Montana Off the Beaten Path

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Going off the beaten path in Montana is a bit of a cliche. Compared to other regions of the U.S., almost everywhere in the Treasure State could be considered out-of-the-way, especially by urban visitors.

While Glacier and Yellowstone have a reputation for summer crowds, there are less-visited destinations far beyond these two gorgeous national parks. As Montana residents, we love exploring off-the-beaten-path. Enjoy our ideas for seeing the real Montana!

Come back often as we continue to publish new Montana off-the-beaten-path travel ideas on this page. Or subscribe to the My Itchy Travel Feet Weekly Broadcast to be the first to know.

Boomer Travel Tip

Looking for the best book on finding Montana roads, trails and recreation areas that are off-the-beaten-path? We rely on Benchmark Montana Road and Recreation Atlas to help us get there.

Our favorite Montana Off the Beaten Path travel ideas

There are so many incredible places to visit in Montana, but exploring those out-of-the-way places is what Montana travel is all about. From ghost towns to western heritage, you’re sure to find a favorite new boomer travel adventure. Take a look at a few of our favorite adventures below. When it’s time to begin planning your trip, head on over to our Montana Travel Planner.

Medicine Lodge Valley on the Big Sheep Backcountry Byway in Montana

Going Off-the-Beaten-Path in Montana on the Big Sheep Back Country Byway

Are you looking for a scenic drive to experience Montana’s empty spaces and big skies? Alan and I recommend adding the Big Sheep Back Country Byway to your Montana road trip itinerary. Located in the far southwestern corner of Montana near the Idaho border, this 50-mile scenic dirt road, administered by the Bureau of Land Management, […]

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Stevensville's Annual Creamery Picnic Parade

Discovering Small Town America at the Creamery Picnic Parade

Slow Travel. Authentic Experiences. In my reading on the Internet, these buzzwords appear in almost every article that dissects boomer travel habits. Where do you find these authentic adventures? Throughout the spring, summer and fall (and sometimes winter), there’s a festival or celebration happening across small town America. How do you find them? Before Alan […]

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Hotel Meade at Bannack Ghost Town in Montana.

Bannack Ghost Town is a Step Back in Time

On a visit to Bannack, Montana, travelers will discover gold mining history in one of the most well-preserved ghost towns in the West. A Montana state park, Bannack offers historic buildings to explore, guided tours, gold panning, and a campground. And there are many special events, including ice skating on the frozen dredge pond in […]

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Donna Hull at Coolidge Ghost Town, Montana

Exploring Coolidge Ghost Town in Southwest Montana

Do you enjoy ghost town hunting during boomer travel adventures? If you said, yes, then plan a road trip to Montana. Like much of the Rocky Mountains, The Treasure State is filled with ghost towns waiting to be explored. So far, Alan and I have visited two Montana ghost towns. We enjoyed the restored ghost […]

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Picnic at Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park

How to Visit Polebridge, Montana: Going off-the-beaten-path in Glacier National Park

Would you like to visit a corner of Glacier National Park that’s not quite so crowded with tourists but has the same beautiful scenery? And wouldn’t it be fun if there was a bakery where locals and tourists compared Montana adventures over bear claws, huckleberry macaroons or gooey cinnamon rolls? You can do that in Polebridge, […]

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Discover off-the-beaten-path Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes: Off-the-beaten-path in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains

If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path fun in Montana, Twin Lakes in the Bitterroot National Forest certainly qualifies. Twin Lakes sits at 7,200 ft. with fishing, canoeing—no motorized boats allowed—and hiking available, making this a fun Bitterroot Valley day trip or overnight camping getaway. Since Alan and I aren’t backpackers, we appreciate the opportunity to experience […]

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Painted Rocks Reservoir near Darby, Montana

Painted Rocks Reservoir

On a drive up the West Fork of the Bitterroot River in our Montana backyard, Alan and I arrived for a first visit to Painted Rocks Reservoir State Park at just the right time. It was about 10:00 a.m., not a cloud in the sky and the reflections in the water took our breath away. […]

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Hiking on the Kottenai Creek Trail in Montana

Ten Montana summer road trips without the crowds

Visit Montana originally sponsored this look at Montana summer road trips that take you off-the-beaten-path. As Alan and I continue to explore the Treasure State, I’ll be adding more Montana summer vacation ideas for getting you out on the road. Are you thinking about a summer trip to Montana? It’s the perfect season to experience […]

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Visit Little Bighorn on a Montana Road Trip

If you’re roadtripping in Montana, visit Little Bighorn on an exploration of Big Sky Country. It’s a somber lesson on what happens when two cultures collide. Teresa Otto shares her experience visiting Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. You’ll also appreciate her tips on how to get there. How to visit Little Bighorn on a road […]

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Stevensville Boy Scouts

Small town living at the Western Heritage Days Parade

Do you  include small town festivals and parades on your boomer travel itinerary? With the 4th of July just around the corner, they’re sure on my mind. And I’m lucky because in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana (where Alan and I now live fulltime), there’s practically a parade or community event every weekend. I thought […]

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Painted Rocks Montana

Off-the-Beaten-Path Western Montana Lakes for Boomer Travel Fun

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks originally sponsored this look at Montana waterways and how you can protect them. When I say “Western Montana,” what comes to mind? Do you picture the rugged mountains of the Northern Rockies or the glaciated peaks of Glacier National Park? The sight of my beloved Bitterroot Mountains certainly causes my […]

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Image of mountain lodge

Soaking in Luxury at Two Hot Springs Resorts in Montana

If you really want to relax surrounded by some stunningly breathtaking nature, exploring a few hot springs resorts in Montana is the way to go. We absolutely love the feeling of taking a long weekend to escape to a beautiful resort for some much-needed R&R&R (Rest, Recuperation and Romance). Thankfully these days, there are an […]

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