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Spend an overnight behind bars at the Old Montana Prison in Deer Lodge, or play it safer with a daytime guided tour of haunted hot spots to get a glimpse as far back as 1871. Ghost tours offered May through October.

Drive along the eerie shore of Quake Lake, formed by a 1959 earthquake that caused a devastating mountain landslide and blocked the Madison River to form this lake. The Visitor Center tells the story through video and photographs, and the mountainside scar still can be seen today. Located along a scenic drive just a half-hour from West Yellowstone.

Located in downtown Butte, Pekin Noodle Parlor is the oldest continuously operating Chinese restaurant in the United States. Founded in 1911, its roots come from the large Chinese population in Butte’s early mining days.

Nicknamed “Big John,” this two-story outhouse is located in Nevada City behind the historic Nevada City Hotel, where you can overnight in historic (and haunted) hotel rooms or in authentic log cabins adjacent to this ghost town.

At the Sip ‘n Dip Lounge in Great Falls, you can sip your drink and watch mermaids (and mermen) swim behind the tiki bar. It offers a surprising taste of the tropics in an unexpected location!

See mermaids (and mermen) while you sip your drink at the Sip ’n Dip Lounge in Great Falls, Montana. Photo courtesy of Sip ‘n Dip Lounge

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.

Montana has some quirks locals have become accustomed to, like casinos attached to gas stations on city corners or highway signs that say “next rest stop 97 miles” (um, I need to rest now!), but one thing we take particular pride in here in Western Montana’s Glacier Country is our micro-breweries (Montana is second in the U.S. for craft breweries per capita and was named the best state for beer lovers) and their quirky-named brews.

Missoula is Montana’s mecca when it comes to craft breweries, including Montana’s largest brewery, Big Sky Brewing, with brews like Moose Drool, Space Goat and Trout Slayer. KettleHouse Brewing features Cold Smoke, Double Haul, Eddy Out and Fresh Bongwater. Clothing Optional Hazy Pale Ale and Space Hippy can be found at Draught Works. In Lakeside on the shores of Flathead Lake, find Bear Bottom Blonde and Sip N’ Go Naked at Tamarack Brewing. Kalispell Brewing features Two Ski Brewski, and Whitefish is home to Basket Case and Cranky Sheriff 21 at Bonsai Brewing. Rounding out our quirky named beers is Cut Bank Brewery with Penguin Piss and Rail Spike. When visiting Western Montana, put at least one of these breweries on your itinerary for sure.

You’ll delight in the quirky-named brews at Montana’s many micro-breweries, with monikers like Moose Drool, Fresh Bongwater and Clothing Optional Pale Ale. Photo courtesy of Western Montana’s Glacier Country

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

The wildlife show in Yellowstone is second to none, and no matter when you visit, you’ll get a front-row seat.

In June, animals of all stripes raise babies, from marmots to bighorn sheep to predators like grizzlies and badgers. In July, wolf pups venture to a “rendezvous site” where they spend most of summer with wolf babysitters. Grizzlies meander up to high mountain peaks searching for moths.

The thunderous bellows of bull bison boom as the bison rut ramps up every August, and great herds gather in Lamar and Hayden Valleys. A few weeks later, pronghorn mate. The high-pitched bugle of bull elk echoes across the land by the second week of September. Overhead, migratory hawks and eagles begin their winter travels south and west. Bears return to lower elevations.

As snow accumulates in October, male grizzlies follow wolf packs to steal a few more meals, while females search for a den location. Birds and mammals that stay the winter build up deep, warm coats. Deer and bighorn sheep are at the peak of their rut around Thanksgiving. Snowshoe hare, white-tailed jackrabbits and weasels trade their brown summer fur for coats of white.

Read more about year-round wildlife watching here.

In June, animals of all stripes raise babies, from bison to bighorn sheep to predators like grizzlies and badgers. Photo courtesy Yellowstone National Park Lodges

For more information on Yellowstone National Park Lodges, visit YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com.

Red Ants Pants Music Festival is held over three days in late July in a cow pasture in White Sulphur Springs. It has grown to become one of Montana’s larger music festivals.

Little Bighorn Days takes place over four days in late June in Hardin and includes the Custer’s Last Stand Reenactment. It celebrates sights and sounds of the past and includes living history, an art exhibit, ethnic foods and even a rodeo.

The Lewis & Clark Festival in Great Falls highlights events of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, including reenactors in historic dress, teepees in a Native encampment, Native American dancers and drummers, and live music. Held in early July.

Livingston Roundup Rodeo is one of the largest rodeos in Montana and is held in a charming small town near the Yellowstone River. Held July 2-4 every year, this family-friendly event offers all the traditional competitive events like bull riding, bronc riding, barrel racing and steer wrestling.

Dillon’s historic Bannack Days, held the third weekend of July, celebrates pioneer days and this ghost town’s 18th-century gold mining history.

Music and nature lovers are drawn to scenic Seeley Lake’s Bob Marshall Music Festival each year in early August.

Dillon’s historic Bannack Days, held the third weekend of July, celebrates pioneer days and this ghost town’s 18th-century gold mining history. Photo courtesy Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.

We are excited to welcome back some signature events to Western Montana’s Glacier Country in 2021. Following is a list of a few key festivals and events and a link to their websites for more information. For a more extensive look at what’s happening in our neck of the woods this summer, here is our full calendar of events.

There will be concerts at the KettleHouse Amphitheater in Missoula, Montana, throughout the summer. Photo courtesy Western Montana’s Glacier Country

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

Sustainable practices thrive in Montana, not just through ranching and farming traditions but also through many types of Montana businesses that actively incorporate these principles.

