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Announcing: The Roadtreking Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari

| Updated Mar 6, 2015

NOTE: This event has sold out. We do have a wait list and anticipate that a handful of spaces will open uo over the next few weeks. So if you are interested, put your name on the wait list.

Do you love photography?

Do you love the American West and its majestic mountains?

How about wildlife? Yellowstone National Park?


And the free and easy Roadtreking Lifestyle?

How'd you like to hike or ride your bike down this road?



Put all of the above together and we have THE event of your RVing year: The first ever Roadtreking Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari, a four day event this June that combines fun, education, activities and socializing in one of the most photogenic spots in North America.

Eventbrite - Roadtreking's Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari

Here's what you need to know:

The dates:

June 8-11, 2015. Check-in is Monday June 8 at 4PM. Checkout is noon Thursday, June 11. You can most likely extend your stay with the Forest Service if you'd like after our gathering concludes.

NOTE: This event has sold out. We do have a wait list and anticipate that a handful of spaces will open uo over the next few weeks. So if you are interested, put your name on the wait list.

The location:

We will be camping in the U.S. Forest Service's Parkside Campgrounds, in the Custer National Forest just off the Beartooth Mountains Scenic Highway in Montana, not far from Yellowstone National Park.

The area is a popular location for fishing, hiking and scenic driving. Greenough Lake less than a mile away. Glacier Lake, Hellroaring and Lake Fork Trailheads are nearby. The campground sits in the shadow of the Beartooth Range on the banks of Rock Creek. A forest of aspen and pine covers the area. A variety of wildlife, including grizzly bear, deer and elk, make their home in the surrounding area.

We'll be about 12 miles from the town of Red Lodge, Montana, camping at about 8,000 feet. The average daytime highs at this time of year are 70 degrees F. Temps at night are typically in the upper 30's, low 40's. This is boondocking only. No hookups, no running water.  The campground has a hand pump for a water source and pit toilets. 

The USFS has a generator limitation for the campground we will be using. No generators should be used from 10 PM to 7 AM.


The activities:

Eventbrite - Roadtreking's Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari

Outdoor activities abound, many themed to different types of photography. We'll have sessions led by expert and professional photographers for beginners to advanced, with photo hikes and exploration. We'll head out in the trails by foot, bicycle and minivan, into the brush and to the lakeshores for wildlife photography, landscape photography, astrophotography and videography.  We will have transportation available to take us to choice outdoor locations, as needed. And we'll make sure that each participant goes away with a stunning photo of their RV against the backdrop of the beautiful Beartooth Mountains.


Eventbrite - Roadtreking's Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari

The Instructors:

melOur special guest instructor is renowned wildlife and landscape photographer Merv Coleman, who lives in Red Lodge was twice honored as Photographer of the Year by the Montana Professional Photographers Association. He has been published in Better Homes and Gardens, Western Horseman, Geo, Spur, Montana Magazine, Snow Country, Powder, Big Sky Journal, and many Yellowstone Country and Montana travel publications. His photographs are proudly displayed in businesses and homes throughout the country.

Merv will join us Tuesday afternoon, June 9, and after sharing tips and gear for wildlife and scenic shots, will lead us out of camp to areas where – if we don't get shots of the moose, bear, deer, elk and the mountain goats that frequent the Beartooth Mountain area – we'll certainly have some great scenic shots.

Merv knows the Beartooth Mountains well and if you want to get excited about what the areas looks like, check out his portfolio page of Beartooth photos.

Other Instructors

lauraLaura Robinson will teach composition and beginning photography;

joeJoe Morales will teach how to use natural light;

mikewendlandMike Wendland will teach video and photo technology;

jeffJeff Martyka will teach us landscape photography and how to photography the Milky Way at night;

yanYan Seiner will lead us on hikes and teach outdoor skills;

campskunkCampskunk will teach us how to boondock and camp off-the-grid;  

jimhammillRoadtrek President Jim Hammill will show us how to get the most out of our Roadtreks. Yes, Jim will be there, too!

Eventbrite - Roadtreking's Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari

The schedule:

In keeping with the no-rules and easy-do-it Roadtreking style, we will have loosely organized photo, boondocking and hikes daily. Pick whatever you want to do. At night, around a campfire, we'll show the photos we took during the day. We'll have nightime photo shoots, too, taking advantage of an area free of light pollution with amazing views of the starry skies. Bring in your own food or drive to Red Lodge (24 miles round trip).


