Montana is an outdoor lover’s paradise, offering wide-open spaces, untouched natural parks, and a unique past tied to Lewis and Clark. Incredible scenery can be found around every corner of this beautiful state! Glacier National Park stands out as the star attraction and features an array of epic hikes, picture-perfect lakes, and glacier-capped mountains.
You’ll have plenty of chances to enjoy the outdoors in Montana, from boat tours in the Gates of the Mountains to scenic drives along the famous Beartooth Highway. Places like Big Sky and Whitefish are well-known for their winter sports activities, while the state also boasts spectacular fishing, kayaking, and hiking options. Yellowstone National Park even has two entrances in Montana!
Montana’s quaint villages offer a dose of small-town charm mixed with historic and cultural attractions. The capital city of Helena is known for its grand architecture, while Butte has a rich mining history, and Livingston is beloved for its outdoor recreation. For unique museums and brewery hopping, head to Bozeman!
With so many natural wonders and unique attractions in the Treasure State, you might not know where to begin. So we’ve compiled our list of the best things to do in Montana, including the top outdoor adventures, family-friendly attractions, and historic sites. This unique Montana bucket list offers you a chance to explore the best of what this stunning state has to offer!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 25 Best Things to do in Montana
- 25 Cool and Unique Things To Do in Montana
- 1. Take a Hike in Glacier National Park
- 2. Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park
- 3. Explore Whitefish and Whitefish Mountain Resort
- 4. Go Fishing at Flathead Lake
- 5. See Wildlife Up-Close at the National Bison Range
- 6. Find Inner Peace at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
- 7. Learn About Cowboy Art at C.M. Russell Museum
- 8. Follow the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
- 9. Explore the Capital City of Helena
- 10. Cruise the Gates of the Mountains
- 11. Take a Scenic Drive on the Beartooth Highway
- 12. Marvel at Unique Formations at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park
- 13. Experience the Small-Town Charm of Butte
- 14. Enjoy Outdoor Adventures in Livingston
- 15. See Dinosaur Fossils at the Museum of the Rockies
- 16. Time Travel at American Computer and Robotics Museum
- 17. Go Brewery Hopping Across Montana
- 18. Visit an Eerie Ghost Town
- 19. Paddle the Upper Missouri Breaks River
- 20. Admire Cave Paintings at Pictograph Cave State Park
- 21. Take a Walk on the Wild Side at ZooMontana
- 22. See the Rimrocks at Sunset in Billings
- 23. Step Back in Time at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
- 24. Enjoy Winter Sports at Big Sky Resort
- 25. Explore West Yellowstone & Yellowstone National Park
- Frequently Asked Questions
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25 Cool and Unique Things To Do in Montana
1. Take a Hike in Glacier National Park
With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier National Park is a hiker’s paradise. It’s one of the top things to do in Montana for a reason, offering outdoor lovers a chance to experience some of its pristine forests, alpine meadows, glacier-capped mountains, and shimmering lakes.
Scenic day hikes are plentiful in this beautiful park, whether you prefer an easy trail leading to an alpine lake or an epic journey into the backcountry. Trail of the Cedars is a short, 1-mile trail with a boardwalk that winds through a thick forest, while Avalanche Lake is a moderate 4.5-mile hike that offers views of a picture-perfect lake.
The 2.8-mile Hidden Lake Overlook is one of the most popular hikes in Glacier, with a chance to spot mountain goats and bighorn sheep along the way. If you’re up for a challenge, follow the 9.6-mile Iceberg Lake Trail for stunning views of Mount Wilbur, Iceberg Peak, and the Continental Divide.
Nicknamed the “Crown of the Continent,” there’s much more to this UNESCO-listed park than its hiking trails. You can also take a boat ride across Lake McDonald, paddle on Swiftcurrent Lake, or road trip along the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road.
2. Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park
Going-to-the-Sun Road is a paved, two-lane highway that winds through Glacier National Park. Twisting and turning past a variety of jaw-dropping landscapes and terrains – from glacial lakes and waterfalls to alpine peaks and cedar forests – it’s considered one of the most spectacular drives in the country!
