56 Fun & Interesting Facts About Montana

Are you ready to journey into a land of towering mountains, wide-open skies, and amazing adventures? Today, we’re going to discover the wonderful state of Montana. It’s a place that might make you think of cowboys, wildlife, and the great outdoors. So, let’s lace up our hiking boots and explore some cool facts about Montana!

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Did you know that Montana is called “Big Sky Country”? That’s because the sky seems to stretch on forever over its beautiful landscapes. From rolling plains to majestic mountains, Montana’s scenery is breathtaking. And with so much open space, you can see the sky like nowhere else, especially at night when the stars light up everything above you.

Montana is also home to one of the most famous national parks in the United States, Glacier National Park. This park is filled with stunning glaciers, crystal-clear lakes, and lots of wildlife. Imagine hiking through trails with views of snow-capped mountains and spotting animals like bears, moose, and eagles along the way!

And here’s a fun fact about Montana: it has more dinosaur fossils than any other state! It’s a treasure trove for paleontologists (those are scientists who study dinosaur bones). Places like the Museum of the Rockies are packed with dinosaur discoveries, including some of the most famous T-Rex fossils ever found.

Are you excited to learn more facts about Montana? From its endless skies to its ancient dinosaur bones, Montana is full of surprises and wonders waiting to be explored. Let’s keep our adventure going and uncover all the amazing things that make Montana a truly special place!

Be sure to discover even more interesting facts with our Facts about Nevada and Facts about Nebraska.

