As the fourth-largest state in the U.S., there is plenty of ground to cover in Montana. From the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains to Glacier National Park, “Big Sky Country” is full of diverse terrain and natural wonders to explore. Whether it’s hiking the Continental Divide, skiing Big Sky Ski Resort, fishing Flathead Lake, or horseback riding in Yellowstone Country, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to experience.
Montana is also rich in history and culture. Dive into Native American culture with a visit to one of the twelve tribes or by taking a drive through Little Bighorn Country. Go back in time with a visit to one of Montana’s ghost towns. Plan a visit to one of the many historic sites and battlefields like Little Bighorn Battlefield. Between the national parks, historic and cultural sites, and quaint towns like Missoula, there is a lot to explore in Montana.
Best Places to Visit in Montana
Originally founded as a gold camp during the Montana gold rush in 1864, Helena is the state’s capital. From natural hot springs to disc golf, Helena really does have something for everyone. Original Governor's Mansion: Built in 1888, the Queen Anne style mansion was the first official governor’s residence for almost fifty years.
Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds: This 160-acre fairground is home to hundreds of concerts, fairs, and events every year like Last Chance Stampede and Fair held in July.
Missouri River: Kayak, canoe, or raft down the Missouri river.
Mount Helena City Park: Trail runners, dog walkers, and families alike enjoy this city landmark for its many trails like the well-maintained 1906 Trail which is one of the more direct routes to the top of Mount Helena.
Cities in Montana
Bozeman: Located in the Rocky Mountains, Bozeman is known for its Museum of the Rockies, which houses a notable collection of dinosaur fossils.
Missoula: Surrounded by national forests and five different mountain ranges, this small town has a thriving arts scene in addition to classic Montana outdoor activities like mountain biking and skiing.
Butte: Visit the World Museum of Mining to learn about Butte and Montana’s rich mining history.
Billings: As the largest city in the state, Billings is known for its beer scene with eight microbreweries and an extensive outdoor trail system with 45-miles of multi-use trails.
Montana State and National Parks
Glacier National Park: Explore over 700 miles of trails that traverse through alpine meadows, pristine forests, and picture perfect lakes.
Yellowstone National Park: While our nation’s first national park spans multiple states, a popular route is the lower loop, entering from Bozeman, passing the Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, and Norris Geyser Basin.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument: A monument to Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer’s “Last Stand” where the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry was defeated fighting the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes in the Great Sioux War of 1876.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: Over 120,000 acres of preserved wilderness open to campers, boaters, and hikers.
Lewis & Clark Country
Retrace the steps of famous explorers Lewis and Clark who traveled from the Mississippi River to the West Coast and back from 1804-1806 along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail.
Wolf Point: Known for its annual Wild Horse Stampede in July.
Scobey: Visit Daniels County Museum and Pioneer Town.
Glendive: Hunt for fossils and hike through the badlands of Makoshika State Park.
Big Sky Byway: This 150-mile scenic route links the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers.