From the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, Montana is a state known for its diverse scenery and “Big Sky Country.” Over 5.9 million visitors go to the 8 national parks, 28 national historic landmarks and 10 national natural landmarks every year. Here you can explore everything from historic battlefields to natural wonders. This list of parks in Montana includes 55 state parks and historic sites to enjoy camping, hiking, swimming, boating, and sightseeing. Discover one of the 1,180 sites on the National Historic Register of Historic Places and then visit Yellowstone.
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National Parks & Historic Sites
Big Hole National Battlefield
On August 9, 1877 gun shots shattered a chilly dawn on a sleeping camp of Nez Perce. By the time the smoke cleared on August 10, almost 90 Nez Perce were dead along with 31 soldiers and volunteers. Big Hole National Battlefield was created to honor all who were there.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Fort Smith, MT, WY
The vast, wild landscape of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world and experience the wonders of this extraordinary place. With over 120,000 acres, one can find an astounding diversity in ecosystems, wildlife, and more than 10,000 years of human history to explore.
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
15550 ND-1804, Williston, ND 58801
Between 1828 and 1867, Fort Union was the most important fur trade post on the Upper Missouri River. Here, the Assiniboine and six other Northern Plains Indian Tribes exchanged buffalo robes and smaller furs for goods from around the world, including cloth, guns, blankets, and beads. A bastion of peaceful coexistence, the post annually traded over 25,000 buffalo robes and $100,000 in merchandise.
Glacier National Park
Northwest Montana, MT; Apgar Visitor Center, West Glacier, MT 59936
Currently there is a fire impacting the west side of the park. The entire east side of the park is open and the Going-to-the-Sun Road is open from St. Mary to Logan Pass. With a little flexibility and some pre-trip planning, visitors can still enjoy much of what Glacier has to offer.
Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
266 Warren Ln, Deer Lodge, MT 59722
Wide open spaces, the hard-working cowboy, his spirited cow pony, and vast herds of cattle are among the strongest symbols of the American West. Once the headquarters of a 10 million acre cattle empire, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site preserves these symbols and commemorates the role of cattlemen in American history.
Ice Age Floods National Geologic Site
WA, OR, ID, MT; one place is the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St # A, Missoula, MT 59801
“At the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago, a series of cataclysmic floods occurred in what is now the northwest region of the United States, leaving a lasting mark of dramatic and distinguishing features on the landscape of parts of the States of Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.” Public Law 111-11, March 30, 2009
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
Eleven States: ID, IL, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND, OR, SD, WA; one place is Fort Peck Interpretive Center and Museum, 157 Yellowstone Road Fort Peck, MT 59223
Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States. Read the Lewis and Clark Pups blog, the Newfie News!
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
I-90 Frontage Rd, Crow Agency, MT 59022
This area memorializes the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry and the Sioux and Cheyenne in one of the Indian’s last armed efforts to preserve their way of life. Here on June 25 and 26 of 1876, 263 soldiers, including Lt. Col. George A. Custer and attached personnel of the U.S. Army, died fighting several thousand Lakota, and Cheyenne warriors.
Nez Perce National Historical Park
four states ID, MT, OR, WA; one site is Canyon Creek, Canyon Creek interpretive site can be reached by the Buffalo Trail Road in Laurel, Montana.
For thousands of years the valleys, prairies, mountains, and plateaus of the inland northwest have been home to the nimí·pu· (Nez Perce) people. Extremely resilient, they have adapted and survived the settling of the United States. Explore these places. Learn their stories.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, ID, MT, WY; one location is the West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center, 30 Yellowstone Ave, West Yellowstone, MT 59758
Visit Yellowstone and experience the world’s first national park. Marvel at a volcano’s hidden power rising up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers. Explore mountains, forests, and lakes to watch wildlife and witness the drama of the natural world unfold. Discover the history that led to the conservation of our national treasures “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”
For more attractions, visit Montana’s official travel center.
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