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Montana Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 05, 2016
9 nights in Southwest Montana  (3 Answers)

I'd appreciate some help from knowledgeable people on an area on Montana we will be going to in about a week from now which is Helena and the whole southwest Montana area. As I'm busy with work I've been trying to figure out a nice trip for a 60+ year old couple who enjoy the outdoors and moderate hiking as well as historical museums or areas. I've read thoroughly the section on this area on Montana in the current Moon "Montana & Wyoming" book and think we can come up with a enjoyable trip for 9 nights limiting ourselves to this area they outline as we are the types that enjoy seeing things thoroughly and not rushing or driving too much in a day. The Moon section is called "Butte Helena and SW Montana" and we already have our first two nights booked in Helena. My question here is about how to divide the other 7 nights we have left and where to stop at.

I thought after we left Helena we would go west and stop and see the Powell Museum Complex and then drive on to Philipsburg and stay either 1 or 2 nights. Which would be a better idea? The place the Moon book speaks of that sounds good to me is Broadway Hotel...opinions or recommendations for this town? Then I thought we would go south to Big Hole Battlefield and then go over to Elkhorn Hot Springs (stay?) and after that head to Nevada City and Virginia City (stay?). From there go back up to Lewis and Clark Caverns and then to Butte to see the museums there. Can we drive to the airport in Helena from Butte if we stay there the last night to get our 3pm flight? Where would people recommend we stay the other 7 nights we have in this area (other than the first 2 nights we have in Helena)?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 17, 2014
Storm Warning  (6 Answers)

It is blizzard in Western Montana, including Glacier National Park. Snow is really coming down.

Also Beartooth Pass going into Yellowstone has been closed due to snow.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 06, 2014
Camping and hiking the Bitterroot - from the Idaho border to Missoula  (2 Answers)

Hi - We spending about a week travelling this route in July as part of a much longer road trip (we will be driving from Seattle via Wallowa Lake, OR and Ketchum and Stanley, ID). We like to camp and hike but also visit places of interest. I have two questions:
1. Can anyone recomemnd a nice (reservable) campground in the Hamilton, MT area? We are struggling to find anything we can reserve via reserveamerica or recreationgov and want the security of knowing we have somewhere to pitch the tent. We prefer quiet, natural campsites such as fsda ones (not so worried about fancy facilities). We could consider dispersed camping if permitted in this area but having problems understanding the rules on where we can and cannot camp.

2. We will be researching day hikes (although if anyone can recommend any really good ones that would be great- we are fit and experienced hikers and can cover up to 15 miles in a day) but we're interested to know of any other recommendations for this area - things to do/see. We have visited Big Hole Battlefield on a previous trip.

Thank you very much in advance. Sam from England.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 25, 2014
Getting around Montana  (8 Answers)

Want to see Yellowstone and Glacier and take train back to Chicago from East Glacier. Problem is I can't figure out how to travel from anywhere to East Glacier. For example: They won't let me rent a car in Bozeman and drop it off in East Glacier. Any ideas?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 05, 2014
Montana to Denver  (6 Answers)

Hi me and my husband are looking to spend around 3 weeks from the UK travelling from Bozeman to Denver. Our plan is below:

Bozeman x 2/3 nights
Bozeman to Red Lodge x 1 night
Red Lodge to Cody via Bear Tooth Highway and Chief Joseph Highway x 1
Cody to Canyon Village - Yellowstone x 2
Canyon to Mammoth x 1
Mammoth to Old Faithful x 2
Old Faithful to Jackson & GTNP x 3
Jackson to Lander x 1
Lander to RMPN x 3
RMPN to Colorado Springs x 2
Colorado Springs to Denver x 2

A few questions, ideally we would love to go to the Glacier National Park, but appreciate we cannot do everything I tried to see if we can fit in the Going to the Sun Road but cannot see how without adding lots more mileage? Therefore we would like to spend a few days in Bozeman are there are recommendations on places to visit or hikes to do in or around that area?

I believe that the Grand Teton National park is over an hour to get to from Jackson, is there anywhere else that is closer to stay to get to the park daily or is the trip not too bad?

