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Photo ops

Durango, Colorado
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32 posts
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Photo ops

I'm looking for advice on photo ops - landscape or wildlife - near Billings, MT. I will be in the area for business in early November and plan to extend my trip two or three days for photography.

My initial thought was to head to Yellowstone, but I've been told it would likely be closed due to snow and travel in the park would be difficult or impossible by that time.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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1. Re: Photo ops

The park may be closed but there is so much. To much to list in this small space. Ther is the rimrocks. The badlands. Battlefields mountains rivers streams coulees. I would contact the chamber of commerce/ visitors bureau for some excellent brochures for specifics. Truly you can just drive in any direction in and out of Billings and find excellent opportunities

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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2. Re: Photo ops

Yellowstone closes November 4 at 8AM however the road across the Northern Range of the park, from Mammoth to the NE gate and Cooke City is open year around to wheeled vehicles. This goes thru the Lamar Valley which is rich in wildlife. Here is a link to the map you get at the entrance.

nps.gov/common/…

Weather conditions could be *iffy* so you would need to keep an eye on the forecast and have a back-up plan if you do decide to travel to the park. Do you have any winter driving experience?

Pam

Billings, Montana
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for Yellowstone National Park
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3. Re: Photo ops

I second Pam's suggestion of still doing the road in Yellowstone from Mammoth to Cooke City. It is 2 1/2 hours driving time to get to Gardiner from Billings (175 miles). If you could stay a night in Gardiner it would really cut down on having a long day.

They keep the road between Gardiner and Cooke City open all year but there can always be sudden snowstorms which can turn the road nasty pretty quickly. There are a couple of stretches on that road that I hate driving on in the winter but for the most part everything is ok as long as you're driving slow and paying attention. It will be too early in the season to worry about trucks hauling snowmobile trailers to Cooke City....most of them drive like maniacs they literally make me almost pee my pants sometimes when they pass me. (Can you tell that I don't like them!).

Anyway....the northern part of the park will offer you the best bang for your buck for scenery and wildlife. Another area that might be a possiblity is the Red Lodge/Absarokee area. There is a great canyon you can hike up on the Stillwater River where the scenery is really neat. Lots of trails in the Red Lodge area if you're interested in that.

For right in Billings, the rimrocks can offer great opportunities. There are multiple trails all along the top. West of Zimmerman Road is a great area. There is also Phipps Park that you climb up to a mesa that gives cool views.

Deb

Edited: 10 August 2012, 17:10
Bemidji, Minnesota
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for Yellowstone National Park
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4. Re: Photo ops

Don't forget to look to the east for photo ops. Pompei;s Pillar alongside the Yellowstone river is scenic and historic and only about 30 mile from Billings.

Durango, Colorado
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5. Re: Photo ops

Thanks for the great advice and suggestions. This is why I love these forums - there are plenty of experts ready, willing, and able to offer help.

6. Re: Photo ops

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