42 days in Montana Itinerary

42 days in Montana Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Montana trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

42 days in Montana Itinerary

Start: New York City
Foot + Fly:  8​h 30​min
1
Billings
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Hardin
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
3
Great Falls
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Glacier National Park
— 8 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Whitefish
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Polson
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Missoula
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Helena
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
9
West Yellowstone
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
10
Bozeman
— 6 nights
Fly + Bus:  7​h 15​min
End: New York City

3
nights
Billings

Billings ©
Billings is the largest city in the state of Montana, and is the principal city of the Billings Metropolitan Area with a population of 166,855.Billings is located in the south-eastern portion of the state and is the seat of Yellowstone County, which had a 2015 population of 157,048. Step out of the city life by going to Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary and Pompeys Pillar National Monument. Moss Mansion and Huntley Project Museum of Irrigated Agriculture are good opportunities to explore the local culture. When in Billings, make a side trip to see Carbon County Art Guild & Depot Gallery in Red Lodge, approximately 1h 40 min away. There's still lots to do: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, sample the tasty concoctions at Canyon Creek Brewing, admire the masterpieces at Yellowstone Art Museum, and stop by Scheels.

For ratings, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read Billings holiday builder .

New York City to Billings is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also fly; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 2 hours. Traveling from New York City in June, Billings is little chillier at night with lows of 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to travel to Hardin.

Things to do in Billings

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Red Lodge, Huntley Project Museum of Irrigated Agriculture, Pompeys Pillar National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Moss Mansion ©
Moss Mansion
Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary
Yellowstone Art Museum ©
Yellowstone Art Museum

2
nights
Hardin

Hardin ©
Hardin is a city in and the county seat of Big Horn County, Montana, United States. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): get engrossed in the history at Custer Battlefield Museum, witness the site of a historic battle at Custer Battlefield Trading Post & Cafe, and then take in the history at Little Bighorn Battlefield. On your second day here, contemplate the waterfront views at Yellowtail Reservoir and then take an in-depth tour of Big Horn County Historical Museum.

Start your trip to Hardin by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Drive from Billings to Hardin in an hour. Traveling from Billings in June, expect Hardin to be cooler, temps between 8°F and 8°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Great Falls.

Things to do in Hardin

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trips

Crow Agency, Custer Battlefield Museum
Highlights from your plan
Custer Battlefield Museum ©
Custer Battlefield Museum
Custer Battlefield Trading Company ©
Custer Battlefield Trading Company
Little Bighorn Battlefield ©
Little Bighorn Battlefield

2
nights
Great Falls

Great Falls ©
Great Falls is a city in and the county seat of Cascade County, Montana, United States. You'll discover tucked-away gems like River's Edge Trail and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Do your shopping at C.M. Russell Museum and Fort Benton Museums & Heritage Complex. Step out of Great Falls with an excursion to Fort Benton Bridge in Fort Benton--about 1h 15 min away. There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Giant Springs State Park, browse the different shops at Holiday Village Mall, contemplate the long history of First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, and get engrossed in the history at Ursuline Centre.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Great Falls attractions planner .

Drive from Hardin to Great Falls in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Plan for warmer temperatures traveling from Hardin in June, with highs in Great Falls at 76°F and lows at 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to drive to Glacier National Park.

Things to do in Great Falls

Parks Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Fort Benton, First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park
Highlights from your plan
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center ©
C.M. Russell Museum ©
C.M. Russell Museum
Giant Springs State Park ©
Giant Springs State Park

8
nights
Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park ©
The glaciers from which Glacier National Park takes its name mostly dissipated eons ago, but they left behind a scoured landscape of high and steep mountain peaks, sparkling lakes, lush alpine meadows, and thick forests.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Fishercap Lake and Bowman Lake. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Running Eagle Falls and St.Mary Falls. Change things up with a short trip to Home Ranch Bottoms in Polebridge (about 48 minutes away). Spend the 2nd (Tue) exploring nature at Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the waterfront views at Swiftcurrent Lake, trek along Grinnell Glacier, stroll through Trail of the Cedars, and identify plant and animal life at Goat Lick Overlook.

To see where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Glacier National Park road trip planning website .

Traveling by car from Great Falls to Glacier National Park takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 75°F in June, and nighttime lows around 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) early enough to drive to Whitefish.

Things to do in Glacier National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Home Ranch Bottoms
Highlights from your plan
Virginia Falls ©
Virginia Falls
Grinnell Glacier ©
Grinnell Glacier

4
nights
Whitefish

Whitefish ©
Whitefish is a city in Flathead County, Montana, United States. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Conrad Mansion and Sunti World Art Gallery. Get some historical perspective at Glacier Distilling Company and Hidden Lake. Get out of town with these interesting Whitefish side-trips: Aster Falls (in East Glacier Park), River Rafting & Tubing (in West Glacier) and Kootenai Falls & Swinging Bridge (in Libby). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at City Beach, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Great Northern Brewing Company, don't miss a visit to Whitefish Depot, and take an in-depth tour of Depot Park.

To find reviews, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Whitefish trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Glacier National Park to Whitefish in 1.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and train. In July, daily temperatures in Whitefish can reach 85°F, while at night they dip to 49°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Polson.

