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New West Experience - Birding in Montana

New West Experience

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Yellowstone National Park consists of hundreds of miles of well-paved roads with ample opportunities to view wildlife from the countless roadside pull-offs. However, the best way to view the abundant wildlife, whether in the Park or not, is to get off the beaten path. New West Experience is able to provide you local insight on where to go and when to experience our abundant wildlife in their natural settings.

Montana is unique in that the amount of accessible public land is incomparable in the lower 48 United States. Countless state and national parks comprise over 27-million acres of publicly accessible areas. Wildlife viewing opportunities for large mammals are simply unparalleled. Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park offer prime viewing opportunities. A simple drive through either park will most likely reveal mule deer, fox, coyotes, badger, white tailed deer, elk, antelope, big horn sheep, mountain goats, and bison. One also stands a very chance of seeing black bears, grizzlies, and wolves.

Whether you come to Montana and Yellowstone National Park to specifically view wildlife, or if viewing our native macro-mammals is simply an added bonus, New West is able to assist in going to the right places at the right times.

 

Rental cars with superior service for Big Sky, Yellowstone, and Bozeman BZN

New West Experience is partnered with Phasmid Rentals, a superior off-airport rental car agency providing four wheel drive rental vehicles ideally suited for Montana adventures. New West is able to book Phasmid cars directly, and is able to incorporate discounted rates into all of our packages. Phasmid provides rental cars for Bozeman Gallatin Field airport, BZN.

Through New West and Phasmid we are able to offer two types of vehicles in two different classes. Chevrolet Suburbans (Big) and Subaru Outbacks (not-so-big). New ones, or slightly used ones. All of Phasmid's rental vehicles are impeccably maintained, immaculate, and contain Montana emergency kits (first aid kits, breakdown kits, tools, etc.)- all of the things that you likely carry in your own vehicle that no other rental company provides.

Prices vary depending on availability and time of year, but generally speaking Phasmid is less expensive than the Big Box companies at the airport- and always provides superior service.

+  Subaru Outback "Roadwarriors" (pre-loved ones) around $50/ day

+  2010-12 Subaru Outbacks around $75/ day

+  Older style Chevrolet Suburbans (2003-2007) around $85/ day

+  Newer Chevrolet Suburbans (2009-12) around $120/ day

Some of the benefits that we have found with Phasmid Rentals:

+  No nickle-and-dime treatment. They do not sell you anything you do not need, and treat customers like people and not numbers

+  Guests never have to wait in line. Phasmid picks up all guests at the baggage claim at BZN, and shuttles them back to office (1.5 miles away) in their rental car

+  Unlimited mileage, no-charge for additional drivers, and 24-hour roadside assistance always included

Visit the Phasmid Rentals website, or call New West to arrange a far superior rental car experience.

New West Experience is proud to offer our exclusive Glamorous-Camping "Glamping" packages. Through our experience at providing similar opportunities around the world and our passion for living well out-of-doors, we are able to provide a completely unique experience in Montana.

Imagine a five-course meal under the Montana sky prepared by your own private chef, with 'tent' accommodations as comfortable as any fine hotel. All of our Glamping excursions are bespoke to each guest's wishes. We do not have fixed locations, each night of Glamping is set up and catered specifically for each guest. We host our nights on both private ranches and on public lands- regardless, we guarantee an evening that will not be forgotten in a location second to none. 

Prices are dependent upon location and desires of our guests, but generally range from $450 per person, per night. This is a perfect opportunity for those seeking something completely different, and very special.

From elite guest ranches to local bed and breakfasts- we know the right places to stay.

Play hard in the outdoors during the day, relax in comfortable surrounds at night. But where are the right places to stay? Montana and the Yellowstone area offer a wide variety of overnight accommodations from basic, inexpensive locally owned motels to elite guest ranches. The location and quality of this multitude of options also varies tremendously.

At New West, we are all about unique, locally owned overnight accommodations as this is truly the best way to Experience the real Montana. There are few places we have every traveled globally that offer such a welcoming atmosphere as seems to be consistently offered throughout the state and region. With this being said, some of the overnight options are better than others- and we try hard to visit them all so that our experience and recommendations can be passed on to you. 

There are of course numerous chain hotels available in most areas of the state, and most operate or exceed their chain's standards. The Holiday Inn in Bozeman is fantastic, but it could be a Holiday Inn anywhere in the world. New West is able to recommend and book the other options; like the small, historic Inn at the base of a ski mountain surrounded by a half-million acres of National Forest- for the same price or less as the Holiday Inn. We strive to provide our clients with clean, comfortable, and unique overnight accommodations- located in the right part of town to make the most of your stay. 

