Montana has no official nickname but I am partial to Big Sky Country. The state fossil is the maiasaur or duck-billed dinosaur which was the first dinosaur fossil sent into space. The state butterfly is the mourning cloak. The Roe River was at one time listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the shortest river in the world at 201 feet.
The Rocky Mountains run through Montana. It is part of a range of mountains that runs all the way from Canada to southern South America. In the Rockies is the Continental Divide, the line at which water flows either west to the Pacific Ocean or east to The Gulf of Mexico and on into the Atlantic Ocean. Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park additionally flows to Hudson Bay.
While you are in Montana these are some of the activities available: hiking, backpacking, biking, climbing, horseback riding, riding in a wagon train, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and skateboarding. Water sports are plentiful with whitewater rafting being very popular. There are several ziplines to be found. I do believe you can find others if you are interested.
Wildlife in Montana is also varied. Many species of fish are in the many rivers. Wildlife you might see includes elk, deer, bear, mountain lions, moose, buffalo, big-horn sheep, coyotes. wolves, mountain goats, bald eagles, many other birds of prey and song birds.
In the area of Glacier National Park, you might take a treetop tour 70 feet above ground. Whitefish Mountain Resort offers a two-and-a-half hour guided tour with views of Flathead Valley. For hikers and bikers, there are ten tunnels as you travel along the Hiawatha Rail Trail.
If you drive the Garnet Back Country Byway, you can visit he town of Garnet. Garnet is one of many ghost towns in Montana. When the gold mines played out, the miners and their families often moved on to greener pastures leaving empty towns. This area has six hot springs for you to soak away your troubles.
Russell Country is named after Charles M. Russell, a famous cowboy artist who painted fantastic pictures of the area. Rock formations, vast open spaces, and magnificent canyons were his models.
Yellowstone National Park is another large national park in Montana. Famous for it's scenery, wildlife , and most of all it's geysers, Yellowstone is one of the most famous nature areas in the world. Mammoth Hot Springs is a sight you have to see to appreciate. At the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, kids can help staff hide food for real bears. There are bears at the center that became so accustomed to humans that they had to be removed from the wild. They give insight into the nature of bears.
In Missouri River Country, you will see the headwaters of the Missouri river. This is a haven for birds of all kinds making a great place for birders from inexperienced to old hands. Several locations have fossil digs.Some are even hands on. What fun.
Custer Country is home to Little Bighorn National Monument. Little Bighorn is where Lt. Col. General George Armstrong Custer led his troops against the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. Custer and his men were all killed. Each year there is a re-enactment of the battle. But all around the area you find some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. Wildlife abounds, trees and flowers are everywhere.
We are on our way to explore Montana. Let me know about your adventures. What did you see? What did you do? Links are below to help you find the resources to plan your trip. I'm going to Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge to see if I can find a trumpeter swan. Then I think I'll go see if I can mine for silver, gold, or copper. I might hit the mother lode!
Montana Official Site
Montana Kids Site
Offbeat Tourist Attractions