Explore trip ideas and inspirations in Southwest Montana
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.
Mountain Biking Paradise
With 64 mountain ranges, the Continental Divide Trail slicing through the state, and historic trails plying mountain passes, Montana has trails pretty much everywhere, from mellow beginner and family-friendly rides to experts-only singletrack. Don't ride? Don't worry! This trip has tons of fun other options, from fly-fishing to whitewater rafting to hot springs soaking.
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.
FLATHEAD TO PHILIPSBURG
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.
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.
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.
HOTTEST NATURAL SPRINGS
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. Slip into the naturally-heated, mineral rich waters of some of Montana's best springs and soak up the calming vibes and amazing views! Here are some of our favorite hot springs in the state.
GHOST TOWN STATE PARK
The town of Bannack was founded in 1862, when gold was discovered on Grasshopper Creek, and it didn't take long for prospectors and enterprising businessmen to flood in. The name "Bannack" came from a nearby tribe of Native Americans. Even though it was in a pretty remote part of Montana, bakeries, hotels, breweries, billiards halls, saloons, blacksmith shops, butchers, and more sprang up. Two short years later, the rapidly-growing city was named the territorial capital of Montana, before it became a state.
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 could wind up stopping for a quick photo op at one of the country's most unique superfund sites, or spending a full night drinking fishbowl cocktails with mermaids.
You might even find yourself exploring the hidden history of one of Montana's quaintest little towns, or solving a mystery about musical rocks.
STATE PARKS TRIP
Although home to two National Parks and several more national areas, Montana's state parks offer adventures off the beaten path to adventurers of all kinds.
ULTIMATE SKI TRIPS: WESTERN MONTANA
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.
CENTRAL MONTANA TRIPS
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.