We do not limit ourselves (or our guests) to budgetary restraints. If you want to stay at the finest guest ranch in Montana- we have been there and know which rooms have the best view. If you are just looking for a bed to crash on, we know the best value and cleanest places around. 

NWE also works with numerous vacation rental management companies, bed and breakfasts, and guest houses all offering truly unique Montana experiences.

Go with the right professionals.

Guided activities and guides are abundant in Montana and Yellowstone. Most are good, few are exceptional. Reduce your risk of getting a bum and wasting your money, and let New West Experience utilize our extensive network of trusted professionals. We understand that a guided trip isn't just about catching fish, going on a horseback ride, or rafting down a river. To us, is about the total Experience. Enjoying stunning natural surroundings enhanced by the services of a true professional. A professional who understands the ecology and history of the area. A professional who is intelligent and a pleasure to be around. A professional who will likely become a long-lasting friend and will create an unforgettable day.

Let New West take the burden and risk out of booking your guided adventures.

Camping in Montana- comfortably!

The best way to truly experience Montana and Yellowstone National Park is to sleep under the stars. Perfect summer nights and countless public campsites and back country opportunities abound. New West, through our partner company Phasmid Rentals, is able to provide assistance and rental gear for inexperience car camper to the die-hard backpackers.

Phasmid provides everything you need for a Montana camping adventure. Tents, sleeping bags, pads, cots, camp furniture, cooking kits, coolers, optics, guidebooks, maps, and fly-fishing equipment (Simms waders and boots, Outcast float tubes, etc). Phasmid is also the sole provider of rental bear spray in the Bozeman area.

New West Experience is able to incorporate Phasmid's services and rental gear into all of our prepared itineraries and packages.

Winter is one of the best times of the year to explore Yellowstone National Park- especially as a wildlife photographer/ enthusiast. Crowd numbers are very low and most of the wildlife is seeking shelter in the lower elevation valleys. This is a prime time of year to witness bison breaking through snow drifts, wolves feeding on carcasses, or the iconic coyote or fox pouncing on a mouse under the snow. Only the northeastern corner of the Park is open to road traffic in the winter. This road to Cooke City traverses the Lamar Valley, one of the prime spotting area for wolves and wildlife in the Park. The Southeast Geyser Basin area is only open to over-snow travel- snowmobile (guided only), snowcoach, or by your own two feet. The geothermal colors against a white backdrop are truly a sight to behold. 

Recommended 6-day, 7-night itinerary:

Day 1. Arrive Bozeman, a representative from NWE will meet you at the airport and escort you to the office in your rental Subaru Outback. At the office, we will go over map details, off-the-beaten path photo opportunities, and last minute changes to itinerary due to weather conditions. Overnight at Chico Hot Springs, just outside of Yellowstone National Park in the Paradise Valley. 

Day 2 - 3. Explore the Lamar Valley and surrounding areas, overnighting at Chico or in Gardiner.

Day 4. After a morning of shooting, head back towards Bozeman and then down to West Yellowstone. This is a very beautiful drive along the Gallatin River Canyon and offers photo opportunities for scenic, elk, big horn sheep, and moose. Overnight in West Yellowstone.

Day 5. Snowcoach into the Yellowstone Geyser Basin. Overnight West Yellowstone.

Day 6. Return to Bozeman via Quake Lake, Henrys Lake, Ennis, and the Madison Valley. Stop for a soak in Norris Hot Springs, overnight in Bozeman.

Day 7. Depart.

Package price $550 includes rental vehicle and concierge services. Accommodations range from $500 - $900 based on double occupancy. West Yellowstone guided snowcoach tours, from $100 per person. Total price vehicle, tour, and accommodation from $625 per person.

 

The unique wildlife, topography, and geology of Montana offer a photographers paradise. New West is able to assist your itinerary planning whether you are professional or amateur. We know the off the beaten path spots, current conditions, and have the passion as well to ensure that you take home that perfect shot.

New West specializes in DIY photo safaris. Although we know and recommend a few specific companies that specialize in guided photography tours, we have found that with a little advice and an adventurous spirit a photographer can get the chance at the shot that few others have. We share our passion for getting off-the-beaten path with others- an attribute that few other tour companies are willing to do.

Our services for DIY photo safaris revolve around each individuals desire and taste. Prefer scenic shots, old barns, Yellowstone geo,thermals, small rural towns, working ranch life, wildlife, or birds? We can get you there like none other.

Explore Montana, Yellowstone, and the Northern Rockies with a company that understands.