Finally any recommendations or changes that you would recommend please feel free.

Many thanks in advance.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 27, 2013
Drive from Gates of the Mountains to Wolf Creek  (3 Answers)

We hope to take the sunset cruise at Gates of the Mountains in early August. Since we don't know the roads out there, would it be risky to drive from the Gates of the Mountains dock area to Wolf Creek after dark? Would it be better to plan to stay in Helena, or is there some campground or accommodation closer to the Gates of the Mountains area?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 02, 2013
Great Falls  (2 Answers)


Does anyone know if Great Falls is worth staying in and, if so, what is the best part. Also, are there any other small towns around there that might be nicer. Travelling in late May.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 31, 2012
Montana towns  (2 Answers)

Got a choice between a night in Helena or Great Falls or White Sulphur Springs. Anyone with any recommendations.

Many thanks.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 01, 2012
Road Biker & Horsewoman need travel advice  (3 Answers)

Q: Hi! We need advice! That's a mighty big state! Perfect Boyfriend and I are headed your way second week of June. I ride horses; he rides road bikes. We both hike and love music and history, hot springs and lakes. I really really want to see your legendary wide open spaces. We do not like crowds (but June is our sole option). We will have a week. Any guidance appreciated~

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 03, 2011
Need Critique of my route and stops from Yellowstone to Glacier  (8 Answers)

As background, we spent 2 weeks in Yellowstone and Tetons in September of 2010. We didn't get enough of Northern Yellowstone so we are planning a trip back (2-3 weeks) in September of 2012.

Mary and I like being outdoors and moderate hiking but also like "town" if it has the right vibe and creature comforts. (example would be Park City Utah or Telluride, Colorado.) So we like a sampler of each and prefer the "blue highways" over inter-states. Only like to drive about 2 hours between stops as we like to take day-hikes and picnics along the way.

We have part of this trip figured out but need a critique and some advise:
Fly into Billings and spend a coupla' days in Red Cloud to get acclimated and gear.

Beartooth Highway into Yellowstone and we spend 3 days in Roosevelt Cabins (have reservations already)

Out thru Gardnier and basically taking 89 N.

Stop for 1-2 days in White Sulphur Springs

Need another stop-over from White Sulphur Springs to Babb( actually Many Glacier Lodge)

3 days at Many Glacier Lodge (have rooms lakeside reserved)

Back to Going to the Sun road for east-west traverse thru Glacier Park
Need a stop as a "base camp" in the center of the Park for 3-4 days.

Need suggestions for the right towns and right lodging to access the whitefish, kalispell, etc "side" of Glacier.

Finish up in Missoula to fly home.

Thanks in advance for advice and suggestions!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 23, 2011
Traveling in Montana in 2012  (6 Answers)


I'm a 24-year old student from The Netherlands and I'm planning to do some travelling in Montana during the summer next year. While I would love to do a vacation at a ranch, I just can't afford them. So, I was wondering if anyone could tell me about the best places to visit/see, places to stay, events, etc. for someone who's on a budget. Many thanks!


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 08, 2011
Double Falls, Glacier Nat'l Park  (4 Answers)

My sis and I might drive down from Edmonton this summer to visit Montana's Glacier Natl Park. One of the most important things to see is Double Falls (a photo by Galen has inspired us!). I've looked at the NPS website map to pinpoint this waterfall's location in the Park, but can't seem to find it. Lots of info on VT, but nothing is mentioned about the falls (that I could find, there's so MUCH info to look at and so little time...). Where can we find the falls on the map? Is there a viewing platform there? What other scenic spots should we view once we get there? Spending maybe 2 nights altogether in the area. Please and thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 03, 2010
Need a packing list first time to montana  (9 Answers)

We are trave;ing to montana for 2 weeks covering mid october 2010 and have put together a packing list but i want to make sure we aren't missing something. Does anyone have a list they could share,? eladkao

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 26, 2010
Butte, Missoula, Great Falls, or ... ???  (19 Answers)

In an upcoming trip I will be driving south from Calgary and staying overnight somewhere in Montana. The 3 aforementioned cities are possible destinations, as is pretty much anywhere else in the NW corner of the state.

