With only 1 million residents and more wildlife than people, Montana is the picture of “wide, open spaces.” From the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains in the west to the rolling plains and dramatic badlands in the east, Big Sky Country offers boundless opportunities for you and your pet to explore the stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, and small-town charm. Mother Nature acts as a museum here with Glacier National Park, the Continental Divide, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. And Bozeman, Missoula, and Helena add a western city flare with an unmistakable commitment to rural culture and hospitality. A trip to Montana is an exploration of The Great American West.
Best Time To Visit
Depending on your hobbies, there are three fantastic seasons to experience Montana with your pets. Summer (mid-June to August) is the most popular travel season for hiking, camping, kayaking, and just about every other outdoor sport. Comfortable temperatures and blue skies make this a lovely time of year, which is why many festivals and events are scheduled in the summer. Fall (September and October) is just as nice in a cooler, more colorful way. This is when the aspens and other trees put on their show under impossibly blue skies. Winter (November to March) is marvelous for skiing and snow sports, and Montana has some of the best cold weather conditions in the country. The best deals on lodging can be found just after the ski season ends, from late April through late May. Unfortunately, this is the only time of year that isn’t well suited for traveling with pets--rapid snowmelt turns the trails muddy and the weather is unreliable.
Things Not To Miss
Pet friendly hiking options are limited at Glacier National Park, so after driving Going To The Sun Road, head for the Flathead or Lewis and Clark National Forests to hit the trails.
Stretching 4,900 miles across 16 states, visit the point where the Lewis and Clark Trail enters the Rocky Mountains at Tower Rock near Great Falls.
Step back in time at Bannack State Park, one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the country with 60 standing structures, mining artifacts, and a cemetery.
Allow plenty of time to savor Bozeman's dining, shopping, hiking, and scenic drives.
Drive the breathtaking 68-mile Beartooth Highway, one of the highest roadways in the lower 48 states, as it winds between Cooke City and Red Lodge.
Don't miss the lively Victorian-era gold rush towns of Virginia City and Nevada City, where nostalgia reigns with more than 200 historic buildings, museums, shops, restaurants, accommodations, and weekend living history programs.