Tag Archive for: montana

 

Take a walk back in time following the largest footsteps in history and discover an exciting and fun adventure along Montana’s Dinosaur Trail. This statewide trail is made up of 14 locations with a wide range of opportunities to explore and learn about the state’s prehistoric residents, including unique paleontology displays, interpretations, replicas, and actual skeletons of dinosaurs and other fossils found in Montana.

Trail sites also feature public education programs, guided tours of the paleontology displays, and field digs that are open to the public. These family-friendly digs are hosted on active fossil sites and allow the public to get their hands dirty and participate in activities like fossil identification, surface mapping, rock removal and maybe even bone extraction.

While on the dinosaur trail, make sure to visit some of Montana’s best burger joints by following along the Southeast Montana Burger Trail. Follow the trail and taste mouth-watering burgers from some of the most unique small-town eateries throughout southeast Montana. Don’t miss a local favorite: the scrumptious French onion burger, covered in onion rings, caramelized onion, garlic aioli, and Swiss and Havarti cheeses. These friendly establishments will make you fall more in love with Montana, bite after bite.

Take a walk back in time following the largest footsteps in history and discover an exciting and fun adventure along Montana’s Dinosaur Trail. Photo courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism

For more information on Montana, visit VISITMT.COM.

If you ask us, the best way to explore Billings is to get to know the locals themselves. And Visit Billings has made it easy for you to get to know the people who help make a getaway to the state’s largest city an authentic, bucket-list-worthy Montana experience.

Before visiting Billings, you can become acquainted with many of our residents and proprietors through our Meet Billings Locals page. Billings Buddies includes a series of online videos that introduce you to a variety of local experts who love living in Billings as much as you’ll enjoy visiting.

Discover ways to explore Billings with the family from second-generation cattle rancher and horseback ride guide Theresa Kuhlmann-Butcher. Gain some insider history on Billings and the American West from Terry Steiner at the Yellowstone County Museum. Explore Billings’ connections to Hollywood with Brad Tilden from Rand’s Hats. And listen to Shea Dawson of Thirsty Street Brewing Co. explain the popular craft beer scene of Billings.

To meet all our Billings Buddies, go online to VisitBillings.com/billingsbuddies. And we look forward to welcoming you in Billings, Montana’s Trailhead.

Through the Billings Buddies webpage, you’ll learn about ways to explore the city with the family from second-generation cattle rancher and horseback ride guide Theresa Kuhlmann-Butcher. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

 

Casey Anderson was born and raised in East Helena, Montana, and was interested in wildlife from an early age. After studying wildlife biology at Montana State University, he worked as a wildlife rehabilitation technician and animal keeper and trainer. In 2002, he adopted an orphaned grizzly bear cub named Brutus from an overcrowded wildlife park in another state, and soon after built a sanctuary for the bear near his home. He founded the Montana Grizzly Encounter Rescue and Educational Sanctuary in Bozeman in 2004. He raised Brutus here, and this also became the home for several other rescued grizzlies.

Anderson was involved in film and TV production since the 1990s and was the handler for Brutus in numerous films, TV commercials and documentaries. He starred with Brutus in “Expedition Grizzly,” a documentary on National Geographic Channel’s Wild series, and in several other productions. He also starred in or produced numerous other wildlife films and documentaries featuring grizzlies and other wildlife.

Brutus was a local favorite in the Bozeman area. He died in 2021 at age 19, but visitors to Grizzly Encounter can still see other rescued bears and learn about threats to wildlife habitat and measures to protect them.

Casey Anderson founded Montana Grizzly Encounter Rescue and Educational Sanctuary in Bozeman; he raised his rescued pet grizzly Brutus here, and it also became the home for several other rescued grizzlies. Photo courtesy of the Montana Office of Tourism

For more information on Montana, visit VISITMT.COM.

 

The cowboy hat is as much a part of Western Americana as you can get, so it’s only fitting that an authentically Montana destination like Billings would be home to Rand’s Hats, a custom hat-making shop that has called the city home since 1973.

Third-generation citrus farmer Brad Tilden and his family are the current owners of Rand’s Hats and help to carry on the shop’s rich legacy. Tilden is somewhat of a local celebrity, given Rand’s Hats’ decades-long affiliation with Hollywood Westerns and the celebrities who star in them.

Rand’s Hats has provided costume crews working on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies with the iconic hats that were worn during the films. And even today, big names like Dennis Quaid and Tim McGraw often turn to Rand’s Hats to create a custom look.

According to Tilden, cowboy hats originally become customized based on how a real cowboy would handle them, grabbing them by the top or by the brim. These personal preferences created the many shapes and styles we see in today’s cowboy hats.

So if you want to look like a real cowboy or cowgirl traveling through Montana, swing by Rand’s Hats for a Hollywood-worthy topper.

Billings’ own Brad Tilden and family own Rand’s Hats, a custom cowboy hat shop that has made creations for the likes of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Dennis Quaid and Tim McGraw. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

Montana Folk Festival is one of the largest free music events in the northwestern U.S. Held in Butte from July 12-14, 2024, multiple stages offer a variety of traditional and ethnic performers.

A great way to enjoy local art is by attending community Art Walks, usually held on Friday evenings once a month. Browse galleries in Red Lodge, Livingston, Billings and Butte.

Montana’s many rodeos are held in large and small towns throughout the summer. Some standouts are Livingston’s Roundup (July 2-4, 2024), Wolf Point’s Wild Horse Stampede and Dillon’s Rodeo (dates TBA).