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Facts about Montana

  1. Montana covers a total area of 147,046 mi² (380,847 km²), making it the 4th largest state of the U.S., between California and New Mexico in terms of size.
  2. The motto of Montana is “Oro y plata” and this means “gold and silver” in Spanish. This motto is taken from the gold and silver deposits in the state. Gold was first discovered in Montana in 1852.
  3. Montana was the 41st state admitted to the union on November 8, 1889. Through the years, the state earned nicknames like ‘Big Sky Country,’ ‘The Last Best Place,’ and ‘The Treasure State.’
  4. Montana earned its star in 1889. However, it was a U.S. territory long before that. 
  5. The Continental Divide is one of the most well-known mountain ranges in the nation. The range stretches from Alaska down to South America.
  6. Montana isn’t the coldest or the hottest state in the United States. The coldest temperature is generally around 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and the warmest is almost 84.5 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  7. Yellowstone National Park was the world’s first national park in Montana. Yellowstone National Park was established on March 1, 1872, by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, and is spread across almost 9,000 square kilometers. 
  8. Glaciers carved Flathead Lake, located in Montana between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean, roughly 10,000 years ago. This huge body of water spans 28 miles and almost 200 square miles; its calm waters sparkle with unrivaled beauty.
  9. Montana’s traditional cuisine reflects its cultural heritage, blending Native American, Western, and rustic flavors. This includes locally harvested ingredients like bison, huckleberries, chokecherries, and trout—all staples of the region. Bison is particularly noteworthy as it has been used in various preparations. 
  10. Montana was largely unexplored before the Lewis and Clarke Expedition.
  11. Montana is similar in size to Uzbekistan, or twice as large as Italy. Montana is the 7th least populous state, with 1.14 million inhabitants.
  12. About 48 percent of Montana residents live in rural areas, compared to a national average of 25 percent. Around 80 percent of Montana communities have populations of 3,000 or fewer.
  13. Butte, Montana is called the “richest hill on planet Earth”. This is because of the rich mining history of this city.
  14. Montana is the 4th largest U.S. state in terms of area. The places before it are Alaska, Texas, and California.
  15. Montana was rich with precious minerals that were both literal and figurative treasures.
  16. In the lower 48 United States, Montana has the only grizzly bear population.
  17. Montana has many unofficial nicknames, including “The Last Best Place”. The origin of this nickname is pretty much unknown. 
  18. Montana’s connection to outdoor recreation is also strong due to its stunning natural spaces. 
  19. The first permanent European settlement in Montana was a Jesuit Mission.
  20.  Twenty-three of Montana’s 56 counties have two people or fewer per square mile, earning them the traditional designation “frontier counties.”
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  1. Montana is the only state that is exactly one time zone wide. The state’s eastern border marks the line of Central Time and the western boundary marks Pacific Time. Montana is entirely within the Mountain Time Zone.
  2. Billings is the largest city in Montana. This city is the only one in the state to have more than 100,000 population. On the contrary, the state capital Helena only has around 75,000.
  3. Montana is full of mountains. However, one of them still rises higher than the others. The highest peak in Montana is Granite Peak. It reaches an impressive 12,807 feet above sea level and is known as the highest natural peak in Montana.
  4. The Roe River has a length of just 201 feet. It flows between Giant Springs and the Missouri River near Great Falls city of Cascade County in Montana. 
  5.  Montana’s capital is Helena, which has been the capital of the state territory since 1875 and of the state itself since 1889. With 34,000 people, it is the fifth smallest state capital after the capitals of Vermont, South Dakota, Maine, and Kentucky.
  6. Montana is one of twelve states with a single area code for telephones. 406 covers the entire state.
  7. Montana has two main geographic areas. Eastern Montana consists of the Great Plains, while western Montana has the Rocky Mountain Region.
  8. The Continental Divide is one of the most famous mountain ranges in the country. The range stretches from Alaska all the way down to South America.
  9. With 10 thousand acres of land, Beaver Creek Park has been open to the public since 1916. Its huge size makes it the largest county park in the country.
  10. Montana is home to the longest undammed river in the U.S., the Yellowstone River. It has a length of 1,114 kilometers and starts from the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and flows towards Montana.
  11. Montana has more cows than people. There are approximately 1 million people in the state but over 2.6 million cows. 
  12. The largest snowflake ever recorded landed in Montana, it has been around half an inch (1.25 cm) wide, tops!
  13. Approximately 8% of people in Montana are Native American, the 5th highest of any state. They include the Salish, Spokane, Crow, Piegan, Northern Cheyenne, Assiniboine, Flathead, Grosventres, Blackfeet, Chippewa-Cree, Kalispel, Little Shell Band of Chippewa, and Kootenai tribes.
  14. California is the only state that has more hiking trails than Montana’s 15,000 miles of trails.
  15. Montana’s Great Plains has mostly a semiarid climate. The area experiences cold winters and hot summers, while snowfall is generally light. However, the frost lasts for over 200 days in a year.
  16. Montana is known for having incredibly varied landscapes. You can find plains, mountains, and forests within its borders.
  17. Granite Peak is on top of the state. Reaching an impressive 12,807 feet above sea level, it’s Montana’s highest natural peak. Its height also makes it one of the most difficult mountains in the U.S. to climb.
  18. Beaver Creek Park is 10 thousand acres of land that has been open to the public since 1916. Its size makes it arguably the largest county park in the country.
  19. Triple Divide Peak rises over 8,000 feet above sea level, but that’s not why it’s impressive. It’s one of the only mountains of its kind.
  20. The Missouri River is famous as one of the longest rivers in the world. This river mainly starts its path in Montana’s Browers Spring and then eventually meets with the Mississippi and finally ends in the Gulf of Mexico.
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  1. The Capital of Montana, Helena, the sixth-largest city of Montana, has been declared as the state’s capital since 1875. It has a small population of 33,120 residents.
  2. Wildlife extends beyond cows, with the state boasting 8,000 moose and the largest elk herd in America. Montana’s amazing wildlife and varied ecosystems provide many chances for natural discovery.
  3. Montana is home to the only remaining evidence of Lewis and Clarke’s trail.
  4. Montana is the 41st state to be formed in the U.S. preceded by South Dakota and succeeded by Washington. It was incorporated into the union on November 8, 1889.
  5. The name Montana derives from the Spanish word “montaña, ” meaning mountainous region or mountain.
  6. Montana has a very low population density. Of the state’s 56 counties, 46 counties have average populations of just 6 people or less per square mile. This is why these counties are considered “frontier counties”.
  7. Archeologists claim that the first settlers in Montana were the Paleo-Indians. The Native American tribes were already dwelling all over the state when the Europeans arrived in the 1700s.
  8. Montana has a surface area of 147 thousand square miles, making it the fourth largest state by surface area. The state is so large that multiple other states could easily fit inside it.
  9. The National Bison Range is seen in the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana and covers about 19 thousand acres of land. In the lower 48, bison are the largest mammals, and much of their natural habitat has also been developed there.
  10. Montana is often called the “Treasure State” because of its rich natural resources, like gold, silver, and copper. It also has many gemstones like jasper, topaz, garnet, wonderstone, rhodonite, and tourmaline.
  11. Four of Montana’s 56 counties have fewer than 1,000 residents. The least populous is Petroleum County, with just 496 residents, making it the eighth-least populous county in the U.S. The population density is 0.3 inhabitants per square mile.
  12. The duck-billed dinosaur Maiasaura peeblesorum is the state dinosaur and fossil and has been since 1985. This is, in part, due to the large number of fossils that have been found throughout the territory.
  13. Montana has a large international border with Canada. It is the only state in the U.S. to share a land border with three Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan).
  14. Montana has huge deposits of natural and mineral resources. Some of these resources are zinc, copper, silver, lead, oil, manganese, gold, timber, and zinc.
  15. In Montana history, the French fur traders were the first European venturers in the state back in the 1700s. Back then, the traders set up posts where they bartered beaver furs with the Native Americans.
  16. The famous Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is unique and also the first park of its kind. This famous park merges Glacier Park in Montana and the Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada.

Do you have even more interesting facts about Montana? Share them with us in the comments! 

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