Montana National Park sites benefit from being in one of our nation’s most scenic states. The Big Sky State is home to Glacier National Park, American Indian Battlefields, and the wide open ranges that forged the original American cowboys.
Montana has a vast and beautiful 145,000 square mile landscape and 1 million residents (that’s 1 person for every 93 acres!). Visitors come to enjoy Montana’s National Parks, fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and abundance or outdoor activities.
Montana National Park Sites:
Glacier National Park: Home of ‘Going to the Sun Road‘, an engineering marvel, Glacier is a beautiful 1,500+ square miles of mountains, trails, glacier-fed lakes, and (as of 2016) there are 25 glaciers which is down from 150 in 1850. Due to the heavy snow fall, Going to the Sun is often closed until late June / early July and is only open into September. Wildlife that you might see includes grizzly bears, moose, deer, fox, and of course, mountain goats.
Bighorn Canyon, National Recreational Area: There are many ways to enjoy this 120,000 acre paradise. You can hike any number of options on the 27 miles of trails; you can paddle a kayak across the vast Bighorn Lake and get a perspective of the canyon walls like no other; or you can just enjoy a picnic lunch on the canyon rim and take it all in.
Big Hole National Battlefield: This 655 battlefield commemorates the tragedy of 1877 where the Nez Pearce Indians were slaughtered while sleeping along with accompanying soldiers and volunteers. At Bear Paw battlefield, Chief Joseph would surrender to the U.S. Army and proclaim, “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” There is a 26-minute video and several trails to take you through these hallowed grounds.
Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site: There may not be another site that encompasses the pioneering spirit of the great west. This — acre site is home to the pioneer ranch of the Grants and the Kohrs. Once the headquarters of a 10 million acre open range, the site has preserved the original furnishings and provides a glimpse into the past of the American Cowboy.
Little Bighorn Battlefield, National Monument: Site of the famous battle (Custer’s Last Stand), where the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry led by Lt Col George Custer was defeated by thousands of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors in the American Indian’s last armed stand to defend their way of life. The battle was on June 25-26, 1876 and claimed the lives of the 263 soldiers. American Indian casualties were estimated to be less than 100. The park has a 25-minute video, Custer’s Last Stand Monument, a National Cemetery, and a self-guided Deep Ravine Trail which guides you through the battlefield.
Montana’s State Parks
Montana’s State Parks encompasses has a great website with a map that shows you the 55 locations of their sites. Hover over each one to get an overview. Locations like: The 280-acre Brush Lake; Lewis & Clark Caverns; Cooney State Park with its 302 acres, beautiful reservoir and 80+ campsites; and many more. The Big Sky state has a great park system and a lot to offer. And with a wildlife population that exceeds people, chances are your adventure will be a wild one!
Montana National Parks are some of the best in our National Park system. If you haven’t visited the great State of Montana, I would highly recommend adding the Big Sky State to your places to see!
Our Family Recommends:
1. The Big Sky Circle Tour – Going to the Sun Road (Glacier National Park)
2. Amtrak’s Empire Builder!