Montana Bucket List ~ Glacier Country Region

Today we move to the final region of Montana, and the only area of the state I’ve ever visited. We spent a week at Glacier National Park back in 2014 and I can’t wait to return someday! The next time we visit, we hope to wait until later summer so the whole main road will be open! Following this bucket list series, we will move into Idaho next!

Arlee

  • Garden of One Thousand Buddhas: Spiritual site within the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Charlo

  • Ninepipe Museum of Early Montana: Learn all about the early state history and the settlers of the area.
  • Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge: Great place along a lake to view wildlife.

Cleanwater Junction

  • Hefty Hereford: Check out this unique roadside attraction!

Darby

  • Painted Rocks State Park: Park named for the unique colors found in the rock formations.

Haugan

  • Savenac Nursery: Visit one of the oldest forest tree nurseries.

Libby

  • Kootenai Falls: Beautiful free flowing falls located just off the highway and visible from a swinging bridge.

Missoula

  • Mount Sentinel: Hike the ‘M’ that overlooks the University of Montana.
  • Smokejumper Visitor Center: Home to the largest smokejumper base in the nation, this offers visitors a glimpse into the lives and work of this demanding job.

Polson

  • Kerr Dam: View a large concrete gravity arch dam.

West Glacier

  • Glacier National Park: Of course the gem of the region, this park is huge and needs multiple visits to be explored fully.

All attractions found on visitmt.com

Montana Bucket List ~ Southwest Region

As we head to the more mountainous region of Montana, our bucket list options grow longer! Here’s what the Southwest has to offer.

Anaconda

  • Anaconda Smoke Stack State Park: Check out the old Anaconda Copper Company Smelter Stack, one of the largest free standing brick structures in the world.
  • Lost Creek State Park: Features beautiful cliffs and a waterfall.

Butte

  • Granite Mountain Memorial Overlook: Overlook that tells the story of the Spectacular Fire Disaster.
  • Old Lexington Stamp Mill and Gardens: This garden was the historic site of many things that made Butte the town it is today.
  • Ringing Rocks Point of Interest: This rocks make a chiming noise when struck with a hammer.

Deer Lodge

  • Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site: Commemorates the Western cattle industry.

Dillon

  • Bannack Ghost Town State Park: Site of an old mining town with several buildings that can be explored.
  • Clark’s Lookout State Park: Encompasses a hill William Clark climbed during the expedition that over looks the Beaverhead River.

Helena

  • Lewis and Clark: The Montana Experience: Learn about 19 sites Lewis and Clark explored throughout Montana.
  • Montana Historical Society: Museum detailing the history of the state.
  • Montana State Capitol: Another state capitol to check off our list!

Jefferson City

  • Tizer Botanic Gardens and Arboretum: Beautiful gardens filled with native Montana plants.

Norris

  • Norris Hot Springs: Come soak in the hot spring fed pool.

Philipsburg

  • Granite Ghost Town State Park: Showcases the remains of a silver boomtown.

Townsend

  • Crimson Bluffs: Unique rock formation along the Missouri River that was recorded by Lewis during the expedition.

Wisdom

  • Big Hole National Battlefield: Preserves a Nez Perce War Battlefield.

All attrations found on visitmt.com

Montana Bucket List ~ Yellowstone Region

Today is another very small list for our Montana series. This region one entryway into Yellowstone National Park, and of course there is much to do within that park, but only a very small portion of it actually lies within Montana, with the majority being located in Wyoming.

Bozeman

  • Hyalite Trail: The Hyalite Creek Trail to Hyalite Lake features a waterfall. It is 10.9 miles out and back.
  • “M” Trail: This trail takes you to the “M” landmark near Montana State University.

Gardiner

  • Yellowstone National Park: This is the northern entrance to Yellowstone, known for it’s Roosevelt Arch.

Pray

  • Chico Hot Springs: Natural hot springs turned vacation resort.

All attractions found on visitmt.com

Montana Bucket List ~ Southeast Region

Today we head into the Southeast region of Montana. I was pleasantly surprised by the large number of parks and hiking opportunities that are located in this area!

Billings

  • Four Dances Recreation Area: Explore some trails through the grassland along the rocky outcroppings along the river.
  • Pictograph Cave State Park: This area includes three caves.
  • Pompeys Pillar National Monument: Contains the only remaining onsite evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expediton.
  • Zoo Montana: Visit Montana’s only zoo.

Broadus

  • Reynolds Battlefield National Monument: Site of a battle that led up to the well known Battle of Little Bighorn.

Crow Agency

  • Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument: Location of the famous battle between Custer and Crazy Horse.

Ekalaka

  • Medicine Rocks State Park: Park filled with unique rock formations.

Fort Smith

  • Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: Beautiful canyon area that straddles the Montana/Wyoming border.

Garryowen

  • Custer Battlefield Museum: This museum sits on the site of Sitting Bull’s camp.

Glendive

  • Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum: I’ve heard fantastic things about this museum and am very eager to visit.
  • Makoshika State Park: Site contains the Montana badlands and remains of fossils.

Laurel

  • Canyon Creek Battlefield Monument: Monument marks the locatoin of a battle between the Nez Perce and US Calvary.

Miles City

  • Strawberry Hill Recreation Area: Provides hiking along unique rock formations and views of the Yellowstone Valley.

