How to Tour Amazing Montana Sites

Montana is well known for nature, such as that seen in "A River Runs Through it" staring Brad Pitt or "Horse Whisperer" starring Robert Redford. Much of Montana appears untouched. It is the middle of nature, with abundant wildlife and fish, Native Americans, rolling prairie, and gigantic mountains covered in evergreen trees. Montana treasures huge Fort Peck Lake and its massive earth filled dam and gorgeous Flathead Lake and it's a huge waterfall dropping from the dam. Montana has several natural hot springs for relaxation. Hike the badlands and view some of the longest rivers in the world - the Missouri and Yellowstone. If you want, canoe them like Lewis and Clark did. The rivers originate from snow in the mountains and crosses the plains separating wheat farms and feeding wildlife, cows, and horses.

Montana means mountainous in Latin. As for the state, it is massive. Montana is the fourth largest US state, approximately the size of Japan, bigger than the United Kingdom, and smaller than Sweden.

The Native American Tribes of Montana were some of the last to be conquered by the European settlers with their new country the United States. One famous fight was the Battle of the Little Bighorn (also called Custer's Last Stand). There are summer re-enactments of this battle outside of Mile City. Today the native people have mostly lost their traditional languages and cultures to "English-only" culture. Many completely embrace the European work culture and some refuse. Native American religion worships nature. The movie "Dances with Wolves" starring Kevin Costner details what happened to the Native Americans.

The abundant Montana wildlife includes grizzly, brown and black bears, elk, moose, white-tail and mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, mountain lions, pheasants, gray wolf, and bunny rabbits, to name a few.

Eastern Montana is quiet and an inexpensive place to live. Property is inexpensive. Least expensive is on the Native American Reservations.


