When we weren’t trekking around Glacier National Park, we had the chance to see some other amazing Montana sights. Here are four that I strongly recommend.
Gates to the Rocky Mountains
Board a boat and ride down the Missouri River following in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. Their expedition to explore the Western-most part of North America took them down this river were they truly thought that they were toast. They thought the mountainous Rockies were blocking them from continuing their journey. Towering limestone cliffs rise above 1200 feet on both sides of the river. As you approach the formation, the mountains seem to open before your eyes, because of this, Lewis named this place “The Gates of the Mountains”. We saw so many bald eagles, deer, and other various birds during this ride, and the guides who are on board are very knowledgeable and on multiple occasions, helped us spot some wildlife which we would have otherwise missed.
North American Indian Days
Hands down one of the coolest things that I have ever been to. I think that my husband and my brother would also agree. NAID takes place in Browning, Montana on part of the Black Feet Indian Reservation property. The Grand Entrance is held outside in a stadium with bleachers where you bear witness as members of various tribes are introduced and enter the stadium dancing and dressed in full traditional Native American Indian regalia. The real magic though, is the tribes taking turns drumming and singing their hearts outs, as their tribe each entered the arena. If there’s ever a place and time to feel pride, this is it.
Also happening on the grounds, is the rodeo portion of the NAID. We paid $10 to enter the rodeo arena and took our seats in the wooden bleachers. This is the real deal cowboy soiree. Cowboys from all over the United States and Canada come to this event to compete. We watched some various roping events, bucking broncos, and a relay race where the riders ride bareback – switching horses 3 times before crossing the finish line. The winner took home something like $15k!
Norris Hot Springs
I had no clue what to expect when my cousin suggested visiting this place. Not even a thought in my head. Think of it as driving really far to the middle of where I’d expect Little House on the Prairie to be set (not that I’ve ever read the book-ha) and seeing what looks like a mid-sized swimming pool with a snack stand, port-o-potties, and some chairs to relax in. But this was no ordinary swimming pool though. This is a natural hot spring, therapeutically warm, with no chemicals added. The “pool” is emptied via the original lever each night to be refilled again by the hot spring water rising back up. The snack stand serves an awesome mix of organic food. Bison burgers, organic pizza, organic iced green tea, and a pretty good beer selection–Whaaat? In the middle of nowhere Montana! This is awesome! Equally awesome, is that you can take your drink into the pool with you and eat your food from the water with your plate resting near the edge, taking in the scenic countryside views and perhaps even seeing some wildlife.
Sip n Dip Lounge
Inside of a small hotel in Great Falls, Montana, this tropical themed bar is known for the mermaids. Yes, mermaids – swimming in floor to ceiling fish tanks. (Tuesday is the Mer’man’ night!) Featured on the Travel Channel-this place was busy. It’s not every day you sip a drink and see a Mermaid.
Big Sky Country more than proved its name. Montana is the 4th largest state in the U.S. and has so many things to explore—just prep yourself for the lengthy car rides in between the excitement. It’s one place you can see a hike three miles, see a bear, watch a rodeo, drive past a buffalo farm, watch one of the best sunsets of your life, AND have a drink with a mermaid – all in the same day.