a VirtualTourist member from Palmer asked on Jan 23, 2008
We are long retired, fairly well-travelled, and are finally ready to take our long-delayed tour of the parts of the U.S. we've never visited. Part of our 8000 mile, 5-6 week trip will take us from Calgary, Canada to Yellowstone NP driving through Montana. I'm familiar with VT tips as I have read & written many over the years, but I still need help in discovering interesting stops in and between these 2 cities. You can check my homepage for our preferences and/or check our posting in the United States forum for our preliminary itinerary. We will be traveling the southernmost states first.
Glancing at your other posts you may have an opportunity to travel through British Columbia. One of my favorite areas is around Nakusp and Kaslo in Central BC – pristine finger lakes with mountain views, hiking, swimming, camping, nice drives and good people. Plus it’s not too crowded and a good place to sit back and relax for a day or two.
In Montana there are some sites I enjoy that are not primary destinations. In Great Falls there is a nice museum and interruptive center on the Lewis and Clark journey plus a good western art museum. Another place is the former territorial State Capital, Virginia City and area ghost towns. Close by is the town of Ennis, well known for trout fishing and a nice place to stay with some good restaurants. From there you can head toward West Yellowstone passing by Hepgin Lake, a result of a 1950s earthquake.
A few Towns/sites to research – Helena, Butte, Deer Lodge, Big Horn Battle Field, Lewis and Clark Caverns, Gate of the Mountains.
One of my favorite things – drive into mountains at night (away from traffic), turn off the lights, lie on the hood of your car and watch the stars for awhile. Take a blanket, it will be cool. Ask a local for a good place.
Be sure to spend a few days in Glacier National Park, while in Montana.
You may want to consider traveling US287. I live in Loveland, Colorado and travel to my second home in Livingston, Montana. 287 is a slower road but if time isn't a factor it takeas you diagonally through great country. You go through towns like Ft. Collins, Colorado,Laramie, Wyoming up through back country Wyoming to Jackson and Teton National Park. It eventually goes through yellowstone and hooks up with I90. Plenty more route than that but you have options. Lots of small towns on the way and plenty of open space.