VISIT BIG SKY

On Sept. 27, World Tourism Day was celebrated by countries all over the globe, and locally here at Visit Big Sky. The purpose of this global day of celebration is to highlight the economic impact of tourism.

This year’s theme was “Tourism and the Digital Transformation”—how the use of digital media can support the sustainability of destination management and tourism. We celebrated the recreational beauty of Big Sky with a hike up Dudley Creek and used our digital resources to share it with the world.

This stunning terrain is home to bears, bighorn sheep, deer, elk and groves of Aspen that had begun their autumnal transformation. The first few miles of the trek are shaded by lodgepole pines and carpeted with colorful shrubbery. This is where we found our first evidence of bears in the form of claw marks on a large pine—a wonderful image to share with the international community to inform visitors what to look for while adventuring in this wilderness.

There were three water crossings which took some rock-hopping to get to the other side, but after about 3 miles, the trail opened up into a marvelous alpine meadow, hemmed in by a wide scree field and Aspen groves. The foliage of gold and red leaves were spectacular, as was the burgundy holly-like Kinnikinnik groundcover.

The hike continued for another mile with intermittent steep climbs and level trail with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. The last mile to Dudley Lake, the reward at the end of the trail, was the steepest ascent. Visitors that stop by the information center are often afraid to go into the wilderness without a guide. We hoped that sharing our hiking experience on digital platforms will make for safer and more conscientious outdoor adventurers here in Big Sky.

Read more about Big Sky and southwest Montana at visitbigsky.com.