Meals and Services:

Roadtrek will throw us a pizza party at the campsite Tuesday night. The rest of the meals are on your own, though we'll probably all share and have communal meal times. You know how it is with Roadtrekers. Remember, we are in bear country, so everything must be put away and stored inside. Roadtrek will have a factory repair person to help with any minor mechanical issues.


The Catch:

We have limited space. We have room for 40 Roadtreks. That's all. This gathering will fill up. It's first come, first served. We will keep a waiting list. So if there are no tickets available when you register, be sure to sign up for the waiting list as we anticipate spots will open up.

Eventbrite - Roadtreking's Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari

The Cost:

$180 per coach, no matter how many people. This includes all camping fees, and the above services. Thanks to Roadtrek Motorhomes for sponsoring and subsidizing this gathering.

The Cautions:

You should be in reasonably good shape and able to acclimate to the 8,000 foot altitude. Photography can be physically demanding. We'll walk to some of the most scenic areas and carry our own gear in with us. We will have vans that we can use to get to some distant trailheads for those interested in deep backcountry hiking.

Warning: Bring plenty of water to drink. High altitude activities can quickly lead to dehydration.

The vans can pick us up at the end of through-hikes, and they will be available to take us to specific viewpoints as well. The available hikes will range from flat, 1/2 mile through-hikes on developed trails to six mile rugged loops with significant elevation changes. Please plan accordingly and choose the activities suited to your fitness levels.

If you want to just hang round camp you can do that, too, of course, or drive to Yellowstone (55 miles away but a couple of hours around over the mountains). But this will be an active group and if you have been in poor health and have trouble moving around, this particular gathering may not be for you.

Eventbrite - Roadtreking's Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari

Clothing and Gear:

Conditions in the mountains can change very fast. Bring clothes for 70 degree daytime highs but be prepared to run the heater at night. It would be wise to pack everything from winter coats, hats and gloves, to lightweight early summer jackets and jeans. Bring unscented sunblock, soaps, lotions and so on (bears have a great sense of smell). Leave the cosmetics at home.

If the weather is as we hope, hiking shorts should be good daytime wear. Bring good hiking boots, rain gear and whatever camera equipment you have. For the best shots, tripods are a necessity. Binoculars are good to have. If you have a spotting scope, bring it as mountain goats can often be seen on distant slopes.

Some of us will also bring bicycles. Mountain bikes would be best on the gravel and somewhat sandy roads and two tracks.

Again, pack plenty of water.

Eventbrite - Roadtreking's Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari

Mike Wendland

Published on 2015-03-06

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

12 Responses to “Announcing: The Roadtreking Montana Mountains Boondocking Photo Safari”

March 08, 2015at12:24 pm, Russ said:

Waited listed already?????

March 07, 2015at9:17 am, Mindy Rivera said:

I have a Class C 24′. Is that too big?

March 07, 2015at8:51 am, Mike Wendland said:

Any kind of camera is fine… or none. And even if you want to tent camp, that’s okay. It’s all about boondocking.

March 07, 2015at8:49 am, Mike Wendland said:

No problem with generators… just not from 10PM to 7AM, per NFS rules

March 07, 2015at7:02 am, Steven said:

Are Sportsmobiles welcome or just Roadtreks?

March 06, 2015at11:36 pm, Lynne said:

We’d love to join you, so hoping it’ll be so successful you’ll have it again next year. My health isn’t that great this year, so will have to pass, damn! 😉

March 06, 2015at8:20 pm, Gary Fichman said:

Living in Wyoming this is a weekend trip. Spectacular views-last year the mosquitoes were not a problem, alsono crowds until Yellowstone

March 06, 2015at4:01 pm, sue said:

I also have a truck camper are they acceptable to what you want to do

March 06, 2015at3:53 pm, Mike Wendland said:

The USFS has a generator limitation for the campground. No generators should be used from 7 PM to 7 AM. Generator use should be limited to no more than 10 minutes and as briefly as possible during daylight operations to preserve the serenity of the surroundings. Those using generators will be placed in one part of the campground.

March 06, 2015at2:52 pm, Jim Phipps said:

We love boondocking but are a little noisy at it. We usually use our generator in the AM for coffee and maybe throughout the week to recharge batteries. Are generators okay?

March 06, 2015at2:19 pm, klc said:

A couple of questions: I have a truck camper, not a roadtrek – is that ok?
I don’t have a dslr camera, but do have a Panasonic Lumix – can I still learn with that one?

March 05, 2015at9:15 pm, Walt Huemmer said:

Looks like your going to have a great time! Love the area and look forward to seeing some great pictures.

Comments are closed.

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