Montana is a western state known for wide-open spaces, grassy plains, and towering mountains. It’s the fourth largest state in the nation but has only the 44th largest population.
Still, it’s a popular spot for lovers of the great outdoors. It offers winter sports, water sports, hiking, biking, and more. It’s also a great location to take scenic drives, bird watch, and explore nature.
- Capital: Helena
- Population: 1 million
- Nickname: Big Sky Country, The Treasure State
- Key Cities: Billings, Helena, Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman
- Postal Abbreviation: MT
- Major Industries: Agriculture, tourism, timber, mining
- How did Montana get its name: Montana’s name comes from the Spanish word “Montaña” and the Latin word “Montana,” which means “mountain” or “mountainous country.” The state was given its name by Spanish explorers.
- Date admitted to the Union: Friday, November 8, 1889
- Size: 147,040 sq. miles
- Lowest point: Kootenai River at 1,800 feet
- Highest point: Granite Peak at 12,799 feet
- Counties: 56
- Famous locations: Glacier National Park, Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument, Big Sky Resort, Flathead Lake, Rocky Mountains
- Phil Jackson- basketball player/coach
- Dana Carvey- comedian
- Evil Knievel- daredevil motorcyclist
- Pat Donovan- football player
- Gary Cooper- actor
- Dorothy Baker- author
- There are more cows than people in Montana. While the human population is around 1 million, the cow population is about 2.6 million. It’s also home to over 8,000 moose and has the largest migratory elk herd in the United States.
- Montana’s Museum of the Rockies holds one of the largest dinosaur fossil collections in the world. It also contains more T-Rex specimen (thirteen) than anywhere else in the world.
- Montana is big enough to hold Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington D.C. within its borders.
- 46 of Montana’s 56 counties are considered “frontier counties,” averaging populations of 6 people or less per square mile.
- There are still eight federally recognized Native American tribes living in Montana today, including the Sioux, the Ojibwe, and the Shoshone.
- Montana’s most popular tourist attraction is Glacier National Park. It connects to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and forms the world’s first International Peace Park. The park contains the Going to the Sun Road, which is considered one of the most scenic drives in the country. It also holds 250 lakes within its boundaries.