Big Sky Country
From the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the breathtaking beauty of Glacier National Park, Montana is the epitome of The Great American West – a vast, unspoiled landscape just waiting to be explored.
Referred to as “Big Sky County,” Montana is America’s fourth largest state. With one million residents and more wildlife than people, Montana gives new meaning to the phrase “wide, open spaces.” Two national parks anchor Montana – Glacier to the north and Yellowstone to the south. These parks and the other natural wonders between them, including 55 State Parks, 15 wilderness areas, and numerous national and state forests, show why Montana is America’s Last Best Place.
From the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains with its pristine alpine lakes and meadows, to the rolling plains and dramatic badlands in the east, Montana offers endless opportunities to explore its stunning scenery, awe-inspiring wildlife and rich cultural heritage. The great variety of year round activities in Montana will surprise you. Rafting, hiking and biking can be enjoyed during summer on numerous lakes, rivers and trails throughout the state. Follow the Montana Dinosaur Trail or one of our small town’s Brewery Trails, or learn some of Montana’s rich history at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park or Grant Kohrs National Historic Site, to name a few.
Travel many of Montana’s scenic byways by car or RV, visiting charming and historic towns along the way. The Beartooth Highway extends from the quaint mountain town of Red Lodge into Yellowstone National Park and is a spectacular drive through a land of glaciers, high alpine lakes, glacier-carved cirques and fragile tundra. This All-American Road has also been rated one of America’s top motorcycling roads.
Montana is home to numerous working and guest ranches. Saddle up and experience trail rides, barn dances and chuckwagon suppers. Montana’s ranches will show you an authentic Western way of life that still exists today. Summer rodeos throughout our state offer a chance to see traditional ranch activities performed by cowboys and cowgirls in fun, family-friendly venues.
Traditional Native American ways of life can be experienced at Montana’s Powwows, such as Crow Fair near Billings, or at North American Indian Days in Browning. Montana’s Indian tribes celebrate their heritage with dance, drumming and traditional dress during these family-oriented celebrations.
Wander through authentic ghost towns such as Bannack State Park, one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the country. There are over 50 buildings that line Main Street with their historic log and frame structures that recall Montana’s gold rush era. Guided tours and panning for gold are offered during the summer. The lively Victorian gold rush town of Virginia City is located just 90 miles from Yellowstone National Park. Nevada City, just a mile and half away, offers historic buildings, a museum, music hall, train rides and weekend living history programs that are sure to put you into a nostalgic mood.
Winter activities in Montana can be as adventurous as you like. Travelers attracted to cold season adventure will find some of the best skiing available at Montana’s 15 ski areas, including Whitefish Mountain Resort in the north near Glacier National Park, and Big Sky Resort near Yellowstone. These areas also offer other exciting winter recreational opportunities, from dog sledding to snowshoeing and tours by snowmobile, as well as opportunities to visit these national parks in wintertime.
With four distinct seasons, a rich history, and more spectacular unspoiled nature than anywhere else in America’s lower 48 states, Montana lives up to its Last Best Place nickname no matter where or what time of year you visit.
To learn more visit: www.VisitMT.com or www.VisitTheUSA.com