Bozeman to Woodbine Falls
Everything in Montana exists on a supersize scale: the massive mountains, the wide-open valleys, the long, lonesome roads. The state’s waterfalls are no exception. At some 280 feet high, Woodbine Falls is one of the tallest of all. Fuel up for the 149-mile journey at International Coffee Traders. The friendly, sunlit shop just off the Montana State University campus takes its coffee seriously. Beans are sourced according to season and roasted on-site; syrups, such as lavender and turmeric-ginger, are made in-house. Pair your drink of choice with a blueberry goat cheese panini, made with the shop’s own goat cheese–cream cheese blend and house-made jam, the whole thing pressed into oozy, gooey deliciousness. After breakfast, jump on the 90 East and head for the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. The scenes along the 1.4-mile Woodbine Falls Trail—lower elevation forests, with knobby granite peaks rising in the distance—call to mind the landscapes of Yosemite and Kings Canyon. (Like those parks, this area is well-loved, so help preserve the native vegetation by avoiding the temptation to cut corners on switchbacks.) Framed by high canyon walls with pine-covered mountains behind it, Woodbine Falls recalls another famous scene: the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
Speaking of Yellowstone, stop in Livingston, one of the park’s gateway towns, on your return. The charming town has been around since the park’s early days, as has local institution Sax & Fryer. Opened in 1883, the bookstore and stationery store has inhabited its current space since 1914, and hasn’t changed much in the past century. Black-and-white photos from the 1940s, developed in the shop’s lab, hang on the walls, and a handful of paperbacks and candy bars still line the shelves. Make a purchase that’s less than $10, and the cashier might even ring you out on the ancient manual register. Neptune’s Taphouse & Eatery, two blocks down, is a newer kid on the block. Born out of Livingston’s popular brewery, Neptune’s, the restaurant marries fresh-brewed beers with…sushi! The menu rounds up the usual suspects (veggie, salmon, and spicy tuna rolls), but also includes more adventuresome rolls, like the Birty Dird, featuring spicy tuna, avocado, jalapeño, and scallops. The fresh-brewed beers, meanwhile, harness regional ingredients such as Park County honey (Siren Song Honey Rye) and Yellowstone Coffee Roaster Coffee (Knotty Lotty Latte Stout).