Can't give you too much about Billings....I'm not a huge fan. You are relatively close (any drive less than two hours is close in MT) to Bozeman and Big Sky Ski Resort. You're also going to be close-ish to Yellowstone National Park which is always gorgeous. Great fishing and camping along the Yellowstone River. A lot of historical and Lewis and Clark sites. You will have to pick on whether you are going to be a Bobcat or a Grizzly fan. That's a requirement.
Thanks for the reply! I thought this thread was dead lol...it's a big decision regardless (24 hour drive to see family) but the biggest factor is the kids. We both want safe small towns like we are near now and property. But that's a whole other topic. We have been discussing it a lot and the only solution we both see is him moving out there first and finding a place for us when he isn't working. He does have a friend he can stay with so that would help. Its just so far away!
Montana is the most gorgeous spot on Earth that I have ever laid eyes on.... There are many different sides to the state as well. You can be in an arid, sandy environment, to a high altitude thickly forested area with an hour or two of driving. If you are into the natural world at all; this is the place!
The mountains are beautiful. Lots of open roads and great jeeping trails all over. Like the person said above, your a short distance from many great features. The air is clean here and people are friendly. Best wishes for you and your family!
I've only been through MT for a week when I was driving from Fairbanks down to Georgia. Stayed in Bozeman with a friend. Mind you, I wasn't there working, didn't own a Jeep then('06 EVO IX MR instead) but loved it. Only went through billings on the way out, but just the state in general was awesome. If you're an outdoors type of person, other than I'd say Canadia or Alaska, this would be the place... and maybe WA and ID, but I didn't get to spend much time in either outdoors for it not being working.
You're going to love Montana. Michigan ain't bad, away from the cities, but Montana is a breath of fresh air. It's one of the most freedom loving places in the US.
I don't live there, I live in the Caribbean, but we have property up in the Rockies and spend our hurricane seasons up there in a travel trailer. My long time best friend for the past 40 plus years runs a fly fishing lodge there, named Blue Damsel Lodge. Try trout fishing on the streams there. You'll be 'hooked'.
At first, it did look like you was like an Ad bot type of thing, but if you look at the other threads, it drops all these ads below the last person to post. Sorry to come up like that, don't mind word of mouth, but with the auto-ad thing it looked more than that.
In other news, I think I'm going to be moving to Miles City area and Bozeman on time off.
Blue Damsel......that happen to be around where they have the Testy Festy
I haven't been to visit the lodge yet. Maybe try to get up there this summer when we hopefully leave here for hurricane season. We hope to start spending summers up in the Rockies and off this island. The manager of the lodge was my best friend through high school and we were roommates at the University of Texas. I have no commercial ties to the place at all. But if you'd pick up a six pack and stop by and ask Keith to show you around and talk trout fishing...you'd make a new friend and good local contact. tell him I sent you. It'll freak him out.
He has a CJ with a V8 up there, by the way. And he's a decent blues guitarist if you like to jam. The Lodge is at Rock Creek.
Nye would be really nice-the Beartooth's, IMO, are the most beautiful mtns in the lower 48-most area above 10,000'. Sort of round-about, but Morrison Jeep trail is off the Redlodge-Cooke City highway and a nice ride. East Rosebud canyon is the twin of Yosemite NP. Also some really nice high elevation trails out of Cooke City-Lulu pass and the Goose Lake road. Hope you like to fish.
I posted this on another forum but have updated it with GPS locations of the starting points.
Here are a few of my Tobacco Root Mountains favorites that are close to home:
South Meadow Creek, FS 1221. N45° 27.606', W111° 52.188' McAllister access. My stock JK Rubicon has no problems with it, but a couple of spots you need to pick the line well. Piece of cake for the 3B on 33's. Another trail (6361) branches to the north after the Missouri/McKee mine/mill and tops out on the ridge at South Baldy Mountain (10,105') with a loop option to take Trail 6362 back to the Washington Creek Road.
South Meadow Lake
North Meadow Creek, FS 965/6338/6340. N45° 30.817', W111° 47.579' McAllister access or take Warm Springs Creek road over the Revenue Flats from Norris. You might get a stock JK/TJ up these but highly likely they will not look too good after the run. Lots of boulders and tight spots and I'm going to say lockers and/or winch necessary but rewards are some great scenery. Lakes include Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, McKelvey, Cliff, Mine (on some maps Alpine), and Kid Lakes.
Lower Twin Lake
N. Meadow to S. Willow Creek, FS160, N45° 32.174', W111° 52.110' McAllister access. Only a couple miles of real Jeep trail-very steep and can get pretty muddy. A lot of gravel and semi-Jeep road on both ends.
South Boulder River, FS 107. N45° 48.187', W111° 55.570' Cardwell access. Twenty something miles of gravel with about 4 miles good Jeep trail to Sailor Lake trail head (1/4 mile hike to lake-Trail 7140, another 1/4 mile hike to Globe Lake, and maybe 1.5 mile hike (Trail 7167) to Brannan Lakes. Hiking access to Louise, Curly and Lost Cabin Lakes also off this road. Road passes through the old Mining town of Mammoth.
Upper and Lower Brannan Lakes
Wisconsin Creek/Noble Fork, FS 6370/8300/6015. N45° 27.585', W112° 11.836' Sheridan access. Another very scenic area with several lakes, including Crystal, Jackson, Sunrise, Noble, and Blossom. The only one you can directly drive to is Noble Lake. Stock Jeep can probably make all trails but some of the Noble Fork trail where a little more clearence is highly desirable.
Dry Boulder Creek/Boulder Lakes, FS 1007. N45° 35.845', W112° 14.832' Twin Bridges access. Cake walk into lower Boulder Lake but trail from Lower to Upper Boulder Lake has a couple shelfs where you will want lockers on both ends or you will be running line.
Upper Boulder Lake
Indian Creek, FS 158. N45° 27.606', W112° 09.853' Sheridan access. Not too challanging but again, nice scenery. Used to be able to drive into Rossiter Lake but FS rebuilt the last 3 to 4 miles of trail for hiking only. Hill Reservoir (breached?-have seen no water in it for a number of years), Taylor Lake (swamp), Oval and Triangle Lakes (both small but nice) also up this drainage.
Pony/Windy Pass/N. Willow/Cataract Creek. N45° 39.540', W111° 54.232' Many, many prospects and old mines, along with several remains of small mills. Some of this burned summer 2012 and I am not sure what is now open. Cataract Lake is a drive to, Upper and Lower Mason Lakes not much of a hike, but not much for lakes either.
Upper Mason Lake
Literally hundreds of places to wheel in Western Montana. Willie and Jeanne Worthy have published one book on trails around Missoula area and I believe he and Jeanne are working on a couple more. Back Roads Publications - Home
1947 CJ 2A, 1949 CJ 3A, 1955 CJ 3B, 1968 CJ 5, 2012 JKUR