Wild Latitudes


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Birds and Wildlife of Big Sky Country

Interested in this tour?

Montana is a beautiful, wild place with a wide range of natural wonders. As one of the least-populated states in the country, Montana has plenty of open space to harbor wildlife. Join us on this exciting tour of ‘Big Sky Country,’ to explore its charming birds and amazing mammalian fauna. The variety of habitats on this tour-- from open plains and wetlands to temperate forest and barren mountain slopes-- will provide us many opportunities to see a diverse group of birds, other animals, plants, and geological marvels.

As with all Wild Latitudes tours, we will take a light-hearted approach to our birding and nature exploration. We want everyone to have lots of fun, to learn new things, and to see wonderful animals, plants, and landscapes. We’ll keep a moderate pace while also maximizing our time in Montana.

Tour Highlights

 Looking for special grassland birds, such as Upland Sandpiper and Chestnut-collared Longspur, on Montana's Glaciated Plains.

 Visiting Glacier National Park, where we hope to see Grizzly Bears and Mountain Goats, as well as boreal bird species.

 Scanning the skies for raptors and seeing Prairie Dogs at Buffalo Jump State Park.

 Taking the ski lift to the top of Big Mountain, high above the Flathead Valley.

 Getting up-close looks at Bison, Elk, Pronghorn, and other wildlife on the National Bison Range.


Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1

Arrive in Great Falls, Montana. Birding locally at Giant Springs State Park.

Day 2

Birding the Glaciated Plains outside of Great Falls, at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Buffalo Jump State Park.

Day 3

Today we'll venture into Glacier National Park, to find special birds like Gray-crowned Rosy Finch as well as wildlife. We'll learn about the geology of the amazing Rocky Mountains.

Day 4

We travel over the Rockies today, westward to the charming town of Whitefish. Along the way, we'll stop for birding at several sites.

Day 5

This morning, we'll ride the gondola to the top of Big Mountain and then hit several birding hotspots around the upper Flathead Valley.

Day 6

On our last morning, we head south through the Flathead Valley and enjoy an 'American Safari' as we drive through the National Bison Range, looking for exciting birds in addition to Pronghorn, Elk, Bighorn Sheep, and Bison. We'll say out goodbyes at the airport in Missoula.


Although we don't have a scheduled tour to this destination at the moment, we may be able to offer you a custom tour.

Contact us if you're interested!



DURATION: 6 days

GROUP SIZE: Up to 10

TRIP FOCUS: Birding and Wildlife


  • Double-occupancy lodging
  • Ground transportation
  • Breakfasts and lunches
  • Excursions and park fees
  • Guiding services


Ivan Phillipsen, Co-owner of Wild Latitudes, is a passionate naturalist with a background in scientific research. He holds an M.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in zoology. Natural history is Ivan’s true passion and what he is most excited to teach to others. Although he is fascinated by just about every aspect of nature, Ivan is particularly fond of birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, plants, and geology. Everything is interconnected in nature and Ivan takes a holistic approach when teaching about the natural world.

If you love nature travel, you’re in good hands with us

How We Travel

We gauge the success of a tour on how well it was enjoyed by all. Providing a rich, rewarding experience for each individual is our top priority. Our tours generally have an easy pace so that everyone gets to experience all a region has to offer.

We create a friendly, non-competitive atmosphere that encourages tour participants to help each other in the field. Just as safety and comfort are cornerstones of our tours, so are humor and the simple joy of learning. The good cheer and camaraderie on our tours often inspire post-trip get-togethers and new, life-long friendships.

Our Focus

We’re crazy about birds, but they are only part of the story.

Our tours offer a holistic experience by taking the time to appreciate all of the animals we encounter– including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. They all interact and play vital roles in their ecosystems. We also take time on our tours to explore the plants and geology of the regions we visit.

Fostering a deeper understanding of new cultures is one of our goals. On your tour, you’ll taste exotic cuisine and hear local music. You’ll have time to peruse the market, stroll through villages, and share stories with the people you meet.

Protecting the Wild

Ecotourism is a powerful tool for protecting the wild regions of the world. For example, parts of Uganda are now devoted to the conservation of the Mountain Gorilla. Though still endangered, ecotourism has pulled this species back from the precipice of extinction.

We aim to make a positive conservation impact wherever we travel. We often use local guides and stay in small, locally-owned lodges. On every trip, we donate to a local conservation organization that works to protect a native species or ecosystem. When you travel with Wild Latitudes you are helping to protect wild places and the amazing species that call them home.

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