Great Drives in Montana: the Pintler Scenic Route

Turning off of I-90 toward Philipsburg on Montana Highway One, the first paved highway in the state, the vast valley of farm land stretches out before you; but as you drive closer toward the Sapphire Mountains, the valleys narrow, forcing you upward, past Philipsburg and up over a small pass that flattens out at Georgetown Lake.

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

Fifteen thousand years ago, after leaving its home base in northern Canada, a runaway continental ice sheet passed through these parts, scouring the landscape and moving the Missouri River 50 miles to the south. The lakes that now make up the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge were once a horseshoe bend of the pre-glacier Missouri.

Bannack: Montana's rich beginnings

In early September 1862, freighters from Utah were heading for customers in the Deer Lodge Valley when they heard of this latest gold strike. Realizing they could shorten their trip and sell the goods in Bannack, they made an impromptu detour. This decision no doubt helped many of the miners survive the coming cold months.

Waiting for the Equinox on the Missouri River

In Montana, though, it is only a promise of something to come. March’s third week usually finds us deep in winter with nary a sign of spring, although that is questionable in this year of 2014. The pledge is that it will happen, but the question is “when?”

Montana's Big Open

Late 1800s photographer L. A. Huffman called it “The Big Open,” National Geographic termed it “Jordan Country” and others dubbed the sparsely populated landscape south of Fort Peck Lake “The Big Dry.” The heart of this scenic territory is the small town of Jordan, Montana.

Montana's Railroad History

The coming of the transcontinental railroads to Montana Territory in the 1880s is the single most transformational economic development in the entire history of Montana. This careening generalization certainly deserves explication.

Romantic getaways around Montana

Montana Living presents a few choices for romantic getaways and vacations around Montana.

Darkest Day: the town of Bear Creek and the Smith Mine disaster

It was a bright winter’s day on that Saturday in 1943. It was payday, and the miners were expected to return home with their money. When a plume of smoke billowed out of the mine shaft, the wives and children of the miners likely knew what that meant: death.

High Life in the High Country

We rode slowly down the steep mountain trail, letting our horses find their footing in the soft dirt. Our horses stepped gingerly over large rocks and tree roots, and the dense underbrush scratched at our boots and stirrups. The aroma of lush, rich vegetation, piqued by summer heat, filled the air. We rode out of the densely covered trail into an opening, where avalan...

Sands of Time: Kehoe's Agate Shop

The skeleton of the steamship Helena lies rotting in the sand of the Flathead River, the hand-hewn timbers slowing giving way to time and water.
Standing on the banks of the river near Holt, on the outskirts of Bigfork, you can almost hear the whistles of the steamboats and the shouts of lumberjacks working a floating raft of logs.

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