National Parks You Need to Visit When in Montana

As the fourth largest state in the nation, Montana has got a lot to offer for everyone. Between the verdurous plains, vast landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and the wide array of wildlife, wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers can find everything they need to rejuvenate their souls and re-energize their bodies. You’ll probably run into tourists everywhere you go in this state – which shouldn’t really come as a surprise seeing as it’s home to various national parks and historic landmarks. If you’ve set your heart on Montana for your next trip, here are 8 national parks you absolutely need to visit during your visit. 

Bison near a river in Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park

Located in the southwestern part of Montana, Yellowstone Park, also known as Lamar Valley or Yellowstone Serengeti, is the first national park to have been established in the nation – and arguably in the whole world. It’s home to a multitude of wildlife species to quench the thirst of all enthusiasts, giving you the opportunity to observe elks, gray wolves, pronghorns, black and grizzly bears, bison, and many other species. You’ll also have the time of your life witnessing its exceptional geothermal activity as you watch the Old Faithful Geyser shoot water and hot steam into the air, scrunch your nose at the Sulphur Caldron, shiver at the nerve-wracking sound of the Dragon’s Mouth Spring, and feel your blood turn cold once you know it’s an active volcano. Well, we never said it’s for the faint of heart!

Nez Perce National Historic Park and Big Hole Battlefield

The Nez Perce and Big Hole national historic park was established to commemorate the battlefield that had taken place on these sacred lands. It’s dedicated to the memory of the Nez Perce people who were fleeing during the conflict between the army troops and American Indians, where the Nez Perce people fought and died on the grounds of what’s now the Big Hole national battlefield. The Nez Perce National Park consists of 38 sites cutting through Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho. 

Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park has got something for visitors of all ages and interests. After all, its many nicknames (the Crown of the Continent, Shining Mountains, and Backbone of the World) aren’t just for show. The fact that it’s action-packed and kid-friendly makes it a great destination for vacation for the whole family. In this park, you’ll be able to experience nature in its most glorious forms by exploring the Alpine meadows, craggy mountains, and thick forests. You’ll also have your breath taken away at the sight of the glassy lake and glaciers – after all, that’s what the park is named after. 

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site is located in Deer Lodge, Montana. Once upon a time, it housed a cattle farm that spanned the distance of 10 million acres. Nowadays, it’s a historic site where tourists flood to view barns, blacksmith shops, the main ranch house, bunkhouse, and other ancient buildings from circa 1860. It’s also a kid-friendly park in which kids can learn roping, visit horses, chickens, and cows, or go on hiking trails with their families. 

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Lewis and Clark national historic trail is another destination that cuts through various states. Specifically, it cuts through 16 states from Pittsburgh to the Pacific Ocean, with Montana in the middle. In the point of interest with Montana, there are several sites to visit, including Missouri Headwaters State Park,  Beaverhead Rock State Park, Camp Disappointment National Historic Site, Pompey’s Pillar National Monument, and Fort Benton National Historic Landmark.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Little Bighorn is another battlefield that was memorialized as a historic national battlefield. It holds the memory of the Battle of Little Bighorn, during which the Northern Cheyenne and Lakota Sioux tribes had fought to preserve their ways of living. During that battle, more than 250 American Calvary soldiers were killed at the hands of the native tribes. 

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

The history books still remember the disastrous effects of the end of the last Ice Age, which was succeeded with overwhelming floods. Centuries later, all that’s left of this natural disaster are effects imposed on earth at the Age Floods National Geological Trail. Over there, you’ll be able to marvel at the rock fragments, land ripples, massive buttes, valleys, and volcanic rocks.

From the spectacular wildlife and legendary battlefields to the historic landmarks and beautiful landscapes, Montana has something to offer for all travelers. The state is home to many national parks that showcase the history, struggles, and gifts of nature that have made the U.S. nation what it is today. Whether it’s for academic purposes or to unplug and unwind on a family vacation, you’ll be pleasantly surprised upon visiting any of Montana’s national parks.