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West Glacier to Logan Pass

West Glacier to Logan Pass
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Often called the “Crown of the Continent”, northwest Montana’s Glacier National Park is one of the most intact ecosystems anywhere in the earth’s temperate zone. More than 1,100 km of hiking trails and one spectacular drive across the continental divide on the 80-km Going-to-the-Sun Road offer glimpses of grizzly and black bears, moose, bighorn sheep, elk, mountain lions and other wildlife. 

Yellowstone National Park, accessible by car from three separate entrances in the southern part of Montana, is the world’s largest active volcano. Geysers, hot springs and other thermal features are surrounded by mountains, rivers, canyons and prairies that are home to one of the USA's last remaining wild bison herds and two species of wolves in their natural environment. 

But uncommon natural beauty is not confined to national parks. It stretches across the state, rewarding visitors who venture off the beaten path with 24 mountain ranges, millions of hectares of public lands and wilderness preserves, alpine lakes, wide open plains, natural hot springs and famous fly-fishing streams. Montana is a place where travelers can enjoy the magnificence of the natural environment by day and relax in the hospitality of charming small towns by night. 

The state is home to a few small, sophisticated cities where beautiful surroundings have attracted adventurers, artists, writers, musicians and outdoorsmen for decades. Along the highways that cross the mountains and plains are tiny western towns that have changed so little over the years that arriving for a rodeo or festival can feel like stepping back in time. But whether visiting a town of 400 or a city of 40,000 (large for Montana!), one thing visitors are sure to find is truly friendly people who are willing to share their version of the good life through food, hospitality and the outdoors. 

In Old West ghost towns like Virginia City and rural rodeos like the Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede, Montana’s mining history and cowboy culture come alive every day. And the seven Indian Nations and many Native American communities across the state work to preserve a history much older than the United States, including public events like the reenactments at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. 

Montana is natural wonders, charming small towns, friendly people and life at a slower pace—a land full of experiences that truly can’t be found anywhere else.

West Glacier to Logan Pass

West Glacier to Logan Pass
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Fun Fact

The big state of Montana has the world’s shortest river, The Roe, which flows only 61 meters.
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The big state of Montana has the world’s shortest river, The Roe, which flows only 61 meters.

Aerial view of the Missouri River at Headwaters State Park in Montana
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The longest river in the USA, the Missouri River, begins in Montana at the “Three Forks” – the intersection of the Gallatin, Madison and Jefferson rivers.

Must see places

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Montana’s exemplary park is best traversed by driving Going-to-the-Sun-Road, which will take you through a dramatic and diverse environment made up of prairie, mountains, alpine meadows, red cedar forests and lakes. Over 1,100 kilometers of trails send you deep into the heart of the park, where you’re likely to encounter grizzly bears, mountain goats and moose. 

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Exhibits inside the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana

Montana Dinosaur Trail

Among this trail’s 14 paleontology museums you’ll find the Museum of the Rockies, which has the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skull ever found, as well as the Old Trail Museum, where you can touch a dinosaur bone. At Two Medicine Dinosaur Center, go out back and actually dig for dinosaur fossils.

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First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

Native American people stampeded buffalo over this 1½ kilometer-long cliff, one of the largest buffalo jumps in the USA, for thousands of years. Interpretive trails and the visitor center bring the age-old practice to life.

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Boat tour of Gates of the Mountains in Montana

Gates of the Mountains

During their famous expedition in a wooden boat along the Missouri River, explorers Lewis and Clark named this spot, which sits halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Take a boat tour through this dramatic channel and view the breathtaking peaks around you.

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World Museum of Mining

World Museum of Mining

The landscape surrounding this Butte museum may seem sparse, but there’s a whole world below. Experience Montana’s mining history by going almost 20 meters underground, climbing into a mining cage or exploring 66 exhibits at the Orphan Girl mine yard. A mineral and rock room and recreated mining town jettison you deep into the state’s historic industry.

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Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake

Located in northwestern part of the state, Flathead—the largest natural lake in the western USA—is a still, flat freshwater sheet, perfect for fishing trout or boating. Visit the lake’s Wild Horse Island, home to 75 species of birds, to see Bighorn Sheep, deer, falcon and the namesake wild horses, or head to one of the a U-pick cherry orchards you’ll find around the lake.

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Some of the formations inside Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park in Montana

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

The limestone cavern here features stalactites and stalagmites and can be accessed on a guided tour, where you may also see Western big-eared bats. Follow up with hiking, biking, or take the above-ground nature tour.

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Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

A guided walking tour traces the events that took place here during the 1876 battle between the U.S. Cavalry and Native Americans. A self-guided tour down one road covers both Custer and Reno-Benteen Battlefields. Stop in to the visitor center to see weapons and other memorabilia and visit the Custer National Cemetery.

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Touring Virginia City, Montana, by stagecoach

Frontier History in Virginia City

Revisit the frontier life of the mid-to-late 1800s when gold was discovered in Alder Gulch. Located in southwest Montana, Virginia City was born of this gold rush and offers visitors the opportunity to step back into the Wild West. Pan for gold, see an old-time play, and take stagecoach rides, ghost tours, train rides or firetruck tours. Don’t miss the ghost town of Nevada City just a few minutes away.

Snowboarding at Big Sky Resort in Montana

Big Sky Resort

Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, there’s so much ground to cover at Big Sky Resort that it often feels like having a mountain to yourself. This resort is nicknamed the “Biggest Skiing in America” for its 2,360 skiable hectares, which include 4,350 vertical drops, 34 chairlifts and surface lifts, and the Lone Peak Tram to 3,403 meters in elevation.

Hot air balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
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Experience Montana