A Hostel? In Montana? What's that?
Europe. South America. Asia. Australia.
Youth, Back Packers, Adventure seekers. OK.
But what is a hostel to the everyday me? And how and why in Anaconda, Montana?
Essentially, hostels provide an affordable place to stay that focuses on providing meaningful social and community experiences. Let’s break it down.
Typically, hostels are low-cost, short-term accommodation where guests can rent a bed. In 1909 a teacher in Germany initiated the hostel concept traveling with his own group of students, precipitating a wave of low-cost accommodations for young travelers.
The concept expanded to backpackers, budget-conscious travelers, young adventurers who sought to see the world. In hostels, sleeping rooms are dormitory style, where someone you know or someone you don’t know may have rented the bed next to you or the bunk above you. In some places, these rooms can be large with many beds. In others, bed numbers are limited and the rental of the whole room to oneself is possible. The degree of luxury in a given hostel can be as varied as the temperature across the four seasons. But fundamentally, the economy of the hostel sleeping arrangement combined with the opportunity to focus on one’s travel experience appeals to the conservative spender.
A Hostel’s trademark is its social and community environment. Hostels feature shared common areas - lounges, kitchens, patios, decks – where guests gather and share experiences, tell stories, play games, make music, show off their culinary prowess, explore cultures, make friends. They pursue shared or new interests – yoga, wine, painting, hiking, music. On any given night guests may hail from numerous countries, experiences and talents – all open to learning from and embracing others’ experience and culture, drawn together here on this one specific day in this one specific place. The Argentine hang-glider meets the Continental Divide Trail Canadian through-hiker; the Vermont-born workaway [https://www.workaway.info] meets the traveling cell tower staff from North Dakota.
The WYSE (World Youth & Student) Travel Confederation even offers an international award for the “Best Social Space in a Hostel” for hostels that facilitate enriching and educational youth experience: https://www.wysetc.org/about-us/awards/
Often, the community at large is part of this experience. Sometimes the community brings its own event or celebration, embracing guests in its own activities.
While hostels are historically perceived as European/Asian commodity, they are emerging in impressive numbers and with extraordinary creativity in the United States. From New York to Los Angeles, Miami to Chicago, Hostels provide notable accommodation and memorable experience.
There are a handful of Hostels and upcoming hostels in Montana. Most are situated within an accessible distance to Glacier National Park. Others are available in Missoula and Bozeman, and another is envisioned for southwest Montana. TripAdvisor shares most of them here:
Pintler’s Portal Hostel is Montana’s newest Hostel; it opened in Anaconda in August 2021.
Anaconda is the ideal hostel location. Emerging as another of Montana’s recreational meccas, Anaconda features miles of hiking, biking, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing within minutes of downtown. Discovery Ski Area, Old Works Golf Course, Montana Zipline Adventures, Georgetown Lake, the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Area, the Continental Divide Trail, and Anaconda’s annual events – marathons and softball tournaments, golf tournaments and art festivals, Yoga Conferences and Billy Poole Foundation events – bring crowds from around the state, the country and the world. Some are willing and able to spend lots of resources on their accommodation; others want to spend less on the accommodation and invest their time and energies in the experience.
At Pintler’s Portal Hostel, guests find everything new as of August 2021.
38 twin bunks in double or triple bunk formats in 11 rooms (no more than 4 people per room or rent an entire room for yourself or even the whole facility)
Multipurpose room – your choice: Paint? Cribbage? First Aid Class?
65” flat screen TV (Interestingly enough, the TV is one of the least used accessories in the Hostel. People prefer talking, cooking, music!)
Full kitchen with double ovens, dishwashers, ice machine, commercial refrigerator (interestingly enough, the kitchen is exceedingly popular!)
All the cookware and serveware one would ever need
Guest laundry facilities
Outdoor hammock and sitting area
Boot and glove driers …. Yes!
ADA accessible bedroom and bathroom
PPH has hosted a a Ski Swap, painting classes, a celebration of the Continental Divide Trail’s 43rdnanniversary, class reunions
Guests have been from Sweden, Germany, Indonesia, China, Argentina, Venezuela and almost every state within the United States.
People stay for diverse reasons: traveling the world, hiking the CDT, exploring our many mountain lakes. working in the area, visiting family, passing through to Glacier, heading home from Glacier, attending a Yoga conference, attending Billy Poole Foundation events, celebrating meals and wines with Wines by V, hosting a class reunion, stopping off on the way to Jackson, heading up to Disco. The list goes on.
Pintler’s Portal Hostel’s boutique accommodations are new, comfortable, clean, affordable.
PPH staff can direct you to the optimum hiking or skiing trail corresponding with the season and the month and the week of your visit, and whether your desired experience include emerging mountain flora or hidden mountain lakes.
One PPH staff is an Ambassador to the CDT Trail. Another volunteers as a Trail Angel.
PPH provides information about Anaconda businesses – shops and eateries, gifts and supplies. Montana-based 5518 offers its unique designs and hiking supplies within PPH itself.
PPH guests can cook up their own or collaborate on the creation of their most coveted meals. They can jam to the music or challenge one another at Chess.
PPH guests have opportunities for an unique social experience that embraces cultural differences and expands community.
Stay here. It won’t cost you much. You will sleep well. And you’ll discover a little more of our magnificent world.