This Epic Road Trip Leads To 5 Iconic Landmarks In Montana
Got a case of cabin fever? Nothing will cure it like a scenic Montana road trip—when the weather allows, of course. Our state is so massive, you could drive around for weeks and not see it all. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Once the weather warms up, save a long weekend for this epic road trip, which will take you to five of Montana’s most famous landmarks. Learn about local history, take in the stunning views, and fall in love with our beautiful state all over again.
1. Bannack State Park
Start your adventure at Bannack State Park, home to Montana's first territorial capital (and the site of Montana's first major gold discovery in 1862). The old town has been remarkably well-preserved, and you can learn a lot in a single visit.
2. Virginia City
Virginia City, MT 59729, USA
Next, head to the slightly livelier Virginia City, which is as Old West as it gets. Virginia City spent some time as Montana's territorial capital until the honor was given to Helena in 1865. This is the site of the richest placer gold strike in the Rocky Mountains, producing an estimated total value of $100 million between the 1800s and early 1900s.
3. Pictograph Cave State Park
Pictograph Cave State Park, 3401 Coburn Rd, Billings, MT 59101, USA
Drive east until you see signs for Pictograph Cave State Park outside Billings. The Pictograph, Middle, and Ghost Caves were home to generations of prehistoric hunters, and many of their pictographs (cave paintings) still remain. The oldest rock art in the cave is over 2,000 years old—and no one has ever been able to decipher them, although plenty of experts have offered opinions.
4. Pompeys Pillar National Monument
Pompeys Pillar, MT 59064, USA
Nestled on the banks of the Yellowstone River, the massive sandstone rock formation known as Pompeys Pillar stretches 120 feet into the sky. While you might not think much of it at first sight, this rock formation is a site of cultural and historic significance. You might have heard that William Clark (of Lewis & Clark) left an inscription here, you'll also find the markings of thousands of years of human occupation.
5. Bighorn Canyon
Last but most certainly not least, cruise down to Bighorn Canyon. We share the beautiful Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area with Wyoming, and we can't think of a more magnificent border. Spanning over 120,000 acres, this canyon holds ecosystems, wildlife, and thousands of years of human history.
Do you have any Montana road trips planned for this year? What would you add to this list?
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