Pryor

  • Chief Plenty Coups State Park: Visit the home of Chief Plenty Coups who helped bridge the gap between two cultures.

All attractions found on visitmt.com

 

Montana Bucket List~ Central Region

After a few days worth of posts about the regions of Alaska, we are now back in the lower 48 to stay! Today we start covering the vast expanse of Montana, beginning in the central portion of the state.

Belt

  • Sluice Boxes State Park: This beautiful park also contains the remains of mines and railroads.

Cascade

  • Tower Rock State Park: This park features the centerpiece rock formation of Tower Rock and the start of the Missouri River Canyon area.

Fort Benton

  • Museum of the Upper Missouri: Covers the history of the upper Missouri and the role Fort Benton played as a trading and military post.
  • Upper Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center and National Monument: Details about the areas bluff cliffs and the wildlife that lives there.

Great Falls

  • First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park: Visit one of the largest buffalo jump sites in the nation.
  • Giant Springs State Park: Home to the world’s largest freshwater spring.
  • Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center: Exhibits about the expedition and walking paths to enjoy.

Harlowton

  • Judith Gap Wind Farm/Energy Center: Explore the wonder of a giant wind farm.

Helmville

  • Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex: Great place to explore the natural area of the region and its wildlife.

All attractions found on visitmt.comĀ 

Alaska Bucket List ~ Arctic Region

Today we head as far north into Alaska as we can, to the final region of the final frontier, the Arctic. After this, we return to the lower 48 and will be exploring Montana.

Bettles

  • Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve: This entire park sits north of the Arctic circle and is the northern most national park in the United States!

Kotzebue

  • Cape Krusenstern National Monument: Protects an area of beach ridges.
  • Kobuk Valley National Park: Known for its giant sand dunes and a great place for caribou sighting.
  • Northwest Arctic Heritage Center: Visitor center for Kobuk Valley National Park and home to a museum about the Arctic ecosystem and the native culture.

Nome

  • Bering Land Bridge National Preserve: Protects the remnants of the Bering Land Bridge that connected Asia to North America long ago.

Utqiagvik

  • Inupiat Heritage Center: Tells how the native population helped the whaling industry.

All attractions found in the 2019 Alaska Travel Guide.

Alaska Bucket List ~ Interior Region

Home to the larger city of Fairbanks, today we explore the interior portion of Alaska.

Central

  • Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve: Explore the region of the Yukon River and the Charley River Delta.

Delta Junction

  • Big Delta State Historical Park: Learn about the area that was a crossroads on the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail.

Denali Park

  • Denali National Park and Preserve: Home to the highest mountain peak in North America.

Fairbanks

  • Aurora Pointe Activity Center: Great place to explore the Northern lights.
  • Gold Dredge 8: Explore the work of dredging a gold mine and other mining history.
  • Museum of the North: Explore the history of the area.
  • Running Reindeer Ranch: Walk with reindeer at this family farm.
  • SS Nenana National Historic Landmark: This 5 deck sternwheeler is one of three left in the US.

Hot Springs

  • Aurora Ice Museum: Year round complete ice environment.
  • Chena Hot Springs: Wonderful hot springs and a great place to view the auroras.

North Pole

  • Santa Claus House: This town is completely dedicated to year round Christmas and the place where all letters to Santa are sent!

All attractions found in the 2019 Alaska Travel Guide.

Alaska Bucket List ~ Southwest Region

Today we move to a region of Alaska that is more easily accessible by boat instead of car. Granted a lot of Alaska is more easily accessed by boat or bush plane versus a car!

Attu Station

  • Attu Battlefield and U.S. Army and Navy Airfields National Historic Landmark: One of a few sites in Alaska related to its involvement in WWII.

King Salmon

  • Kodiak National Park and Preserve: Known for its grizzly bears that you can watch feed on salmon.

Kodiak

  • Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park: Several remains can still be seen of this WWII era fort.
  • Russian-American Co. Magazin National Historic Landmark: Oldest of only four Russian structures standing in the U.S.

Port Alsworth

  • Lake Clark National Park and Preserve: Beautiful park in the wilderness of Alaska.

All attractions found in the 2019 Alaska Vacation Guide.

Alaska Bucket List ~ South Central Region

Today we move further north into Alaska and visit the region that is home to the larger city of Anchorage.

Anchorage

  • Alaska Native Heritage Center: Shares the heritage of Alaska’s 11 major cultural groups.
  • Alaska Zoo: Features many “cold weather” species.
  • Anchorage Museum: Tells the history of the state.
  • Chugah State Park: One of the largest state parks in the nation.

Chitina

  • Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark: This old mining area is located within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Chugiak

  • Eklutna Historical Park: Features an old Russian Orthodox log cabin church and colorful spirit boxes in the cemetery.

Copper Center

  • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve: Four mountain ranges can be found in this park.

Homer

  • Kachemak Bay State Park: Located on the bay, this was Alaska’s first state park.

Seward

  • Alaska Sealife Center: Premiere aquarium in Alaska with a mammal rehabilitation center.
  • Kenai Fjord National Park: Explore the glaciers that still flow from the Harding icefield.

Trapper Creek

  • Denali State Park: Located just to the east of Denali National Park, this park is one of the most beautiful in the region.

All attractions found in the 2019 Alaska Travel Guide.