Seasoned travel writers Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae share the best ways to experience all that Montana has to offer, from the wilderness of Yellowstone to the rolling prairies of the state’s eastern region. Jewell and McRae lead travelers to the highlights of the Big Sky Country with trip ideas such as A Lewis and Clark Expedition and Fishing Southwest Montana. Complete with tips for cross-country skiing at Glacier National Park, observing elk at Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, and finding the best watering holes in Missoula, Moon Montana gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.
What’s inside Moon Montana
Enjoy the very best of Montana with these itineraries:
- Montana’s Best Road Trip
- Bring the Binoculars: Wildlife Viewing
- A Lewis and Clark Expedition
- Soak It Up: Hot Springs of Montana
- Tips for Visiting Glacier National Park
- Historic Hotels
Explore what Montana has to offer.
Recommendations for the top sights, recreation, entertainment, hotels, and food in:
- Missoula and Northwestern Montana including The Lower Clark Fork, The Bitterroot Valley, Flathead Reservation and Mission Valley, Flathead Lake, The Swan and Blackfoot Valleys, North of Flathead Lake, and The Northwestern Corner
- Glacier National Park including West Glacier and the Flathead River Middle Fork, North Fork of the Flathead River, Lake McDonald Valley, Logan Pass to St. Mary, East Glacier and Vicinity, Many Glacier, and Waterton Lakes National Park
- Butte, Helena, and Southwestern Montana including The Upper Clark Fork River Valley, Pinter Scenic Route, The Big Hole River Country, The Southwestern Corner, Dillon, Alder Gulch and the Ruby River Valley, The Jefferson River Valley, and I-15: Butte to Helena
- The Missouri Headwaters and South-Central Montana including Bozeman and Vicinity, Three Forks and the Madison River Valley, Big Sky and the Gallatin Valley, Livingston and the Paradise Valley, Big Timber to Laurel, Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, and Yellowstone National Park
- Billings and Southeastern Montana including East Toward Miles City, The Lower Yellowstone, The Southeastern Corner, Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations, Bighorn Canyon and the Pryor Mountains
- The Judith Basin and Central Montana including Lewistown, East of Lewistown, The Judith Basin, White Sulphur Springs and the Blet Mountains, Highway 12 and the Mussellshell Valley
- The Big Open and Northeastern Montana including The Little Rocky Mountains, he milk River Valley, Glasgow and Fort Peck, Fort Peck Indian Reservation and Vicinity, The Northeast Corner, Fort Union and Vicinity, Highway 200: Fairview to Circle, and The Big Open
- The Hi-Line and North-Central Montana including Great Falls and Vicinity, Fort Benton and Big Sag Country, The Hi-Line, Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and Rocky Mountain Front
Judy Jewell was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where crossing a busy street was a typical outdoor adventure. She headed west right after she broke her right leg falling from a tree house at a camp where she worked. A small cash settlement prompted Judy to buy a cross-country Amtrak pass, pack up her stuff, and move to Portland, Oregon.
Not long after that, in 1978, Judy made her first visit to Montana. By accident. On a freight train. It now occurs to her that she must’ve been a little wild back then. And it occurs to her friends that she’s still somebody who goes out of her way to . . . well, go out of her way.
Back on track in Portland, Judy graduated from Reed College and worked as a Forest Service grunt, pizza maker, and women’s health-collective staff member. Then she found herself at Portland’s renowned Powell’s Books. Judy worked there, as a book buyer and manager, for 14 years. It was during this long stint that Judy and co-worker Bill McRae realized some of the books they were selling would look a lot better with their names on them.
In addition to Moon Montana, Judy is the author of several guidebooks, including Moon Utah, Moon Zion & Bryce, Moon Oregon, and Moon Coastal Oregon (all with Bill McRae). When she is not writing about the outdoors and travel, she works as a technical and scientific editor and a yoga teacher in Portland, Oregon.
Bill McRae was raised in the badlands of eastern Montana, in a ranching community noted for Old West nonconformity and lawlessness. It’s no wonder that he was on the run for most of his university years: from Montana to Scotland, on to France, back to Canada, and then to England. This wayward youth didn’t help him much in the job market; over the years he has worked in jobs as varied as bookstore manager, catering chef, tile setter, remodeler, bartender, and bovine artificial inseminator. Nearly all these jobs subsidized him at one time or another while he struggled to establish himself as a writer.
Bill’s first travel guide was Moon Montana, and of all his books it remains his favorite. He grew up in an immigrant family steeped in the history of Montana—one grandfather of Prussian Jewish extraction helped push the railroad across central Montana, while another emigrated from Scotland to start a sheep ranch in the Big Dry Country. The matriarchy had its own stories of emigration, homesteading, and the Great Depression. This confluence of traditions meant a youth spent listening to family tales. Bill grew up in a household rich with sagas: the early railroad, friendships with Charlie Russell, open-range cowboys, sheepherders, outlaws, and cattle drives. For this son of the West, capturing the essence of Montana’s rugged yet courtly spirit was both a challenge and a therapy.
Bill is the co-author of several travel guides, including Moon Utah, Moon Zion & Bryce, Moon Oregon, and Moon Coastal Oregon (all with Judy Jewell). He has written for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and Mobil Guides, and has provided content for 1000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die. He has also edited books for National Geographic and provided content for websites like GORP and Expedia.
Bill makes his home in Portland, Oregon.