Craters of the Moon National Monument
A trip to Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is practically mandatory for any visit to The Great American West. Marvel at the expanse of lava flows and explore caves and craters during a hike. As a designated International Dark Sky Park, the preserve is filled with killer views day and night. Only a few hours from Yellowstone National Park, Craters of the Moon is a perfect fit to round out your trip of natural wonders.
Makoshika State Park
Makoshika features badlands formations and the fossil remains of several dinosaur species. Hiking trails and campsites throughout the park let you explore the other-worldly sandstone formations found throughout. The Visitor Center houses a Triceratops skull and other interpretive displays relating to the significant dinosaur discoveries that continue to be found in Montana.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is made up almost entirely of the rugged Badlands that was home to former President Theodore Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch and Maltese Cross Ranch. The Maltese Cross Ranch cabin can be toured at the South Unit visitor center in Medora. The visitor center also includes the shirt worn by Roosevelt – complete with bullet hole – he wore while delivering a 90-minute speech after he had been shot in an assassination attempt in 1912.
Jewel Cave National Monument
With a name derived from the crystals that line its walls, Jewel Cave National Monument is even more significant as the third-longest cave in the world. Features of this spectacular attraction include a variety of cave tours below the forest, and a 1,279-acre park with nature trails above ground.
Sinks Canyon State Park
One of the best known destinations in the Wind River mountain range is Sinks Canyon State Park, the place where a river disappears into a cliff wall and later reappears to continue gliding down the canyon.
The Middle Fork of the Popo Agie (Puh-PO-JHA) plunges into a great limestone cavern called the Sinks. It bubbles up into a calm pool a quarter mile downstream, called the Rise. The park, which has earned Trip Advisor Certificates of Excellence, is also a great place for hiking, trail running, climbing and picnicking or camping.