Montana September 12, 2018
These 7 Enchanting Montana Drives Are Perfect For A Fall Day
While we’re thoroughly enjoying the final dwindling days of summer here in Montana, there’s no denying that autumn is an incredibly gorgeous season. Enjoy as many of these scenic drives as possible before our beautiful landscapes are covered in snow.
1. The Skalkaho Highway Scenic Byway
This 54-mile drive runs between the Bitterroot Valley and the Philipsburg Valley, offering incredible views of the Sapphire Mountains along the way. The pass closes in the winter, but the early and mid-fall colors are amazing.
2. Ennis to the Centennial Valley
This 135-mile drive begins in the peaceful fly fishing hub of Ennis and takes you to the breathtaking Centennial Valley, a remote ranching community and wildlife spot. So much of this area remains rugged and unchanged, you'll understand why Montana is known as the Last Best Place.
3. Highway 89 to Sluice Boxes State Park
Following U.S. Highway 89 up Kings Hill is a great way to take in the fall splendor. Stop in the tiny town of Belt for a meal (and enjoy the yellow and orange trees), then check out Belt Creek and Sluice Boxes State Park.
4. A day trip to Fort Benton
All routes to Fort Benton are beautiful in the fall, and the city itself is absolutely stunning. Stand on the Bridge to Nowhere and take in the views, then enjoy a good meal or a little shopping. Loop in a drive to Loma and see Decision Point, the confluence of the Missouri and Marias rivers while you're at it.
5. The Bitterroot Valley Scenic Drive (Highway 93)
Take Highway 93 through the beautiful Bitterroot Valley for the chance to see some amazing fall foliage. Pass through Lolo and Florence until you come to the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge and Stevensville. Continue on to Hamilton, the hub of the Bitterroot Valley.
6. Hyalite Canyon
Hyalite Canyon is the perfect place to go for a drive any time of year (except perhaps for the dead of winter). Catch some early fall foliage and take in the views at some of the highlights, like the reservoir and Grotto Falls.
7. The Big Snowy Mountains Backcountry Drive
Take a drive down Highway 238, also known as East Fork Road. When the paved road ends, you’ll reach East Fork Dam. The name of the road then changes to Red Hill Road and parallels the East Fork Big Springs Creek. If you follow the route all the way to Judith Gap, you’ll see some breathtaking views of the Big Snowy Mountains.
Are you ready for another beautiful autumn in the Treasure State? Here’s a
fall bucket list perfect for Montanans.