Montana Travel Guide

Montana Travel Guide

Montana – a state in the Western United States with mountainous topography is often nicknamed as “Land of the Shining Mountains” and “Big Sky Country”. It is the fourth largest state in the US after Alaska, Texas, and California. Montana also possess the “world’s shortest river”, the Roe River. The economy is primarily based on services such as ranching, wheat farming, oil and coal, lumber, tourism and hard rock mining. Montana is characteristic of scenic valleys such as Flathead Valley, Bitterroot Valley, and Gallatin Valley which present multiple opportunities for tourism and recreation.

Montana: A Brief History

Archeological evidence suggests that various native Indians such as the crow, cheyenne, blackfeet inhabited Montana. Montana was acquired as a part of Louisiana Purchase Treaty in 1803. The treaty sparked interest in exploration and scientific inquiry. The Lewis Clark expedition was responsible in studying, mapping and recording information on the native people, history, terrain, and river systems. Clark made an inscription on the sandstone pillar also known as Pompey’s Pillar, named after Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (Pompy), the son of Sacagawea who was the native woman who helped guide the expedition.

One of the central activities of Montana’s economy is cattle ranching which came with the entrepreneurship of Johnny Grant during the late 1850s. He sold his ranch to Conrad Kohrs who was responsible for a major cattle empire in the area. Mining is one of the important occupations in Montana. Copper made Butte, one of the most prosperous cities in the world is “the Richest Hill on Earth” due to the presence of the copper mines.

Montana Official Language(s) English
Montana Demonym Montanan
Montana Capital Helena
Montana Largest City Billings
Montana Largest Metro Area Billings Metropolitan Area
Montana Area  Ranked 4th in the US
 - Total 147,042 sq mi
(381,156 km2)
 - Width 255 miles (410 km)
 - Length 630 miles (1,015 km)
 - % water 1
 - Latitude 44° 21′ N to 49° N
 - Longitude 104° 2′ W to 116° 3′ W
Montana Population  Ranked 44th in the US
 - Total 974,989 (2009 est.)
902,195 (2000)
- Density 6.5/sq mi  (2.51/km2)
Ranked 48th in the US
Montana Elevation  
 - Highest point Granite Peak
12,807 ft  ({{{HighestElev}}} m)
 - Mean 3,396 ft  (1,035 m)
 - Lowest point Kootenai River
1,800 ft  (549 m)
Montana Before Statehood Montana Territory
Montana Admission to Union  November 8, 1889 (41st)
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (D)
Montana Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger (R)
Montana Legislature Montana Legislature
 - Upper house Senate
 - Lower house House of Representatives
U.S. Senators Max Baucus (D)
Jon Tester (D)
U.S. House delegation Denny Rehberg (R)
Montana Time Zone Mountain: UTC-7 / DST-6
Montana Abbreviations MT US-MT
Montana Website

Montana is situated in the north-western of the US in the regions of the Rocky Mountains. Montana is also popularly known as a Big Sky Country because of its famed big blue skies. It is said to be the state of contrast as in some parts of the state there are Rocky Mountains, hilly areas and in some parts there are flat regions with green coverage. In the words of tourism Montana is considered to be the best nature tourism. With 60% of the solid ground and rest as glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, valleys etc. All together make a scenic phenomenon of the state a life time remembrance for the tourists and visitors.

The ones who do not wish to enjoy the scenic beauty and the nature of the state, they may be attracted towards the outdoor activity like fishing generally done in summer and skiing done in winter. Also they have world renowned wild life parks and some reservoirs which definitely give an adventurous trip.

Montana is the 4th largest state of US and the features of this state are that it has wide open spaces, lonely highways and dramatic scenery on both east and west frontiers. Residents of the state classify themselves into easterners or westerners. This classification depends on the geographic location of the residents. The west side of the state is considered as liberal and since it has more scenic beauty it is most of the time flooded with tourist. While the east is a bit conservative as it has some plain and cliffs hence scarcely populated.

Some more key facts for the travel guide are; the capital city of Montana is Helena, currency used is USD and official language of the state is English.

Montana Popular Tourist Destination

Montana offers a lot of places to visit but among these, the best ones are Helena and Billings. Helena been the capital city of the state is also said to be the greatest place for the natural beauty. The famous natural attractions of the city are Mount Helena City Park, Lake Helena, Helena National Forest, the Continental Divide, the Big Belt Mountains, Spring Meadow, Lake State Park, Missouri River and Canyon Ferry. Billings on the other hand is the largest city of Montana and is also the hub of economic activities. The city has everything clubs, sport complexes, zoos and also some scenic beauty.

Some other destinations of Montana is also a worth to watch such as Bozeman; a trendy kind of place which has a perfect blend of city and town. Another city of Montana also known as the garden city called Missoula is also worth seeing. It is also the house for the University of Montana. It offers great adventures in sports and also gives a rocking nightlife scenario.

Montana Economy and Infrastructure

The economy of the state is mainly based on the agricultural industry and its products include everything from cereals to fruits and vegetables. Beside the agricultural cattle ranching is also practiced in various parts of the state. With Mining and Lumbering; Beer Brewing has also become one of the major contributors for the economy of the country. Recently Tourism has also been added in the list of the cash earners for the state. The cities and towns of Montana are well connected to each other and other important US regions are connected through the highways and rail-roads.

Montana Culture

Montana has a small size of Native American population which is at times noticeable along with the European and Hispanics natives. The state culture is a mix of different culture of the countries. Though each has its individual name but currently all are engrossed under one name of Montana Culture. The majority of the Montana population follows Christianity.

Montana Things to See and Do

The geography of Montana divides it into six tourism countries:

Glacier Country: It is the home of Glacier National Park and a recreational dreamland suitable for both winter and summer vacations. It is a haven for outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, swimming, camping, hiking, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, boating, and hiking.

Russell Country: The place is characterized by rich landscapes which have inspired cowboy artist Charlie Russell. Various museums present the life and work of Charlie Russell. Russell Country is archeologically rich in fossils of dinosaurs.

Missouri River Country: Located in the northeast corner of the state, it is home for water related activities such as fishing.

Yellowstone Country: Home of the world’s first national park Yellowstone Park, this place is characteristic of alpine lakes, rivers, and natural geysers. A wide variety of wildlife such as elk, bison, bears and wolves inhabit the park.
Gold West Country: This place is for the treasure seeker whether it is Montana sapphires, agates, crystals, garnets or gold nuggets. It is famous for ghost towns, museums, mines and ranches.

Custer Country: It is known for the Battle of the Little Bighorn that occurred in 1876 between United States Seventh Calvary Regiment led by Lt. Col George Armstrong Custer and the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians led by the Sitting Bull. It is memorialized at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument within the boundaries of the Crow Indian reservation.

Thus, Montana offers a lot of interesting activities that range from biking, horseback riding, and skiing, bicycling tours to golfing, water parks, and museums.

Montana offers the best wild life scenic which is defiantly worth watching. It also has a recreational opportunity for all the adventurous persons and with every mode of transit be it land, water or sky. You will always find something or the other to keep yourself occupied. Montana offers quiet a big range of food and with great variety. Montana is considered to be the safest in US when it  comes to crimes and violent behaviour.

The people of Montana love their state and they treasure it with their friendly nature and they always welcome the tourist from all over the places of the world.