In Montana, visitors are greeted with wide open spaces, and the only thing in sight is mountains and clouds. Inside the state’s borders, the Rocky Mountains and the prairie converge, creating a sprawling, picturesque landscape that has earned it the nickname Big Sky Country.
In the northwest corner of Montana, Glacier National Park provides visitors with the ultimate escape to nature. The northern Rocky Mountains sprawl across the skyline as tourists travel down Going-to-the-Sun Road, cross over the Continental Divide and gaze at the sapphire blue waters of St. Mary Lake.
Yellowstone National Park is nestled into the southwestern corner of the state. Home of the famous geyser, Old Faithful, Yellowstone is also the world’s first National Park. Visitors will find many treasures among its 2.2 million acres, including the Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
Western Montana also houses the state capital, Helena, which was a major player in the 1864 gold strike. The Queen City of the Rockies was founded on the gold and silver discovered on what is now Main Street, but what was then deemed Last Chance Gulch. Hop aboard the Last Chance Tour Train for a one-hour, informative ride around the capital city or take the Last Chance Ranch Wagon Ride, which escorts guests to a tepee dinner just outside town.
After leaving Helena, travel to the plains of southeastern Montana to see where Custer fell at Little Bighorn Battlefield and Captain Clark, one half of the famed Lewis and Clark, carved his name into Pompeys Pillar. Then, head to the state’s largest city, Billings.
Bordered by rimrocks on its northern side, Billings was born of the railroad industry. Here, visitors will find rodeos, concerts, horse races and fairs at the MetraPark, as well as the Art Deco Alberta Bair Theater, built by 20th Century Fox in the 1930s.
Of course, with all the mountains in Montana, skiing is spectacular. Located between Helena and Billings, Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin have merged, forming the largest ski area in the country.