Red Lodge sits at 5,568 feet and has just over 2,000 people, though I don't know if those are year round residents...the winters are cold! But even winter is popular here, there is a ski resort just a few miles from town. We were amazed at the number of streams and creeks in this area and many lakes can be found in the Beartooth Mountains, so fishing is popular as well.
The town has a number of charming shops, not overly touristy, and plenty of places to eat and drink. The Friday afternoon farmers market was small but well vended and attended, many of the produce vendors also sell at the excellent Billings farmers market on Saturdays.
They even have a brewery, Red Lodge Ales, whose tasty beers are sold all over Montana and Wyoming. The brewery offers tours and food and a pleasant location for a pint or two.
We were fortunate to meet several other couples at our RV park and one evening a few of us went into town to see the Red Elvises. This lively band tours the country constantly...if they come to your town, SEE THEM! They are a ton of fun!
Red Lodge is a really wonderful little town in a terrific location, we'd stay here again in a heart beat!
|Downtown Red Lodge
|Deer and turkey are often seen in yards around town.
In fact, turkey hunting season can bring hundreds into town for safety!
|Red Lodge Ales has a terrific venue on the North end of town.
Hans plays cornhole while sipping a delicious Helio Hefeweizen.
I really enjoyed the Jack's 90 Scottish Ale.
|The Red Elvises...SO MUCH FUN!
While we rarely saw large animals out on the trail, we did see LOTS of animals in town. Mostly turkey and deer...but the highlight was seeing this huge black bear! He must have weighed four hundred pounds.
We'd heard he was seen around town regularly so we would drive around hoping to see him, when finally one day Hans spotted him on the east hillside, not 100 yards from homes. As we watched he ambled around the hillside and then went in his den...scarily close to homes and only a couple of blocks from downtown.
|Those are power lines cutting across the photo, he is very close to homes.
|This is a BIG bear!
|It was amazing how fast he could cross a hillside.
|Love the tongue sticking out!
We were shocked when he went into a hole in those rocks just out of sight!
|That black hole in the rocks is the bears den!
We were sitting in our truck probably 50 yards away.
There are many forest service campgrounds near Red Lodge and even some dispersed camping sites as well. But we like our hookups so we stayed at Perry's RV Park and Campground, just a couple of miles south of town.
Perry's has 50 RV sites with water and electric, some are right off the highway and some are down near Rock Creek. There are also numerous tent sites. Upon arrival we learned that it is okay to dump your grey water in the bushes/trees and they also let us borrow their Gator and dump tote to dump our black tank mid-stay, sweet!
We were in pull through site 34 down on the creek level. Though our neighbors were pretty close we were still situated for maximum privacy and it was very quiet at night. Some sites back up to Rock Creek, though none of those were available for our entire stay. Weekends were quite busy at this park and we learned that many folks were repeat visitors...this is a friendly, well located place to stay.
The park does not offer internet but we had good Verizon signal. Restrooms and showers are available and the owners are building a new restroom and laundry facility that will be ready to go next summer. In the meantime, the laundromat in town is excellent.
One important thing to be aware of: there is a black bear that lives somewhere near the RV park and is a regular visitor in the park! We're told it is a two year old, and it looks to be about two hundred pounds. We'd heard stories of him coming through camp (even rocking a car that someone was sleeping in!) and I finally saw him one morning while out walking Rosie.
|Rosie hanging out by Rock Creek.
|Hans using the Gator and dump tote.
|Ruffed grouse came through the RV park several times...they were not afraid of people at all!
|The local bear about 40 feet away from me!
|We shared several evenings with Rick and Trudy, our next door neighbors.
Today we're off to Cody, WY where we'll stay through the holiday weekend.