If you live in Montana, you already know what a gem it is for outdoor enthusiasts. People flock from far and wide to enjoy all the seasonal sports; from biking to skiing, to climbing to kayaking and everything in between, there’s an activity for everyone to enjoy.
Montana also has a nickname coined by visitors. It’s known as Big Sky Country because of all the unimaginably beautiful landscapes. Situated on the border with Canada, the Rocky Mountains spill into the state, offering stunning scenery to anyone who passes through. With population numbers on the lower side, there’s more wildlife and untouched scenery to enjoy.
As a local, you most likely knew all of that already. There is something locals are notorious for, however, and that is not exploring their home town or state to the fullest. A lot of people think there’s time to check out local sites and scenery later and end up putting it off indefinitely.
Why should outsiders get to enjoy everything about your home state while you go on living in your routine? It’s time to get out there and make the most of where you live.
Planning a staycation doesn’t have to be boring. When people hear the word “staycation,” they might think of a weekend at home spent doing nothing. This is the wrong approach and definitely not what a good staycation entails. Instead, think of it like you’re playing tourist in your home state or city.
Pretend as if you don’t live there and get busy spending your days exploring and discovering new places and sights just as you would if you were actually away from home. Take a week or two, or however long you have for your trip, and go from destination to destination, taking in the unbelievable scenery on the way.
How can you accomplish all of this in one trip, you may ask? One of the best ways to travel through Montana is by renting an RV. It solves the problem of finding accommodation, and it helps save money since you won’t need to book a hotel every night. Plus, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned road trip through the mountains?
There are companies that list RV rentals the same way Airbnb lists apartment rentals as “hotel rooms” for guests. People who own RVs that aren’t currently using them can rent them out to people for short-term trips. For example there are lots of RV Rental options in Bozeman that suit a wide range of budgets, from smaller truck campers to trailers to full motorhomes. You will be able to find whatever you’re looking for to suit your travel needs as long as you know what to look for.
So, now that you’ve gotten an idea of how to travel, it’s time to choose your travel destinations. With so many picturesque parks and attractions to visit, it can be hard to decide which ones to visit.
Here is a list of the top must-see spots in Montana even locals can’t get tired of.
Glacier National Park
Number one on every travel list, Glacier National Park is definitely a site you won’t want to skip. Spanning at roughly one million acres, there is a seemingly unlimited amount of activities to enjoy here. It’s an absolute paradise playground for outdoor lovers. You can take part in a number of water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing, as well as a wide range of winter sports including downhill skiing and cross-country skiing. You can also hike or bike along the over 700 miles of trails through the mountains.
There are over 130 lakes for you to stop and rest at while taking in the beauty around you, and the park is perfect for any birdwatchers. You may even have to extend your trip because once you get to Glacier National Park, you won’t want to leave.
Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
As if there isn’t enough beauty to enjoy on the surface, take a day trip underground and explore the Lewis and Clark Caverns. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour, and depending on the time of year you visit, you could choose from different tours that are available for different ability levels (during the colder months, you could even take the Winter Holiday Candlelight Tour!). What makes these caverns so special? They are one of the largest limestone caverns in the world, right here in Montana.
Once you’ve had your fill underground, you can explore the Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park by checking out the hiking trails and visitor’s center. You can even camp right in the park to get the ultimate experience.
Montana boasts the largest natural lake in the western United States. Flathead Lake is a popular tourist destination because of the sheer beauty of the landscape. With 185 miles of shore and 200 square miles of water, there is plenty of fishing and other water sports for water enthusiasts to keep busy with.
A large stretch of Flathead Lake is located on tribal reservation land, so if you want to visit, you have to plan ahead and purchase a pass. There’s also an island in the middle of the lake called Wildhorse Island that is only accessible by boat, but it’s a state park with over 2000 acres of untouched nature. You can make your way to the island and spend a lovely afternoon enjoying the great outdoors.
Gates of the Mountains Wilderness
This destination is one of the most recognized landmarks on the Lewis and Clark Trail, located inside the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. Gates of the Mountains is massive—with 28,000 acres to explore and over 50 miles of hiking trails, you’ll need more than one day to fully discover everything it has to offer. You won’t mind spending extra time here, as the landscape is stunning. The enormous limestone canyon walls that line the Missouri River make it immediately apparent why so many people visit each year. There aren’t many roads to explore on though, but there is a boat tour that shows you around the area and drops you off near a picnic area.