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The Real America region contains literally thousands of square kilometers of rugged and spectacular terrain. From mountains and forests to rivers, plains, and desert, the landscape offers visitors the opportunity to interact with nature at it’s most pristine. Although much of the land is public and easily accessible, it is also very big and very wild. The best, safest, and most rewarding way to experience the country is to engage the services of a licensed outfitter or guide...someone who not only knows the wilderness intimately but is in business to provide an excellent holiday. We recommend using an outfitter or guide at one or several points along your routing, or to consider a multi-day or two week fully outfitted adventure in the Real America.
Your travel professional may already have arrangements with specific outfitters and guides and may be able to make recommendations based on experience. If not, or your travel professional needs additional contacts and options, we advise using the firms listed in the Directory section of this publication or use the list below (all telephone and fax numbers require USA international prefix):
(a national association)
P.O. Box 10847
Knoxville, TN 37939
|Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association
P.O. Box 95
Boise, ID 83701
Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association
P.O. Box 2284
Cody, WY 82414
|Montana Outfitters & Guides Association
203 11th Ave # 8
Helena, MT 59601
South Dakota Pro Guides & Outfitters
P.O. Box 703
Pierre, SD 57501
Types of adventures vary throughout the Rocky Mountains, but include big game and bird hunting, fishing, horse pack trips, hiking, backpacking, trekking, mountaineering, mountain biking, boating, rafting (whether jet, scenic or whitewater), kayaking, skiing, and snowmobiling among others.
All of the following information is courtesy of the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association (IOGA) and/or America Outdoors (see contact information at the bottom of this page).
Planning Your Trip
Before contacting your tour operator or travel agent, it’s important to ask yourself and your family or traveling companion(s) the following:
- What are your reasons for doing this?
- Do you want to relax, play, spend time with your family, take risks, test your limits, be challenged?
- How long do you want to be away?
- How much can you spend on the adventure?
- When and where do you want to go?
- What kind of scenery and accommodations are you looking for?
- How flexible can you be in regard to time and cost?
- How much do you want to do yourselves, and how much do you want a guide or outfitter to do for you?
Selecting An Outfitter
Once the above questions are answered, your choice is narrowed. With your travel professional you can select the right outfitter or guide for the adventure. Questions that should be asked of the outfitter or guide are:
- How experienced is your staff?
- Is the trip all-inclusive?
- Can the outfitter provide for your special dietary needs?
- Can they tell you about other guests on your trip?
- Are there children?
- Are there any age or other restrictions?
What’s Included and What’s Not
Good outfitters provide detailed lists of what is included and what you are expected to bring with you. Make sure you obtain the information before departure.
Popular trips can sometimes be filled months in advance so it’s wise to make your reservations early. Pay special attention to the pre-payment, deposit, and cancellation requirements of both your travel professional and the outfitter you’ve selected.
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