How to See Montana in 7 Days or Less


Montana is known for being pretty big. It is called Big Sky Country, after all! But that doesn’t mean you need to spend years of your life here to explore it (although you may find that a short trip just isn’t enough). But if you only have a week or less to discover Montana, here are some tips to take to heart as you plan your trip.

Get ready to drive

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: Montana’s big. As the fourth-largest state in the US, it would be possible to fit the equivalent of Illinois, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Delaware and Massachusetts inside its borders. It’s not really possible to fly from region to region within the state, at least without a layover in Denver, Seattle, or Salt Lake.

So get ready for some long, scenic drives if you plan on visiting more than one region. Don’t forget to factor that in when you’re planning a short trip. It might be best to stick to just one area if you can or to plan one long day of driving if you want to hop between Glacier and Yellowstone, for example.

No matter your carrier, Montana does still have some pockets of low or no cell coverage, with some pretty remote areas. Be sure to download your GPS map route to make sure you can find your way. You might even want to grab a paper highway map too, just in case. Especially when you’re not here for long, you don’t want to waste time on an unintentional detour.

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Prioritize your top must-visits

If you’ve been dying to see Glacier but aren’t as interested in Yellowstone (or vice versa), don’t feel obligated to include a stop at a site that isn’t your top choice. The best thing about Montana is there are nearly endless wonders to see and places to explore. If you only have seven days, worry less about doing it all, and think more about how to explore exactly how you want.

You could spend a whole week visiting national parks and national monuments and still need to come back for more. Or if you’re interested in ghost towns, you could trace your way across the state with plenty of stops along the way. If hiking is the name of the game for you, maybe ditch the car entirely and just apply for a backcountry permit in one of the national parks for your whole visit. There’s a little something here for just about anyone.

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Don’t be surprised if you need to come back

You might set out with the best intentions to make a short trip to Montana. But don’t be surprised if that intention doesn’t stick. Don’t worry; if you decide you need to return for a longer visit later, Montana will welcome you back with open arms.

Book intentionally and embrace regenerative practices as you go

Montana is the perfect destination to take a regenerative style of travel to heart. By prioritizing shopping at small businesses that rely on tourism dollars, taking opportunities to join a volunteer trail crew for a day or two, and even choosing your lodging based on values and commitment to sustainability, you can bring a regenerative element to even the shortest visit in Montana.

Starry Night vacation rentals, campgrounds, and hotels in Montana take regenerative practices to heart and embrace sustainability. Plan your trip, book your stay, and see all there is to love about the Treasure State.