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Prairie Travel Trips: Advice From Our Staff

Yahoo Travel recently shared “The 30 Worst Decisions You Can Make at a Campground,” and from first aid kits to fire bans, there’s a lot to consider when planning an outdoor getaway. Because American Prairie is a rugged and remote destination, we gathered some of the best tips and safety reminders from our staff so that you’re prepared for a fun, safe and memorable trip:

Betty: “Give yourself at least a minimum of a half hour longer for travel than you think it will take so you can change a flat, take a photo, pick some flowers, and admire some birds or other wildlife. Stop and get out of the vehicle so you can listen to and feel the outside world. Always have a good spare tire and necessary equipment to change a flat.”

Julia: “It’ll be hot – but bring long sleeves in case of mosquitos! Even a short cloud burst can make roads impassable – doesn’t have to have rained for days. Get out of your car. It’s a landscape of subtlety that you will miss if you spend it all in your car. Make sure you look at the rocks and marvel at their transportation by glaciers to that spot. Some of them came from hundreds of miles away.”


Whitni: “When driving by ranches slow down to 25-30mph. If a gate is open, leave it open; if it’s closed, close it after you pass through. Stay to the right while driving over blind hills. If there’s gumbo, re-think your plans. Driving on gumbo roads is dangerous and it tears up the roads for us and our neighbors.”

Lars: “Bring extra water (and a bowl for the dog) and fuel because you never know. Err on the side of caution when it comes to mud holes. If you have to think about it, you probably shouldn’t try it! Take time to be still and listen. Birds, insects, prairie dogs, and bison make all kinds of noises that enrich the soundscape of the prairie.”

Ellen: “Bring extra clothes. The weather can change quickly out here and it’s better to have too many layers and options than not enough. And don’t forget sunscreen, bug spray, and chapstick (all must haves in my book, especially the chapstick)!”

Kyran: “Get out and explore in the early morning when wildlife are the most active.”

Gavin: “Open the windows at night. Hearing the prairie at night is great way to connect with the land.”

Stacie: “Whether driving, walking, or biking, pick a spot, any spot, and just sit a while. Stop moving and let the prairie move you- the sounds, the smells, the sights. Take it all in.”