If you live in Montana and you’re not regularly taking road trips (when the ground isn’t completely covered in snow, of course), you’re missing out on some incredible experiences. We highly recommend adding these 5 itineraries to your road trip list — they’re truly unforgettable.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Glacier National Park to Yellowstone National Park
Take this road trip during the summer, and allow yourself at least a week to enjoy it (longer if possible). There are two main routes you can take, but we recommend taking US-83 S and I-90 E.
Make sure to stop at Seeley Lake to stretch your legs and take some beautiful photos. You'll come right to it on Highway 83.
You'll pass through some of Montana's coolest towns (Deer Lodge and Ennis, for example) and unbelievable scenery before entering Yellowstone National Park from West Yellowstone.
2. Missoula to Bozeman
This might be a short 3-hour trek, but that doesn't mean it's dull. In fact, there's plenty to see in both cities as well as that stretch of I-90.
Make sure to stop by Deer Lodge and tour the Old Montana Prison Complex. Continue your history lesson with a stop in Butte, where you can tour an old mine or check out a brothel museum.
Once you arrive in Bozeman, all you'll have to do is explore the city. This is your chance to compare Missoula and Bozeman and see which one you like better.
3. Great Falls to Havre
Montana history buffs will love this trip. You'll start in Great Falls, home of the world's smallest river (the Roe), and drive through historic Fort Benton, see the Virgelle Mercantile and check out plenty of other pieces of Montana's past.
The drive up US 87 N is only two hours, so you'll have plenty of time to stop and explore Fort Benton, Montana's oldest continuously populated town.
Prepare to be charmed by the little town of Havre. A perfect retreat for nature lovers and history buffs, Havre has a lot to offer —especially the historic Havre Beneath the Streets tour.
4. Billings to Fort Peck to Makoshika State Park
This is more of a weekend getaway trip than a single-day destination, but you'll see some of Eastern Montana's finest gems. Start in our largest city, Billings, exploring the always expanding dining scene, shops, and museums.
The route takes you up US-87 N and US-12 E. And speaking of dining scenes, you'll want to make a stop at one of Montana's oldest and most notorious spots, the Jersey Lilly. The building dates back to 1914 when it was a bank, and now they serve the best beans in the state.
Keep driving on Highway 200 and you'll eventually turn onto MT-24 N until you reach the impressive Fort Peck Dam and lake, a sight you'll definitely want to see.
End your journey by spending some time at Makoshika State Park, Eastern Montana's most underrated treasure.
5. Kalispell to Kootenai Falls
Northwest Montana is exceptionally beautiful, and Kootenai Falls makes a stunning day trip destination. This two-hour road trip takes you from Kalispell to the falls via US-2 W, with plenty of scenery along the way.
Make a pit stop in the always pleasant town of Libby and fill your belly at the Last Straw Cafe.
And then, of course, there's this. Kootenai Falls is easily accessible — park in a designated lot and walk to a suspension bridge (which is exhilarating but not scary) to see these views.