As a former mining engineer, Butte has a definite historical appeal but I'm open to suggestions. I'm looking for thoughts from people who have visited any of these communities and can offer suggestions about interesting things to see over say a day or so.

Thank you,


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 16, 2010
First time to Glacier.....HELP!!!!  (1 Answer)

We're planning a trip to Glacier National Park for sometime in early fall. Ideally, we wanted to go from October 11th-20th, but apparently some roads are closed and not all of the park is accessible at this time. Can anyone confirm if this is true? We may end up moving it back a month to mid September, but we're overwhelmed with questions on where to stay and what to see.... We'll be flying into Kalispell, but beyond that we have no idea yet. We will be renting a self catering accommodation, so we are interested in hotels, lodges and condo resorts. Obviously, we want to be fairly close to the park and see and do as much as we possibly can in our time there. Since the park is so large and we are unfamiliar with the area, can you guys give me suggestions on where a good "hub" would be for us to stay? We have looked into the flathead lake region as we'd love to have a cabin on the water, but it seems as though this may be a bit far from the park. What do you guys think is the best section of the park to be near (East, West, South?) and what are some good choices for us to look into? As I mentioned, we want a private cabin or house in a beautiful setting, close to the park and with amenities near. Also, any advice/suggestions on what to see and do while we're there will be very much appreciated!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 10, 2010
Traveling from Glacier to Joliet in June  (10 Answers)

Hi - I'm going to be flying in from the East Coast probably around 6/15, renting a car, and staying with friends in Joliet for about a week in June. My dates are flexible.

We're definitely going to visit Yellowstone while I'm there, but I would like on my own to tour Glacier, probably before I go to visit them. I will probably devote 2 days to the Glacier area (which I KNOW is not going to be nearly enough!!)

My questions are - which airport should I fly into - I have to remember that I'll be driving to Joliet at the end of the Glacier trip, and will need to return the car when I fly back out to NH. I'm not averse to driving 3-6 hours to do this before my flight, or I suppose I can pay extra to return the car to a different airport. It seems the trip from Glacier to Joliet will be about 9 hours.

Which airports are generally more central for what I want to do; I have been researching flight costs to Helena and Billings so far. At least there seem to be a lot of airports in the area! I'm also open to small plane flights and/or Amtrak to get me around and save some time. I don't have unlimited funds, but do have SOME leeway.

Any suggestions would be appreciated and thank you! I am SOOO looking forward to the trip!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 24, 2009
Where to fly to get to Glacier  (7 Answers)

I'm planning a summer trip to Glacier Park and just made reservations at a couple of park lodges (most of the view rooms are already taken.) Now I have to figure out how to get there. What's the best airport to fly into (from SFO)? It looks like the Kalispell airport is the closest, but I can get a direct flight to Spokane. That looks like a 7 or 8 hour drive, which I don't mind if it's pretty. I would rather spend my time driving through mountains than sitting around an airport waiting for a connection.

How is the drive from Spokane? What's the best route? Google sends me on I90 almost all the way to Missoula, but I'll spend the extra time to drive a back road if it's scenic. Any recommended motels or restaurants along the way?



Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · July 09, 2009
Travel buddy?  (3 Answers)


Is anyone travelling from Billings to Bozeman within the next week and willing to take another traveler along and split the costs, gas, etc? Need to get to Bozeman and back sometime soon and would love to hitch with someone and help them split the costs. Would be great if anyone interested would email me at [email]. Looking forward to any replies. Thanks!


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 29, 2009
Bozeman Buddy?

