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102 Things To Do in Western Montana + Glacier National Park

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102 Things to Do Western Montana and Glacier National Park
Noah Couser

Western Montana and Glacier National Park

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite must-do Western Montana activities, like places to visit on and off the beaten path, can’t-miss attractions and fun things to do in and around Glacier National Park. Heads up…you’re not going to be able to fit all of these into one trip, so plan on coming back again real soon.

A Scenic Biking Adventure: Route of the Hiawatha

The Crown Jewel of America's Rails to Trails, enjoy 15 downhill miles through 10 tunnels and over 7 high trestles. Shuttle and rental bikes available.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite must-do Western Montana activities, like places to visit on and off the beaten path, can’t-miss attractions and fun things to do in and around Glacier National Park. Heads up…you’re not going to be able to fit all of these into one trip, so plan on coming back again real soon.

1. Scenic Flight

Enjoy the scenery from above with an aerial adventure tour.


2. Camping and Stargazing Under the Big Sky

Sleep under the stars at one of Western Montana's many campgrounds, and maybe catch a glimpse of the northern lights or the Milky Way while stargazing Montana's incredible night sky.


3. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Visit Missoula's Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and learn about the role the foundation plays in elk conservation.


4. Flathead Cherry Picking

Pick your own sweet cherries from a U-Pick orchard in Montana's Flathead Valley.


5. Dog Sledding

Mush your own team of sled dogs or go along for the ride on an exhilarating dog sledding adventure. 


6. Winter Fat Biking

Try fat biking through the snow in our wintry wonderland.


7. St. Ignatius Mission

Marvel in the 58 hand-painted murals adorning the walls and ceiling of the St. Ignatius Mission.


8. Live Theater

Experience Broadway in Montana at a performance by the Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish or the Bigfork Summer Playhouse in the storybook village of Bigfork.


9. Blue Ribbon Fly-Fishing

Cast your line into one of Western Montana's blue-ribbon trout streams.


10

American Indian Culture and Traditions

Discover the rich cultural heritage of the Blackfeet, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes by visiting the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning and Three Chiefs Culture Center, Museum and Gift Shop in St. Ignatius.

Donnie Sexton


11. Seli'š Ksanka Qlispe' (formerly Kerr Dam)

A short drive from Polson, admire the spectacular views from this dam that's 54 feet higher than Niagara Falls.


12. Birding

Discover the unique habitat and hundreds of species of birds at the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge. (followed by a visit to Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana) or spot a great horned owl at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge.


13. Hot Springs

Of all the ways to relax in Montana, soaking in a natural hot spring is at the very top of the list.


14. Antiquing

Find the perfect souvenir at one of Glacier Country's many antique stores.


15. Wildlife Watching

Western Montana is home to many species of wildlife—keep your eyes open and your camera ready at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge in Stevensville, Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge near Marion or Pablo Wildlife Refuge in Pablo.


16. Sledding

Rediscover your inner child by sledding down the snowy hills of Glacier Country.


17. Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Try the increasingly popular watersport of stand-up paddleboarding on one of Montana's pristine lakes or rivers.


18. The Glacier Institute

Sign up for a class, tour or camp at the Glacier Institute for a hands-on educational adventure.


19. Smokejumper Visitor Center

The Smokejumper Visitor Center in Missoula is the nation's largest smokejumper base. Displays give you a glimpse into the life of Montana's heroes—specially trained, parachuting wildland firefighters.


20

Downhill Skiing

Hit fresh powder at one of Glacier Country's seven ski areas.

Noah Couser


21. Clearwater Canoe Trail

Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle the Clearwater Canoe Trail near Seeley Lake.


22. Guided Rock Climbing

Plan a rock climbing trip with an experienced guide.


23. Montana Vortex

Check out the Montana Vortex and House of Mystery along U.S. Highway 2 near Columbia Falls.


24. Lunch in the Park

Join Missoulians for lunch in the park with food trucks and live music at Caras Park every Wednesday from June through August.


25. Hike in the Bob

Take a hike in the Bob, aka the Bob Marshall Wilderness—the third-largest wilderness area in the lower 48.


26. Bison Burger Break

Sink your teeth into a bison burger for some real Montana flavor.


27. Snowmobiling

Plow through fresh powder on world-class snowmobiling terrain.


28. Historical Tours

Take a self-guided or guided walking tour in Missoula, or, in Kalispell, take a trolley tour or a self-guided historical walking tour.


29. Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hop aboard a hot air balloon for a once-in-a-lifetime ride and amazing views.


