Get ready to hike with llamas this summer - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Get ready to hike with llamas this summer

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COLUMBIA FALLS -

Up in the Swan Valley, Great Northern Llama company are gearing up for llama packing.

35 years ago Steve Rolfing and his wife Sue turned to these animals as a source of relief in after Steve’s back was giving out from years of work for the forest service.  Rolfing tells us, “There's no packing going on within the whole of North America really.  So we started our packing business."

Rolfing has used llamas to carry loads through the Bob Marshall wilderness and Glacier National Park.

And now Great Northern Llama Company is a leading llama packer worldwide.  Rolfing tells us, “The other two are no longer operating so Great Northern Llama company/Swan Mountain Llama trekking is really the oldest llama outfitting operation probably in the world."

General Manager Pat Tabor says many of their clients are looking for a gentle companion for hiking and camping trips, "A lot of times we get kids and young families on our treks because the llamas are so safe to be around." 

Tabor says you can get actively involved on your llama trek, walking along beside them and on the trek the llamas will typically carry thirty pounds of your gear, "So we'll introduce them to saddling and packing the llamas so they can get involved."

Steve tells us that Llamas are sometimes difficult to find around the country.  And if you want to buy one they can range anywhere from 800-4,000 dollars. Tabor tells us low altitude llama treks will start in June and once all the snow melts treks at higher altitudes will begin.

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