When planning a Montana vacation, all the big names come up: YellowstoneBig Sky and Glacier, and for good reason. These are most definitely among the top places to visit in Montana.

They are some of the most beautiful and rare destinations left in the world.

With Yellowstone seeing over 3 million visitors a year and Glacier over a million, how do you find authentic places to travel on your Montana vacation? That’s where we are here to help, part of our legacy in Montana has been finding the best and most authentic destinations.

Yellowstone National Park views in Montana, USA
Yellowstone National Park views

Authentic places to visit in Montana

Without further ado, here is our list of the most authentic places to visit in Montana.

1) Horseback riding in the Absaroka Mountains

In the Absaroka Mountains you can find your way off the beaten path and onto a horse in one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Montana. Located just outside of the eastern boundary of Yellowstone, its a great addition to your trip to Yellowstone.

2) Chico Hot Springs

In 1999, Chico Hot Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can take a morning hike to a nearby trout pond or enjoy a valley bike ride for a climactic look at America’s “last best place”. Then relax at the in mineral hot spring-fed pools and spa services. Take a morning hike to a nearby trout pond or enjoy a valley bike ride for a paramount look at America’s “last best place”

4) Hayden Valley, Yellowstone

Here you get the chance to spot moose, bison and wolves. Experience the breathtaking views from Artist Point and take a short hike through the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. For the adventure enthusiasts you can whitewater raft down the Yellowstone River on class I-III rapids.

Book a two-hour rafting experience on the Yellowstone River.

Places to visit in Montana, USA
Hayden Valley in Yellowstone, Montana

4) Going to the Sun Road -Bike Ride, Glacier National Park

As the sun lights up the peaks, you’ll enjoy a challenging 40 mile ride to Lake McDonald with frequent stops along the way to watch for mountain goats and the ever present grizzlies. Completed in 1932 and at an estimated cost of $3 million, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is the highlight of any trip to Glacier.

5) Iceberg Lake Trail Hike, Glacier National Park

Hike the trailhead of Iceberg Lake, considered by many the “Crown Jewel” of hiking trails in the park. Iceberg Lake Trail offers one of the most scenic hikes on the planet. 4.5-miles will seem short as you enjoy panoramic views, watch for mountain goats, big horn sheep and of course, bears. Your reward at the end of the trail? A jaw-dropping view of giant limeston cliffs and ice fields shooting up from the pristine blue waters of the alpine lake below. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a dip into the iceberg dotted lake!

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  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.