Things to do in Whitefish

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Kalispell, West Glacier, Glacier Distilling Company, Aster Falls, Kootenai Falls Suspension Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Conrad Mansion ©
Conrad Mansion
Kootenai Falls Suspension Bridge ©
Glacier Distilling Company ©
Glacier Distilling Company

2
nights
Polson

Polson ©
Polson is a city in Lake County, Montana, United States, on the southern shore of Flathead Lake. Kick off your visit on the 10th (Wed): explore the activities along Flathead Lake, then stroll around Sacajawea Park, then look for gifts at Three Dog Down, and finally soothe aching muscles at Symes Hot Springs. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: examine the collection at Miracle of America Museum (MoAM), then identify plant and animal life at National Bison Range, and then get engrossed in the history at Ninepipes museum of Early Montana.

To find traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Polson online itinerary planner .

Getting from Whitefish to Polson by car takes about 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 85°F in July, and nighttime lows around 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can drive to Missoula.

Things to do in Polson

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

National Bison Range, Symes Hot Springs, Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana
Highlights from your plan
Miracle of America Museum ©
Miracle of America Museum
National Bison Range ©
National Bison Range
Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana ©
Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana

5
nights
Missoula

Missoula ©
Missoula is a city in the U.S. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like River Rafting & Tubing and Aerial Fire Depot and Smokejumper Center. Let the collections at Fort Missoula Museum and Philipsburg Brewing Company capture your imagination. Get out of town with these interesting Missoula side-trips: Garden of One Thousand Buddhas (in Arlee), St. Ignatius Mission (in Saint Ignatius) and Philipsburg (Granite Ghost Town State Park & The Sweet Palace). The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, examine the collection at Museum of Mountain Flying, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Big Sky Brewing, and do a tasting at Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery.

To find reviews, photos, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Missoula road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Polson to Missoula takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 88°F in July, and nighttime lows around 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Helena.

Things to do in Missoula

Historic Sites Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Philipsburg, St. Ignatius Mission, Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
Highlights from your plan
Fort Missoula Museum ©
Fort Missoula Museum
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation ©
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

4
nights
Helena

Helena ©
Helena is the capital city of the U.S. Your inner history buff will appreciate Mount Helena and Old Montana Prison Complex. Visiting Gates of the Mountains and Copper Canyon Harley Davidson will get you outdoors. Venture out of the city with trips to Butte (MBMG Mineral Museum, World Museum of Mining, & more), Deer Lodge (Powell County Museum & Arts Foundation & Grant-Kohrs Ranch) and Blackfoot Pathways:Sculpture in the Wild (in Lincoln). And it doesn't end there: take an in-depth tour of Montana Historical Society Museum, get a sense of history and politics at Montana State Capitol, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathedral of St. Helena.

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Helena trip builder .

Traveling by car from Missoula to Helena takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Helena can reach 89°F, while at night they dip to 57°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) to allow time to drive to West Yellowstone.

Things to do in Helena

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Butte, Deer Lodge, Blackfoot Pathways:Sculpture in the Wild
Highlights from your plan
Cathedral of St. Helena ©
Cathedral of St. Helena
Gates of the Mountains ©
Gates of the Mountains
Grant-Kohrs Ranch ©
Grant-Kohrs Ranch

4
nights
West Yellowstone

The town of West Yellowstone has served as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park since the early 1900s.
You'll get in some beach time at Yellowstone Historic Center and Earthquake Lake. Cooke City Montana Museum and Yellowstone Trading Post are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get out of town with these interesting West Yellowstone side-trips: Gardiner (Parks' Fly Shop & River Rafting & Tubing). The adventure continues: trot along with a tour on horseback, get your game on at Madison Avenue Old Time Photos, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and explore and take pictures at Beartooth Highway.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the West Yellowstone trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Helena to West Yellowstone by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Helena in July; daily highs in West Yellowstone reach 77°F and lows reach 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to drive to Bozeman.

Things to do in West Yellowstone

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Gardiner, Cooke City, Beartooth Hwy
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
River Rafting & Tubing
Earthquake Lake ©
Earthquake Lake

6
nights
Bozeman

Bozeman ©
Bozeman is a city in and the county seat of Gallatin County, Montana, United States, in the southwestern part of the state. Museum-lovers will appreciate Beehive Basin Trail and Missouri Headwaters State Park. Virginia City National Historic Landmark and Livingston Depot Center are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Bozeman's surroundings by going to Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park (in Three Forks), Big Sky (Horseback Riding Tours, Ousel Falls Trail, & more) and Willies Distillery (in Ennis). Next up on the itinerary: cast your line with a fishing tour, brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Bozeman Spirits Distillery, get engrossed in the history at J.Spencer Watkins Memorial Museum, and take in the natural beauty of Chico Hot Springs.

For ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read Bozeman vacation planner.

Traveling by car from West Yellowstone to Bozeman takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from West Yellowstone in July: high temperatures in Bozeman hover around 86°F and lows are around 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Bozeman

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Big Sky, Virginia City, Three Forks, Chico Hot Springs, Willies Distillery
Highlights from your plan
American Computer & Robotics Museum ©
Fishing Charters & Tours
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park ©
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

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