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3 Days East To West

4 days west to east

Total Distance: 521+ miles


day 1

Three Forks

Kick off your in-state adventure in Three Forks, where the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin rivers meet to form the mighty Missouri. If you packed your rod and reel, check out the Blackbird Fishing Access Site on the Madison 1 mile outside of Three Forks. For more outdoor exploration, head to one of your state parks — Missouri Headwaters or Madison Buffalo Jump — where you’ll find peaceful hiking trails winding through Montana’s epic landscape. Get a glimpse of the region's past at the Headwaters Heritage Museum, featuring Native American art and artifacts, Lewis and Clark memorabilia and more, including Montana's oldest anvil and a barbed wire collection so impressive you’ve likely heard about it before. Recharge at the historic Sacajawea Hotel, with a front porch ripe for storytelling and stargazing. Whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, visit a local favorite, like Iron Horse Café & Pie Shop, Three Forks Café and Pompey’s Grill.

fishing the Missouri Headwaters hiking the Madison Buffalo Jump

day 2

Townsend + White Sulphur Springs + Roundup

Wake up with breakfast on-site and set out toward Townsend and White Sulphur Springs, where history and hot springs await. Enjoy a morning paddle around Canyon Ferry Reservoir and then make sure to stop for some of the best freshly made doughnuts in the West at Mountie Moose Bakery. In White Sulphur Springs, home of the annual Red Ants Pants music festival and birthplace of author Ivan Doig, enjoy lunch at Bar 47, Jesse Pepper’s Smoke Stack or The Jawbone before soaking up some authentic Montana moments at Spa Hot Springs Motel. From there, make your way to Roundup and visit the Musselshell Valley Historical Museum for a look at the Old West of cowboys and cattle drives, coal mines, one-room schoolhouses and general stores. Thirty minutes north at Lake Mason National Wildlife Refuge, enjoy a late afternoon/evening paddle or hike. Settle in for the night in Billings, after a mouthwatering meal at one of our favorite eateries: Ten, Stacked, or Walkers.   


Friends in White Sulphur Springs Downtown Billings

day 3

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area + Pryor + Hardin and the Crow Tribe

Fuel up on a delicious breakfast at the Sassy Biscuit in Billings (we recommend the waffles and bennies) before setting out for a day in your extended backyard: Montana’s great outdoors. On your way to Bighorn Canyon, explore Chief Plenty Coups State Park, where hiking trails lead to epic views and wildlife sightings. You can book an Apsáalooke Tour, in Garryowen, to get a guided tour of the park and learn about this important Crow tribal leader. Stop at the Crow Hop in Crow Agency or the Custer Battlefield Trading Post Café for their classic Buffalo Burger, a Burger Trail favorite and authentic Native American Made in Montana creations, books, jewelry, beadwork and gifts. At Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, go fishing, rent a boat or canoe, or take a guided boat tour — Apsáalooke Tours also offers guided tours of Bighorn Canyon and Yellowtail Dam. Afterward, sit down for a tasty dinner at 3 Brothers Bistro. Spend the night at the Homestead Inn & Suites or the Lariat Motel.

hiking in Bighorn Canyon kids dancing Crow Native Days, Crow Nation

day 4

Hardin + Travel Home

Begin your day with good eats at Lariat Country Kitchen before exploring Big Horn County Museum in Hardin. Spread across 35 acres with 24 meticulously preserved historic structures, including the LaForge Cabin, a Crow tipi and a 1915 doctor’s office, each exhibit offers a view into Montana’s rich past. Delve into the history of Fort Custer on the Big Horn, showcasing the Plains Indians' culture and artifacts from missionaries on the reservations. Even with road construction planned for this summer, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is a must-see — and another spot where you can take a guided tour with Apsáalooke Tours. Reflect on the historic clash between Native American tribes and the U.S. Army. This area blends monuments and our vast landscape, commemorating the Battle of the Little Bighorn and a defining moment of our national story. Before setting out for home, grab a slice of pizza at Little Big Men and savor a weekend well spent.

Bighorn Battlefield National Monument traditional tipi Crow Nation