Few visitors who come to the Northern Rockies and Montana realize how vast the distances are in between destinations, and more importantly that the travel involved- when on the right roads- is some of the most spectacular scenery around. If you really want to experience this area, the only way is to hire a rental car and drive. There are tour-bus options, but unless you like being on 15+ other people's schedule, this really is not a pleasant way to see the area. One needs to slow down, get off the highway, and explore the road less taken. The unique small towns in Montana and the adjacent states will all become memorable experiences. Cresting a mountain pass and overlooking a vista of literally thousands of square miles- without another tourist in sight- is something you will never forget. The silence and serenity of such vastness is why one should come to Montana- and New West Experience is able to provide.

New West Experience is one of the few businesses in Montana that understand the concept of the fly-drive/ self-drive holiday.  Our services are able to provide a complete bespoke Northern Rockies tour for you. We try to emphasize the quality of each experience and minimize the amount of time on the road. Many foreign based companies simply do not have the knowledge of the area to plan a memorable trip. Travel distances too grand for the resulting experience, driving only on major interstates and missing the unique small towns, providing an inadequate/ unsafe vehicle for our driving conditions, etc. We exist to eliminate the risk.

All of our team has either lived or at least traveled extensively outside of the US. As a result, we understand cultural and linguistic differences and what makes this area so very special to non-US natives. To date, we have had guests from UK, Spain, Argentina, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, and China- and we welcome more. Let our experience and knowledge guide you.

Experience the best of Montana and the birth of a season. 

Spring in Montana symbolized the birth of the next generation. The transition from a dull winter brown to a resplendent green studded with countless wildflowers is a sight to behold. Mid-May through June are the prime months to witness this explosive growth. The mountains are still snow-capped, the rivers often gorged with impressive run-off, and the abundant wildlife have or are bearing young. Yellowstone Park, in particular the Lamar Valley, can be a fantastic place to behold this regeneration of life. Although this is the wettest time of year in Montana, it is also the greenest and the blue sky looming over endless fields of wildflowers will make a shower or two worthwhile.

7-Day Recommended itinerary for two: $1,350 - $1,950 depending on desired accommodations.

Day 1. Arrive Bozeman. A New West representative will meet you at the airport and escort you in your rental Subaru Outback to the office. We will then go over maps, itinerary changes due to weather and add adjustments accordingly. Depending on arrival time, visit historic downtown Bozeman and/ or the Museum of the Rockies. Overnight at the historic Silver Forest Inn, located in the Bridger Mountains just 15-miles outside of town. Overnight, breakfast, and pack lunch included.

Day 2. After breakfast at the Inn, head south towards Livingston, Montana via the scenic Jackson Creek Road. Via backroads, head towards McLeod and the Boulder River Valley. Witness the stunning "Land Bridge" in full spate. Return to Big Timber and continue on interstate 90 for approximately 40-miles. Exit towards Absarokee on one of the prettiest pastoral roads imaginable. Enjoy the sights of the Beartooth mountains and abundant roadside wildlife, dinner and overnight in Red Lodge (not included, price range $70 - $160 for accommodations).

Day 3. The Beartooth Highway. Enjoy the day exploring the numerous vistas and hiking opportunities on what Charles Kuralt has deemed the most beautiful road in America. Overnight in Cook or Silver City (not included, price range $80 - $170/ night).

Day 4. The Lamar Valley. Buffalo, elk, big horn sheep, grizzly bears, and wolves abound in this extensive valley creating one of the premier large mammal wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. Finish the day having a soak in the natural hot springs of the Boiling River and overnight in Gardiner ($90 - $200) or at Chico Hot Springs ($80 - $200) just outside of the Park.

Day 5. Chico/ Gardiner through the Yellowstone Geyser Basin. Heading south through Yellowstone, witness the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, the wildlife resplendent Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Lake, Fishing Bridge, Old Faithful, and the Geyser Basin. Overnight in West Yellowstone ($70 - $200).

Day 6. Head west into the Centennial Valley. Spend the day viewing the countless migratory birds, particularly swans, in the Red Rock Lake Wildlife Refuge or enjoy your own playing on your pristine high mountain lakes. In the late afternoon, head north via Henrys and Quake Lake, overnight in the small town of Ennis, perhaps if you have enough time, sneek over to Norris Hot Springs for an evening soak- or if you have an early departure flight return to Bozeman.

Day 7. Depending on departure time, head to Virginia and Nevada City to witness a perfectly preserved western mining town or head straight to the airport.

 

Pricing: Rental car with touring package, concierge/ planning services, and overnight at Silver Forest Inn; $850. Additional accommodations, depending on your budgetary wishes $500 - $1,100, full camping package $300.

Copyright New West Experience, 2012. All rights reserved.

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