Montana is tops for visitors, whether for business travel or a vacation. Get ready for Montana by reading this Web site. Discover attractions and things to do. Find hotels, resorts, museums, and much more in Montana. Remember, planning travel or a vacation is half the fun of being there. Enjoy!
Montana has spectacular mountains, vast prairie lands, and beautiful forests. Wild rivers and streams are filled with rainbow trout and other fishes. An abundance of elk, antelope, and other wildlife are found in Montana.
Before the West was settled by people of European decent, many Native American tribes called the region that was later to become Montana their home. Native Americans enjoyed and lived off the fruits of the land, especially buffalo. Today about 64,000 Native Americans live and flourish in Montana.
Shortly after the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806, mountain men and prospectors arrived to seek riches. Later, homesteaders settled the land. Homesteaders lived in log cabins. In the 1870s, large cattle ranches developed thoughout many areas in Montana Territory.
Montana has a population of about 902,195 people in a land area of 147,000 square miles. Montana is sparsely populated. There’s plenty of room to roam, in the countryside and in the cities. Visitors marvel at Montana’s beautiful, unspoiled landscape.
Click on map for a more detailed view.
Eastern Montana is an area of vast rolling plains. Grasslands with few trees dominate the landscape. Huge wheat farms and cattle ranches are common in eastern Montana.
In central Montana, the plains are dotted with small mountain ranges.Cattle ranching is a way of life. Mule deer and antelope roam the prairies throughout eastern and central Montana.
Western Montana is a region of magnificent mountains. Welcome to the Rocky Mountains. The Absaroka Range near Livingston is covered with snow much of the year and peaks reach over 11,000 feet in elevation.The wild and pristine landscape of western Montana is home to mountain lions, and grizzly bears.
Rainfall is low in most areas of Montana, often less than 13 inches, annually. Temperatures in western mountain valleys are generally moderate the year-round. In eastern areas, on the plains, days can be very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.
Montana is known for its spectacular national parks. Glacier National Park, located in northwest Montana, is a land of uncommon beauty. Tourists enjoy the park’s many beautiful glacier-carved mountains.
Yellowstone National Park, the nation’s first national park, straddles the border of Montana and Wyoming (with most of the park being in northwest Wyoming). Geysers, waterfalls, and other natural wonders draw thousands of tourists to Yellowstone each year. Wildlife is abundant in Yellowstone.
Montana has exciting historical and cultural places. Wonderful museums are found in cities, big and small. In the great Montana outdoors, fishing, hunting, camping, and skiing are popular activities.
“Old West” traditions live on in Montana. Cowboys drive cattle high up into the mountains to feed on lush summer grasses. Indians, in full native dress, gather to celebrate their customs at the Lewis and Clark County fairgrounds in Helena and other cities around the state.
Population of Major Montana Cities
Major cities: •Billings, pop. 92,988 •Missoula, pop. 58,460 •Bozeman, pop. 30,723 •Helena, pop. 29,081 •Great Falls, pop. 56,340 •Butte, pop. 31,967
•Glendive, pop. 4,340 •Kalispell, pop. 17,149 •Miles City, pop. 8,698 •Lewistown, pop. 6,026 •Havre, pop. 10,425 •Dillon, pop. 4,106
Montana is the “Treasure State.” This slogan symbolizes the state’s rich gold and silver deposits. True to its history, Montana is a genuine treasure, an amazing natural wonderland with friendly people.
This Web site is packed with information about things to do, attractions, lodging and much more. Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, and the nearby Wyoming are featured as well. The National Atlas of the United State of America has a nice reference map of Montana. A Montana vacation Planning Kit is available free from The Montana Office of Tourism, P.O. Box 200553, Helena, MT 59620. Or call 800-847-4868
TRAVEL ROUTES & REGIONS
Southeast and south-central Montana is Yellowstone Country. Some cities in this region are Billings, Glendive, Miles City, Forsyth, Red Lodge, and Livingston. Billings is the major city in Yellowstone Country. Yellowstone Country
Southwest Montana is Gold Country. Some cities in this region are Bozeman, Dillon, Hamilton, Butte, and Missoula. Bozeman and Missoula are the major cities in Gold Country. Gold Country
Central Montana is Ranchland. Some cities in this region are Lewistown, Roundup, Townsend, and Helena. Helena is the major city in Ranchland. Ranchland
Northeast and north-central Montana is Discoveryland. Some cities are Culbertson, Glasgow, Havre, Shelby, and Great Falls. Great Falls is the major city in Discoverland. Discoveryland
Northwest Montana is Wilderness Country. Some cities in this region are Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Polson, and Ronan. Kalispell is the major city in Wilderness Country. Wilderness Country.
Map Montana: a free highway map, produced by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), shows highways, cities, and waterways. In addition, the map shows cultural and physical features. MDT also publishes an online Map. Visit Montana distributes a highway map and a Vacation Planning Kit. Call 1-800-847-4868. Before traveling, it’s helpful to check Montana’s road condition report and the weather from the Weather Channel. MDT’s traveler information system offers information on bad weather driving conditions, road construction, and road closures. Call 1-800-226-7623.
Travel tip: Montana is far away from all major population centers in the U.S. and Canada. Still it is possible for many folks to drive to Montana in one day. Sometimes it’s a long day! Day trips are possible, such as: Seattle to Bozeman; Minneapolis or Winnipeg to Glendive; Salt Lake City to Kalispell; Calgary to Great Falls; Portland to Missoula; and Denver to Billings.
Missoula to Billings to
Source: Mileage data from Montana Department of Transportation. The M DT Web page has a link to the department’s mileage calculator for computing mileage between other Montana cities.
Motoring is FUN in Montana! The speed limit is posted on the DOJ Web site. On U.S. Highway 93 in western Montana traffic is heavy, so drive carefully and watch for changes in the speed limit. Traffic is light on many of Montana’s highways, however, so there’s plenty of opportunity to see and enjoy the spectacular scenery very common in every travel region.
“Montana’s curvy, mountainous roads and weather—which can change quickly even during summer months—require drivers to be alert to conditions at all times and to adjust speeds accordingly,” warns the Montana DOJ Web site. Great advice!
Some folks may choose to fly to Montana. Modern airports are found in Montana’s major cities. The Billings (BIL), Bozeman (BZN), Missoula (MSO), Helena (HLN), Kalispell (FCA), Butte (BTM), and Great Falls (GTF) airports are especially nice and all are served by major airlines and conveniently located near downtown areas. Booking flights on Expedia or other travel Web site is easy. Bus transportation is available for many Montana cities. Check out Greyhound. Another choice, travel across Montana by train on AMTRAK’S Empire Builder.
Travel tips: Montana is in the Mountain time zone. When entering Montana from the east, one’s watch should be set back one hour. When entering Montana from the west, one’s watch should be set ahead one hour. Don’t forget to call 800-847-4868 to get a free map of Montana.
Montana has a single area code for the entire state: 406. When using search engines, combining the area code as a search term with a business name or more generally, any keyword(s), is a good strategy for making direct phone connections with travel-related businesses in Montana.
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