101 Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Loves Adventure

101 Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Loves Adventure

During our time living in the Airstream, there were a lot of places we wanted to see, but one state we especially wanted to visit was Montana. After spending a week in Glacier National Park, we were in love.

We didn’t get to do everything we wanted in the park, let alone the rest of the state, so we put together a list of adventures for our next trip and to hopefully inspire your next visit too!

101 Things to Do in Montana Bucket List

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Last Updated: March 28, 2018

Montana Regions

To help organize the list, we broke it into the 6 different regions.

101 Montana Adventures You Must Take Broken Down by Region // Local Adventurer #montana #montanamoment

Scenic Drives

We love a good road trip! It’s one of the best ways to see all the gems in each state, and Montana has so many beautiful scenic byways to see all its beautiful landscapes and wildlife.

  1. Absarokee Loop Scenic Drive (Yellowstone Country)
  2. Beartooth Highway (All-American Road) (Yellowstone Country)
  3. Big Sheep Creek Backcountry Byway (Southwest Montana)
  4. Big Sky Back Country Byway (Southeast Montana)
  5.  Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge Auto Tour (Missouri River Country)
  6. C.M. Russell Auto Tour Route (Central Montana)
  7. Going-to-the-Sun Road (Glacier Country)
  8. Kings Hill Scenic Byway (Central Montana)
  9. Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway (Glacier Country)
  10. Lake Loop (Yellowstone Country)
  11. Lonesome Highway (Missouri River Country)
  12. Mill Creek Route (Southwest Montana)
  13. Seeley-Swan Scenic Drive (Glacier Country)
  14. Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway (Central Montana)
  15. Paradise Valley Scenic Loop (Yellowstone Country)
  16. Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway (Southwest Montana)
  17. US Highway 2 (Glacier Country, Central Montana, Missouri River Country)
  18. Virginia City Loop (Southwest Montana)

The Most Amazing Scenic Drives in Montana - Go on a Montana road trip to see the most beautiful landscapes in the US // Local Adventurer #montana #montanamoment #roadtrip

Check out this video they just released. I still remember driving through the state in constant awe. The entire state has so many beautiful landscapes that we had tons of moments where we had to pull over or make a U-turn.

Some of the best spots were the ones we discovered on the way to our main destination. We’re ready to go back to do another road trip through the state. Hey Montana, can we be in the next video? 😉

See more about this episode here.

Glacier Country

This is a well-known area of the state and is where Glacier National Park lies, and probably what you’re thinking of when you picture Montana. It’s brimming with beautiful forests, alpine lakes, massive mountains, and an abundance of wildlife.

  1. Bob Marshall Wilderness
  2. Chief Mountain
  3. Fish Creek State Park
  4. Frenchtown Pond State Park
  5. Glacier National Park
  6. Holland Lake & Holland Falls
  7. Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge
  8. Lone Pine State Park
  9. Milltown State Park
  10. Mission Mountains Wilderness Complex
  11. Mount Sentinel M Trail
  12. National Bison Range
  13. Painted Rocks State Park
  14. Placid Lake State Park
  15. Polebridge
  16. Ross Creek Cedar Grove Scenic Area
  17. Thompson Falls State Park
  18. Whitefish Lake State Park
  19. Wayfarers State Park
Glacier National Park + 101 Breathtaking Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Craves Adventure // Local Adventurer #montana #adventure
Cracker Lake, Glacier National Park + 101 Breathtaking Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Craves Adventure // Local Adventurer #montana #adventure

Central Montana

Central Montana is full of history. You can explore a fur-trading outpost, follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, and see one of the largest buffalo jump sites in the country, all amongst breathtaking landscapes.

  1. Ackley Lake State Park
  2. Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  3. First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park
  4. Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area
  5. Giant Springs State Park
  6. Smith River State Park
  7. Sluice Boxes State Park
  8. The Montana Dinosaur Trail (some stops)
  9. Tower Rock State Park
  10. Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument + 101 Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Loves Adventure // Local Adventurer #montana #montanamoment #adventure

Missouri River Country

If you’re looking to get away from busyness and noise of the city, then you need to visit the Missouri River Country. There are endless miles of untouched landscape. Keep an eye out for elk, deer, and pronghorn antelope grazing and roaming in the wild.

  1. Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge
  2. Brush Lake State Park
  3. Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge
  4. Fort Peck Dam & Reservoir
  5. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
  6. Great Plains Dinosaur Museum and Field Station
  7. Hell Creek Formation
  8. Hell Creek State Park
  9. Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  10. Outlaw Trail
  11. The Little Rocky Mountains

Missouri River Country + Your Ultimate Montana Adventure List // Local Adventurer #montana #montanamoment #outdoors

Southwest Montana

Southwest Montana is where you can soak in hot springs, wander through ghost towns, and see the remnants of prospectors who made it rich in this region. If you visit in the winter, you can explore the landscape on skis or visit in the summer to hike and kayak.

