Places to Visit in Montana While Road Tripping
Located in the heart of the country, Montana is full of stunning, natural wonders to take in. From national parks to hot springs to ghost towns, the state is perfect for a road trip in your Bowlus. There are plenty of places to camp, especially because your luxury travel trailer is easily able to go off-grid. You can even stay in places that don’t have electrical hookups.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of a few of the must-see places to visit while you road trip through the state of Montana.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park has been called the “Crown of the Continent,” and for good reason. The park is full of breathtaking natural beauty, including alpine meadows, pristine forests, spectacular lakes, and rugged mountains. It also boasts an impressive 700 miles of hiking trails.
Of all of the available hiking trails, our personal favorite is the Ptarmigan Tunnel hike. It is just over 10 miles roundtrip and is a strenuous hike. It starts out in open terrain, providing hikers with amazing views of the mountains. The trail soon heads into dense pine forest, before ultimately taking you directly to the Ptarmigan Tunnel. The tunnel itself is about 250 feet long and is always exciting to hike through.
But hiking isn’t the only thing that you can do when you visit the park. Unlike many of the other national parks in the country, Glacier National Park offers campers the opportunity to go white water rafting. If you’re new to white water rafting, check out one of the local companies that can guide you and help you experience the rapids as safely as possible.
If you want to see the signs on horseback, the park rangers offer guided horseback rides as well. They are done at three different areas—Apgar, Many Glacier, and Lake McDonald. The rides last anywhere from an hour to all day, and some even come with dinner. If you would prefer a private tour, those are also available when reserved in advance.
There are plenty of places to park your Bowlus for the night when visiting Glacier National Park. We like the St. Mary Campground and the Fish Creek Campground if you make reservations ahead of time, and the Many Glacier campsite if you’d rather be a little more spontaneous. While none of the sites have RV hookups, when you travel in your luxury travel trailer, you won’t need to worry about it.
Chico Hot Springs
The Chico Hot Springs and the resort surrounding them were officially founded in 1900, although the history of the springs stretches back even further. However, you don’t have to be a guest at the resort to enjoy all of the healthy benefits of soaking in all the natural minerals the hot springs have to offer.
You’ll have to purchase a day pass, but it is well worth it. Once you’re inside the resort, you’ll be able to enjoy either of the open-air natural mineral pools. Many people believe these springs can be beneficial to your health. It’s especially great after a long day of hiking because the soak can soothe your sore, tired muscles.
Although there aren’t any places to park your luxury travel trailer at the Chico Hot Springs, it definitely makes a great side trip. It’s also close to the next place on our list to visit…
Yellowstone National Park
Perhaps the most well known national park in the country, Yellowstone National Park is just 45 minutes away from the Chico Hot Springs. The Montana section of the park is located in Bozeman, Montana, and the park is something everyone should see at least once in their lives.
Specifically, you should make a stop at Old Faithful. Although there are more than 500 geysers in the park, Old Faithful is by far the most famous. It’s special because park rangers can predict when it will erupt, which means that you can time your visit to see it. Just make sure you stay in the viewing area.
There are a variety of different hikes to take during your visit as well. They are broken up into the area in which the trails are located—canyon day hikes, lake and fishing bridge day hikes, Madison day hikes, Mammoth Hot Springs day hikes, Old Faithful day hikes, Tower and Northeast day hikes, and West Thumb and Grant day hikes. Each has its own specific charm and allows you to see different, unique parts of the national park. The Purple Mountain trail, in the Madison section of the park, is one of our favorites.
There are multiple campsites in the park, some of which allow for reservations in advance. Of all the options, our favorite is the Bridge Bay Campground. Sitting at an elevation of 7,800 feet, the campground is also located near one of the largest fresh-water, high-elevation lakes in the United States, Yellowstone Lake. The views are unparalleled, especially for a campsite.
Although they do not offer any WiFi at the campsite, you won’t even notice its absence. Every Bowlus comes equipped with its own private WiFi network, cellular booster, and cell-enabled router. You can always be assured that both your privacy and data will be safe, no matter where you’re parked.
Garnet Ghost Town
You shouldn’t visit the state of Montana without visiting a ghost town, and Garnet Ghost Town should be at the top of your list. Garnet is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the state, and it is packed full of things to do and see.
There are multiple hiking trails that set out from the parking lot of Garnet, each leading hikers past a specific piece of the history of the area. Placer Trail is especially interesting, as it takes you past an inactive gold mine. If you have enough time, exploring all of the available hikes will really help you understand the importance of Garnet.
This is no public camping allowed within a half mile of the Garnet Ghost Town, but there are plenty of public lands just outside of that area that are free to camp on for up to 14 days at a time. You can request a map ahead of time by writing the Bureau of Land Management, or visit the BLM website.
Camping on public lands with no hookups is called boondocking, and it allows your Bowlus to really shine because it has all the amenities you need to be comfortable off-grid for up to two weeks. You don’t even have to give up the microwave.
Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
Montana is known for its wide open spaces and sprawling ranches. Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site was designed to preserve that legacy, helping to commemorate the important role cattlemen have had throughout the history of America.
There are 88 different historic structures to see while visiting the ranch, including the Draft Horse Barn, which has been in operation since 1870. Grant-Kohrs is still a working ranch as well so there will be plenty of actual ranching activities to watch during your visit. You can take part in a guided or self-guided tour if you’re interested in diving deep into the history of the ranch. The scale of the ranch is staggering no matter how you choose to see it.
If you haven’t had enough of the ranch life, you can spend the night at the nearby Hidden Meadow Ranch. For just a small fee, you can park your Bowlus at this working ranch and enjoy the scenery in the privacy of your own luxury travel trailer.
While there is no running water, WiFi, power, or kitchens available at Hidden Meadow, you won’t even notice the difference because you already have all of those things at your fingertips. Traveling in your Bowlus is the best way to experience the world, letting you get out there without having to give up any of the comforts of home.
Montana is packed full of places to visit. When you make the trip in your Bowlus, you’ll be able to bring your own shower with continuous hot water, a comfortable bed, and a roomy kitchen with you wherever you decide to go. It gives you even more freedom and flexibility to make any trip your dream trip, no matter where you go. Don’t take another trip without one.
Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)