52 days in Montana & San Juan Islands Itinerary

52 days in Montana & San Juan Islands Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States itinerary planner

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Billings
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Red Lodge
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Bozeman
— 5 nights
Drive
4
West Yellowstone
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Great Falls
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Helena
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Missoula
— 5 nights
Drive
8
Polson
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Libby
— 1 night
Drive
10
Eastsound, Orcas Island
— 4 nights
Unknown
11
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
— 5 nights
Ferry to Seattle Clipper Terminal, Fly to Whitefish
12
Whitefish
— 5 nights
Drive
13
Glacier National Park
— 5 nights
Fly

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1

Billings

— 5 nights
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 off the beaten path and head to The Grand Escape Room and Custer Battlefield Trading Company. Get out of town with these interesting Billings side-trips: Big Horn County Historical Museum (in Hardin), Little Bighorn Battlefield (in Crow Agency) and Huntley Project Museum (in Huntley). And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Moss Mansion, have fun at Black Butte Range, tour the pleasant surroundings at Pictograph Cave State Park, and take in the dramatic natural features at The Rimrocks.

For where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read Billings tour itinerary planning website.

New York City to Billings is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a -2 hour difference. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from New York City in March since evenings lows in Billings dip to 28°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can drive to Red Lodge.

Things to do in Billings

Parks · Museums · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Red Lodge

— 2 nights
Red Lodge is a city in and the county seat of Carbon County, Montana, United States. Start off your visit on the 16th (Tue): contemplate the waterfront views at Wild Bill Lake, then stroll through Red Lodge Mountain, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Silver Run Trails. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Babcock & Miles, take an in-depth tour of Carbon County Historical Society and Museum, then take in the exciting artwork at Carbon County Art Guild & Depot Gallery, and finally don't miss a visit to Fishtail General Store.

To see reviews, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Red Lodge online tour builder.

Traveling by car from Billings to Red Lodge takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 49°F in March, and nighttime lows around 28°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can travel to Bozeman.

Things to do in Red Lodge

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

Bozeman

— 5 nights
Bozeman is a city in and the county seat of Gallatin County, Montana, United States, in the southwestern part of the state. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Bridger Bowl and American Computer & Robotics Museum. Venture out of the city with trips to Big Sky (Ousel Falls Trail, Horseback Riding Tours, &more). The adventure continues: take in breathtaking views at Gallatin Canyon, test your team's savvy at Escape Room Montana, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at The Last Wind-Up, and look and learn at Museum of the Rockies.

To see traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read Bozeman online tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Red Lodge to Bozeman by car takes about 2.5 hours. In March, plan for daily highs up to 49°F, and evening lows to 24°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to West Yellowstone.

Things to do in Bozeman

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Winter Sports

Side Trips

West Yellowstone

— 3 nights
The town of West Yellowstone has served as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park since the early 1900s.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Grizzly Outfitters Ski & Backcountry Sports and Nature & Wildlife Tours. The adventure continues: take in the awesome beauty at Two Top, do some rugged touring at Back Country Adventures, get in on the family fun at Yellowstone Big Gun Fun, and look for gifts at Send it Home.

To find reviews, maps, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the West Yellowstone online vacation planner.

Getting from Bozeman to West Yellowstone by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Bozeman in March; daily highs in West Yellowstone reach 37°F and lows reach 17°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Thu) so you can drive to Great Falls.

Things to do in West Yellowstone

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

Great Falls

— 4 nights
Great Falls is a city in and the county seat of Cascade County, Montana, United States. Step off the beaten path and head to C.M. Russell Museum and River's Edge Trail. Venture out of the city with trips to Fort Benton (White Cliffs, Fort Benton Museums & Heritage Complex, &more) and Showdown Ski Area (in Neihart). And it doesn't end there: walk around Gibson Park, admire the landmark architecture of Milwaukee Station, learn about all things military at Malmstrom Museum and Air Park, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

To see where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Great Falls trip maker.

You can drive from West Yellowstone to Great Falls in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of bus and flight. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from West Yellowstone in March; daily highs in Great Falls reach 48°F and lows reach 24°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Helena.

Things to do in Great Falls

Parks · Museums · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Helena

— 5 nights
Helena is the capital city of the U.S. state of Montana and the county seat of Lewis and Clark County. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Mount Helena and Montana State Capitol. Explore Helena's surroundings by going to Deer Lodge (Old Montana Prison Complex & Grant-Kohrs Ranch) and Butte (Old Lexington Stamp Mill and Gardens, Granite Mountain Memorial Overlook, &more). There's still lots to do: take an in-depth tour of Montana Historical Society Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathedral of St. Helena, take in nature's colorful creations at Tizer Botanical Gardens & Arboretum, and indulge your thirst for a good beer at Lewis & Clark Brewing Company.

For maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the Helena trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Great Falls to Helena in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March, daily temperatures in Helena can reach 50°F, while at night they dip to 27°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Missoula.

Things to do in Helena

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

Missoula

— 5 nights
Missoula is a city in the U.S. state of Montana and is the county seat of Missoula County. Explore hidden gems such as Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Rugg's Outfitting. Explore Missoula's surroundings by going to Garden of One Thousand Buddhas (in Arlee), Placid Lake State Park (in Seeley Lake) and Philipsburg (Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Philipsburg Brewing Company, &more). The adventure continues: get in on the family fun at A Carousel for Missoula, stroll around Caras Park, sample the tasty concoctions at Big Sky Brewing, and take a peaceful walk through Mount Jumbo North Peak Trail.

For traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read Missoula trip planner.