  1. Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park
  2. Bannack State Park
  3. Beaverhead Mountains
  4. Beaverhead Rock State Park
  5. Big Hole National Battlefield
  6. Big Hole River
  7. Black Sandy State Park
  8. Clark’s Lookout State Park
  9. Elkhorn State Park
  10. Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
  11. Gates of the Mountains
  12. Georgetown Lake
  13. Granite Ghost Town State Park
  14. Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
  15. Lost Creek State Park
  16. Mount Helena City Park
  17.  Norris Hot Springs
  18. Red Rock Lakes National Refuge
  19. Spring Meadow Lake State Park

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park + 101 Best Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Loves Adventure // Local Adventurer #montana #montanamoment #caves

Yellowstone Country

Montana has the entrances to the north side of Yellowstone National Park. You should take the time to explore the other valleys and rivers that make this area so beautiful, but if you need a break from the outdoors, check out the towns filled with art galleries or relax in a hot spring.

  1. Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area
  2. Bear Trap Canyon Wilderness
  3. Chico Hot Springs
  4. Cooney State Park
  5. Gallatin River
  6. Hyalite Canyon
  7. Madison Buffalo Jump State Park
  8. Missouri Headwaters State Park
  9. Paradise Valley
  10. Yellowstone National Park
Roosevelt Arch, Yellowstone National Park + 101 Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Loves Adventure // Local Adventurer #montana #outdoors
Yellowstone National Park + 101 Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Loves the Outdoors // Local Adventurer #montana #outdoors

Southeast Montana

See the beautiful colors of the badlands, and experience the modern day wild west. Cattle drives, rodeos, and wild horses are still prevalent, and you can still see the cowboy and Native American culture all over the region.

  1. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
  2. Chief Plenty Coups State Park
  3. Four Dances Recreation Area
  4. Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park
  5. Lake Elmo State Park
  6. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
  7. Makoshika State Park
  8. Medicine Rocks State Park
  9. Pictograph Cave State Park
  10. Pompeys Pillar National Monument
  11. The Rimrocks and Swords Park
  12. Rosebud Battlefield State Park
  13. Terry Badlands Wilderness Study Area
  14. Tongue River Reservoir State Park

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area + 101 Epic Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Loves Adventure // Local Adventurer #montana #montanamoment #outdoors

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Have you visited Montana? Are there any other things to do in Montana that we missed? Visit Montana has lots of resources to get you started and don’t forget to bring this list to check off adventures as you go!

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Montana Bucket List
Your Ultimate Montana Adventure List - Best Things to Do in Montana for Anyone Who Loves the Outdoors
The Best Places to Visit in Montana - 101 Amazing Montana Road Trips, Adventures, and Places to See // Local Adventurer #montana #visitmontana #montanamovement
101 Montana Adventures You Must Take Before You Die // Local Adventurer #montana #adventure #outdoors
101 Breathtaking Adventures to Take on Your Next Montana Vacation // Local Adventurer #montanamovement #montana #travelling

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Great list! I’ve lived in Montana my whole life: Summers, as a child, in a small town in the flat, dry southeast. Cacti, rattlesnakes, fortresses made of sand.
    The rest of the year, and currently, in the lush Flathead Valley. Huckleberries, mountains and lakes, grizzly bears.
    Limitless diversity. Limitless adventure. A true paradise.
    There is an awesome place, not listed, too unique to miss. The Ringing Rocks near Butte are worth the drive or hike or horseback ride up an undeniable rugged road. Just don’t forget to bring a hammer!
    No matter where you end up exploring, Montana won’t disappoint.

    1. Awesome! Thanks for the suggestion Trish. We’ll add it to our growing list.

  2. Hi! I’m a Montanan. M&S Meats is worth the stop in Rollins or their new location south of Kalispell on I-93. Jerky made from elk, moose, buffalo, as well as, beef. Yum! Great list, you’ve gotten most of my favorite spots in this diverse and gorgeous state I’m fortunate to call mine. Ross Creek Cedars is one of my favorites. Still, I would do you a disservice if I didn’t tell you about the Ringing Rocks. It’s magic, make sure you bring a hammer!
    Located across from the town of Whitehall, approximately 18 miles east of Butte and north of I-90 on BLM land just beyond the Pipestone trailhead. Take Exit 241 (Pipestone) from I-90. Once off the interstate, turn right, you’ll see a slender post marked with ‘ringing rocks’. Travel east on a gravel road (parallels interstate) for about three-fourths of a mile, then turn north on a gravel road, cross the railroad tracks and continue north for approximately 3 miles. A high-clearance, 4WD vehicle is essential, as the last mile is on a steep, very irregular road. (A great opportunity to rent an ATV, maybe?) The road can be a bit initimidating, but an authentic Montana adventure. The BLM updated the road in 2019, for easier travel of low clearance vehicles, I’d perpare for a rugged drive anyway. Be careful, you got this! It’s desert-like terrain. There are rattlesnakes, so be alert. Bring water, it’s dry and hot.
    Hope you can make it, you won’t be disappointed.

  3. Omg, this is one of the most comprehensive blog I have read on Montana. They way you have penned down each and everything stating the attractions that may catch anyone’s fancy is absolutely amazing. I have been planning a Montana vacation for the longest and now I can surely zero in on the places I am not going to miss exploring. Thanks a ton. Keep traveling and inspiring.

  4. My family and I used to pass through Glacier County in our loop that would start in Seattle and take us to Lake Louise, Banff, Moraine Lake, basically the Canadian Rockies. We had a friend out in White Fish and the summers there were so peaceful and idyllic. I still order buffalo jerky from M&S Meats. If you didn’t get a chance to when you were in the area, I highly recommend it!

    1. Definitely need to put that on our list for next time!

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