Originally from Colorado, Kelly moved to Montana in 2004 looking for more mountains and more adventures. Upon her arrival, she found both! Kelly is a well-rounded individual with two big passions – connecting with her fellow human beings and spending time outdoors. She brings nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector ranging from advocacy for domestic violence victims to guiding educational trips in and around Glacier National Park.
This past September, we happily welcomed Kelly as our new manager of Travel Montana. Kelly has already hit the ground running and has proven to be a valuable asset to our Zephyr United Travel Collection team. She will be heading up tour operations for all our Montana trips, training our local guides, and even guiding a few of our upcoming vacations.
We asked Kelly a few questions to help you get to know her a little better:
What’s your favorite hiking trail in Montana? Wow, that is a hard question! Only one?! The Beaten Path in the Beartooth Mountains is a 30-mile trail that I enjoy doing as a 4-5 day backpacking trip. It starts near Cooke City (the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park) and ends near Red Lodge. The trail climbs mountain passes, meanders among high alpine lakes on the plateaus, and alongside mountain streams with wildflowers on full display. And the stars at night are mesmerizing.
For a day hike, Mystic Lake is a favorite. The trail transitions through stands of Aspen and Lodgepole Pines to rock slopes and reaches a craggy overlook where you view Mystic Lake below. From this perch, you can also see Granite Peak, Montana’s tallest mountain.
What hobbies do you have? Road trips (any kind of traveling really), skiing, hiking, camping, bowling, reading, photography, and studying maps.
What is your favorite trip souvenir? A beautiful wooden box hand-carved by artisans in a Guatemalan village near Tikal that I got on my honeymoon. It sits on our fireplace mantel next to our wedding photo and holds incense and matches.
What do you love most about Montana? The mountains (range after range as you travel the state) and the small towns. People here wave when you drive past each other, smile and say hi, and there is a real sense of community.
Welcome, Kelly! We are happy to have you on the team. You’ll have a chance to meet Kelly in person on a variety of our tours this upcoming year.