There are several lookout points on the 52-mile route where you can pull over to admire the spectacular scenery. At 6,646 feet, Logan Pass is the highest point on this scenic drive and one of the best places to enjoy sweeping views of the park’s beautiful mountains and wildflower fields.
It’s easy to combine the Going-to-the-Sun drive with a day of hiking, as the road tops out at Logan Pass. From here, you can get out and stretch your legs, then have your pick of several hiking trails nearby.
Make sure to time your visit right in order to see Going-to-the-Sun Road in all its glory. Typically, the route is open from the beginning of July to mid-October, with closures dependent on snowfall. It takes about two hours to drive its entire length, depending on how often you decide to pull over for photos and hikes.
3. Explore Whitefish and Whitefish Mountain Resort
With a beautiful backdrop of Big Mountain and the iconic Whitefish Mountain Resort, Whitefish is a cozy resort town in northern Montana. Skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and water activities on Whitefish Lake are popular, while it also serves as a convenient gateway to Glacier National Park.
Whitefish Mountain Resort is the area’s biggest attraction, encompassing over 3,000 acres. It’s also one of the top-rated ski resorts in the United States, offering year-round adventure with tons of winter sports as well as hiking and mountain biking in the summer.
Take a break from the outdoor adventures and explore downtown Whitefish, a charming area that lacks big-box retail chains. The quaint area is perfect for a stroll. Be sure to pop into the cute cafes and funky boutique shops selling handmade jewelry and art.
For a tranquil day outdoors, enjoy trout fishing or kayaking at Whitefish Lake or tee off at the 36-hole Whitefish Lake Golf Club. Hikers can also take in the area’s natural beauty along one of the 12 scenic trailheads at Whitefish Trail.
4. Go Fishing at Flathead Lake
Located just 40 miles south of Glacier National Park is Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Featuring over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline, it’s a renowned spot for fishing.
You can reel in a variety of fish at this natural wonder, including trophy-size trout, yellow perch, kokanee salmon, and whitefish. Its waters are great for a day of boating, sailing, or paddling, while the park’s long pebbly beach is popular for sunbathing and swimming.
Get out and stretch your legs on one of the many scenic trails and keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife. You can also visit the 2,163-acre Wild Horse Island off the west shore of the lake, where bald eagles, bighorn sheep, wild horses, and more than 75 species of birds can often be spotted.
If you don’t want to travel with your own pole, there are many places to rent fishing equipment around the lake. Stay overnight in one of the camping sites at Big Arm/Flathead Lake State Park, or visit some of Glacier Park’s other top-rated lakes, such as Lake McDonald, St. Mary Lake, and Avalanche Lake.
5. See Wildlife Up-Close at the National Bison Range
The National Bison Range in Moiese is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the United States and is home to roughly 350 to 500 American bison. Known for its incredible wildlife watching and photo ops, this natural attraction is open year-round.
The 18,500-acre range is home to other local wildlife, such as elk, white-tailed deer, and mule deer, as well as pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and black bears. Birdwatchers should bring their binoculars, as the National Bison Range boasts over 200 species, including eagles, hawks, meadowlarks, bluebirds, and geese.
Open mid-May to early-October, the Visitor Center features informative displays and offers up-to-date information on the latest wildlife sighting locations. Next, hop in your car and explore the refuge’s West Loop and Prairie Drives for a short, flat drive around the park.
Stay in your car and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, as the animals in this park are accustomed to vehicles but skittish around people. Dawn and dusk are the best times for wildlife viewing, especially in mid-summer.
Adventurous travelers can follow the 19-mile Red Sleep Mountain Drive, which is open from mid-May to early October and gains 2,000 feet of elevation. If you prefer to explore by foot, you’ll find a 1-mile Nature Trail and Grassland Trail next to the Day Use Area.
