Apart from agriculture and lumbering, tourism ranks among the most important industries for Montana. From the mountainous terrain of the Rocky Mountain region to the Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, the state offers some exciting stuff for tourists.
Two of the most splendid National Parks in the country, the-one-of-its-kind Yellowstone National Park and the magnificent Grand Teton National Park, are part of Wyoming, which along with the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, offer brilliant vacationing experiences for the entire family. The Dragon’s Mouth, Mud Volcano and Yellowstone Lake are some of the beautiful destinations within Yellowstone National Park.
Nestled in the Rocky Mountain region, Idaho partially holds the Yellowstone National Park and is extremely close to Grand Teton Nation Park.
Glacier National Park, Montana – Alberta
Glacier National Park is located in the northern section of Montana near the Canadian border. Two thousand lakes and a thousand miles of rivers, threading between forests and meadows make up this beautiful park. Though the park still holds fifty small glaciers, its name comes from the fact that the immense valleys were carved by huge flows of ice, many centuries ago.
Driving the fifty-mile Going-to-the-Sun road creates the illusion that you’ll be climbing forever. At the east end of ten-mile Lake Donald, the road starts to climb in earnest. Snowmelt from waterfalls gushes across the road. The winding route nudges over the Continental Divide at Logan Pass (6680 ft – 2036 m) – a bewildering area where the peaks look like mere hillocks of ice.
The park is a haven for bighorn sheep, mountain goats, black bears, grizzlies, wolves and mountain lions. Crisp air, freezing waterfalls and year-round snow combine to give the impression of being very close to the Arctic Circle; in fact, the latitude is lower than that of London. The park is a hiker’s paradise, with exceptionally beautiful views at every turn. The most popular trail in the park begins at Logan Pass, which runs across wildflower alpine meadows to the serene Hidden Lake.
Tour boats explore all of the large lakes., including sunset cruises on Lake McDonald and St Mary Lake. You can also rent canoes, rowboats, and outboards. The lakes, teeming with trout, are excellent for fishing.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Grant Teton National Park is one of America’s most spectacular and scenic national parks. The classic triangular peaks of the park, which stretches for fifty miles between Yellowstone and Jackson, are every bit as dramatic as the mountains of its congested neighbor. The sheer faced cliffs of this place make a magnificent spectacle, rising abruptly to tower more than 7000 ft above the valley floor.
Encompassing nearly 500 square miles, Grand Teton National Park boasts an awe-inspiring array of pristine wilderness, glacial lakes, winding rivers, diverse wildlife, and the magnificent Teton Range.
No road crosses the Tetons, but those that run along the eastern flank afford stunning views at every turn. `Two excellent side trips are the Jenny Lake Scenic Loop, leading to a face-to-face encounter with the towering Grand Teton Mountain, and the narrow track up Signal Mountain, which gives a fine view of the five main Teton pinnacles.
Hiking trails, too have been laid out so that no time is wasted getting to the highlights. One popular walk is along the sandy beaches of Leigh Lake, where the 12,600 ft Mount Moran rises dramatically from the lake shores. Also very accessible is the Hidden Falls, reachable by a two-mile walk along the south shore of Jenny Lake. For the more daring, the rocky nine-mile trail from Hidden Falls through the U shaped Cascade Canyon leads to Lake Solitude.
The overgrown community of Jackson is located ten miles from Teton park’s southern gate. Every summer evening, an amateurish shoot-out is staged in the town square. In winter, you can visit the National Elk Refuge on the north edge of town, where you can take a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Jackson is also home to Snow King and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, two of Wyoming’s best ski areas.
Yellowstone National Park, Idaho – Montana – Wyoming
Millions of visitors come each year to the Yellowstone National Park, America’s oldest national park and the largest in the lower 48 states. The park attracts tourists looking to enjoy its magnificent mountain scenery and abundant wildlife, and above all to witness hydrothermal phenomena on a unique scale.
The park centers on a 7500 ft high plateau, the caldera of a vast volcanic eruption. In the park are present half the world’s geysers, in which the rain and snow water escape the pressure cooker conditions with intermittent spectacular blasts, plus thousands of fumaroles and hot springs which gush plumes of steam. The dependable Old Faithful is the most popular geyser in the park. On average, it “performs” for the crowds every 78 minutes. The column of water shoots up to a height of 100 to 180 ft, a total of 11,000 gallons.
Yellowstone amounts to an extraordinary experience, combining the colors of the lakes, wildflower meadows, and the rainbow-colored geyser pools; the sounds of steam hissing from the mountainsides, and the constant smells of sulfurous fumes. For good measure, the park has an assortment of wildlife that includes bull moose, bears, bison, herds of elk, and scurrying marmots. The key to appreciating the park is to take your time and try to stay for at least three days.
Visitors should also go to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The canyon, formed by the action of the Yellowstone River, is punctuated by two spectacular waterfalls. Both rims of the canyon offer superb views. If you go in summer, also visit the Yellowstone Lake, America’s largest alpine lake.