Last Updated on: 15th September 2021, 10:59 pm
Looking for the best national parks in Montana? From national parks to national monuments to preserves, here are the best Montana national parks!
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The Best National Parks in Montana
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Big Hole National Battlefield
The Big Hole is the place where over 60 Nez Perce men and women were killed on the 9th of August, 1877. Big Hole located in Montana, United States was the site of the battle between the US army, the Montana citizens and the Nez Perce people.
It was a five-month battle that began because the US wanted to move the Nez Perce to Idaho.
The site was designated a historic and memorial site to remember those who were killed in the battle.
A commemoration ceremony is held every year on August 10th to pay tribute to those killed. To truly enjoy your visit to the Big Hole National Battlefield, start your day with a visit to the Nez Perce NHP Visitor Center.
You may walk the trail, visit the canoe camp, Buffalo addy as well as the Whitebird battlefield.
However, the park is currently closed due to restrictions arising from wildfire scares in the area.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
This beautiful treasure is not a well-known recreation area in Montana, US. The recreation area was established on the 15th of October, 1966.
A dam named after a former crow chairman, Robert Yellowtail is situated around the Bighorn Park.
The park has a lake, Afterbay which is located near the dam. The lake is suitable for fishing and animal viewing.
There are 4 ranches located within the park; Mason-Lovell ranch, L Slash Heart ranch, Cedarvale ranch and Ewing-Snell ranch.
There are gorgeous geological formations, wild mustangs and other wildlife for your viewing pleasure.
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
Fort Union National Park is located in North Dakota, Montana. It was designated a national historic site on the 20th of June, 1966 after being declared a National Historic landmark in 1961.
It was built between 1828 to 1829 by the Upper Missouri Outfit. Around that time, it was called Fort Henry and later Fort Floyd. It used to be the busiest trading site in Upper Missouri, especially for fur.
When you visit, be sure to see squirrels hiding in holes on the ground as you listen to or read about the history of this historic trading site.
Glacier National Park
Glacier Park is one of the coolest spots for outdoor lovers in West Glacier, Montana.
There are over 700 miles of land available for both mild and intense hiking. Lovers of backcountry camping will also find the park most suitable.
Camping overnight costs a fee of about $10 – $23 dollars per night. However, the camping grounds are restricted and utilities such as bathroom and electricity are not provided.
There are ranger-led programs and guided tours available too. In winter, you may go skiing and in summer, biking and boating are enjoyable outdoor activities also available. While in winter, fishing is the most sought-after activity.
Grant-Kohrs Rach National Historic Site
Located in Deer Lodge, Montana, Grant-Kohrs National Park was once the headquarters of a 10 million acre cattle empire.
This park was a haven to cowboys of the west who valued cattle and horses as much as gold and diamonds are valued nowadays.
To visit the park, learn about the visitor center opening and closing hours. Pets are allowed in the park, but they must be put on a leash to avoid alarming other visitors.
When you visit the park, you may join a guided tour and explore all the historic buildings in the park. The park also allows ranger programs as well as special annual historic events.
Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
This is a massive 16,000 square miles area that cuts across Montana, Idaho, Origin, and Washington. In Montana, there is a natural history center that falls under the Ice Age Trail that was founded in 1991.
Apart from the museum, there is also an ice Age flood-themed park, an ice Age flood playground for children as well as a skate and wheels park.
The park was designed to be enjoyed by people of different age groups thus the special attention given to children activities.
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
The Lewis and Clark trail covers over 4500 miles. It spans 16 US states (Montana, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington, and Oregon).
The trail was established to commemorate the Lewis and Clark expedition that took place from 1803 to1806.
Traveling the entire trail may take about 4 weeks.
The trail consists of highlands, forests, swamps, and grassland. The entry fee at the start of the trail is free.
However, different regions are managed by different agencies. This means that at some point, visitors may be asked to pay a fee to be allowed access to some parts of the trail. Activities include hiking, biking, and canoeing.
Nez Perce National Historic Park
This historic trail is one of the biggest in the United States and comprises 38 sites that cuts across 4 US states. The states are Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
The Nez Perce people were one of the strongest to resist the US army as they sought to pursue them out of Montana and force them to reservation.
It was established in 1965 to commemorate the Nez Perce people, many of whom were killed during the resistance.
You may go canoe camping or visit the whitebird and Big Hole battlefields. The museum also provides tools, clothing and weapons as evidence of what happened between the US Army and the Nez Perce people.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is the first national park in the U.S. It was established in 1872 and stretches across Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
The park is a treasure house of natural bodies including the longest undammed river and a canyon of its own. It also features colorful hot springs.
The mountainous area makes it most suitable for hiking and other outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, rafting and animal viewing. You can also enjoy the experience of watching a glacier erupt.
The park is also famous for its wildlife and beautiful scenery. The name Yellowstone is over 3000 square miles and also features a geothermal glacier called Old Faithful.