Traveling by car from Helena to Missoula takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 57°F in April, and nighttime lows around 32°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Polson.

Things to do in Missoula

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Polson

— 2 nights
Polson is a city in Lake County, Montana, United States, on the southern shore of Flathead Lake. Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): get outside with Wild Trout Adventures, see human ingenuity at work at Kerr Dam, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Flathead Lake. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Sat): examine the collection at Miracle of America Museum, then take an in-depth tour of Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana, and then stroll through National Bison Range.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Polson visit planner.

You can drive from Missoula to Polson in 1.5 hours. In April, daytime highs in Polson are 56°F, while nighttime lows are 30°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to travel to Libby.

Things to do in Polson

Parks · Museums · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Libby

— 1 night
Libby is a city in and the county seat of Lincoln County, Montana. On the 11th (Sun), fly down the slopes at Turner Mountain Ski Area and then take in the views from Kootenai Falls Suspension Bridge.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Libby tour app.

Traveling by car from Polson to Libby takes 2.5 hours. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 1 hour. In April, plan for daily highs up to 55°F, and evening lows to 34°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Eastsound.

Things to do in Libby

Outdoors · Winter Sports · Parks

Eastsound, Orcas Island

— 4 nights
Eastsound is an unincorporated community on Orcas Island in San Juan County, Washington, United States.Eastsound is the largest population center on Orcas Island, the second-most populated and physically largest of the San Juan Islands. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shearwater Kayak Tours and Turtleback Mountain. Spend the 14th (Wed) exploring nature at Sucia Island State Park. Next up on the itinerary: don't miss a visit to Orcas Island Pottery, view the masterpieces at Crow Valley Pottery, experience rural life at Buck Bay Shellfish Farm, and immerse yourself in nature at Jones Island State Park.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Eastsound trip itinerary builder site.

You can drive from Libby to Eastsound in 10.5 hours. Traveling from Libby in April, expect a bit warmer with lows of 43°F in Eastsound. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Friday Harbor.

Things to do in Eastsound

Nature · Parks · Museums · Shopping

Side Trips

Friday Harbor, San Juan Island

— 5 nights
The tiny town of Friday Harbor is the largest village on the San Juan Islands, and it fits within just 2.6 km (1 sq mi) of space.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Lime Kiln Point State Park and Cattle Point. Venture out of the city with trips to Lopez Island (Chimera Gallery & Shark Reef Sanctuary). And it doesn't end there: witness the site of a historic battle at American Camp, relax and rejuvenate at Lavendera Massage, make a trip to English Camp, and see the interesting displays at The Whale Museum.

To find maps, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Friday Harbor trip app.

Traveling by journey from Eastsound to Friday Harbor takes 1.5 hours. In April in Friday Harbor, expect temperatures between 57°F during the day and 42°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) early enough to travel to Whitefish.

Things to do in Friday Harbor

Wildlife · Parks · Museums · Nature

Side Trips

Whitefish

— 5 nights
Whitefish is a city in Flathead County, Montana, United States. You'll discover tucked-away gems like State of Mind Fishing Charters LLC and Spas. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Whitefish: Blacktail Mountain Ski Area (in Lakeside), Hungry Horse Reservoir (in Hungry Horse) and Bigfork (KEHOE'S AGATE SHOP, INC. & Swan River Nature Trail). And it doesn't end there: test your team's savvy at Hidden Key Escape Games & Rage Room, make a trip to Whitefish Pottery, head outdoors with Great Northern Powder Guides, and kick your exploration up a notch at Glacier Highline.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Whitefish trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of ferry and flight from Friday Harbor to Whitefish takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and train. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is 1 hour. Traveling from Friday Harbor in April, expect a bit cooler with lows of 30°F in Whitefish. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can drive to Glacier National Park.

Things to do in Whitefish

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature

Side Trips

Glacier National Park

— 5 nights

Crown of the Continent

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Swiftcurrent Pass Hike and McDonald Creek. When in Glacier National Park, make a side trip to see Home Ranch Bottoms in Polebridge, approximately Polebridge away. And it doesn't end there: take in the awesome beauty at Swiftcurrent Mountain, contemplate the waterfront views at Bullhead Lake, get outside with John's Lake Loop, and take a memorable drive along Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Plan my trip to Glacier National Park with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

You can drive from Whitefish to Glacier National Park in an hour. Expect a daytime high around 56°F in April, and nighttime lows around 30°F. You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Glacier National Park

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Shopping

Side Trip

Montana travel guide

4.7
River Rafting & Tubing · Bodies of Water · Nature & Parks
The Crown of the Continent
With a population of only one million, Montana remains an untouched natural paradise of snowcapped peaks, expansive forests, and alpine lakes, dotted with Old West ghost towns, Indian reservations, and progressive urban communities. Appreciate the state's unique charm and beauty with a trip to Glacier National Park, where you can come face-to-face with Montana wildlife among its high peaks. Head to the state's largest cities, Billings and Missoula, for an array of historical attractions and cultural sightseeing.

San Juan Islands travel guide

4.7
Dolphin & Whale Watching · State Parks · Landmarks
Experience island living Pacific Northwest-style by visiting the San Juan Islands. Of the 176 named islands here, Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan are the three that cater to visitors. Orca whales roam the waters from April to September, and rolling farmland inland gives way to small coastal towns filled with art galleries and boutiques. The islands' small mountains offer vistas over the water to the snow-capped peaks of the Olympic mountain range. The island region offers prime sea kayaking, biking tours, birding, and saltwater fishing. The populated isles attract a lot of summer tourism but remain quiet the remainder of the year.