State Parks to rival the National Parks

Southwest Montana’s equidistant proximity to both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks gives visitors an opportunity to experience some of North America’s most famed natural vistas, from the heat of Old Faithful to some of the last remaining glaciers in the lower 48.  Moreover, for those seeking an excursion away from the throngs of summer traffic, Southwest Montana has several state parks that rival our National Parks in scenery and historic significance.

Conveniently located near I-90 and near Three Forks, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park offers a vista of subterranean Montana.  The caverns rank among the most impressive and largest limestone caverns in the Northwest.  Lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns and helictites, the lighted tour is naturally air conditioned to beat the summer heat.  Additionally, 9 miles of hiking trails are included in the park.  The caverns also open every December for special candlelight tours.

If history and stories of the Wild West are more intriguing to your family, then a trip to Elkhorn State Park must be on your list.  Located just south of Boulder, Elkhorn is a ghost town vacated after the mining bust.  The Fraternity Hall and Gillian Hall are just a few eerie historic buildings still left on the site.  Miles of country road lead to Elkhorn with hiking and biking opportunities along the way…and don’t forget to soak at nearby Norris Hot Springs after your journey back in time.


Southwest Montana, formerly known as Gold West Country, is a large swath of mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and hearty communities smack dab in between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.  Southwest Montana offers a sampling of all of Montana’s lightly-tread amenities, including mega-mountains, lunker trout, budding melting pots for art and culture in Butte and Helena, remote yet luxurious escapes, and a slice of the Wild West through the numerous and well-preserved ghost towns in its mineral-rich hills.


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