Lisa's Profile

My Reviews
  • Bison Quest bison and wildlife adventure vacationsBison Quest bison and wildlife adventure vacations
    Experience a unique wildlife experience
    Jul 17, 2011 05:16 pm
    We’ve visited Bison Quest multiple times now – in the summer (June and July) and the fall (in October); each visit has been different, but definitely one that we’ve enjoyed. This is truly a special place and a unique vacation. We’ve always chosen the private vacation option so as to have the place entirely to ourselves. The peace and quiet of being on the ranch - watching birds at the feeders from the cabin porch, reading in a swing, looking at the bison herd while they wander past the camp (you’re fenced in while the bison wander freely!), and hiking through fields of wild flowers – really enables us to just relax and disconnect from the hectic pace of the business world. A big plus for us is that Bison Quest has no cell phone or Internet access at the camp; we love “getting away from it all”.

    Bison Quest is hard to describe to someone who hasn’t been there; the best description I have for it is “an American Safari”. Every time we’ve visited we’ve had amazing wildlife experiences. Watching the bison herd at the ranch is fascinating (especially when the babies are young) and feeding them is a truly unique experience (you’re in a truck while they wander around you and gather to collect their oats). Wooly Bully (the big bull on the ranch) is simply impressive. You can also go on wildlife drives at night – you’ll see everything from elk to deer to bear to lots of different birds. You can also do hikes both on and off the ranch. In the summer, the many different wildflowers that cover the hillsides are beautiful. The hosts, Pam and Craig, are very knowledgeable wildlife biologists who readily share their knowledge of the outdoors with you and are always willing to answer your questions. For a special treat, you can also hire them to take you through Yellowstone National Park. We’ve done that a couple of times and it was well worth it. We saw brown bear, grizzly bear, moose, elk, more bison and osprey (a male bird bringing food to the nest and the female feeding and shading her three babies) while in the park. They also were a wealth of information about the various water features (geysers, pools, hot springs and waterfalls). Note, if you want to see more than just Old Faithful it’s best to stay two nights near the geysers so you can wander from geyser to geyser during the day (each one is quite different when it goes off and they don’t go off on a regular schedule).

    There are other activities on (and off) the ranch you can partake of as well – fly fishing (we’ve done both drift-boating on the Missouri and wading in streams), horseback riding, stargazing (the sky in Montana is ideal for it) and massages (either in your cabin or in a teepee). We’ve enjoyed them all.

    For accommodations, there are two charming cabins which are nicely decorated and equipped with extremely comfortable beds. (Note, the bathrooms are a bit small but entirely functional). In the fall – even with snow on the ground - the cabins are very cozy - kept warm and toasty with a gas fireplace. The cabin porches are a great place to read, watch birds at the feeders or the bison wandering by. The food is very tasty, home-cooked American cuisine with an emphasis on organic and local products. Highlights were the naturally farm raised bison, eggs that were freshly laid by the chickens on the ranch (and taste entirely different from those you buy in a store), homemade yogurt and bread (the latter made from freshly ground wheat), freshly made pasta, salads made with lettuce freshly harvested from the garden, and delicious cinnamon sticky buns made in a Dutch oven that’s over 200 years old (these truly are “to die for”); personal pizzas cooked on the barbecue were also quite a treat, and cooking smores over an open fire at night brought back fun childhood memories. (You can even have lattes in the morning!). There is tent for meals that is quite comfortable and there is also a picnic table if you want to eat outside.

    The Reserve is eco-friendly and off the main power grid; power on the Reserve comes from solar and wind generated energy. (If you have an interest in alternative energy, Craig and Pam are also a wealth of information on that topic as well). There aren't any power outlets in the cabins, but the cabins have plenty of lights that are solar powered and power chargers are provided so you can recharge your computer devices. (I ditch the hair dryer when I’m there, but if that’s a must have more you, talk with the hosts to understand what options are available).

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