February 20, 2024

Our Guiding Lights: Meet Our Gregarious Tour Guide, Megan in Yellowstone

- By Jules Torti

Continue reading Our Guiding Lights: Meet Our Gregarious Tour Guide, Megan in Yellowstone

Our Yellowstone National Park Adventure is a fan favorite thanks to the energy and verve of Wild Women guide, Megan Kennedy. Her roots in the travel industry began in the cockpit of a kayak at an eco-lodge in Wales. She then jumped to New York, guiding day hikes which led to multi-day trips in the northeast, and eventually, week-long adventures around the world. 

In her back pocket, Megan has a master’s degree in Outdoor Education from the University of Edinburgh. Are you following the bouncing ball? Her street cred led her to the trail networks of Montana, guiding in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. As an official Montana Master Naturalist, her knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is formidable. 

Wild Women who join our Yellowstone National Park Adventure in Wyoming will be in good hands as Megan is also a certified Wilderness EMT. She believes in safe, sustainable and inclusive experiences…and the power of peanut butter and chocolate!

In this virtual chat, we learn about Megan’s love of mountain goats, moss, Altra Lone Peak trail runners and Seven Mile Hole.

Megan Kennedy, Yellowstone

What’s your favorite place on earth? 

Pembrokeshire, Wales! It’s where I got my start as a guide, and I still think it’s the most beautiful and friendliest place I’ve ever been.  

What trail/viewpoint/campsite/secret spot do you love to share with Wild Women? 

Seven Mile Hole in Yellowstone. It’s a really intense trail that often brings up a lot of emotion for women, but I love when a group of women are able to support one another through a challenge, and it’s such a special place that not many folks get to see in Yellowstone! 

What’s the most incredible experience you’ve witnessed while guiding?

Oh my goodness, there are so many! As much as I love all the beautiful places and wildlife I get to see, it’s the coming together of groups that is the most meaningful to me. At the end of a recent Wild Women Expeditions trip, one woman gave another group member one of her bracelets that had a sentimental phrase engraved on the inside. They bonded over the fact that that phrase meant a lot to both of them, and to watch that deep bond develop over just a week was incredibly powerful. 

What animal do you identify most with? 

I identify most with the mountain goat! They live in the mountains and they’re pretty tough but they like to hang out in groups. Also, all these mountain sports have sort of given me hooves…

Megan Kennedy, Yellowstone

What’s your greatest accomplishment? 

Becoming an outdoor guide is the thing I’m most proud of! I didn’t grow up spending much time outdoors and I didn’t grow up knowing this was even a career option. I think that helps me to understand how women feel coming on these trips. It can be really scary to try something new, but there is no correct way to spend time outdoors! 

What don’t we know about you? 

I have two cats, I like horror movies and board games, and I recently started taking pottery classes! 

What’s your biggest fear in the wild?

I don’t really have any unusual fears of the outdoors! I definitely try to be prepared for wildlife encounters, environmental hazards, etc, and I can get in my head a bit when rock climbing or whitewater kayaking if something is at the upper end of my ability level. I probably should be more afraid of wildlife – my toxic trait is that I think bears and wolves and mountain lions would just be able to feel how much I love them so they would never hurt me. 

What would you like to learn more about? 

So many things! Moss! Indigenous cooking! I’ve always been really interested in medicine and the human body. 

Tell us–what’s your kick ass song that gets you revved up and ready to take on the day? 

Music can completely change my mood, so there are a lot of songs that can rev me up, but the first one that comes to mind is “Sunday Morning” by No Doubt. 

What’s your favorite trail snack? 

I go through phases with my trail snacks, but I am never going to turn down anything with peanut butter and chocolate.

What’s your favorite piece of gear? 

WHEW, there is a lot of gear that I love! My entire ski setup is pretty near and dear to my heart. But my Altra Lone Peak trail runners get SO much use year-round! I use them on all of my hikes, backpacking trips—and I even used them for a run in a Montana snowstorm today! 

Who has been your greatest mentor? 

My mom has been my biggest mentor in life. I always ask for (and usually appreciate) her advice! 

More about Megan…

Our community had a big love-in for Megan online. She’s happy to answer any questions our Wild Women have about pre-trip ideas and cell service.

Robyn, a member of our Wild Women community, asked Megan for ideas about things she could do before her Wild Women adventure. Megan delivered three options in a heartbeat suggesting a bear watching tour, a visit to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, northern Montana’s Glacier National Park or a pampered stay at the Chamberlin Inn in Cody, Wyoming. She’s a natural ambassador for the American northwest and her affection is contagious.

She was also quick to answer questions about USB battery packs, dry bags for cameras and Dana’s concern: “is there a spot for me to call my grandbabies in the evenings?” (Megan’s answer: “There is a cell signal every evening at camp, though you may have to walk a few minutes to get it depending on your provider. We can always facilitate making calls if you need! USB battery packs are super helpful and you can even charge them during the day in the van as we drive to hikes! A dry bag is never a bad idea! It’s usually pretty dry here in the summer but I always keep my electronics in a dry bag just to be safe!”)

Here’s what our Wild Women had to say about their Yellowstone experience with Megan at the lead—isn’t it time to add your name to this testimonial?

“Megan is an amazing guide. You will have an excellent time if you go on a trip with her. She is knowledgeable, hilarious, caring, responsible and my list can go on.” ~Kat Tik

“One of the best weeks of my life! THANK YOU Megan!” ~Judy Osgood

“I’ve been on a few of the epic international Wild Women trips and this one ranks right up there. All of the fun (and STUNNING, seriously stunning, beauty and wildlife) and none of the passports!” ~Amy Conaboy

“Memorable trip and awesome guides. Must revisit.” ~Etsuko Stone

Are you thinking about our Moab National Parks Adventure? Meet Alex, another one of our awesome American Wild Women guides here!

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