30

Visit a Rodeo

Experience a Montana tradition and channel your inner cowboy or cowgirl at a local small-town rodeo.

Donnie Sexton


31. Skijoring Competition

Take in a wildly fun skijoring competition (skiing behind a horse) in Whitefish, Kalispell or Eureka.


32. Sapphire Mining in Philipsburg

Pan for sapphires near Philipsburg. Complete your day with a visit to The Sweet Palace.


33. Fire Lookout Tower

Spend the night in a rustic Forest Service lookout and experience epic views.


34. Snowshoeing

Take advantage of the region's noteworthy snowfall and go snowshoeing in a woodland winter wonderland.


35. Cabin in the Woods

Spend the night in one of Glacier Country's many cozy cabins, like North Forty Resort, Reclusive Moose Cabins, Silverwolf Log Chalets.


36. American Indian Pow Wow

Experience an authentic American Indian pow wow.


37. Amphitheater on the River

Catch a live concert on the banks of the Blackfoot River.


38. Scenic Byway by Motorcycle

Rent a motorcycle and cruise the roads and byways of Western Montana.


39. Missoula Water Fun

Kayak or surf the man-made Brennan's Wave on the Clark Fork in downtown Missoula.


40

Llama Trekking

Take a guided hike with a llama and leave the carrying of the gear to these fun and friendly animals.

Swan Mountain Llama Trekking


41. Painted Rocks Reservoir

Go camping and fishing at Painted Rocks Reservoir near Darby in the Bitterroot Valley.


42. Go-Karts

Race go-karts off U.S. Highway 2 in Coram or at The Hub in Missoula.


43. Spring Wildflowers

Admire our mountainsides and meadows awash with wildflowers in the springtime, like Indian paintbrush, bitterroot and beargrass (to name a few).


44. Route of the Hiawatha Rail Trail

Bike through 10 tunnels and over seven sky-high trestles along the Route of the Hiawatha Rail Trail.


45. Overnight in a Teepee

Spending the night in a teepee is one of the most unique ways to experience a stay in Montana.


46. Water Parks

Cool off at a water park in Columbia Falls or Missoula.


47. National Bison Range

Watch bison and other wildlife, and take in stunning Mission Mountain views at the National Bison Range in Moiese.


48. The Swinging Bridge

Check out the view of Kootenai Falls (between Libby and Troy) from the swinging bridge.


49. Lake Swimming

Take a dip in one of our pristine mountain lakes.


50

Red Bus Tours and Sun Tours

Relax and enjoy beautiful scenery along the Going-to-the-Sun Road on a historic red bus tour or on a Sun Tour, where you'll learn about Glacier National Park from an American Indian perspective.

Colton Stiffler


51. Frisbee Golf

Enjoy a game of folf at a local disc-golfing course.


52. Summer Gondola Ride

Take a gondola ride at Whitefish Mountain Resort and enjoy the spectacular surrounding views.


53. Sales-Tax-Free Shopping

The eclectic shops, funky boutiques, art galleries, book shops, second-hand stores, gift shops and old-fashioned candy stores that line our community main streets are a big part of our small-town charm, and Montana has no statewide sales tax.


54. Local Brewery Tasting

Savor an award-winning Montana beer at one of our local breweries.


55. Chief Mountain Sunrise

Watch the sunrise at Chief Mountain. You'll call it a perfect day even if you see nothing else.


56. Historic Mansion Tour

Tour a historic mansion, like the Daly Mansion in Hamilton (once owned by Copper King Marcus Daly) or the Conrad Mansion in Kalispell (once owned by fur trader Charles Conrad).


57. International Wildlife Film Festival

Watch an epic wildlife film at the International Wildlife Film Festival.


58. Carousel Ride

Ride the hand-carved carousel in Missoula.


59. Horse-Drawn Adventure

Experience the Old West on a wagon ride or cozy up to your sweetie on a sleigh ride with Bar W Guest Ranch or Cripple Creek Horse Ranch.


60

Sail Flathead Lake

Rent a sailboat and set sail on scenic Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.


61. Art Galleries

Visit a local art gallery or stroll a downtown art walk in one of our charming small towns.


62. Bigfork Christmas Village

Get in the holiday spirit at Montana's biggest Christmas Village in Bigfork.


63. Whitewater Rafting

Go rafting (with a guide) on the Alberton Gorge or the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.


64. History Lesson

Stop in at the Montana Natural History Center in Missoula to view artifacts and videos of Glacial Lake Missoula and the Ice Age floods.


65. Guided Adventure

Montana has expert guides for world-class adventures. Take a guided trip, with options ranging from llama trekking to hiking and fishing to horseback trail rides.