I'll be flying in on the 29th to work at the Yellowstone National Park on the 30th. I'm looking for a buddy who would like to split cab fair with me to the Blue Sky motel located right down the street from the Greyhound Station. Please get back to me if this works for you. I'm going to try and be in around 6:30PM but there is a possibility of arriving at 11:30PM.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 19, 2009
What to do in Billings?  (3 Answers)

We're staying in Billings for two nights in the autumn before heading to a ranch for a few weeks, never even been in America before! Anyway, any nice bars, clubs, equestrian shops that people would recommend? Or anything else cool and random! Thanks :) Joanne

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 11, 2009
Driving 1-90E from Idaho to I-15S back to Idaho...things to do/see  (6 Answers)

Anything cool to see and/or do along this route? Whats a cool city to stay at in Montana? Somewhere with some nice laid back bars would be ideal!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 12, 2009
theme hotel rooms in montana  (2 Answers)

i'm planning a trip for a friend and i to meet in montana (half way point between us) and i'm looking for good hotels with theme rooms available hopefully at decent rates, any suggestions?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 11, 2009
ghost towns in Montana  (1 Answer)

Planning a vacation to Montana in Sept. I have a list of ghost towns I want to photography, then off to Yellowstone. The ghost towns are Elkhorn, Comet, Wicks, Mammoth, Pony, Laurin, Alder, Virginia City, Nevada City, Garnet, Bannack, Coolidge.

I heard the road to Garnet can be a whiteknuckler coming from Drummond, can any one verify that.

Also I plan to do all this in about 12 days. I want to spend at least 4 days in Yellowstone. Do you think this is possible? Also any other ghost towns you would include in the trip? Thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 06, 2009
Driving from SLC to Yellowstone  (2 Answers)

If anybody needs a ride from Salt Lake City, UT to West Yellowstone, MT - driving there this Friday morning Jan 9th and back on Saturday night Jan 10th or Sunday morning Jan 11th - then please feel free to contact me. I will have a rental car and wouldn't mind some company for the long drive. :-)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 27, 2008
Recommendations for Ranch Holiday  (3 Answers)

Hi All,

A friend and myself are considering a ranch holiday in Montana, and are looking for some recommendations for ranches to visit. We have found one ranch on the web which caught our attention (Dryhead Ranch - formerly Schively Ranch), and I'm wondering whether anyone here has maybe been there and can tell me something about their stay there?

Or maybe you can recommend another ranch?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 30, 2008


I am travelling to Vancouver for 2 weeks in July and was planning on crossing the border into the USA for four days en route to Calgary.

I have already scheduled a stop over in Leavenworth (WA) and was planning a further 3 days in Montana to break up the journey.

looking at the map, Missoula, Billings and Great Falls would seem to be the best points to stop over.

I was wondering if these would be the best places to stop, are they safe? and are they attractive cities? and what is there of interest in these locations?

if not i would welcome any advice of where to visit and other places to stop over between Vancouver and Calgary.

Thanks in advance

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 10, 2008
Going to the Sun in late May?  (5 Answers)

I'm planning a trip from Sacramento to Banff this May. One possible itinerary was to go through Montana and stay a couple nights in Glacier National Park. Does anyone know if Going to the Sun Road will be fully open during this time and what would the weather and road conditions be like? Thank you in advance for any help and pointers you can give me.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 19, 2007
Camping trip with a five and seven year old: Starting off in Billings, going to Yellowstone  (2 Answers)

My brother and I are planning a camping trip this summer with our kids from July 10th to the 21st. We will make our way to Yellowstone National Park. We want to camp a lot, but think it will be fun for the kids to spend a few days on a ranch / farm.

I am looking for recommendations for things to do along the Billings / Yellowstone route. We are thinking of driving along route 212 to get to Yellowstone, and going back along 89. Trail ride, river tours, etc. Both kids love the outdoors, seeing any wildlife, fishing etc.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 25, 2007
Traveling in Montana  (4 Answers)

My husband and I are going to be doing a 2 week road trip through Montana from Arizona. We are planning on spending most of the time camping and hiking. My husband is a fire figher and has been to Montana for the recent fires and wanted to take me through the area. We are both not very familiar with the Montana area and every web site I find on traveling is for a B&B or a ranch that wants you to go on their tour. We prefer to do our own thing and love the out doors. Does anyone have any suggestions on travel for us or perhaps a web site that might send us in the right direction? Thanks!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 08, 2007
Montana vacation  (27 Answers)

We would like to find a central location in Montana where we can stay for about 10 days and take day trips to various points of interest. I would rather not drive more than 100 miles each day to see things.
What cities (towns) might be good central locations and what interesting sights are withina a 100 mile round trip of the town?
Thank you for any help your can provide.

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