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Southwest Montana Trips

Explore trip ideas and inspirations in Southwest Montana

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Butte Area Adventures

Where's a west that's still wild? That would be Butte and the surrounding Southwest Montana tourism region, home to ghost towns, cowboy cookouts and tours that go deep.
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Mountain Biking Paradise Trip

Riding Trails suitable for all skill levels is just the start. This route also highlights some of central Montana's most vibrant towns and outdoor activities for every interest.
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National Forests Trip

Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks are undeniably awesome, but locals know that the state’s ten national forests are just as much fun to explore. On this western Montana road trip, you can easily access five of them by car, with nearly endless opportunities to fly-fish, horseback ride, whitewater raft, hike, mountain bike, and possibly even surf along the way. Added bonus: The loop also passes the oldest continually operating bar in Montana (est. 1877), the National Bison Range, and the site of the 1877 Battle of the Big Hole.
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Small Towns and Ghost Towns Trip

Wander through authentic 1800s ghost towns on this rambling four-day route over mountains, across the Continental Divide, and along blue-ribbon trout streams. Butte (population 33,854) is the “big city” on the drive. Legend has it some of the smaller towns harbor gold-rush-era ghosts.
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Flathead to Philipsburg Trip

This four-day drive is packed with adventure. Learn to river surf and fly fish. See wild bison roam and mine for genuine Montana sapphires. And, if you dare, take the steep and winding portion of MT-38 over 7,257-foot Skalkaho Pass.
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Bitterroot Parkway Trip

Dig deep into Montana’s roots on a four-day drive through the history-rich Bitterroot Valley. The down-and-back route crosses the Nez Perce and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trails, as well as the Continental Divide. Along the way, bunk in a hand-hewn log cabin and camp under the stars. Watch for moose, elk, and deer. Soak in natural hot springs. And, depending on the season, go skiing, skating, hiking, or horseback riding.
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Main Street Adventures

This five-day loop through central and southwest Montana travels in and on the edge of the Rockies. Celebrate Western art, explore state parks and the state capital, soak in hot springs, and take a magical boat ride down the Missouri River.
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Hottest Natural Springs Trip

When visiting Montana, it can be easy to jam-pack your trip with non-stop adventure. Hiking through Glacier! Drinking your way along the Beer Trail! Staying up all night stargazing! It's all worth doing, but it's also important to take a moment to relax... and Montana has tons of thermal hot springs that are great for taking a moment to unwind.
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Ghost Town State Park Trip

Explore one of Montana's best preserved ghost towns, the erstwhile capital of Bannack. Founded in 1862, when gold was discovered on Grasshopper Creek, the name "Bannack" came from a nearby tribe of Native Americans.
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Everything Awesome Trip

The best piece of advice for planning a road trip through Montana? Be prepared to change up your plans and make unexpected stops, because you never know what you'll stumble across on an adventure through Montana-- it's really full of extraordinary surprises! You might even find yourself exploring the hidden history of one of Montana's quaintest little towns, or solving a mystery about musical rocks.
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State Parks Trip

Sure, Montana is most famous for being home to Glacier National Park (and for being the Gateway to Yellowstone, too!) but just because you can visit National Parks here doesn't mean the state parks are any less awesome. From unique wildlife and stunning scenery to historic caves and rugged hikes, you'll find that Montana has some really awesome state parks that are unlike anything you've ever experienced.
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Western Montana Ski Trip

Kick off this five-day itinerary with some self-guided exploration of Missoula, Montana’s second largest city. Then gear up to hit the slopes as you make your way from Lost Trail Powder Mountain to Maverick Mountain and finally to Big Sky. For a change of pace, take the final day to explore Yellowstone National Park in all its winter glory.
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Central Montana Ski Trip

Start out in Central Montana with this four-day trip that makes the rounds from Great Falls to Teton Pass back down to Showdown and finally over to Great Divide. Toast to your epic powder adventures with a final night out in the capital city.
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Great Divide Bike Route

Bike the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, an off-pavement route that crisscrosses the Continental Divide for 2,768 miles from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. This multi-day ride consists of dirt roads and steep mountain passes that cover over 200,000 feet in elevation gain.
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Ghost Town Route

Step back in time to the frontier days by exploring Montana’s many ghost towns. On this five-day trip from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone National Park, wander through forgotten towns to get a taste of Montana’s rich past.
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Small Towns Route

Montana is full of vibrant, charming towns. Take your time roadtripping from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone National Park by stopping in each town. Fall in love with every main street on this six-day adventure.
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Rocky Mountain Front Route

Starting in Glacier National Park, drive along the Rocky Mountain Front to see stunning views of where the mountains and plains meet. In just four days, discover what makes Montana unique with fossil digs, a stop in the capital city, and a lake created by an earthquake.
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Bitterroot to Big Hole Route

From Ice Age Floods to Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery, find history on every bend of this road trip between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Cruise down U.S. 93 along the shore of Flathead Lake and the Bitterroot River. This route has some of the best campgrounds in Montana to enjoy a night under the stars.
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Butte Day Trip

Formerly known as the "Richest Hill on Earth", Butte is home to one of the nation's largest National Historic Districts, second only to New Orleans. This colorful mining town offers plenty to see and do - from underground tours to palate-pleasing adventures, feel the stories come alive as Butte's vibrant history reverberates through the years.
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Ghost Town Day Trip

Plan a day or two to explore three of Montana's best-preserved ghost towns: Virginia City, Nevada City, and Bannack State Park. The former two towns house a collection of 19th-century buildings and Americana, including more than a hundred arcaded and music machines. Spend the night in Nevada City and then make your way over to Bannack State Park, which was named the state's first Territorial Capital in 1864.
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Philipsburg Day Trip

Located just an hour southeast of Missoula, a visit to this small town gem halfway between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks is a fun excursion for the whole family. Spend a day strolling down Philipsburg's charming main street and soak in the quaint simplicity of this special town. While it's known for its sapphires, locals and visitors alike will testify there's a richness to Philipsburg that extends far beyond these gemstones.
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Hot Springs, Heifers and History Trip

Who knew that jail time, cows, and graveyards could be this entertaining? Off I-90, the humbly historic Deer Lodge, peer into incarcerated life at the Old Montana Prison, then explore the sprawling Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site for a taste of cowboy culture. Downtown, hit Yak Yak's, where 40 flavors of malts and shakes await.
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Dig Deeper in Butte Trip

Butte, America—a city flush with history, culture, geology and adventure around every corner. Join a tour with Old Butte Historical Adventures and wander through the largest historical district in the U.S. Each July, enjoy the multicultural music and arts at the free Montana Folk Festival. Take in the panorama of the Berkeley Pit, then get the history of Butte at the World Museum of Mining, including an actual mine tour.
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Madison County Trip

Whether you're enjoying breakfast (or ice cream) at Yesterday's Soda Fountain or enjoying Montana Moonshine at Willie’s Distillery in Ennis, you're guaranteed an earful about fly-fishing. Madison County is a mecca for anglers and adventurers, where at the El Western Cabins and Lodge you can practically cast out your cabin door.
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Headed for Helena Trip

Just because you've oohed and ahhed over Helena's impressive Capitol building and grounds doesn't mean you've "done" Helena. To feel like a local, stop at the Archie Bray ceramics studios; hike or bike Mount Helena; ride the trout at the Great Northern Carousel; and catch a play, a concert or movie at the historic-prison-turned-theatre Myrna Loy. Then there are the lakes—Spring Meadow, Holter, Hauser and Canyon Ferry—where swimming, sailing and fishing invite you to test the waters.
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