Montana, often referred to as the “Last Best Place,” is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
Its vast, untouched wilderness, ranging from the rugged Rocky Mountains to the sprawling Great Plains, offers a plethora of opportunities for adventure and exploration.
It is a state that beckons with its crystal clear lakes, towering peaks, and vibrant wildlife, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its natural splendor.
This guide highlights some must-visit spots in Montana for anyone looking to fully experience the magic of the great outdoors.
Glacier National Park
Located in the northwestern corner of Montana, Glacier National Park is a must-visit spot for any outdoor lover.
The park spans over one million acres and boasts stunning landscapes, including glacier-carved peaks, crystal clear lakes, and picturesque valleys.
It is also home to an abundance of wildlife, including grizzly bears, moose, and bighorn sheep. Hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing are just some of the activities visitors can enjoy in Glacier National Park.
One of the most iconic features of the park is the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile stretch that winds through the heart of Glacier and offers breathtaking views along the way.
The road is open seasonally from mid-June to mid-October, providing access to popular destinations such as Logan Pass and Lake McDonald.
Yellowstone National Park
Although primarily located in Wyoming, a portion of Yellowstone National Park extends into Montana.
This park is famous for its incredible geothermal features, including the iconic Old Faithful geyser, which erupts approximately every 90 minutes.
Visitors can also marvel at the colorful hot springs, bubbling mud pots, and towering waterfalls that make up the park’s unique landscape.
In addition to its natural wonders, Yellowstone is also a haven for wildlife. It is home to one of the largest herds of bison in the country, as well as grizzly bears, wolves, and elk.
The park offers numerous opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing, making it a must-visit spot for outdoor enthusiasts.
Keep in mind that national parks have special laws governing them. Before partaking in extracurriculars like cannabis, be sure to research first.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Located in southern Montana, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.
This lesser-known park offers stunning views of the towering cliffs that line the canyon, as well as opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking.
Visitors can also take a scenic drive along the Bighorn Scenic Byway, which winds through the canyon and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
One of the highlights of Bighorn Canyon is the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range, where visitors can catch a glimpse of these majestic animals roaming free. The park also offers ranger-led programs and guided tours for those looking to learn more about the area’s history and wildlife.
Custer-Gallatin National Forest
Spanning over three million acres, Custer-Gallatin National Forest offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The forest is home to several mountain ranges, including the Absaroka, Beartooth, and Crazy Mountains, as well as numerous lakes, rivers, and streams.
Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife viewing in this diverse and expansive landscape.
One of the must-visit spots in Custer-Gallatin National Forest is the Beartooth Highway, a 68-mile stretch of road that winds through the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.
This scenic drive offers jaw-dropping views of snow-capped peaks, alpine lakes, and vast valleys.
It is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, camping, and fishing in this stunning wilderness area.
Located in western Montana, Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Its crystal clear waters and picturesque scenery make it a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. The lake is also home to several islands, including Wild Horse Island, which offers opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.
In addition to its natural beauty, Flathead Lake is surrounded by charming small towns such as Bigfork and Polson, where visitors can find quaint shops, delicious restaurants, and local breweries. It is the perfect spot for a peaceful retreat or a day of fun on the water.
In conclusion, Montana’s breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re hiking through the expansive wilderness areas of Glacier National Park, marveling at the geothermal wonders in Yellowstone, exploring the rugged beauty of Bighorn Canyon, or simply relaxing by the serene waters of Flathead Lake, the sense of wonder and adventure never ceases. These must-visit spots offer a taste of Montana’s untamed beauty, providing countless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Take the time to immerse yourself in the great outdoors of Montana—it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.