Did you know Yellowstone National Park had a record number of visitors in July 2021 reaching more than one million? There is a reason so many people come to summer in Montana. Its unique landscapes and activities draw people in.
If you haven’t been to Montana, you’re missing out. If it’s not one of the states you’ve added to your travel bucket list, you should add it as soon as possible. All of the gorgeous scenery and fun adventures are calling your name.
If you’re planning your trip out of the beautiful state you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find the best Montana activities.
1. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous landmarks in Montana. It spans over three states and has incredible views that people from all over come to visit.
Hiking and camping are common tourist attractions, you’ll see rivers, and waterfalls, geysers. There is also an option to horseback ride through the landscape.
If you are taking a family trip to Montana you’ll be able to find a hike everyone will enjoy no matter what their skill level is. Granite Peak Trail is great for advanced hikers. It is located in Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and is about 22 miles in total.
If you’re looking for a short hike but still looking for beautiful landmarks in Montana, try hiking to the Grand Prismatic Overlook. You’ll see the beautiful colors of the springs that you can’t see anywhere else. It’s only 1.2 miles total but it is a bit steep so keep that in mind.
Summer in Montana can have very different weather in the mornings and afternoons. You’ll want to pack layers on your hike as the mornings can be chilly. You may also need to buy or rent bear spray for safety.
3. Wild Horse Island
Looking for a unique day trip? Wild Horse Island is the way to go. The island was once used by the Kootenai Indians to pasture their horses as a way to protect them from other neighboring tribes.
You’ll see a variety of animals and plants and it’s a great place for a picnic and a relaxing day in nature. It’s only accessible by boat and there are strict rules about where to park your boat, fishing licenses, and bear safety protocol.
4. Sailing and Other Water Sports
Popular Montana activities include sailing on Flathead Lake. Flathead Lake is only 20 minutes from the city of Kalispell. The surrounding landscape creates perfect winds for sailing.
Canyon Ferry Reservoir is another great spot for sailors. Even if you are a beginner it’s a great place to start.
The large body of water was created in 1954 when the Canyon Ferry Dam was completed. Once you dock at Cemetery Island, which was a small town that was destroyed when the dam was built, you can hike up to a lookout point for a view of the lake.
If you aren’t looking to sail, you can explore Montana via paddle boards, speed boats, or jet skis. Hyalite Reservoir is a great place for kayaking and canoeing as it is a smaller lake than Flathead.
5. Glacier National Park
The “Crown of the Continent” or Glacier National Park is a must-see while you summer in Montana. You may think it is similar to Yellowstone National Park but it’s so vastly different you’ll see landscapes and glaciers that will make you never want to leave.
There are family-friendly hikes and you can hire a guide to show you the best parts and give you a little history on your way. If you don’t feel like hiking the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road drive is a must. The road will lead you to come of the best parts of the park.
You’ve also probably heard of the mountain goats that climb the steep mountain rocks. You’ll see them on your drive and not only is it impressive to watch them climb the rocks, but it’s also enjoyable for all ages.
On your family trip to Montana take the time to visit some of the Museums. The Museum of the Rockies is a Smithsonian Affiliate and recognized for its research and dinosaur collection.
There are many exhibits to see and you’ll learn about the history of Yellowstone and the native people. They rotate and change their exhibits often so if you’ve been before there will be something new to see and learn.
The Gallatin History Museum is unique because it’s a former prison building from 1911. It was converted into a museum in 1982 and houses thousands of images of its history and still has some original prison cells. The museum will take you through the history of Native Americans and the history of the county jail.
7. Pictograph Cave State Park
You can go back to Montana’s roots at Pictograph Cave State Park. It is estimated that those who inhabited the caves were there thousands of years ago. They left behind rock paintings and art that we get to enjoy today.
There are three different caves that were created by water and winds. The first recorded sighting of the art was in 1936, and other artifacts were found as well. You’ll be able to explore the caves and learn about their history on a trail that’s less than a mile and loops around.
8. Boiling River
Montana’s Boiling River is where a natural hot spring meets a river and creates water that you are able to swim in. Boats are not allowed on the river but swimming and tubing are permitted.
You may find patches of very warm water only a few feet away from an icy cold patch. The water doesn’t mix well due to the river bed and surrounding landscape. This unique experience is a great addition to your summer in Montana trip.
Summer in Montana
Spending your summer in Montana is a great way to connect with nature, see incredible landscapes, and learn about the history of the state. As you can see there are plenty of activities and something for everyone to explore. If you’ve fallen in love with Montana as we have, contact us today and we will help you find a permanent place, so you can enjoy it all year round.