Horse RunWelcome to the Big Sky Country of Montana!

This, the fourth largest U.S. state in land mass is indeed big enough to be its own country. Montana is the largest geographically of the northwestern states but the least populated. So you can forget the crowds and congestion and focus on what your soul is searching for: towering Rocky Mountain peaks, friendly colorful towns and grassy plains where cattle, horses, antelope and buffalo outnumber people.

snow boarderWild, untamed Montana offers things to do as limitless as the “big sky” itself, with such national park treasures as Glacier and Yellowstone, Nez Pierce National Historic Park and 54 richly varied state parks.
If you enjoy reliving history in the wild west here you go! Retrace the life and death struggles of Custer’s last stand at Little Big Horn National Battlefield or replicate the journey of Lewis Clark’s Corp of Discovery along the Lewis and Clark National Historic trail.

Probably no other state better exudes the romantic bravado of the real west than Montana. Men and women still wear boots and cowboy hats as regular attire, and still round up cattle on horseback at picturesque working ranches and guest ranches. The tall craggy peaks, broad graze lands, rivers, ranch houses, log homes and friendly small towns all immerse you in the satisfying authenticity of today’s Big Sky Country.

Deep powdery powder and stunning vistas at Montana’s 15 Rocky Mountain ski resorts give you the ultimate high definition experience that blows away anything digital.

buffalo freeimage-149242-highOn the vast plains, welcome the arrival of new calves to the nation’s largest bison herd or listen to the chatter of a prairie dog village. Shove off on an amazing raft trip on the nation’s longest river, the Missouri, marvel at erupting geysers and bubbling volcanic mud pots. Hike among glacier laden peaks populated with mountain goats and bighorn sheep. Learn about the rich native cultures among the numerous Indian nations that are Montana.

Montana’s vibrant towns are  home to probably more artists and writers per capita than any other. Enjoy uniquely Montanan art galleries, the famous C.M. Russell Museum, dinosaur museums and quaint café’s that serve buffalo burgers and fresh locally grown produce.

The sky’s the limit in Montana, so explore some more and plan your next Big Sky escape with us here at Touch the Pacific Northwest.


Montana is ranked 4th in size, but 44th in population and 48th in population density of the 50 United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller island ranges are found throughout the state. In total, 77 named ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains.

The capital is Helena, and other principal cities include Billings, Missoula, Bozeman and Great Falls. Montana is the headwaters for the longest river in the nation, the Missouri. Other principal rivers include the Yellowston, Flathead and Clark Fork. Flathead Lake is over 200 square miles and is considered the largest fresh water lake in the west.  

The highest point is Granite Peak at 12,799 feet. Montana is the old state with a “triple continental divide, with waters flowing into the Pacific, the Atlantic and Hudson Bay in arctic Canada. 

Montana has the greatest number of mammal species of any state, with the largest numbers of migratory elk, American bison, trumpeter swans and grizzly bears of any state in the lower 48. 

Montana is rich in wildlife, with the la

Various indigenous peoples lived in the territory of the present-day state of Montana for thousands of years. Historic tribes encountered by Europeans and settlers from the United States included the Crow in the south-central area; the Cheyenne in the southeast; theBlackfeetAssiniboine and Gros Ventres in the central and north-central area; and the Kootenai and Salish in the west. The smallerPend d’Oreille and Kalispel tribes lived near Flathead Lake and the western mountains, respectively.

The land in Montana east of the continental divide was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Subsequent to the Lewis and Clark Expedition American, British and French fur traders operated in both east and western portions of Montana. Until the Oregon Treaty(1846), land west of the continental divide was disputed between the British and U.S. and was known as the Oregon Country. The first permanent settlement in what today is Montana was St. Mary’s (1841) near present day Stevensville. In 1847, Fort Benton was established as the uppermost fur-trading post on the Missouri River. In the 1850s, settlers began moving into the Beaverhead andBig Hole valleys from the Oregon Trail and into the Clark’s Fork valley

Montanans held a constitutional convention in 1866 in a failed bid for statehood. A second constitutional convention was held in Helena in 1884 that produced a constitution ratified 3:1 by Montana citizens in November 1884. For political reasons, Congress did not approve Montana statehood until 1889. Congress approved Montana statehood in February 1889 and President Grover Cleveland signed an omnibus bill granting statehood to Montana,  Historical information courtesy Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montana

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About Touch the Pacific Northwest

Welcome to Touch the Pacific Northwest! Discover practical tips and inspiration to plan your next adventure throughout the Northwest, with informative articles, short videos and great photographyfeaturing the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Come back often for the latest stories and insights that are sure to entertain, inform and inspire, as you reach out to Touch the Pacific Northwest!
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