When it comes to transportation in Montana, you have a lot more options than just getting behind the wheel and driving. From the unique to the outlandish, there are plenty of ways you can get around. Here are a few of our favorite Montana modes of transportation.
We’ll say this for driving in Montana: it’s far from mundane. When you head out on a day trip drive through Big Sky Country, you have the opportunity to experience nature and wildlife, craggy mountains, and winding rivers. Your choices for drives are almost limitless, so fill up the tank, grab some snacks, and hit the road.
You can get to Montana by train from the hubs of Seattle and Chicago, with plenty of stops in between. Taking Amtrak across the northern portion of the state is a dreamy way to get to Glacier, and you can grab a tour or a car rental from there. Or, for just a taste of the railway life, add a train trip into your day with a historic train trip from Virginia City to Nevada City in Southwest Montana. You can also hop aboard the Montana Dinner Train to traverse the prairies of Central Montana in style.
If you want to get out into the backcountry and you love seeing the world from horseback, you can sign on with a pack trip. Saddle up with top outfitters around the state, and pick your adventure. Swan Mountain Outfitters near Bigfork has excursions as short as half a day and as long as nine days. Go to the wilderness or see Glacier National Park. In Yellowstone, you have plenty of options for getting out there too. This is a classic Wild West way to experience the wilderness.
Montana has 169,829 miles of river, with 388 miles designated as Wild and Scenic. That’s a whole lot to explore, and floating gives you the easiest access to this wild water. Whether it’s in a drift boat, on a raft, or in an inner tube, you can find a way to experience this unusual mode of transportation.
Pedal your way around the Treasure State by hopping on a mountain bike and taking to the trail. You can get further by bicycle than by foot, exploring winding trails, out-of-commission railroad trestles, and epic ridges. You’d be surprised where your leg power can take you!
When the snow flies and you still want to get into the wilderness and far back into the backcountry, hopping on a snowmobile to experience less traveled paths is a great way to get around. If you’re nervous about the cold, don’t worry—most sleds come equipped with heated seats and handlebars. Don’t feel the need to be an expert right out of the gate. You can go with a guide to bring local expertise to your trip, and you can find beginner-friendly options too.
If you want to explore most of Yellowstone in winter, you’ll have to ditch the car altogether and go by foot, snowmobile or snowcoach. Snowcoach tours leave from Gardiner and can take you to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone or Old Faithful. They even pick guests up from the Gardiner Super 8, bringing adventure straight to your doorstep.
When Montana adventure calls, it’s a good idea to answer, no matter how you get there. For your road map to outdoor fun and National Park splendor, visit the rest of the Highline Adventures blog.