Montana, the Treasure State, is a playground for those who love the outdoors.
From the soaring peaks of Glacier National Park to the rolling plains of the east, Montana offers a unique blend of experiences that are sure to captivate any traveler.
Here are 17 things you absolutely must do when you visit Montana.
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1. Marvel at the Majesty of Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is a hiker’s paradise, with over 700 miles of trails winding through rugged mountains, pristine forests, and stunning lakes. Don’t miss the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile scenic drive that crosses the park and offers breathtaking views.
Traveler’s Tip: Start your journey early in the morning to avoid traffic and to have ample time to enjoy the numerous scenic stops along the way.
2. Explore the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
This historic site commemorates the Battle of the Little Bighorn, one of the most famous battles of the American Indian Wars. Walk the battlefield, visit the Indian Memorial, and learn about this pivotal moment in American history.
Traveler’s Tip: Make sure to stop by the visitor center for a map and to check the schedule for ranger-led programs.
3. Visit the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman
The Museum of the Rockies is a must-visit for dinosaur enthusiasts.
The museum’s Siebel Dinosaur Complex houses one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the U.S., including a full-scale T. rex skeleton.
Traveler’s Tip: Don’t miss the Taylor Planetarium within the museum for a stunning cosmic experience.
4. Take a Drive on the Beartooth Highway
The Beartooth Highway is a 68-mile scenic drive that winds through the Beartooth Mountains.
The highway is one of the most beautiful drives in the U.S., offering stunning views of snow-capped peaks, alpine plateaus, and glacial lakes.
Traveler’s Tip: The highway is typically open from late May to early October, depending on snow conditions. Check the road status before planning your drive.
5. Explore the Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is home to Montana’s first and best-known state park.
Take a guided tour of the caverns to see stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and other cave formations.
Traveler’s Tip: Wear sturdy shoes and bring a jacket, as the caverns can be slippery and cool, even in summer.
6. Visit the Montana State Capitol in Helena
The Montana State Capitol in Helena is a beautiful neoclassical building that houses the state’s legislative and executive branches.
Take a guided tour to learn about Montana’s history and government.
Traveler’s Tip: Don’t miss the chance to see the stunning “Spirit of Montana” mural in the House of Representatives chamber.
7. Experience the Old West in Virginia City
Virginia City is a well-preserved ghost town that offers a glimpse into Montana’s gold rush era.
Walk the boardwalks, visit the historic buildings, and maybe even catch a performance at the Virginia City Players, the oldest summer stock theater company in the west.
Traveler’s Tip: Consider taking a stagecoach tour for a unique perspective of the town.
8. Go Fly Fishing on the Madison River
The Madison River is one of the top fly fishing destinations in the U.S.
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, you’ll love the challenge of catching rainbow and brown trout in this beautiful river.
Traveler’s Tip:Hire a local guide if you’re new to fly fishing. They can provide equipment, teach you the basics, and help you find the best fishing spots.
9. Visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is a not-for-profit wildlife park and educational facility.
Here, you can see grizzly bears and wolves up close and learn about their roles in the Yellowstone ecosystem.
Traveler’s Tip: Plan your visit around the feeding times (listed on their website) to see the animals at their most active.
10. Explore the World Museum of Mining in Butte
The World Museum of Mining in Butte offers a glimpse into the city’s mining history.
You can explore the recreated mining town, go underground in the Orphan Girl Mine, and see a variety of mining equipment.
Traveler’s Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket for the underground mine tour, as it can be cool and damp.
11. Take a Dip in the Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park
One of the few places where you can soak in a hot spring in Yellowstone, the Boiling River is a unique natural hot tub.
It’s where a large hot spring enters the Gardner River, allowing the hot and cool waters to mix into a temperature comfortable enough to bathe in.
Traveler’s Tip: Bring water shoes to protect your feet from the rocky riverbed and a towel for when you get out.
12. Visit the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls
The C.M. Russell Museum is dedicated to the “Cowboy Artist” Charles Marion Russell.
He is known for his paintings of the American West. The museum houses more than 2,000 Russell artworks, personal objects, and artifacts.
Traveler’s Tip: Check the museum’s calendar for special events and exhibitions.
13. Hike the M Trail in Missoula
The M Trail is a local favorite in Missoula, leading to a large concrete ‘M’ on the hillside.
The hike is relatively short but steep, and the views of the Missoula Valley from the top are worth the effort.
Traveler’s Tip: Bring water and wear good hiking shoes. The trail can be steep and rocky in places.
14. Explore the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area straddles the Montana-Wyoming border and offers a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking, boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
Traveler’s Tip: Visit in the early morning or late evening for the best wildlife viewing opportunities.
15. Visit the T. Rex Agate Shop and Dinosaur Museum in Bynum
This quirky roadside attraction features a dinosaur museum with a collection of dinosaur eggs, baby dinosaur fossils, and a 38-foot-long T. rex skeleton.
Traveler’s Tip: Don’t miss the gift shop, which sells unique dinosaur-themed souvenirs.
16. Take a Scenic Drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road
This spectacular 50-mile highway, which cuts through Glacier National Park, offers some of the best views in Montana.
The road is a National Historic Landmark and is considered to be one of the most beautiful roads in America.
Traveler’s Tip: The road is narrow and winding, so take your time and enjoy the journey.
17. Visit the American Computer & Robotics Museum in Bozeman
This museum offers a fascinating look at the history of computers, communications, artificial intelligence, and robotics. It’s a must-visit for tech enthusiasts.
Traveler’s Tip: Be sure to check out the exhibit on the history of video games.
From its rich history and culture to its stunning natural beauty, Montana offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler.
So pack your bags and get ready to explore all the unforgettable things to do in Montana!
Remember to check out our other guides on visitusaguide.com for more travel tips and insights.