A heaven for the outdoor enthusiasts, a breathtaking state full of unspoiled natural beauty – there are plenty of things to do in Montana. It is secluded, wild, and epic. A state that ranks 4th in size and 43rd in total population as per July 2019 population estimate, Montana is said to have more deer, antelope, and elk than human beings! The western half of the state is all characterized by towering mountain ranges which make it one of the eight mountain states in the USA. Even the name “Montana” translates to “mountainous” in Latin. With a total of nine National Park Service areas, riding trails and fossils in Southeast Montana, beautiful drives through the valleys – Things to do in Montana are diverse and awe-inspiring.
1889 was the year when Montana was included in the USA as the 41st state. Later in the 20th century, the foundation of Montana’s industry was made based on copper, timber, oil, gold, silver, and coal. Why are we talking about all these things? Just because, Montana’s mining industry has shaped the state’s economy to a great extent. The state also boasts of its beer microbrewing scenes and ranks third in the nation in the number of craft breweries per capita in 2011. Tourism is also a great part of the city’s thriving economy. If you are planning a trip to this ‘Big Sky State’ do not miss to taste its local treats like jams and pies made with huckleberries. From wildlife watching to exploring its gushing waterfalls to chasing its adventure – there are endless things to do in Montana that will surely leave you in awe.
9 Top-rated And Most Alluring Things To Do In Montana:
Chase The Wilderness In Glacier National Park:
Glacier-capped peaks, alpine meadows, pristine lakes, and forests punctuate this massive 1 million acres national park. To reach Glacier National Park, you have to first reach Glacier Park International Airport. From there, the West Entrance of the park is only 30 miles away. A heaven for the hiking enthusiasts and wildlife watchers, the park offers you wonderful scenery and offers you show of bewitching wildflowers on the mountain slopes.
Called as the ‘Crown of the Continent’, the park’s trails range from quite easier ones like Trail of the cedars to the harder ones like Grinnell Glacier. The park is home to more than 700 glacial aquamarine lakes. One of the most picturesque lakes in the park is Iceberg Lake. On a guided park tour, see a few of them and you can even go for a boat ride across the most beautiful Lake McDonald which is also the largest lake in the park. Go for a spectacular drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road that divides the park into east and west parts and crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Get to see amazing wildlife too that include Mountain goat, the official symbol of the park.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument:
The preservation site of the Battle of The Little Bighorn, this monument is one of America’s best historic landmarks that pay homage to the ones who fought in the battles. Cluster National Cemetery, residing on the battlefield is also a part of the monument. There are also several other components of the park that include a museum, a visitor’s center, the Reno-Benteen Battlefield, and also the 7th Cavalry Memorial. If you are interested in American history, visiting this national monument is one of the best things to do in Montana.
The Museum Of The Rockies:
If you are a fan of Jurassic Park, give this unique museum a quick visit when in Montana. In this museum which is a part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail, you get to see the largest collection of dinosaur remains in the United States. Some of the most stunning exhibits include: the largest Tyrannosaurus skull ever discovered and the thigh bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex containing soft-tissue remains.
The museum’s collection focuses on people and animals that have lived there for more than 500 million years. Apart from dinosaur eggs, skeletons, and everything related to the dinosaur, the museum gives its visitors an insight into the region’s rich physical and cultural history. The museum’s collection is so huge that it includes about 300,000 objects covering over 500,000,000 years of history.
Explore Missouri River Country:
A blissful respite from the hustles of the city, Missouri River Country is called as ‘one of the fairest portions of the globe’. Soak in its pristine landscape and enjoy doing fishing, the region due to its abundant scope of engaging in camping, hiking, and adventure activities has received the nickname of ‘Sportsman’s Paradise’.
Love to birdwatch? Head straight to the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge where you can watch a variety of waterfowl and many shorebirds. Enjoy fishing in Fort Peck Reservoir, visit Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site and see the best beauty of the country by stepping into a canoe. Sailing on the beautiful Missouri River and taking in the unspoiled aura of the vast countryside is one of the best things to do in Montana.
Experience The Big Sky:
Tourists traveling to Montana can’t leave the state without making a visit to the Big Sky Resort in Big Sky. Considered as the ‘Biggest Skiing in America’, the ski resort has a massive skiable area and vertical drop that no other mountain really has. The skiing terrain is seamless with almost 6,000 acres of skiable land, 36 most technologically innovative lifts, and more than 300 runs. More than 400 inches of average powder fall characterizes this ski area and the amount of snowfall here is also the most consistent one in the Northern Rockies.
Whether you are a beginner, an intermediate level skier, or an expert skier, you have to visit Big Sky to experience the unfathomable adventure of skiing in the USA. Your stay here is gonna be blissful as the place has fantastic accommodations, good restaurants, and so many entertainment options.
Visit Castle Town:
A mining town from the late 1890s, Castle Town is one of those many towns which were made and ruined by the silver rush in the late 19th century. Founded in the year 1891, Castle Town was once home to 2,000 residents and it had a school, some shops, a jail, fourteen saloons, and seven brothels. The town is also the former home of legend calamity Jane, who tried to open a restaurant here. Although the restaurants never could open and she moved to somewhere else.
If you are interested in visiting this kind of old ghost towns, Castle Montana must be on your card. At Castle Museum get to know everything about the town and also get to see the display of the ghost town. Set a drive to the town and also get to the nearby small towns like Lennup, Martinsdale. Then you can also visit the Castle Mountains that is about 7 miles from there.
Also Visit Garnet:
If the silver rush made and ruined Castle Town, Garnet was born in 1895 due to the gold rush. When it was born, the name of the town was Mitchell and it had only 10 buildings. The town is considered one of the best-preserved gold rush towns in the entire country and now is under the management and supervision of the Bureau of Land Management. Once home to several hotels, schools, saloons or bars, stores during the golden days, now the ghost town has many preserved buildings that take you back to the historical past of the town. Some of the noteworthy preserved buildings are Kelly Saloon and Daveys Store.
Visit The State Parks:
Montana is not only about Glacier National Park and the base for Yellowstone, it has many state parks in its store. Adventuring out to these great state parks is one of the most thrilling things to do in Montana. Some of the most famous state parks are Pictograph Cave State Park, Lone Pine State Park, Hell Creek State Park, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, and more. Each of the parks possesses different characteristics. Pictograph Cave State Park is famous for sandstone caves, Lone Pine State Park has stunning cliffs, and Lewis and Clark is home to gorgeous stalactites, stalagmites filled large cavern system.
These parks are excellent if you want to explore the most adventurous facade of the state. Hike through the rugged trails and up the cliffs, do camping, and boating. Enjoy paddle boarding, windsurfing, and fishing in Lake Elmo State Park which is one of Montana’s most popular state parks.
Visit Helena, The Queen City Of The Rockies:
The state’s capital and once called ‘Last Chance’, Helena is home to many eye-catching landmarks and museums. Its State Capitol building is one of the finest examples of Greek neoclassical architecture and is made up of Montana sandstone and granite.
Take a ride on the Last Chance Tour Train from in front of Montana’s Museum that takes you through the streets of Helena, many highlights of the city, and you get to experience the glorious past of Helena. Reach the summit of Mount Helena trekking through the Hogback Trail and eat some good food at the city’s many fantastic restaurants. Some of the most famous eateries of the city are Lucca, Park Avenue Bakery, Bridge Pizza, and the very famous Parrot Confectionary.
The city is base for many hiking routes and has some of the rich wildlife units where you can see big animals.
Helena is voted as one of the best places to live in the country and visiting the capital city is one of the top-rated things to do in Montana.