Montana, one of the most northerly states in the U.S, is well known for its abundance of outdoor activities. Montana is a beautiful state with many natural landscapes, rugged scenery, and plentiful wildlife. As a tourist destination, the state is popular with outdoor enthusiasts who are looking to fish, bike, hike, kayaking or engaging in a variety of winter sports. Montana is sparsely populated, which leaves large open spaces for the discerning explorer. This post explores the top 6 best places to visit in the state of Montana.
1) Glacier National Park
Spanning over 1 million miles and housing over 25 glaciers, 130 lakes and thousands of animal and plant species, the Glacier National Park is the face of tourism in Montana. The park is usually referred to as the ‘Crown of the Continent Ecosystem’. It offers breathtaking views and abundant activities for the outdoor aficionado. You can indulge in activities such as hiking, biking, wildlife watching and mountain climbing. The alpine forests, tranquil lakes, and rugged mountains make this place a natural wonderland. There’s no shortage of hiking trails, and the Going-to-the-Sun road (rated one of the most spectacular mountain roads in Northern America) is a must see.
2) The Museum of the Rockies
If you come to Montana, make sure you visit the Museum of the Rockies situated in Bozeman. This museum is popular for its outstanding display of dinosaurs and their eggs. You can see skeletons, as well as realistic models of numerous animal species present in the state. The dinosaur collection at this museum is one of the biggest in the country. You can see remains of the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus skull, a thigh bone, and soft-tissue remains. There are also displays of Plains Indian artifacts, Western art exhibits, and Tinsley House.
3) Flathead Lake
Featuring over 185 miles of breathtaking shoreline, the Flathead Lake happens to be one of the biggest natural lakes in the Western USA. The lake’s waters are supplied by two rivers namely Swan and Flathead. This lake is the foremost outdoor recreation and fishing destination in Montana. There are multiple state recreation areas around this lake complete with camping, boat launches, swimming, as well as picnic facilities, and restrooms. Wildhorse Island on the west shores of the lake is a great picnicking venue.
4) Big Sky
Big Sky is one of the best places to visit in Montana, especially for sports buffs. Big Sky is located just an hour’s drive from Bozeman. The area is always bustling with ski activities. In addition to winter sports, Big Sky also features a massive selection of restaurants, accommodations, and entertainment opportunities.
5) Lake McDonald
Just 10 miles long and more than 470 feet deep, Lake McDonald happens to be the largest lake within the Glacier National Park. If you’re coming to Montana (or more specifically the Glacier National Park), don’t leave without witnessing this breathtaking lake. The lake is surrounded by majestic mountains, the Great Continental Divide, and Ice Age glaciers. You can come to this lake if you’re looking to picnic, hike, fish or view wildlife. Just keep an eye open for black bears, mountain goats, elk and bighorn sheep. The lake is home to multiple species of trout, whitefish, game fish, suckers and more. Better yet, the popular Going-to-the-Sun road runs parallel to the lake’s southern shore.
6) Great Falls
The Great Falls is located on the mighty Missouri River. Surrounded by five distinct waterfalls, the city also boasts snow-topped mountains, towering buttes, and more. It’s a must-visit destination in Montana. The City of Great Falls is the 3rd largest in the stage, home to over 58,000 residents. There’s a rich cultural culture, and great outdoors.