6. Find Inner Peace at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas offers a serene, Zen-like atmosphere in Montana, and encourages you to find inner peace. Located in western Montana’s Jocko Valley just 20 miles north of Missoula, this unique attraction is a public park, botanical garden, and Buddhist center all rolled into one.
Established as an international center for peace in 2000, the purpose of the garden is to bring about positive transformation for those who visit. Its design is based on the eight-spoked Dharma wheel, featuring a 750-foot monument and one thousand stupas sitting on 10 acres.
Walk around to see the hand-cast Buddha statues and native trees and flowers surrounding it. You can then learn how it has become a pilgrimage destination and place of worship for people of many faiths. Afterward, stop at the information center to pick up imported items from Nepal as well as local crafts at the gift shop.
7. Learn About Cowboy Art at C.M. Russell Museum
Located in Great Falls, the C.M. Russell Museum celebrates the life and work of one of the greatest artists in the US. Nicknamed the “Cowboy Artist,” not only did he create a beautiful historical record of Western cultures, but he also lived the life he captured on canvas.
Come here to be inspired by his masterful works, which represent the wild frontier and an era of homesteading and settlement in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Highlights include more than 3,000 pieces of Western art, including 16 exhibition galleries with oil paintings, watercolors, bronzes, and clay models.
Throughout his art, you’ll find depictions of the traditions of North Plains Indian life, Montana’s wildlife and landscapes, and cowboy culture. What makes it even more special is that the rotating art in the museum demonstrates the exceptional artistic evolution of a largely self-taught genius.
In addition to the outstanding collection of paintings, the museum also houses a variety of documents and artifacts from Russell’s personal collection. You can visit the original Russell House and Studio, which is now a National Historic Landmark, as well as the Russel Riders Sculpture Garden.
8. Follow the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
The Lewis and Clark expedition is a vital piece of Montana’s rich history. Back in the early 1800s, Lewis and Clark explored many points in Montana when traveling westward in search of the Pacific Ocean.
One of the coolest things to do in Montana is to retrace part of the same legendary route on the famous Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Extending from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Astoria, Oregon, this 4,900-mile-long trail connects 16 states and has endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
Along the way, you can visit notable landmarks, such as Fort Benton, Great Falls, and the Two Medicine Fight Site. To witness the true beauty of Montana, make sure to add Missouri Headwaters State Park, Traveler’s Rest State Park, and Lolo Pass to your itinerary.
Located in Great Falls, the Interpretive Center is a highlight of the trail. Take a self-guided tour of this facility and browse its unique variety of exhibits highlighting Lewis and Clark’s epic expedition across North America.
9. Explore the Capital City of Helena
Nicknamed “The Queen City of the Rockies,” Helena is known for its grand architecture, popular museums, and historic sites. Montana’s capital city is a great place to learn more about the state’s rich history and enjoy the outdoors.
A tour of the State Capitol in Helena is one of the top things to do in Montana for history buffs, while Montana’s Museum is filled with unique artifacts from the state’s past. If you’re interested in browsing a collection of modern and contemporary art, make sure to stop by the Holter Museum of Art.
You’ll find miles of hiking trails within the 620-acre Mount Helena City Park. the 1906 Trail, Prairie Trail, and Backside Trail are a few of its most popular routes. Alternately, you can stop and smell the roses while wandering the beautiful gardens in Tizer Botanic Gardens & Arboretum.
Helena also makes an ideal home base for exploring Montana’s most beautiful natural scenery, including the 2.8 million-acre Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. Popular things to do in the forest include hiking along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, seeing big game in Elkhart Wildlife Management Unit, and visiting the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area.
10. Cruise the Gates of the Mountains
Nestled halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks sits one of Montana’s most famous natural attractions, the Gates of the Mountains. Located about 20 miles north of Helena, this stunning canyon on the Missouri River is best seen on a boat tour.
One of the coolest things to do in Montana for nature lovers, you’ll pass incredible scenery that includes limestone cliffs, wooded slopes, and rugged rock formations on an open-air boat. During the tour, you’ll learn why Meriwether Lewis named this place the Gates of the Mountains in 1805 during the iconic Corps of Discovery expedition.