Enjoy music under the stars and among the pines all summer long at Pine Creek Lodge near Livingston.

Mark your calendars! New Visitor Center and facilities at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument open in 2026 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the battle.

Montana Folk Festival is one of the largest free music events in the northwestern U.S. Held in Butte from July 12-14, 2024, multiple stages offer a variety of traditional and ethnic performers. Photo courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism

For more information on Montana, visit VISITMT.COM.

 

In Billings, outsiders are welcome to let their adventurous spirit run free around Montana’s largest city. But being an outsider doesn’t mean missing the inside scoop on local events that let you explore like a local.

In 2024, join us in Billings to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Yellowstone Art Museum (YAM) and discover the rich heritage of the region. Founded in 1964 to focus on contemporary, avant garde work originating in the northern Rockies region, the museum collects art from all historic periods, emphasizing artists working in Montana and the American Northwest. Notably, the YAM is home to the largest gathering of drawings, paintings, books and memorabilia of cowboy illustrator Will James, whose work depicts the day-to-day life of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

And don’t miss annual favorites like Montana Fair, where you can immerse yourself in authentic Billings culture complete with rodeo competitions, popular country music and more. Or check out Burn the Point – a Labor Day weekend celebration of 1950s Americana, big muscle cars and pop music that are the hallmark of an iconic generation.

To discover the full year’s worth of thrilling events in Billings, go to VisitBillings.com/Events.

Don’t miss Billings’ Burn the Point, a Labor Day weekend celebration of 1950s Americana, big muscle cars and pop music that are the hallmark of an iconic generation. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.

Vast, unspoiled and wild, Montana represents the very best of the American West. With over 147,000 square miles of jagged mountain peaks, sparkling waters, charming small towns and rich history, there is adventure around every corner.

Visitors that decide to travel east will have an unexpected and wholly different kind of Montana experience. Rugged badlands, winding rivers, quiet mountain ranges and vast prairies make up the tapestry of eastern Montana. Medicine Rocks State Park, filled with otherworldly rock formations, has been drawing visitors in for thousands of years. The park earned its name because it was a place of “big medicine” where Indian hunting parties conjured up magical spirits.

Or discover Montana’s largest state park, Makoshika State Park, named from the Lakota phrase meaning “bad land” or “bad spirits.” Today, the pine- and juniper-studded badlands formations are home to the fossil remains of such dinosaurs as tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops.

Whether you’re looking for wide-open roads, Old West cattle-trading towns, Native American battlefields or ethereal landscapes where dinosaurs once roamed, eastern Montana is the place to explore.

Makoshika State Park, named from the Lakota phrase meaning “bad land” or “bad spirits,” is home to the fossil remains of such dinosaurs as tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops. Photo courtesy of the Montana Office of Tourism

For more information on Montana, visit VISITMT.COM.

 

Have you seen the magnificent, scoured rocks and cliffs that make the Columbia River Gorge in the Pacific Northwest? Or tasted the wines from the Willamette Valley wines in Oregon? Scientists say we can thank the massive floods from Glacial Lake Missoula in Western Montana for those landscapes and fine wines.

Glacial Lake Missoula and its catastrophic floods during the last ice age – roughly 12,000-18,000 years ago – are responsible for the amazing landscapes from Western Montana through Eastern Washington and the Columbia River Gorge out to the Pacific Ocean. Scientists believe Glacial Lake Missoula was formed by ice dams that held back what is now the Clark Fork River just before the Idaho border. These dams were 2,000 feet in depth and held back 600 cubic miles of water (as much as Lake Erie and Lake Ontario combined). When released, the flood waters’ force was equal to that of 60 Amazon Rivers. There is evidence that roughly 40 catastrophic floods originated from Glacial Lake Missoula, and giant current ripples can be seen in the hills throughout the region. Ice tore away soil, creating the scablands of Eastern Washington, and deposited mineral-rich sediment into the Willamette Valley.

Scientists say we can thank the massive floods from Glacial Lake Missoula in Western Montana for much of the landscape in the Western United States. Photo courtesy of Western Montana’s Glacier Country

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

Within mere moments of arriving in Billings, visitors become acquainted with the sort of American West landscape that is depicted in classic films and literature. After all, it’s hard to miss ancient sandstone bluffs that stand nearly 500 feet ensconcing the bustling city below. The Rimrocks, as the locals call them, are a place where visitors can make a quick retreat from the modern conveniences of the state’s largest city to breathtaking wilderness and views of distant mountain ranges piercing big blue skies. Three parks – Swords Park, Zimmerman Park and Four Dances Recreation Area – each offer a unique perspective of Montana terrain from atop the rims, ranging from glimpses of the mighty Yellowstone River to distant, brush-covered prairies.

Adventure further out and visit Bighorn Canyon. Just a two-hour road trip brimming with picture-perfect vistas, Bighorn Canyon treats visitors to astounding diversity in ecosystems, wildlife and more than 10,000 years of human history. The North District of the park, which is the closest to Billings, features about 5 miles of trails among dazzling canyon walls and Bighorn Lake.

The Rimrocks, as the locals call them, allow visitors to make a quick retreat from the modern conveniences of the state’s largest city to breathtaking wilderness and views of distant mountain ranges piercing big blue skies. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

For more information on Billings, visit VisitBillings.com.