Even the insects in their silence seemed to know that 4 a.m. was not the time to be up and about, but there we were waking up again before the sun had even blinked an eye. As the morning stars flickered through the pine forest canopy over our campsite, we quickly made breakfast, packed up…

After countless thousands of miles, including multiple loops through the state of Montana driving both four- and two-wheeled vehicles, I have made a ton of mistakes and planning errors when it comes to dirt-road road trips. This list of ten tips is derived from that misery—and hopefully serves to increase your time spent having fun.…

Wiggling toes (and tires) in the dirt We all know the distinct freedom provided by the outdoors. The melodic silence of nature conspires with our earthly, if not primordial, desires for escape from what the world has become. Our indulgence in the modern norm blinds us from the dirt beneath our feet. For most of…

Missoula river surfing pioneers explore the burgeoning sport The last place I would expect to find a surf shop is Missoula, Montana, a landlocked city on the western shoulder of the Northern Rocky Mountains. That’s just what we found when we rolled into town on day six of our Montana by Dirt road trip. The…

A trip on a dirt road is typically the product of seeking adventure—getting to a trailhead to go mountain biking, finding a put-in for a favorite fishing spot, or heading to a cabin for vacation. But out of the four million miles of road in the U.S., more than a third are still unpaved gravel or…

In most every adrenaline sport, there is some exposure to the possibility of death as a result of participation. Watching friends Noah Clarke, Mike Dembek, and Dylan Laymen riding longboards off the pass on the Beartooth Highway, the highest paved highway in the Northern Rocky Mountains, seemed like the far side of that risk spectrum.…

From Longboarding on a Mountain Pass to Climbing with Conrad Anker in His Own Backyard No one chatted much as we trudged uphill through the forest. Mosquitos made their way into my ear each time I paused to catch my breath, and the verbal silence masked any possible diversion from the buzzing and swatting. It…

The first stop on a dirt road trip across Montana. Skiing in the summer is unsettling. Sweating in my ski boots, I feel as though I’m beating the system, breaking a rule, or otherwise disobeying nature’s cues. Winter is over. Go to the lake. Drink lemonade. Learn to build something in the basement. Conform to…

Toyota 4Runner Trail with options shown. Through my camera’s viewfinder, the thin dirt road seemed to drive straight out of the white peaks of the Beartooth Mountains, blurred like some spectral mirage by the heat rising off the earth. I couldn’t imagine a better shot to illustrate how very much in the middle of nowhere…

400 Miles From Yellowstone to Glacier The fourth largest state with one of the lowest populations, Montana—my home base—is still very much a wild and undeveloped place. My friends and I will drive the back roads through the heartland of the state, through countless mountain ranges, along rivers and streams seldom seen by outsiders, and up to the…