Which Is Full of Luxury Hotels, Adorable Small Towns, and Lots of Adventures
Find big adventure in Big Sky Country — here's where to eat, stay, and play in Montana.
Big Sky Country is what they call Montana. You'll comprehend why after you travel here. Untamed rivers cut through the jagged peaks that loom enormous on the horizon for hundreds of kilometers, brimming with trophy trout. World-class climbs through the dense forests take you to hot springs, geysers, and glaciers in every direction. Whitewater rafting in the summer is a sport that rivals the powder-filled skiing of winter in size. Well, everything is bigger. You only need a tough spirit of adventure—and a prudent travel itinerary—to appreciate it all. The latter we can provide, but the former is entirely up to you. Below is your comprehensive guide to exploring Montana.
At least 12,600 years ago, the first humans arrived in the region that is now Montana. Native American groups such as the Crow, Cheyenne, Blackfeet, and Kalispell thrived on the site thousands of years later.
Before Meriwether Lewis and William Clark travelled through the area in 1805 on their renowned voyage across the American West with Native American guide Sacagawea, the area was virtually unknown to outsiders. When gold was discovered more than 50 years later, individuals flocked to Montana fast in quest of their riches. The area was declared a U.S. territory in 1864 due to its rapidly growing population and mining potential. It became a state in 1889.
The local Native American tribes, however, believed that the settlers were interfering with their way of life. To reclaim their country, the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes united in 1876 and defeated the American Army at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The Native Americans were ultimately vanquished despite this success, and settlers kept settling in the area.
However, a large number of Native American groups, such as the Blackfeet, Crow, and Cheyenne, continue to reside in Montana.
Why Is That The Name?
The name Montana is derived from the Spanish word Montaa, which roughly translates to "mountainous." That's a result of the state having so many mountains, with at least 300 summits rising beyond 9,600 feet!
The Montana Mountains' gold and silver reserves were mined as early as the 1800s, giving the state its moniker, the Treasure State.
Best Time to Visit Montana
Whenever you want is the quick response. What you want to accomplish fully determines when you should travel to Montana. World-class ski resorts like Big Sky and Moonlight Basin are covered in snow from the beginning of December to the middle of April if winter activities are what motivate you more. It's safe to pack your bags from June through September if you're interested in trekking, hot springs, or fly fishing. Escape the shoulder season of late summer and early fall if you want to avoid the crowds, especially in national parks like Glacier and Yellowstone.
Best Things to Do in Montana
Even while Montana is an unmatched haven for outdoor enthusiasts, it still has a lot to offer in terms of urban delights, particularly in the trendy college towns along the state's western border. Bozeman has established itself as one of the most hip mountain communities in the United States during the past ten years. The Devil's Toboggan, a speakeasy with dark lighting, serves handmade drinks, while Blackbird serves stuffed fowl and other farm-fresh specialties. Visit Conflux Brewing Company or Cranky Sam Public House in Missoula to experience the fantastic local beer culture. In either case, be sure to reserve a hotel in one of these two cities if you want to experience Montana's nightlife or go on a bar crawl.
There are plenty of opportunities in Montana to go camping if that's more your style. It turns out that Big Sky Country offers a lot of black skies that are free of nighttime light pollution. The extensive state park network is a terrific way to see it all. Here, Flathead Lake is a hidden beauty. It is the largest freshwater lake of its kind west of the Mississippi and makes for a great summer vacation destination for boating, swimming, and fishing. It also offers a wide variety of pull-up camper alternatives.
You should set aside some time while you're up here, in the northern parts of the state, to wander around the charming resort towns of Kalispell and Whitefish. And if it's between late June and early October, you should take the Going-to-the-Sun Road through Glacier National Park. Just be aware that the road might see heavy traffic at this time of year.
The Gallatin Valley, which surrounds Bozeman farther south, serves as the park's entrance. Although Wyoming is the primary location of the country's first national park, a large portion of its five million yearly visitors go through this region of Montana. Book top-notch whitewater rafting excursions through the three river systems that eventually meet to form the Missouri River if you visit in the summer.
Do you want to take an unforgettable road trip? Travel the Beartooth Highway's 69 kilometers from Red Lodge to Cooke City. This fabled stretch of U.S. Route 212 is one of the most beautiful sections of road in the nation, rising 11,000 feet above sea level on a broad plateau. But if dizzying heights aren't your style, travel an hour west of Bozeman to explore one of the nation's largest limestone caves, the Lewis and Clark Caverns.
If you come in the winter, you may ride a Ski-Doo to see the landscape covered in snow. From December through March, West Yellowstone serves as the snowmobile epicenter of the lower 48
states. In Big Sky, you may book sleigh rides that are guaranteed to charm the whole family if you like to plough through the powder with real strength. After a long day of activity, unwind your tired muscles in the renowned hot springs of the area while taking in the environment.
Where to Stay in Montana?
The village of Big Sky has become the go-to location if you're yearning for an opulent escape. Only recently has the luxury set begun to saturate this area, which has been home to its eponymous ski resort for almost 50 years. One of Montana's top resorts, Lone Mountain Ranch is a gem that deserves special mention. There are independent log cabins on the site along softly flowing streams. You may ride horses in the afternoon and participate in guided yoga in the morning. The Montage, a 139-room ski-in/ski-out resort, has opened its doors at the base of the slopes.
The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, tucked between its eponymous lake and the 28-acre Viking Creek Wetland Preserve, offers rustic appeal farther north in the state. The only thing that rivals its thoughtful amenities—hot tubs, a spa, live music—is its proximity to an undeveloped forest.
Once again, boutique hotels are starting to appear in the towns of Bozeman and Missoula. The new Kimpton Armory, a site that was once the Montana National Guard's barracks during World War II, stands out among them. It's gradually becoming the place to be downtown these days with 122 guest rooms, three restaurants, a rooftop pool with unobstructed views of the Bridger Mountains, and its own musical space.
However, if you're looking for a more casual bed-and-breakfast atmosphere, Montana has you covered everywhere. A spectacular example of housing in Missoula may be found at Blue Mountain, which offers five individual rooms on 20 acres of animal habitat near Lolo National Forest. Big Sky offers a lot of alternatives. Choose carefully and create memories or experiences to last forever.