Montana Nature, State Parks February 16, 2016
If You Live In Montana, You Must Visit This Amazing State Park
Montana is home to some national parks that, while amazing, tend to steal the spotlight when people visit from out-of-state. But the locals know that there’s much more to Montana than Glacier and Yellowstone. The state parks in Big Sky Country are like no other, especially the largest state park, Makoshika. If you live in Montana, do yourself the favor of visiting this beautiful place.
What does “Makoshika” mean, anyway?
The name “Makoshika” is a variant spelling of a Lakota phrase that means bad land or bad spirits. Of course, there is nothing bad about these badlands… there’s a lot to enjoy here. Impressive rock formations and prehistoric relics make this park a must-see.
The park is a landmark on the Dinosaur Trail.
Makoshika State Park is part of Montana’s Dinosaur Trail and houses fossil remains of dinosaurs like Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex. In fact, the bones of 10-12 dinosaur species have been discovered here. The visitors’ center at the park’s entrance will have information explaining the prehistoric stories.
It’s always open.
The park itself is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so you can always go exploring. The visitors’ center has varying hours depending on the season. They’re open daily during the summer, and during winter you’ll be able to stop by Wednesday-Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Enjoy everything it has to offer.
There’s so much to experience at Makoshika State Park. Aside from the amazing rock formations and fossils, you’ll find trails for hiking, biking and bird watching, wildlife viewing and plenty of picnic areas. You can also drive the 10 mile road that runs through it.
You can go off the beaten path.
Experienced hikers can try the Kinney Coulee Trail, which is located three miles from the park’s entrance and provides an alternative route from the top heights into a coulee. The trail is only established for the first mile, and then you can choose your own path.
Camping is available.
You can camp at the park in designated areas and enjoy being surrounded by its natural beauty for days. For those that prefer a real bed, there are several hotels nearby.
Truly, every Montanan should visit Makoshika.
Because of its unique location, Makoshika is very different visually from anything else you’ll see in the state. No matter what part of Montana you call home, a trip to Glendive will be worth it to take in these unique views.
Have you been to Makoshika State Park? What did you think?