Big Sky Resort is the second largest ski resort in the United States and has 5,850 skiable acres, four mountains, 36 lifts and over 300 runs. You can take the Lone Peak tram to the top of Lone Mountain to enjoy 300 degrees of skiing as well as breathtaking views of three states and two National Parks. The resort’s efficient tram system means that there are basically no lines, allowing you to have more time to ski than you would at other resorts. If you don’t feel like skiing or snowboarding, you can go snowshoeing, take your kids to the bungee trampoline and giant swing, or speed down the Adventure Zipline Tour for extensive views of Lone Mountain and the Spanish Peaks of the Madison Range. Big Sky Resort is also an excellent summer destination with golf, mountain biking, gemstone mining, archery, hiking, fly fishing, and horseback riding.
If you’re going to be in Montana in August, make sure you don’t miss the Crow Fair Powwow and Rodeo which is one of the biggest rodeos in the United States. Held on August 14-19 in Billings, the Apsaalooke people of the Crow Indian Reservation showcase exquisite cultural activities like the powwow where hundreds of dancers dressed in colourful, traditional Native American regalia compete in contests where they dance in time to the drum. The Apsaalooke people showcase traditional beadwork, buckskin and leather work, and hold a morning parade with horse riding and elaborately decorated cars. This event also includes an All-Indian rodeo with professional cowboys and cowgirls riding from all around the United States in addition to the much-loved Indian-Relay horse races. The celebration ends with a ‘Dance-Through-Camp’ which is meant as a prayer for good things for the Crow Tribe and for the coming year.
The Montana Folk Festival is an unmissable free event held on July 12-14 in Butte with more than 300 performers, artists and food vendors. The festival is held on six stages underneath many of Butte’s iconic headframes which are remnants from its mining days and has views overlooking Silver Bow Valley. Stages include a dance pavilion for everyone to dance, a family stage with performances for children, and a Montana folklife stage. 2019 is set to be a fantastic year with performances from dynamic tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith, Western swing singer Carolyn Martin, reggae musician group Taj Weekes and Adowa, and energetic bluegrass band David Davis and the Warrior River Boys. There will also be traditional artists with unique craft stalls, as well as many food vendors serving ethnic food that represents a range of different cultures in the region.
Montana is home to seven Indian reservations including Blackfeet, Crow, Flathead, Fort Belknap, Fort Peck, Northern Cheyenne, and Rocky Boy’s as well as the state-recognised Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa. A new Indian Country Montana Guidebook has just been released which provides insightful background information and fun facts on each Reservation. The book also provides information on three road trips that will take you to breathtaking state parks, interesting museums, tasty restaurants, and on fascinating native American guided tours. You will not only see panoramic views of Montana’s scenery on each road trip but will also learn more about the fascinating Native American history. Check out the guidebook here.
The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana is the perfect place for a family holiday. You can stay in one of four styles of accommodation; Granite Lodge suites, a converted Historic Barn, Luxury Homes or Canvas Cabins if you want to go glamping. The Ranch at Rock Creek has different dining areas including an elegant restaurant and an open-air breakfast and lunch place. Activities at The Ranch include horseback riding, fly fishing, yoga, skiing, hiking, archery, wildlife viewing, and a ropes course. The Ranch has a Little Grizzlies Club which introduces children to the Frontier West and a Ranch Life Day where wranglers teach children about horse riding, care and safety. The Ranch at Rock Creek even won the ‘2018 Best Family Program’ by Virtuoso!
Lewis and Clark Caverns is Montana’s first State Park and features a decorated limestone cavern lined with stalactites and stalagmites. There are various nature trails outside of the cave where you can go hiking, boating or camping. This park is full of wildlife including bats, birds, deer and coyotes, making it an ideal spot for bird watching, fishing and photography. The park area is open all year round, however the caverns are only open from May until the end of September each year. There are two visitor centers here that provide fascinating information about the park’s history and caverns. The Main Visitor Center focuses on the unique geology, flora and fauna, while The Cave Visitor Center provides insightful information into the caverns with a video, museum and cave exploration room.