There’s more to the USA than cloud-touching skyscrapers, Californian beaches and bustling hipster-dwelling cities. This huge country is also home to beautiful mountainous ranges, great sparkling lakes and natural wildlife.
Where is the best place to see nature in all of its glory? We’d suggest the sweeping state of Montana. Also known as ‘Big Sky Country’, it borders with Canada, and is home to some of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife in all of the United States (including bison and grizzly bears!)
This vast state has so much to offer. The best way to properly experience Montana, has to be a classic USA road trip. We’ve listed the best stops to make, so jump in your hire-car, don’t forget your camera and binoculars, and prepare for a journey of a lifetime!
The Great Plains
400 miles, six days’ drive
A large part of the USA is made up of the Great Plains, a stunning landscape that stretches all the way from Texas to Montana. The American bison that roamed the plains brought settlers to the state in the nineteenth century, with hopes of making their fortune. The area is rich with history, including the migration from the Eastern states. Visit the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, where you can see buffalo roaming freely over the short prairie lands.
Quick Day Trip Idea
Quake Lake offers something a little different from thousands of miles of uninterrupted plains. A six-mile-long natural lake was created in 1959, after an earthquake that measured 7.5 on the Richter scale hit Montana. The earthquake caused an 80-million-ton landslide that blocked the flow of water from the nearby Hebgen Dam, and in less than a month, Quake Lake had been formed.
Make sure to stop by the Quake Lake Visitors Center when you go, and learn about the devastating consequences of this earthquake, as well as the fascinating geography of the surrounding area.
360 miles, five days’ drive
Yellowstone National Park is on the road trip bucket list for most people. And with almost 3,500 square miles of wilderness to explore, you’ll never be short of things to see. In the Montana area of the park, you can hike through the wild landscape, ride on horseback through Paradise Valley and see the natural phenomenon of the Mammoth Hot Springs.
If you’re choosing to hike through Yellowstone, you must remember to stay safe. Ensure you tell the rangers at the nearest Visitor Centre where you’re going, what route you’re taking, and when you’ll be back.
It’s important to be well-equipped when hiking through Yellowstone. Always pack water, a first aid kit, suitable clothing, and bear spray.
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
265 miles, 5 days’ drive
One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this is another stunning park that’s full of breath-taking natural scenery. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is unique, as it crosses the US and Canadian border; the US side is home to Montana’s Glacier National Park and the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road.
This scenic road really does feel like you’re driving directly into the sun, every section boasting natural beauty. Like Bird Woman Falls; a 492ft. drop between Mount. Oberlin and Mount Cannon.
Make sure you plan your trip well ahead of time, as some of the road can close during ploughing for heavy snowfall. The route is generally open from June/July, but parts can close after October. You can keep an eye on the ploughing status here.
So, there you have it, the beautiful state of Montana and its roads are open to you. The only difficult question you now have to ask is: what should I see first?