1. Glacier National Park
You’ll find over 1 million acres to explore in this stunning park. It would take you weeks (maybe months) just to check out the 130+ lakes, let alone the two mountain ranges. Hike any of the more than 700 trails to really experience the park.
2. Going-to-the-Sun Road
If you’re rather explore by car, take a drive along the 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road, which winds through Glacier Park and offers some incredible views.
3. Fort Benton
If you’re interested in Montana’s history, historic Fort Benton is a great place to explore. Walk along the banks of the Missouri river, take in the historic district and visit the many museums and memorials.
4. Makoshika State Park
Offering more than 11,000 acres, Montana’s largest state park demands your attention. Check out the dinosaur trail and see the remains of T-rex and Triceratops. Practice your skills at the archery range, camp, hike, and take a scenic drive.
5. Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
When you want to explore and get your zen on at the same time, the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is your spot. Wander through collection of statues and Buddhist symbols and soak in the quiet beauty of this place. You’ll find it in the town of Arlee.
6. The Beartooth Mountains
You could hike in the Beartooth Mountains for weeks and still not see everything. If you have the skills, hike to Granite Peak - Montana’s highest point at 12,799 feet above sea level. If exploring via car is more your style, drive the Beartooth Scenic Byway.
There’s so much to see and do in Yellowstone that you’ll want to allow plenty of time. From the wildlife to the geysers, it’s a great spot for exploration. It’s also lots of fun to people watch - the park is full of tourists all summer long.
8. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
The north portion of this recreation area is in Montana, and you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied here. Fish in the Bighorn River, camp at Black Canyon, visit the Yellowtail Dam, and play on Bighorn Lake.
Don’t dismiss Missoula on your way to Yellowstone; this little town has a lot to offer. Kayak or paddleboard on the two rivers: the Bitterroot and the Clark Fork. Explore the hiking trails, breweries, and restaurants. Visit the University of Montana campus and check out the Big Sky documentary film festival.
10. Flathead Lake
Montana is home to the largest natural lake in the Western U.S. Flathead Lake covers over 200 square miles and has 185 miles of shoreline. Visit the lake to fish, boat, camp, swim, or just hang out and enjoy the beauty.
11. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Explore one of the nation’s most important historical sites. The Battle at Little Bighorn was one of the last battles in the war between America’s native people and the U.S. Army. Peruse the Custer National Cemetery, the burial site of thousands of soldiers, and check out the Indian Memorial and 7th US Cavalry Memorial to learn more.
12. Thompson Falls State Park
The Clark Fork Valley just begs to be explored. Thompson Falls State Park is nestled next to the Clark Fork River and offers acres of forested land in which to hike, photograph and play.