Howlers Inn in Bozeman, Montana provides its guests with a unique and unforgettable experience. It doubles as a bed & breakfast and a private wolf sanctuary, and it's the only one that exists in North America. Mary-Martha and Chris Bahn run the inn and sanctuary with great care. The property is set on 40 acres surrounded by mountains, and it's an amazing place for nature lovers and outdoor sport enthusiasts.
Mary-Martha kindly took some time to answer these questions for us about her unique property and what makes Bozeman a special place to visit.
1. What do you enjoy most about being an innkeeper?
Almost every innkeeper will tell you it’s the guests, and they are right. For us, it’s not only about meeting the guests and hearing about their travels, but it is also the opportunity to share with them information about our wolves and wolves in general. Educating the public about this misunderstood animal is a core part of our mission.
2. How long have you been an innkeeper?
We have had the pleasure of doing this for about seven years now, and we still love it!
3. What was your inspiration for your creating your inn?
We’d love to be able to tell you we had this grand vision for the inn and wolf sanctuary, but we are not the ones who started this. We took over the operation in 2004, and fell in love with the wolves so much that we expanded the sanctuary in 2007. Our mission is to provide a life that is as close to natural as possible for a captive-born wolf that needs a home. To that end, we have large enclosures where our wolves live in packs and where they can establish and maintain their own social order.
4. What sets your B&B apart from others?
There are two things. The main difference is our wolf sanctuary. We currently have six wolves living in two enclosures attached to the inn. Our wolf sanctuary is not open to the public; only registered guests have the privilege of seeing the wolves. We do this to protect the animals. Seeing a lot of strangers can be stressful for our wolves, so by not being open to the public, we protect the animals, and can offer our guests something unique they can’t experience anywhere else. In addition to walking around the perimeter of the enclosures, two of our guest rooms overlook the enclosures, so guests can watch the wolves play from the privacy of their rooms. And of course, they get to experience hearing them howl at night. Our guests describe it as having a symphony in the back yard! Second, we are a true log home set on 40 acres in a beautiful mountain canyon, with mountain views from every room. The peace and quiet is simply amazing and the views outstanding.
5. Why do you think travelers should choose B&Bs over hotels?
B&Bs offer experiences you simply cannot get at a chain hotel. Each one is different and unique and has something special to offer. The B&B becomes part of the trip, part of the experience, not just a brief stopping point on the way from A to B. What a bargain!
6. What makes your town worth visiting—are there any interesting local attractions or activities?
Bozeman, MT is an amazing place. We are an easy day trip to Yellowstone National Park, which is a magical experience any time of the year. There is fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, caverns to explore, and white water rafting in the summer. During the winter, there is downhill and Nordic skiing, dinner sleigh rides, and dog sledding. We also have a world class dinosaur museum in town, the Museum of the Rockies. Add to that the charming Western town of Bozeman, and it makes for a fabulous place to visit.