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No one goes to Montana to stay indoors. As one of the most sparsely populated states in the union, the Big Sky State boasts plenty of wide-open space to recreate as you please. While there are fine restaurants and hospitality options throughout the state, we know those aren’t the real draw. Montana—perhaps more than any other state—is no place to remain sedentary. Let’s take a look at the best outdoor activities to do in Montana so you can make the most out of your trip to the top of the Intermountain West.
If you’re a Jeep driver who isn’t content to stay constrained to the roads, Montana is the state for you. It has off-road trails that are amid some of America’s most challenging terrain. There are fewer places that are better for mudding than Montana. You have a countless selection of hiking trails to choose from; there’s everything from easy to difficult, and they’re within proximity of Montana’s major cities (such as they are.) You’ll get all the adventure you need from such courses as Ringing Rocks and Antelope Basin.
A state whose very name means “mountainous” has a slew of top-hotch skiing destinations. Indeed, you’ll love hitting the slopes in Montana; the untrammeled beauty of Whitefish Mountain attracts skiers from across the nation. Though February and March are the best times for that champagne snow we’re all on the lookout for, Montana features a lengthy six-month skiing season—one that allows you to balance your time in the mountains with some activities at lower altitudes as well.
It’s not all about having fun on dry land. If you’re looking for some aquatic excitement, the rapid-flowing rivers of Montana provide an excellent opportunity for something a little more daring than paddle-boating on a quiet pond. The Flathead, Yellowstone, and Clark Fork Rivers all feature choices for whitewater rafting expeditions. It’s truly one of the best outdoor activities to do in Montana if you love both rushing water and rushing adrenaline.
There’s no better state to truly get away from it all. The many state and national parks of Montana provide ample space to travel on foot and sleep under the stars. The big two are Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, which any outdoor enthusiast must experience. At the state level, destinations such as the Missouri Headwaters, the Lewis & Clark Caverns, and Whitefish Lake all beckon hikers and campers with sights the likes of which you’ll seldom find elsewhere in America. Whether you’re camping in a deluxe RV or going for something a bit more rugged as a well-traveled overlander, you’ll find a spot to pitch your tent—literally or figuratively—beneath the Big Sky.
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