Things to do on vacation in Montana

Wondering what to do for fun on a Montana vacation?

Seeing the Old Faithful geyser erupt is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Montana, though there’s other stuff to do in Montana such as playing a round of golf, shop at farmers market, visit a water park, and book wildlife and birding tours.
Things to do on vacation in Montana

A train tour onboard the Alder Gulch Shortline or the Charlie Russell Chew-Choo is also something else you should add to your itinerary because you get a great opportunity to see the Rockies and the Great Plains in all their splendor. A few more things you could get up to in Montana are as follows:

Ride the Going-to-the-Sun Road

No matter if it’s on a bike, a motorcycle, or drop-top convertible, one of the things you wouldn’t want to miss doing in Montana for the world is taking a ride on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier national park.

This scenic route is easily one of the most stunning stretches of road ever conceived in the States because of its twisting bends and sharp drop-offs that makes this drive at times seriously scary (especially when you're driving west of Logan Pass).

If you prefer not to rent a car, you could always hop on the park's free shuttle service (between July and September), though the experience won’t quite the same. You could also tour the park onboard one of the cool vintage red buses for a real unforgettable experience.

Stay at a dude ranch and ride the horses

Experiencing a stay in a guest ranch is without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable things to do on vacation in Montana, especially if you’re looking to do lots of trail riding.

Laughing Water Ranch (Fortine) and Royal Teton Ranch (Gardiner) are two popular options in Montana, though the Sun Canyon Lodge is one of the cheapest guest ranches you'll find in Montana as it offers camping space to set up a tent or RV.

It’s worth mentioning that if you’re going to stay in a dude ranch in Montana for a few days that you pick one of the guest ranches near Yellowstone national park. That way you're close enough to explore all of Yellowstone's attractions such as Old Faithful.

Dude ranches near Yellowstone include: 320 Guest Ranch (Gallatin Gateway), Parade Rest Guest Ranch (West Yellowstone), and Lone Mountain Guest Ranch (Big Sky).

Attend the annual horse drive in Three Forks

If you’re planning to visit Montana this spring, one of the best times to be in the state is on April 25th to see the annual horse drive right down the main street in the town of Three Forks. Three Forks horse roundup and drive event is one of the most exciting horse drives in North America and it draws participants from all across the US and even Europe.

By the way, seen the live horse drive won’t be the only attraction, you’ll also get to enjoy good ol’ cowboy celebrations and entertainment such as rodeo action and live performances by top notch cowboy performers.

Soak in a natural hot spring

Montana offers plenty of opportunities to be active in the great outdoors. However, if you’re planning to be there a few weeks, one of the nicest things to do on vacation in Montana is to relax by a hot spring.

The western part of Montana is where the majority of hot springs pools can be found, particularly in the area around Missoula. Lolo Hot Springs (in Lolo), Lost Trail Hot Springs Resort (in Sula), Camas Hot Springs Senior Center (in Hot Springs), the Symes Hot Springs Hotel (in Hot Springs) are some of these hot springs, which charge around $7 admission fee.

Lolo Hot Springs is actually the nearest hot spring to Missoula but if you prefer not to pay anything, it's best you head to the free natural hot springs of Weir Creek Hot Springs and Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in Clearwater national forests (Idaho), which are located roughly 2 hours drive from Missoula.

Book sleigh rides & dog sledding excursions

Montana is a winter wonderland for snow sports such as skiing and snowboarding, though if you really want to have a blast during your winter vacation in Montana, you must book a dog sledding excursion, or at least go for a sleigh ride. Both sleigh rides and dog sledding are so much fun, especially dog sledding because you get the opportunity of driving your very own sled dog team!

As far as places to go, the area around Yellowstone Park (southwestern Montana) is the most popular destination in the state for these types of activities. In the area, you’ll find outfitters such as the Lone Mountain Ranch (Big Sky), Back Country Adventures (West Yellowstone), Spirit of the North Sled Dog (Ennis), and  Absaroka Dogsled Treks (at Chico Hot Springs Resort).

In the northwest of Montana, you’ll find outfitters such as Base Camp Dog Sledding (Big Fork) and Dog Sled Adventures (Olney) offering dog sledding trips.

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