Precautions While in Montana

Water Sports: Beware of high river waters in the spring due to melting snow; it is best to contact knowledgeable people in the area for information before venturing out on your own.

Animal Caution: Grizzly bears are found in both Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks and in smaller populations in the northern Rockies. Grizzlies are vicious when provoked, and it doesn't take much to rile them. Check with local rangers for bear updates and guidelines before heading into bear country. When hiking even on trails make noise to warn bears of your presence. If you camp, don't sleep near strong smells or food. Hang all food from branches 100 yards from tents. Also, watch for moose on or near hiking trails. Moose, especially those with offspring, are often known to charge if hikers get too close or the animal feels threatened.

Rattlesnake Warning: Rattlesnakes are common primarily in eastern parts of Montana. A bite from a snake can be fatal if not properly treated. These snakes are not aggressive and will usually retreat unless threatened. We recommend that you wear strong and high top boots when hiking and be mindful of your step. Be especially careful near rocky areas; snakes often sun themselves on exposed rocks. If you hear a rattle, stop and slowly back away. If bitten, immobilize the area and seek medical care immediately.

Weather: Extremes are commonplace in Montana without a moments notice. In high temperatures drink plenty of water; Montana is very dry which aides dehydration in warm weather. Even in warmer weather, nights can be cold so have extra clothes on hand. Sudden storms can blow in; be prepared with rain and wind gear. The windiest areas are Great Falls, Livingston, and Cut Bank. When driving, listen for wind warnings. Winter weather is the greatest concern. Roads can be treacherous if snow covered; melting snow and ice can also leave small and invisible patches of ice on the road. Also, wildlife commonly descend from the mountains looking for food; be aware of deer or elk particularly at dusk, sunset or at night when visibility is limited. If you travel by automobile during Montanas winter, have plenty of blankets or a sleeping bag, warm clothing, flashlight, and some food and water on hand