In addition to the marvelous natural wonders, local guides will highlight the area’s interesting geology and wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might even spot local wildlife such as bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and birds of prey on your tour.
During the 2-hour journey, you’ll stop off at Mann Gulch, the site of a tragic 1949 fire that is the subject of several books. Near this site are Indian pictographs painted on the rock walls that prove indigenous people lived here long before Lewis explored this area.
11. Take a Scenic Drive on the Beartooth Highway
Travelers who love a good road trip should add the scenic Beartooth Highway to their Montana bucket list. A National Scenic Byways All-American Road, the legendary route covers about 70 miles and passes the Beartooth Mountain range in southwest Montana and northwest Wyoming.
It features some of the most diverse ecosystems accessible by car in the United States, following US Highway 212 to the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Road trippers have the rare opportunity to experience pristine alpine and mountain landscapes, lush forests, and alpine tundra in the space of a few miles and you’ll find plenty of postcard-worthy outlooks where you can pull over and enjoy the view.
Wildlife watching in this area is as diverse as its landscapes. Keep an eye out for mountain goats, moose, and elk, as well as black bears, grizzly bears, and wolves. Autumn showcases brilliant shades of fall foliage, while epic vistas of glacial lakes, waterfalls, and forested valleys can be enjoyed in warmer months.
Guided horseback riding excursions are popular in this area, as well as trout fishing in the streams and lakes next to the highway. If you want to break up your trip, stay overnight in one of the 13 National Forest campgrounds. (The highway is typically closed to cars in the winter months.)
12. Marvel at Unique Formations at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park
Located in Jefferson County, the Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is a popular natural wonder in North America. Not only is it Montana’s first and best-known state park, but it’s also one of the most decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest.
You’ll have to go underground to see this park’s main attraction, which includes getting up-close to interesting stalactites, stalagmites, and other unique mineral formations. Guided tours typically run between May to late September and lead you to the electrically lighted natural wonders underground while detailing their geological significance.
Plan about two hours for the tour, where you’ll climb down a set of stairs and a narrow passage and encounter the famous “Beaver Slide.” You’ll have to go deep into the caves to fully experience this attraction – 300 vertical feet to be exact – where you’ll have the chance to marvel at each of its “grand rooms.”
Above ground, Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park boasts a collection of hiking and biking trails. Facilities include campsites, cabins, two visitor centers, and interpretive displays. There are also food and beverage concessions, ranger-led programs, and annual events held in the summer months.
13. Experience the Small-Town Charm of Butte
Discover the small-town charms of Butte, Montana with its rich mining history, stately mansions, and preserved Victorian business district. Nicknamed Montana’s “festival city” for its year-round events, it’s also known for its family-friendly atmosphere.
At the entrance of Butte is the famous Berkeley Pit, a 7,000 foot long former open-pit copper mine that you can peer into from a viewing platform. However, one of the best ways to get acquainted with this picturesque town is via the 2-hour Butte Trolley Tour, which passes by some of the most iconic buildings in the National Historic Landmark District.
The World Museum of Mining is Butte’s most popular attraction, where you can get up-close with antique machinery, mining tools, and a reconstructed mining town. You’ll have the chance to don a hard hat and go underground for an in-depth look at the original shaft state and listen to stories of real-life miners.
Next, tour the 34-room Copper King Mansion to learn about one of Butte’s wealthiest copper-mine developers. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time with much of its beauty retained throughout the mansion, which features antique chandeliers, stained glass windows, and period furnishings.
14. Enjoy Outdoor Adventures in Livingston
Livingston is a historic train town from the late 1880s, where you’ll find a beautiful mix of outdoor adventures and friendly locals. Surrounded by the peaks of the Absaroka Range, family-friendly recreation such as fly fishing, dog sledding, river rafting, and horseback riding are popular activities.
