By car around the state
If you look near the highways in Montana you will see crosses planted. Those represent people who have died in those spots. When it says to slow down going around a corner, they mean it. I was riding in Idaho and they had signs to slow down on the corners and they way they were rating them I was thinking "Really?" as I blew through the corners much faster than what they are rated for in Montana. If it says 45mph around a corner, well a truck might be able to slide around that corner at that speed. A car will do better. But believe them when they say slow down!
There are some really great roads to go on motorcycle here. There are mountain roads, highways, and interstate. There are motorcycle shops all over the state. Have fun.
Montana is going to start to even have specials for riders and attract hopefully more motorcycles in the area.
There is one passenger train line that goes through Montana, the Empire Builder. It runs along what we call the Hi Line, which is across the east/west directions in the north.
Most of the ride will be through small towns in the east and the prairie. The land rolls and goes on forever and seems to never end. The western side is mountainous and runs through the southern tip of Glacier National Park. The train is a good way to get to the park and has stops on both the east and west side of the park. I think my favorite part of the ride as a girl were the couple of tunnels it goes through in that area.
The trains to the south part of the state, where all the people live, are only freight trains. I have seen a couple of times where privately owned trains have passed through, but they are few and far between.
The airports here are smaller. The planes in and out are typically not your big jets, but smaller ones. There are some airports that only have little puddle jumpers with as few as 6 passengers.
The major airports in Montana are in Billings, Great Falls, and Bozeman.
The major airlines in Montana are Delta, United, Northwest and Fronteer.
Driving into the Big Sky
Montana is a big state with lots of wide open spaces. Though Glacier National Park is one of the few US National Parks that can be reached and explored by mass transit, the rest of the state is still in the domain of the private vehicle. Chances are if you are in this part of the good old USA, you will be driving.
Typical distances: Logan Pass in Glacier National Park to Missoula, MT-170 miles or 4.5 hours. Missoula to Three Forks, MT-170 miles or 3 hours. Missoula to Yellowstone National Park-600 miles or 6 hours.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Travelling from Calgary to Montana
Hiring a car in Canada and dropping it off in the US can be a problem., If you want to hire in Canada drive round the US and retun the car to any other Canadian town its ok...but NOT droppnig it off in the US. The reasons I was given were varied and included Insurance, Terrorism and Tax (?). Eventually I spoke to someone at Hertz who managed to sort out a Ford Explorer to pick up at Clagary Airport and drop off in Missoula Montana. It cost a $500 US Surcharge
Montana used to be famous as the one place in America without speed limits on its highways.
Their highway code stated you need only drive in a ‘reasonable and prudent manner’ and if that meant doing 95mph on a flat and empty stretch of highway, then so be it.
Apparently the state has reneged on this rule and signs advocating a speed limit of 75mph are now common. But the highway patrolmen have to catch up with your first!
Okay, don't laugh, but I have a favorite gas station because of the bathroom!!! In Helena, just off the I-15, there is an Exxon gas station on the south side of the road that gives incredible full service; including vaccuuming, all window cleaning, fluid checks and tire pressure checks for a few more cents per gallon(I don't remember the exit number but I think its the second exit into town going north OR south). And the Bathroom is the cleanest, nicest and fanciest service station bathroom I've ever seen. There are plants and decorations and even a padded seat all in pink in the Ladies washroom(Sorry guys, I don't know if the mens room is as nice). It's such a pleasant change in gas station bathrooms!!
I drive the I-15 through the entire state at least 2-3 times/year, and it is one of my favorite drives. From the Idaho border to Great Falls, you go through different mountains passes, and prime ranching country, and its so beautiful to me. But it can be dangerous in the winter(well, any season pretty much, except maybe July/Aug). Freak snow storms can make the roads treacherous so check the local forcast, and if you're not experienced or in a hurry, wait out the storm, and give the road crews a chance to get through.
Car or 4X4(if you want to have some real fun)!! There are a few airports supporting major airlines; Great Falls, Helena, and Amtrak has various stops, even in the smaller communities.Related to:
- Road Trip
Here is a picture of the Old...
Here is a picture of the Old Mining Museum located in Butte, MT...good place to go and very helpful and nice staff.
A car is ABSOLUTELY necessary to visit this state...Montana being one of the largest US states, with one of the smallest population. You'll drive miles without seeing anyone.
BE CAREFUL...Montana is the only state where there is NO SPEED LIMIT on US state roads.
By car/auto via Interstate 90...
By car/auto via Interstate 90 highway. By plane...fly directly into Missoula. We have an international airport.
First choice...by car. In warm weather months...second choice by bicycle. Last choice, by bus.
There are large airports in...
There are large airports in Missoulla, Kalispell, Billings, and Great Falls. Hwy 90 runs across 3/4 of the lower portion of the state and Hwy 200 has some wonderful scenery if you prefer driving.
Get a 4 wheel drive in winter as snowfall can be pretty heavy at times. Ask a Forest Service Ranger or one of the locals about road conditions in the back country before you set out. Lesson learned from some of my early years in Montana. Spring snow is very easy to get your truck stuck in and VERY hard to dig out. Snow keeps many back country roads closed until June and in some cases July. Ask people who would know before you make a 50 mile round trip for nothing.
On the Going to the Sun Road!
Once on the road, I must warn you it can get very steep. It was raining the first day I was there and the road goes so high into the mountains, that I drove through clouds a couple of times. BE VERY CAREFUL. You must slow down to a crawl and follow the center yellow line as to not drive off the road. There are few guardrails.
You can drive the...
You can drive the Going-to-the-Sun-Highway but remember to take your time which means spend some nights at the National Park Lodges or one of the many campgrounds. Make reservations at least 3 months ahead. If you camp and have a large trailer or motorhome, there is a limit to the size that is allowed on this particular road. Small bus tours are available at the entrances to the park.
Plane fare is expensive. We...
Plane fare is expensive. We flew into Spokane, Washington on an America West red-eye flight for $330. It was a hike to get to Glacier National park (the books say 4 1/2 hours, but it seemed to take more like 7 hours), so we stayed in Idaho on the way there. But if you really need to save money, it is an option.
Also, I've heard the train is very nice. The Amtrack train goes right through Glacier National Park and stops in East Glacier, West Glacier. I think it is about 30 hours from Chicago.
Car Rental. You will want to drive. The speed limits are very high, and the roads are curvy and steep so be careful!
The largest of the Glacier National Park hotels. Situated near Grinnell Glacier and some incredible...more
We were there in the winter, so it was not really full. We were able to have our tour of the park...more
It's been awhile since we stayed here on our way to Utah. We stayed in a room with the following; ...more
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