July 15, 2022 0
Montana has some of the best national parks in the entire world, but not everyone knows it! If you’re heading to Montana this summer, be sure to visit at least one of these national and state parks so you can see what makes the area so beautiful. For those who have never been before, this list will help you figure out where to go!
1) Glacier National Park
Going to Glacier means entering one of our country’s largest, most beautiful and most intact ecosystems. While strolling through dense forests, along alpine ridges or below towering peaks, it’s hard not to fall under its spell. That’s why many visitors find themselves returning again and again. If you visit only one park on your list, make it Glacier. The scenery is well worth a few weeks of vacation time! In addition to hiking trails galore (the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road passes through), there are excellent opportunities for fishing, rafting, mountain biking and horseback riding as well as scenic drives, backcountry camping and wildlife viewing.
2) Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is America’s first national park, established by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. Some of Yellowstone’s geothermal features—such as bubbling mud pots and steaming fumaroles—can reach temperatures over 700 degrees Fahrenheit (350 degrees Celsius). The park boasts a wealth of wildlife, including bison, elk, wolves, grizzly bears and black bears. It is also home to beavers and other rodents. More than 300 species of birds inhabit Yellowstone too. In addition to mammals and birds, more than 2,000 types of insects can be found there too. But don’t worry about being stung; most insects are harmless or pose no threat at all for humans!
3) Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is a spectacular series of valleys and mountains located right outside of Billings, Montana. Here you can take a leisurely hike through one of America’s most renowned natural areas or take your thrill-seeking side out for a ride on horseback. While not as large as Yellowstone or Glacier, Bighorn Canyon is an all-encompassing experience that should not be missed. If camping isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of bed and breakfasts and other local attractions throughout the area! Don’t let its smaller size fool you; make sure to visit during summer months for more access to wildlife such as elk, deer, moose and even bears!
4) Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Located in south-central Montana and east of Glacier National Park, Red Rock Lakes is a paradise for anglers, birdwatchers and naturalists. Set amidst prairie potholes, glacial lakes and rolling grasslands, it’s an easy place to get lost (in a good way). Fishing is often superb; you might catch perch, pike, whitefish or even trout. The big challenge? Staying out of your tent. With 36 backcountry campsites nestled against deep-blue waters, you’ll have a hard time pulling yourself away from here. If you do decide to go exploring outside campgrounds—and we highly recommend that you do—then be sure to bring bear spray along for protection against bruins.
5) Going-to-the-Sun Road
This 75-mile road is on the Crown of the Continent, which is essentially a Rocky Mountain spine that runs from Alberta, Canada, to New Mexico. It’s not just one park—it spans parts of four national parks: Glacier, Waterton Lakes, Banff and Jasper. On Going-to-the-Sun Road, you can hike to ice fields; see avalanche chutes and grizzly bears; and view alpine meadows that were once part of a glacier’s toe.