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    Travel by car. The best way to travel the US is by car, and sometimes the more luxurious cars are less expensive than the economy cars. If you book your tickets on the internet, the site may offer a deal for rental cars, such as $25 dollars a day, likely in September. The major rental car companies are at the International Airports, such as Glacier International. It may be less expensive to buy a used car and sell it when you are done. People buy/sell cars for as little as $500.
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    Visit in summer. The favorite time of year to visit Montana is July and August. Many people travel Montana by Amtrak, get off the train at East Glacier, stay at the historic hotel (reserve a room in advance) or Essex, ride in the antique site-seeing tour buses to view Glacier Park, get back on the train and ride into Whitefish. Travelers don't have to ride the train and can travel Glacier on their own in their rented car or the meet up with the site-seeing buses. Many people enjoy whitewater rafting and the helicopter tours. Do buy Huckleberry and cherry everything.
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    Visit Flathead Lake. A highly recommended visit is a drive around Flathead Lake. Visit the dam in Polson. See the cherry blossoms at the end of April and beginning of May. Pick delicious cherries on the east side of Flathead Lake the second or third week of July. Bring your swimsuit for the Columbia Falls waterslides. Stay at the Averil's Dude Ranch in Bigfork (reserve in advance). Hike in the mountains. Ride in a boat to the Sitting Duck restaurant, check out the homes along the lake, enjoy the food while looking out over the lake and mountains, cross the street and drink at the Flathead Brewery. Visit downtown Bigfork for Jams, Montana T-shirts, eat at fancy restaurants, like "Showtime," and then go to the live theater performance at the "Playhouse" next door (reserve tickets in advance). You may catch a glimpse of celebrities, such as Phil Jackson, Elle McPherson, Cortney Cox, Robert Di Nero, Tom Selleck, Howie Long, and Jack Hanna around Flathead Lake.
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    Play golf in Montana. Golf is a very popular sport and there are many golf courses. Pro-Golfer Jack Nicholas designed Eagle Bend in Bigfork and Old Works in Anaconda, which will be more expensive. For a beginner, just use the driving range or drive around to look at the course and homes. Nearly every small town has a golf course. Most are very inexpensive and friendly.
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    Try snowsports in Montana. During wintertime, most travel schedules are for ski trips, hunting, snowmobiling, and hot springs. Ski resorts in Northwestern Montana are Whitefish Mountain, which overlooks the entire Flathead Valley or less expensive Blacktail Mountain. Outside of Bozeman Bridger Bowl and Big Ski are very popular. There are several others that are less expensive and less difficult.
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    Choose to go either south along the interstate and big cities toward Yellowstone or go east along the highline and rural towns toward Mount Rushmore. The details are below.
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    Travel down to Paradise Hot Springs and stay the night. Choose which water temperature you would like to relax in. The restaurant is excellent. Use Yahoo for directions.
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    Check out downtown Missoula and travel towards Butte and Fairmont Hot Springs. Stay at Fairmont for the romantic giant hotspring pools. Two are indoor and the other two are outside. Wintertime is extra special in the outside pools with the steam rising and the snow on the deck. Also, if you like, try golfing or downhill skiing.
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    Travel to Bozeman and check out the downtown. Stay the night and then go to Yellowstone Park, to Wyoming's Jackson Hole, and to the hot springs at Thermopolis
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    Travel toward North Dakota. Try an alternate option by taking the rural highline along highway 2.
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    Try visiting some museums.
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    Almost every small town has a local historical museum. Take them in.
    • Havre has an underground city. Look for the signs midtown and Norman's western clothing store.
    • Twenty miles east from Havre on Main Street in Chinook, the baby animal museum has abundant local wildlife, including buffalo, skunk, raccoon, badgers, fox, coyotes. It's definitely worth a stop. Ask the locals if you have any difficulties finding the place or with its hours.
    • Just 100 miles (160 km) east, Malta has a dinosaur museum. Dinosaurs are found along the Missouri river/Fort Peck Lake. In Malta, try the pizza place on front street.
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    Dine locally. For each town find out where the locals eat breakfast and join them.
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    Visit the world's largest earth dam. At Glasgow go under the underpass and take a left. In 20 miles (32 km) you will be on the Fort Peck Dam probably without realizing you are on an earth dam. The lake is to the right and to the left are: the powerhouses, the Fort Peck Interpretive Center, and the campground. Notice the level of the massive lake compared to the level of the campground in the cottonwood trees below. Continue past the lake to a bridge which is also a spillway. The lake levels in recent years have been down so the water is a mile away from the spillway.
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    Camp nearby. If you visit the Fort Peck interpretive center, the colossal hill is the dam. Stay at the lovely campground full of cottonwood trees next to the Power houses and next to the interpretive center or stay at the historic hotel on the hill. For boat rides either meet the locals or ask at the marina, which is up the hill and on the north side of the big lake. There are many places to Barbecue, toast marshmallows around the fire, and swim both in the dredge cuts and the big lake.
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    Take the road down off of the dam and travel towards Nashua. Stop at Bergies for ice cream at Nashua on highway.
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    Travel 35 miles (56 km) east from Fort Peck Lake to visit the largest collection of John Deer tractors. Call for directions and entrance. The collection is Northwest of town in a large farm quonset. For other big farm equipment, try finding international farm tours or contact the owners.
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    See the rodeo. If you happen to be in Wolf Point the second week of July take in the oldest rodeo in Montana "The Wild Horse Stampede." Also, there are many Native American Powwows throughout the summer. At Wolf Point go under the underpass and turn left to head towards Glendive and Makoshika State Park. There are many signs or ask the locals for directions. Also, tour the Historic Mansion next to the Yellowstone.
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    Keep going south. From Glendive head south through Wyoming to drive by Devil's tower. In South Dakota, go to Sturgis for the Harley Bike Rally in August, visit Spearfish, Deadwood, Lead for a tour of the Gold Mine, and Mount Rushmore.


  • Montana is an easy travel choice if you are interested in Glacier Park, Lake Louis and Banff in Canada, Yellowstone Park, natural mineral hot springs, big farm equipment, Native Americans, dinosaur and wildlife museums, or Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, .
  • Best Hot Springs - Fairmont, Bozeman, Paradise.
  • For more information about Native American Culture, contact the tribal colleges.
  • If you would like to work at local businesses or farms, contact the owners. Many foreign people work in Glacier Park during the summer and at farms.


  • Northwestern Montana has a high number of grizzly bears and mountain lions. Tourist should learn precautions for hiking in the wilderness areas, such as Glacier Park.
  • Montana is an extremely safe place to visit.
  • Drive with care and be aware of the vast openness and distances.
  • Locals are interested in foreign people, are helpful, and are informative.
  • Most everyone is white or American "Indian" and consider themselves Christian.

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Categories: United States