11 Fantastic Hidden Gems In Montana That You Have Probably Never Heard Of (2022)
United States’ fourth-biggest state and one of the gorgeous ones as well, Montana, is widely known. The tourism scenes here are so popular that most of the west knows about it. But still, there are places that not even all the Montana locals have explored. It comes as no surprise that the “Treasure State” of Montana is full of hidden gems in its wealth (quite literally). These gems aren’t hidden back behind a wall, but relatively a few people know about it, and fewer take the chance to visit them.
From scenic vistas to geographical phenomena, wildlife encounters, and super exciting adventure, Montana has concealed a variety of off-beat paths and locations. These aren’t just another overlooked spot but a must-see destination on every wanderlust’s bucket list. And to find them, all you need to do is, follow the traveling itinerary of Montana Enthusiasts (literally). Here is all that we found, dug, and sneaked that can be classified as Montana’s hidden gems and secretive attractions.
11 Fantastic Hidden Gems In Montana That You Have Probably Never Heard Of
Have a look:
1. Visit the City of Glendive.
You may be wondering how a designated city comes under the category of hidden gems. It is because when most of the tourists runs towards western Montana, travelers often overlook this part of eastern Montana. Glendive is quite popular in the palaeontology world, thanks to the multiple dinosaur bones and remains found here. Several of these fossils are preserved and presented in Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum. What interests’ people the most here is the Baisch’s Dinosaur Digs, a majestic land where one can dig, find, and take real fossils back home. Or the Makoshika State Park, which though it is often visited by, still looks like an otherworldly landscape or off-beaten path.
2. Havre Beneath the Streets
Havre Beneath the Streets isn’t dedicatedly a hidden gem, but a place visitor often forgets to visit. Located in north-central Montana, it basically looks like an ordinary small town but in tunnels and basements underneath the street. Upon your visit here, you can observe a butcher’s shop, tavern, brothel, dentist place, and several more things. Visiting here is only possible via appointments and tours. These tours operate from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm during summers from Monday through Sunday. Whereas during winter, the timing goes 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. For more details, you can first visit the Havre Chamber of Commerce, 518 1st Street.
3. Jim’s Horn House
Jim’s Horn House is nothing else but actually an impressive Horn House/ Museum. It is a personal collection of Jim Phillips, who started collecting horns at the age of 10 years. Today Jim is over 60 years, and his collection has close to 16,000 antlers. This huge collection is exhibited inside in one well-lit shed lining the 16-foot walls from top to bottom. The density is so high that one may fail to seek the wall before. Of his huge collection, Jim has already sold a lot of horns (occasionally) for paying his daughter’s (three) college fees.
Jim Phillips is also known as the Antler Man, and his collection in Three Folks is free and open to the public. However, because it is a private space and Jim opens it occasionally, ask him before you go. Jim himself confirms visit for individuals and then share the exact address. Respecting the owner’s privacy do not visit unannounced.
4. Sand Creek Clydesdales Ranch
The Sand Creek Clydesdales Ranch is a hidden gem in the city of Jordan in Montana. It is located 7 miles east of Jordan on Highway 200 and then 3 miles south of the highway. It is basically a family-owned and operated ranch where one can visit and stay for a few days. The old west atmosphere here is extremely exciting and pleasing. Throughout the day, it is all tranquil yet fun here. Upon your stay here, you can volunteer to work on the ranch or accompany the family for their daily tasks. There are wooden cabins with well-equipped kitchens, plenty of privacy, and freedom of self-catering for your stay. Or, if you are here in a leisurely mood, either spot the native wildlife around or explore the beautiful terrain while enjoying horse-riding.
5. Bleu Horses
Bleu Horses are 39 metal horses grazing a ridge that overlooks a rural stretch of Highway 287 in Three Forks. Even though it is a prominent attraction, it still hasn’t got its fair share of recognition. All the 39 horse sculptures are of various sizes, with the tallest one reaching 8 feet. As they are positioned grazing the ridge from far away, they look like a herd of blue horses. Though upon going close, one can observe the false interpretation of the metal horses. What makes viewers fail to believe their eyes are the realistically moving tails. But what actually makes this possible is that these tails are made up of fine ropes that move easily with the breeze. For viewing the horse from a distance, pull your car to the shoulder of Highway 287 right at the bottom of the hill.
6. The Berkeley Pit
The Berkeley Pit is a former copper mine (open-pit) and a poisonous located in Butte. This deadly lake isn’t basically a tourist attraction but home to fungal and bacteria species. The pit is full of billions of gallons of acidic water, unique microscopic lifeforms, heavy metal, and what not. It is so toxic that noisemakers are installed to keep animals and birds away from the water. For humans, there is a viewing platform with several information plaques. It isn’t a very obvious place to visit, but you should not miss a trip here if you value mining. The first sight may frighten you, but it is no less than observing an interesting museum or tourist attraction. When in Butte, do not miss this hidden gem in Montana.
7. Yaak Valley
Yaak Valley is a part of Kootenai National Forest, though less-visited and often overlooked. It is in the north-western corner of Montana and is also known as Montana’s rainforest. The climate is different from any region of Montana, which allows different Flora and Fauna to thrive here. Upon your visit here, facilities like dial-up and cell service will become non-existence, but lush green forests, tranquil rivers, and beauty will come into the picture. This most biologically diverse landscape in Montana is permanently protected, and thus no wild and plant life goes extinct here. Some of the popular activities here include fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and biking.
8. Koocanusa Sand Dunes
Koocanusa Sand Dunes isn’t actually hidden but less-hear off. These dunes and trails system is located between Lake Koocanusa and Sophie Lake south of the Canadian border. Most of the sand dunes and play pits here are only accessible when water levels are low. From May through late June, this region turns into a rider’s paradise. Sand dunes here range from 3 to 40 feet tall, while the trails run 20 miles long into the woods and reservoir. Even the original City of Rexford stays underwater, and only when the water level comes down can one see old concrete buildings and structures.
Other Less Explored Paths And Secret Attractions To Visit In Montana
9. The Roe River (It is the smallest river in the world and measures an average of 201 feet in length. As Roe River flows parallel to the mighty Missouri River, it is often overlooked).
10. The Boiling River (A prominent feature of the Yellowstone National Forest, the Boiling River is a must-visit. However, visitors often overlook and fail to explore this site due to several other elements. You can visit here to soak into the hot water. Remember soaking into Boiling River is restricted to designated space as at some places the water is boiling hot and unsafe to even touch).
11. The Ptarmigan Tunnel (It is located in the Glacier National Park, but due to its other features, the tunnel is often overlooked. Originally built for horses, these 250 feet long tunnel and its trail are only recommended for experienced hikers. The best time to explore this place is during summers.)