Montana is a picture-perfect example of the American West. The state’s sprawling forests and mountain ranges are a national treasure.
In Montana, you’ll find ghost towns of the Old West as well as modern cities with an eclectic and vibrant local culture. Montana is also home to seven Indian Nations and many Native American communities, all of which have cultural traditions and history much older than the United States.
So, what should a travel nurse do in Montana? We’ve created a list of Montana’s top activities and attractions.
Read on for the top 7 things to do for travel nurses in Montana!
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is a paradise of beautiful natural landscapes: mountain ranges, alpine meadows, waterfalls, and lakes. Most famously, the park also contains dozens of jaw-dropping glaciers, bringing thousands of visitors each year to observe them.
Glacier National Park offers 700 miles of hiking trails but is also accessible by car. Visitors can enjoy driving along Going-to-the Sun-Road, one of the highest-rated mountain roads in the nation. The road is an incredible 50-mile highway that spans the entire width of the park, offering amazing views of the Triple Divide, St. Mary Lake, and Rising Sun, and crossing the Continental Divide at over 6,000 feet above sea level in an area known as Logan Pass.
Museum of the Rockies
The Museum of the Rockies is a Smithsonian Affiliated organization that features revolving exhibits from around the world, natural history exhibits, fantastic planetarium shows, educational lectures, and more. The museum offers the largest dinosaur collection in the United States and the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus skull, as well as real skeletons and lifelike models of the many dinosaur species found in Montana.
Visitors will also enjoy exhibits honoring the native peoples of Yellowstone country, Old West pioneer displays, and the Living History Farm – a preserved log home from the late 1800s.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is among the most well-known historic landmarks in the United States. The monument honors the 1876 battle between the US Army and the Cheyennes and Lakotas. It was one of the last efforts of these tribes to preserve their way of life.
This attraction is a must-see during a trip to Montana and includes a visitor center, museum, the Custer National Cemetery, 7th Cavalry Memorial, and Reno-Benteen Battlefield. Visitors can drive along the tour road to relive the battle with multiple audio tour stops and exhibits. Markers commemorating the soldiers that fought at Little Bighorn, including the Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, can be found in addition to US troops.
The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center was originally opened as a sanctuary for animals and is now a place to marvel at grizzly bears and gray wolves in their natural habitat. Visitors can watch bears forage for food and play while listening to the howls of wolf packs.
The Grizzly Wolf & Discovery Center is also home to a world-class exhibit named BEARS: Imagination & Reality. This interactive display was created by the Science Museum of Minnesota and compares and contrasts the “bear of myth, art, literature, history, and folklore with bear scientists, outdoorsmen and researchers. The exhibit includes six themed areas, 25 different mounts of grizzly and black bears along with educational features on their eating and behavioral habits.
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park
The Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park offers visitors a chance to camp, hike, and see one of the largest limestone caverns in the Northwest. The park sits at an elevation between 4,300 – 5,300 feet and includes over 3,000 acres of wilderness, offering a large campground with cabins and tipis for camping.
The caverns are naturally climate-controlled, and visitors can observe spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helictites that are safe and electrically lighted. Above ground, a self-guided nature trail provides opportunities to view the beautiful natural landscape.
Helena is the capital of Montana, and its location makes it a great waypoint for discovering many of the wonderful attractions in the state. It is also known for its stunning state capitol building, a historic site that is designed to mimic the Greek Renaissance style of architecture.
Helena is just a short drive from some of Montana’s best natural attractions, including the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. Within its two million acres, visitors will find the Blackfoot and Missouri Rivers, Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, and the towering 1,200-foot limestone walls of the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area.
C.M. Russel Museum
The C.M. Russel Museum claims to house “the art and soul of the American West.” The museum’s mission is to show the artwork of Great Falls “cowboy artist” Charles Marion Russell, an American artist who created over 2,000 paintings depicting cowboys, Native Americans, and landscapes of the American West.
A highlight of the museum is the Russell House and Studio, which has been made a National Historic Landmark. This exhibit features Russell’s studio, the house he built with his wife Nancy, and his personal art gallery. Visitors should also check out the Russell Riders Sculpture Garden, which features beautiful bronze sculptures of local wildlife.
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