According to acronymmonster, Montana is not exactly the first state you think of when you travel to the United States. And if so, then above all because of its unique landscapes such as the Glacier National Park, where the Triple Divide Peak is a watershed point from which the water flows into three oceans. It is a state that has more grizzly bears than any other country in the US and more cows than people. Because there are only just over a million residents in Montana.
But Montana’s cultural heritage is impressive, too, and not just because it is the only state in the United States whose constitution respects the cultural heritage of Native Americans and is committed to maintaining their cultural integrity. It’s landmarks like Butte’s Berkeley Pit, Polebridge Mercantile, and Montana’s Dinosaur Trail that make the state a sought-after travel destination in the United States of America. The nickname Montana, “Treasure State”, results from the many mineral resources such as oil, coal, copper, silver and gold that can be found there. The name Montana itself is probably derived from the Spanish word for mountain “montaña”.
Montana in numbers, data and facts
- Area: 380,838 km²
- Population: 1,068,778 (2019)
- Member of the United States since: November 8, 1889
- Time zone: Mountain – UTC − 7 / −6
- Highest point: Granite Peak (3901 m)
- Lowest point: Kootenai River (549 m)
- Average altitude: 1035 m
- Capital: Helena
- State motto: Oro y Plata (gold and silver)
- Official Website: https://mt.gov
Geographical location and extent
Montana is located in the northwestern United States and is the fourth largest state in the United States. In the north, Montana borders Canada, more precisely the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. To the east, Treasure State is bordered by North Dakota and South Dakota, while to the south is Wyoming and to the south and southwest of the state of Idaho. The state is divided into 56 counties.
Montana belongs to the Mountain States and is characterized in the west by the Rocky Mountains and in the east by wide plains, the Great Plains. A small part of Yellowstone National Park is also in the state. The main rivers are the Missouri River, the Milk River, the Flathead River, and the Yellowstone River. The world’s shortest river, the Roe River, also flows through the Treasure State. Flathead Lake is the largest lake in the state.
Weather and climate in Montana
Montana is one of the coldest regions in the USA with an average maximum daily temperature of just 14 degrees. The climate in the Treasure State is warm and temperate, but much more changeable than in Germany. Precipitation is recorded throughout the year. The month with the most precipitation is June and the month with the least precipitation is January. The warmest month is July, the coldest month January. Summer or the time from May to September is considered the best time to travel due to the warmer temperatures. Winter sports enthusiasts should ideally plan their visit to Montana in the months from December to February.
Population of Montana
Montana is one of the most populous states in the United States. Because only a little more than a million people live here, although the Treasure State is the fourth largest state in the United States. It’s a retirement and nature lover’s paradise, who are increasingly settling in Montana. Younger people and long-established farming families are increasingly leaving the Treasure State.
Whites make up the largest proportion of the population at 89 percent, followed by Native Americans. The proportion of blacks among the population is comparatively low. Latin Americans are represented at around four percent. There are slightly more men than women in Montana.
The largest religious community in Montana is the Catholic Church, followed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).
The Indian population of Montana
A total of thirteen Indian tribes live in Montana. These are the Kootenai, Blackfoot, Assiniboine, Northern Cheyenne, Salish and Anishinabe, Cree, Pend d’Oreille, Gros Ventre, Chippewa, Sioux, Crow and Little Shell. About two-thirds of Native Americans live on an Indian reservation in the state. The Tribe of the Little Shell is an exception. There are a total of seven Indian reservations in the state.
There are the following Indian reservations in Montana:
- Blackfeet Indian Reservation (Blackfeet)
- Crow Reservation (Absarokee)
- Flathead Indian Reservation (Salish, Pend d’Oreille and Kutenai)
- Fort Belknap Reservation (Gros Ventre, Assiniboine)
- Fort Peck Indian Reservation (Dakota, Assiniboine)
- Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation (Cheyenne)
- Rocky Boy’s Reservation (Cree, Chippewa)
The 10 largest cities of Montana
- Billings (109,431)
- Missoula (72,125)
- Great Falls (58,990)
- Bozeman (45,121)
- Butte-Silver Bow (34,814)
- Helena (31,212)
- Kalispell (22,621)
- Havre (9,762)
- Anaconda-Deer Lodge County (9,100)
- Miles City (8,576)
Worthwhile activities in Montana
The state in the northwest of the United States of America is a paradise for nature lovers and people who would like to learn more about the history of the Indians and the Wild West and would like to recharge their batteries in one or the other ghost town.
- Hiking and camping: The unique landscapes with its many rivers, Glacier National Park with its glaciers and mountains, Yellowstone and cultural sites such as the place where the famous Battle of Little Bighorn took place, all of this and more make Montana a popular destination for people who love nature. Especially during the summer months you can wonderfully hike through the beautiful landscapes, marvel at the glaciers or camp in one of the national parks or other approved locations. Fishing, hunting and climbing are also very popular.
- Visit Cities: The largest city in Montana is undoubtedly Billings. These are some of the things that are very worth seeing here Moss Mansion Museum, the Yellowstone Art Museum and the Montana Zoo. For families with children a visit to the The Reef Indoor Water Park. Anyone interested in Lewis and Clark should definitely visit the city of Missoula. The city is, among other things, the location of the film “From the Middle A River” by Robert Redford. Around 60 kilometers from the city is also the best preserved ghost town of Montana, the Garnet Ghost Town.
The capital Helena itself is located between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. Originally founded as a mining town in the gold rush period, the capital offers a wonderful view of the most beautiful regions of the Rocky Mountains. It is not for nothing that Montana is known as the “Big Sky Country”.
There are also a lot of picturesque small towns in the state that you shouldn’t miss out on during your trip. Very nice small towns are for example Whitefish, Big Timber and Choteau.
- Visiting lakes: In addition to the large Flathead Lake, Montana also has many beautiful, smaller lakes. Lake McDonald in Flathead County, Saint Mary Lake in Glacier County and Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park are absolutely picturesque.
- Do winter sports: Montana is a paradise for skiers in winter. There are a total of 16 ski resorts in the state, one of which Bridger Bowl at Bozeman and that Red Lodge Mountain Resort at Red Lodge are probably the best known.
- Take a round trip: Montana is also an excellent starting point for a round trip through the state and neighboring states across the border. In addition to Idaho in the southwest, the other states of the “Great American West”, South Dakota and Wyoming, are definitely worth a visit. There are many beautiful routes here that you can drive by rental car, camper or motorcycle and many treasures that you can discover along the way.
- Relax at hot springs: There are numerous natural hot springs spread over the area of the state of Montana, in the vicinity of which spas and resorts have often been built. For example, one of these resources is in Bozeman, near Yellowstone National Park.