66. Lewis and Clark Historic Sites

Walk in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark at Travelers' Rest State Park and other historic sites along the Lewis and Clark Trail.


67. Montana Farmers Markets

Fill up on wild huckleberries or grab a stash of coveted morel mushrooms at a local farmers market.


68. Ghost Towns

Discover remnants of Montana's gold rush at Garnet Ghost Town.


69. North American Indian Days

Participate in North American Indian Days—one of the largest gatherings of United States and Canadian tribes.


70

Golfing

Swing your clubs against the backdrop of stunning views at one of our many golf courses.


71. Hungry Horse Reservoir

Take a road trip around Hungry Horse Reservoir.


72. Glaciers to Geysers

Embark on a park-to-park adventure between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.


73. Best Doughnuts in the West

Stop at Windmill Village Bakery in Ravalli for one of the best doughnuts in the West.


74. Western Montana Nightlife

Kick up your heels and enjoy the nightlife in downtown Whitefish.


75. Local Events and Festivals

Attend a spring, summer or fall festival, concert or county fair in Western Montana.


76. Garden of One Thousand Buddhas

Find your Zen at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in Arlee.


77. St. Mary's Mission

Visit the Historic St. Mary’s Mission and Montana’s first pioneer community in Stevensville.


78. Tobacco Valley Historical Village

Keep history alive with a stroll through the Tobacco Valley Historical Village in Eureka—a collection of restored buildings and structures from the 1880s to 1920s.


79. Savenac Nursery Trails

Explore the interpretive trails at Savenac Nursery, a National Historic Site in Haugan.


80

Above-the-Treeline Adventure

Fly through the air on the zip lines at Snowbowl, Glacier Highline and Whitefish Mountain Resort.


81. Lake Koocanusa Drive

Drive or cycle the Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway.


82. Huckleberry Festival

Celebrate Montana's much-loved purple berry at The Huckleberry Festival in Trout Creek.


83. Local Spirits

Taste the spirit of Montana at one of Glacier Country's local distilleries.


84. Chainsaw Carving Championship

Attend the Kootenai Country Montana Chainsaw Carving Championship for some authentic western fun.


85. Going-to-the-Sun Road

Drive or pedal the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.


86. Winterfest

Take to the streets for Winterfest in Whitefish.


87. Annual Scarecrow Festival

View a collection of scarecrows at Stevensville's annual Scarecrow Festival.


88. Belton Chalet

Enjoy a delicious dinner and stunning views at the Belton Chalet in West Glacier.


89. Miracle of America Museum

Explore 340,000+ Americana curiosities at the “world-famous” Miracle of America Museum in Polson.


90

Ross Creek Cedar Grove

Take a short hike and try to wrap your arms around 1,000-year-old cedar trees that have grown up to 8 feet in diameter at Ross Creek Cedar Grove.

Andy Austin


91. ATVing

Take an off-road adventure on an all-terrain vehicle.


92. Rail Travel

Ride Amtrak's Empire Builder with stops in Libby, Whitefish, West Glacier, Essex, East Glacier, Browning and Cut Bank.


93. Spa Time

Plan a relaxing getaway and indulge in some Montana spa treatments.


94. Local Scoops

Treat yourself to a uniquely-flavored ice cream at Big Dipper or Sweet Peaks.


95. World-Class Live Music Scene

Catch a live music show at the historic Wilma Theatre in Missoula or at a local music festival.


96. The Giant Cow + The Cut Bank Penguin

Stop and pose for a pic with the giant cow along State Highway 200 at Clearwater Junction or the giant penguin in Cut Bank.


97. Looking Glass Highway

Drive the Looking Glass Highway (State Highway 49) along the eastern edge of Glacier National Park for incredible views of the park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.


98. Montana State Parks

Visit one of Glacier Country's 24 diverse state parks.


99. Western Montana Downtowns

Live like a local and wander around any of our charming, eclectic, welcoming downtowns.


100

Polebridge and the North Fork

Drive the North Fork dirt road to Polebridge and enjoy some baked goods at the famous mercantile.

MOTBD


101. Purple Mountain Lavender

Take in the sights, scents and events at this lavender farm in the charming town of Lakeside on Flathead Lake.


102. Autumn in Glacier National Park

Take in the golden colors of our fall foliage. Try a drive along the southern border of Glacier National Park, through the Seeley-Swan Valley or down the Bitterroot Valley.

Recreate Responsibly Plan Ahead, Play it Safe, and Leave No Trace.
News from Glacier National Park Currently, 17 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

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