Located north of Yellowstone National Park between Billings and Bozeman, this small town sits at the end of the legendary Paradise Valley and the famous Yellowstone River. You can enjoy a day of fly fishing in Yellowstone River, hike the trails near the Absaroka Mountains, or enjoy a luxurious soak in Chico Hot Springs.
The charming downtown area also has a rich history, with over 17 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Spend an afternoon exploring this area and its buildings that now house restaurants, theaters, cafes, and boutique shops.
You can learn about the region’s railroad history at the Livingston Depot Museum or the Wild West days at Yellowstone Gateway Museum. Alternately, hop in the car and follow the Shields River Valley Scenic Drive past wide-open meadows with grazing cattle and original farmhouses and ranches for a glimpse of classic Montana scenery.
15. See Dinosaur Fossils at the Museum of the Rockies
Located in Bozeman, the Museum of the Rockies is a must-visit while in Montana. Focusing on the natural and human history of the Rocky Mountain region, it features a collection of captivating exhibits with dinosaur fossils and large-scale models.
Its dinosaur collection is the largest in the United States, and you’ll be greeted by one of its most famous T-Rex skeletons, “Big Mike”, at the museum’s entrance. You don’t want to miss seeing the world’s biggest Tyrannosaurus skull up-close, as it’s one of the museum’s highlights!
You can also dive deep into Montana’s human history at this museum, including its mining history and transportation. There are displays dedicated to the native people of Yellowstone Country, Western art exhibits, and an original pioneer log home from the late 1800s.
The Museum of the Rockies also features a planetarium where you can look at the cosmos through its 4K digital projection. Peer deep into space through the eyes of the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope in the 40-foot dome’s captivating show, where seats recline in order to get the full space experience.
16. Time Travel at American Computer and Robotics Museum
The American Computer and Robotics Museum isn’t just for computer geeks. It’s also a fascinating museum for anyone interested in the history of humans and technology. Located in Bozeman, it’s considered one of the most unique museums in Montana.
Explore the past by browsing exhibits detailing historic cuneiform tablets, the first personal computers, and women in computing. You’ll find engaging and innovative displays spanning 4,000 years of human history, from camera-toting pigeons in World War I to today’s high-resolution cameras mounted on orbiting satellites.
It also features thought-provoking exhibits highlighting the future of the Information Age, with topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, and Cracking the Enigma Code on display. Immerse yourself in the world of technology at this attraction, which is the oldest continually operating museum of its kind in the world!
17. Go Brewery Hopping Across Montana
Montana’s popular breweries offer the perfect spot to wind down after a day of exploring the beautiful outdoors. Montana’s mix of locally grown wheat and barley, clear glacier waters, and Pacific Northwest hops have resulted in some tasty, award-winning beers. Be sure to sample a local brew or two during your trip!
Philipsburg Brewing Company is located inside a historic bank from the late 1800s, offering one of the most unique settings, while Missoula’s Bayern Brewing is the state’s oldest brewery. Big Sky Brewing Company is another top brewery in Missoula featuring a wide variety of beers on tap in its tasting room.
If you like options, head to Billing’s popular Brewery District for your pick of six breweries, two distilleries, and a cider house, all within walking distance of each other. For gorgeous views of Flathead Lake, take in the scenery from the pub house at Flathead Lake Brewing Company in Bigfork.
Beaverhead Brewing Company is off-the-beaten-path in Dillion, a small town in southwestern Montana. You can also pair pizza with hand-crafted beers at The Mighty Mo Brewing Company in downtown Great Falls or try the seasonal brews and sour beers in the tasting room at Bozeman Brewing Company.
18. Visit an Eerie Ghost Town
History enthusiasts who don’t get spooked easily can add one of Montana’s famous ghost towns to their itinerary. At these small-town gems, you’ll be transported to the historic era of gold, saloons, and vigilantes.
Located in west-central Montana, Garnet is the most well-preserved ghost town in Montana. This town was buzzing with gold miners 100 years ago, and you can stroll its “Main Street” to see the remains of a hotel, general store, saloon, and post office. Stop by the Visitor Center to see unique artifacts from that era.