An example of what one small business can do is found at Norris Hot Springs. Located just a short drive from Bozeman, this is a popular place for families to soak in natural hot springs. It is committed to preserving natural resources by offering local and organic food, much of it grown in their “Garden of the Gods” and served in their 50 Mile Grill – appropriately named because all food served comes from within 50 miles. By reducing the distance food travels, they can provide fresh, sustainable meals that support small farmers and suppliers, boost the local economy and provide the freshest, most nutritious food available. Their commitment to sustainability continues with direct use of their natural geothermal resource to heat their café. Solar panels provide energy for the kitchen and full-hookup campsites. Their staff arranges their schedules to carpool, and they recycle and re-use their logo cups.

There are many other businesses implementing these practices while showcasing what makes their home-grown Montana products so special. We can’t wait for you to visit them.

Norris Hot Springs near Bozeman combines family fun with local and organic food; solar and geothermal power sources; and a staff committment to sustainability. Courtesy Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.

You know we’re all about glamping in Western Montana’s Glacier Country, and that’s why we’re so excited to welcome two new adventure locations to the glamping family.

ROAM Beyond sets visitors up in adorable, yet sleek and modern, off-the-grid “tiny homes on wheels” that offer refined, sustainable and socially conscious lodging experiences year-round. Their concept was simple – create a mobile living experience unlike any other in the world using environmentally conscious materials, designed in a contemporary and intuitive aesthetic.

ROAM Beyond saw that people who lived for the sustainability lifestyle are searching for low environmental impact in transformational settings and decided to answer that call. Choose between their adventure basecamp in Whitefish or Columbia Falls, both located not far from the west entrance to Glacier National Park.

ROAM Beyond sets visitors up in adorable, yet sleek and modern, off-the-grid “tiny homes on wheels” that offer refined, sustainable and socially conscious lodging experiences year-round. Courtesy Western Montana’s Glacier Country

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

Montana’s vast landscapes, wide-open spaces and charming small towns make it easy to get away from crowds and discover unspoiled Big Sky Country!

Enjoy scenic vistas on our Rocky Mountain hiking trails that lead to hidden waterfalls, crystal lakes and expansive mountain views. Whitewater raft on glacier-fed rivers, or paddle a canoe or kayak across a peaceful lake. Discover wildlife throughout our state as you explore out-of-the-way places. Our guest ranches let you discover your inner cowboy or cowgirl and learn about Western traditions.

Explore ghost towns like Bannack or Virginia City, where the Old West comes alive as you wander through haunted historic buildings. Pan for gold or take a tour to learn about Montana’s gold rush history. Explore mining towns of Butte or Philipsburg to experience a blend of old and new, or take an underground mine tour.

Camping or RVing in Montana’s solitude is a memorable family experience. Whether it’s in a tent, teepee, yurt or luxurious glamping tent, you’ll enjoy the magic of a starry night sky after an unforgettable day of adventure.

A visit to Glacier National Park or Yellowstone will top off an unforgettable family adventure. Keep dreaming – Montana will be waiting for you!

Whitewater raft on glacier-fed rivers to get your blood pumping in unspoiled Montana. Courtesy Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.

One of the most fun and unique outdoor experiences in Western Montana’s Glacier Country – not far from Glacier National Park – is llama trekking in the Swan Mountain range. Yes, llama trekking!

It’s an all-around lovable affair, and it’s eco-therapy for the soul. When you trek with a llama, you get to hike into the mountains or forest without having to carry gear or your lunch in backpacks, which makes hiking with kids and groups logistically easier and more enjoyable. Plus, llamas are pretty darn cute!

Everyone gets their own llama on a lead. By the end of the hike, you will be fast friends and will remember the experience for a lifetime.

These “Camels of the Clouds” trekking tours allow for a variety of timeframes within different trip options. For the most adventurous, choose a half-day or full-day trek, or even a multiday backpacking trip to pristine alpine lakes. A favorite trip is the three-hour evening “Wine and Cheese Llama Trek.”

Visit Swan Mountain Llama Trekking for all the details about this delightful and unique experience for all ages and athletic abilities.

Llama trekking in the Swan Mountain range is an all-around loveable affair. Courtesy Western Montana’s Glacier Country

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

Don’t be surprised to see a personable pup working alongside her National Park Service ranger-partner when you travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. “Bark Ranger” Gracie is a well-trained border collie tasked with keeping wildlife away from (human) park visitors in busy areas like the Logan Pass parking lot. She’s specially trained to move wildlife like bighorn sheep or mountain goats away without any physical contact. She intimidates them with her stare and moves them just far enough away so they can still be seen and photographed by visitors. Gracie does not work with predators like bears, and she has proven more effective than traditional hazing techniques like shouting or arm-waving.

Habituation occurs when animals have repeated contact with and lose their fear of humans. Habituated wildlife may appear tame, but they are still wild animals and can be aggressive or dangerous.

When she’s not working, Gracie and her handler often chat with visitors about staying a safe distance away from wildlife. They are wildlife safety ambassadors and even have an Instagram account. You might see her working in her orange vest at Logan Pass during the summer, happily posing for a selfie – or just enjoying belly rubs.

“Bark Ranger” Gracie looks back at Ranger Mark Biel while watching a herd of bighorn rams grazing just downhill from the Logan Pass parking lot in Glacier National Park in July 2017. Gracie and Ranger Mark prevented these sheep from ever entering the parking lot. Courtesy National Park Service/Alice W. Biel

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.