us know how our Spooky Event winners do by posting your pictures to our Facebook  page and tagging #spookyeventGRL

Best Picnic Spots in Bozeman

Summer in Bozeman is an incredible time to get outside and enjoy all that SW Montana has to offer. Many visitors and locals alike enjoy getting out on one of the hundreds of trails in the area for horseback riding, hiking, or mountain biking. Or, maybe it’s enjoying the rivers by tying on a fly, or in a raft, kayak or boat. Some like to go rock climbing, or explore the 2.2 million acres of Yellowstone National Park. For many people, it is the time of year to get in as much as possible before the snow begins to fly again. With the high expectations of an epic adventure with each outing, one may forget that Bozeman also offers more relaxing activities, such as visiting one of the local museums, strolling down Main Street, or finding the perfect picnic spot.

Bozeman Beach blog

For those who enjoy a nice picnic with the family, or that special someone, we have compiled a list of 5 of our favorite, local spots for an enjoyable picnic. All of these are in the Bozeman area (within a half hour), and are sure to provide a beautiful backdrop for an unforgettable Montana picnic!

In no particular order, the Bozeman Beach is located at Glen Lake Park, and is great spot for the family, with swimming, boating, or walking with beautiful open views of the Bridger Mountain Range. Kirk Park is in the middle of Bozeman, off of 19th Avenue, with basketball courts, a skate park, swings, and a bbq area, along with several picnic spots. This has been a locals favorite for many years. There are also baseball fields, and areas to walk. The Dinosaur Park is located within the 100 acre Gallatin County Regional Park, and features an incredible play area for kids. In the rest of the park, there are two ponds, a dog park, walking and running trails, and the Bozeman mound, which offers a great view of the surrounding mountains, and would be a great spot to watch the sunset on a summer evening. There are bbq areas, picnic tables, and plenty of room to spread out. Greycliffs Campground on the Madison River is a wonderful spot to cool off on a hot summer day. Bring your bathing suit, and some great food to enjoy at this picnic area, approximately 6.8 miles down the gravel road off Highway 84. Finally, anyone looking for a beautiful lake with incredible mountains all around should take the drive down Hyalite Canyon, to one of the many picnic areas throughout the canyon. There is Hyalite Reservoir and Hood Creek Campground, or stroll up to Palisade Falls to the picnic area up there overlooking the falls.

palisades falls

There are several more options throughout the Valley that offer some great locations to relax, let the kids play, or just take in the beautiful Montana scenery. For guests staying at the Lodge, just let us know the night before, and we can pack you a chef prepared picnic lunch to take along with you. There are also many local eateries that are perfect for an outside dining experience. So, if you decide to opt out for a hike up Mount Blackmore, or the all day epic adventure, rest assured that there are other ways to enjoy this beautiful location. Besides, close to 85% of all visitors that visit Montana return for a second trip, so you know you will most likely have another opportunity!

GRL awarded 2017

Top 25 Small Hotels in the USA

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