Coloma is a couple of miles north of Garnet where mining shafts, rusting ventilation systems, pumping machines, and the remains of narrow-gauge railroad tracks still exist. Marysville is another popular ghost town. It was once a thriving gold camp and is now a small community with several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
Once called Montana’s “Silver Queen,” Granite Ghost Town State Park in Philipsburg offers you a chance to explore a once thriving 1890s silver boomtown. Next, head east to Elkhorn State Park in Jefferson County to see the remnants of a 19th-century mining town with historic frontier architecture.
19. Paddle the Upper Missouri Breaks River
If you’re up for a paddling adventure in Montana, head to the picturesque Upper Missouri Breaks River. Passing through remote and rugged canyons, this is a unique stretch of the Missouri River that caters to all skill levels.
Adventure junkies will love embarking on multi-day canoe trips on the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River. Here you can pass through the iconic monument like Lewis and Clark once did and soak up views of some of Montana’s most spectacular scenery.
Start your journey at the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center in Fort Benton, one of Montana’s most charming small towns. Experts here will be able to guide you on the best way to explore the Upper Missouri Breaks, whether you prefer a guided tour or have your own boat or canoe.
Before you leave, make sure to browse the Interpretive Center’s interesting hands-on exhibits highlighting the rich history of the region. After a day of paddling, you can also enjoy other outdoor adventures such as hiking, birdwatching, fishing, or camping nearby.
20. Admire Cave Paintings at Pictograph Cave State Park
History buffs will love exploring Pictograph Cave State Park in Billings. This National Historic Landmark offers a one-of-a-kind archeological adventure and is home to cave paintings that date back almost 2,000 years!
Browse the engaging interpretive displays showcased in the Visitor Center, then walk around the park’s loop trail to see the more than 100 cave paintings, known as pictographs, that were discovered back in 1936. You can learn about the prehistoric hunters who left these paintings behind and browse the center’s 30,000 unique artifacts that include weapons, instruments, and stone tools.
As you explore the loop, you’ll see that many of the earliest artists decorated the walls at Pictograph Cave State Park with black and white pigments. Some of the most recent additions were painted by people who visited the cave about 200 to 500 years ago and include images of rifles, horses, and other animals.
Follow the interpretive trail to the Pictograph, Middle, and Ghost Caves, and then follow the loop back to the picnic area and visitor center. The best way to see the historic pieces of art up-close is by bringing a pair of binoculars. That way you can get a better look at some of the park’s wildlife and spectacular scenery!
21. Take a Walk on the Wild Side at ZooMontana
If you’re traveling with the family, ZooMontana in Billings is one of the best things to do in Montana with the kids. The zoo is actually a combination of botanical and wildlife habitats with a “biopark” theme. It is the only zoo in the Northern Rockies where you can observe animals in their natural settings.
ZooMontana is home to more than 80 animals of 56 different species, most of which are rescues. Some of the most popular wildlife habitats feature wolverines, miniature donkeys, Amur tigers, and bison, as well as gray wolves, grizzly bears, river otters, red pandas, and more.
If you’re not scared of snakes and spiders, check out the ball python, California kingsnake, and Chilean rose hair tarantula exhibits. You can also say hello to over 70 koi fish at ZooMontana or see if you can make “Sydney,” the laughing kookaburra, giggle!
If you love exotic plants, don’t miss the 1-acre Sensory Garden that is designed to delight your sense of smell, sound, touch, and sight. There’s also a Bamboo Garden where you’ll find the red pandas, a Children’s Garden dotted with sculptures, and a Homestead Garden featuring turn-of-the-century buildings.
22. See the Rimrocks at Sunset in Billings
Slowly carved over millions of years by the Yellowstone River, “rimrocks” are a defining geological wonder in Billings. These sandstone cliffs run across the northern edge of the town and make for a great spot to enjoy a spectacular sunset.
There are a variety of places, including trailheads and parking areas, where you can view this unique Montana backdrop. Located on the northwest side of Billings, Zimmerman Park is an easy excursion and has a number of scenic vantage points. It’s also a popular spot for mountain biking and hiking.
Head east to Swords Park and Phipps Park for more rimrock trails. You’ll even get views of Yellowstone Valley and the Beartooth Mountains on a clear day. Four Dances Special Recreation Management Area is another popular viewpoint that is often crowd-free, offering striking cliffside views best seen at sunset.
If you’re just after a scenic view, visit Riverfront Park on the banks of the Yellowstone River for a peaceful day in nature. You’ll find plenty of hiking trails and picnic pavilions at this top Billings attraction, with much of the park centered around the picturesque Lake Josephine. Lake Elmo State Park is another popular area where you can hike around the lake and fish off the pier.
23. Step Back in Time at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
History buffs won’t want to miss the chance to see the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, where the famous Battle of Little Bighorn took place in 1876. Located an hour east of Billings, this historic site is one of the top attractions in Montana.
Start at the Visitor Center to see exhibits related to the 1876 battle, during which 263 of the regiment’s 650 US Cavalrymen were killed in action by Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors. You can learn about the history of the battle and see weapons displays before exploring the historic site.
Allow plenty of time to walk the 4.5-mile route, which features notable sites such as the Last Stand Hill, the Custer National Cemetery, and the Indian Memorial. The tour road connects two separate battlefields: the Custer Battlefield and the Reno-Benteen Battlefield.
If you prefer to explore by car, you can listen to an audio tour on your cell phone and make stops along the way. These audio tours help you get fully immersed into the story of the battle and include a narrative of soldier movements and warrior accounts.
24. Enjoy Winter Sports at Big Sky Resort
If you love winter sports, a day of skiing or snowboarding at Big Sky Resort should be at the top of your Montana bucket list. It’s no secret that Big Sky is one of the best skiing destinations in the United States. Its beautiful landscape of snow-capped mountains boasts an incredible number of exciting runs.
Calling itself “The Biggest Skiing in America,” the slopes at Big Sky are legendary for their abundance of snow and get an average of 400 inches of snowfall each year. There are over 5,700 skiable acres at Big Sky Resort, in addition to over 4,300 feet of vertical terrain that is suitable for all skill levels.
For non-skiers, there are other fun winter activities to choose from, including a winter zip line, dog sledding, ice skating, and snowshoeing. Big Sky Resort also offers a large selection of accommodation options, including hotels, cabins, and condos, while on-site restaurants and a variety of entertainment, such as apres-ski opportunities, are also available.
Located about an hour from Bozeman, this premier winter destination is also a popular warm-weather destination. In the summer, you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, golfing, and fly fishing, and there’s often late-season skiing available in March and April.
25. Explore West Yellowstone & Yellowstone National Park
Sitting at the West Entrance of the renowned Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone is an easy addition to your growing Montana bucket list. From here, you can visit Yellowstone’s most popular attractions, including the Grand Prismatic Spring, The Old Faithful Geyser, Lamar Valley, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.
While you’re in West Yellowstone, add the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center to your itinerary. The not-for-profit wildlife park and educational facility give you a rare opportunity to get up-close with grizzly bears, wolves, and otters. Animal encounters are educational, as the center teaches visitors about animal behaviors and their history.
If you love animals, a highlight of your visit will be watching the bears forage for trout in the large outdoor habitat and spotting the North American river otters lounging around in the sandpit. It’s also probably the only time in your life you’ll be excited to see a wolf up-close!
If you want to learn more about West Yellowstone, browse the unique artifacts at the Museum of the Yellowstone. Kids can let off steam at the giant ropes challenge course and the 1,000 feet of zip lines at the Yellowstone Zipline Adventure Park, while the historic Playmill Theatre features live performances of family-oriented musicals.
There you have it! 25 of the best things to do in Montana! What’s your favorite thing to do in The Treasure State?
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