11 Top-Rated and Must-Visit Mountains of Montana (2023)
The word “MONTANA” is derived from the Latin word ‘montaña’ which means Mountains or especially “Mountainous country”. Hence, needless to say, Montana is truly a state with mountains, pointy peaks, and rolling hills all around. This hilly gateway of North America is home to at least 2991 named mountains and several unknown and unnamed. Each mountain is a treasure of Montana, making up for both its environment and tourism. They preserve large and pristine forestlands, countless wilderness and borders of both Montana and Canada.
Montana has endless nicknames that best define it as “Big Sky Country” and “Land of the Shining Mountains”. Regardless of the season and weather, visitors touch Montana’s land simply to explore its high and expansive mountains. They are a hiker’s paradise, a photographer’s dream, and a wanderer’s world.
11 Top-Rated and Must-Visit Mountains of Montana
Without dragging it further with words, let’s get straight into the Most Beautiful and Scenic Mountain in Montana. Have a look:
1. The Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains aren’t just one but a range of hundred rolling hills in central Montana. Locals know it as the Rockies, and the nation knows it as the largest mountain system in North America. The Rocky Mountains host over 4 million visitors every year that come here to observe towering landscapes and gorgeous scenery. This range’s rugged and rustic charm opens up majestic beauty and adventure in every direction. Here, one can go wander lusting, adventuring, skiing, and simply exploring something new at every step. They also host North America’s one of highest National Parks (elevations from 7,860 feet to 14,259 feet), the doorsteps of Glacier National Park, several tourist attractions, and the country’s top wildlife-watching destinations. The Rocky Mountains make up for an ultimate year-round tourism destination, from shoring lakes to rivers, waterfalls, and snow-peaked hills.
2. Divide Mountain
Located in the Lewis Range, Glacier National Park, Divide Mountain is scenic in real terms. Sitting on the northeast border of the park, Divide Mountain is a hiker’s paradise, especially for beginners. Hiking and walking it around is considered easy though a little strenuous. However, once you reach its summit, the unparalleled views of the Yellow Mountain, St Mary and peaks of the Rockies will blow your mind. Unlike various Montana Mountains, the Divide Mountain doesn’t have sky-touching trees, making it easier to grab the views around. However, the absence of forest and wilderness doesn’t deprive it of having its vistas of blooming flowers. During the wildflower season, the beautiful colours here transform the grasslands into heaven. The best time to be here is from April to mid of June.
3. Rising Wolf Mountain
Rising Wolf Mountain is another scenic location in the Lewis Range of Glacier National Park. It is one of the two mountains that you visualise first upon entering the Two Medicine Area. Rising Wolf Mountain rise with a total elevation of 9,518 feet, and hiking here is ideal for expert hikers and mountain climbers only. The entire hike to the summit is just 6.2 miles (one way), but as it gains the 4,500 feet elevation, the trail starts becoming challenging. Though the hike to its summit is challenging, the view of valleys and hanging lakes from above are truly rewarding. Weather on and around the summit area usually remains cold throughout the year, which turns testing during winters. Especially with winds, it drops about -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Summiting and hiking Rising Hiking Wolf Mountain isn’t ideal for beginners, and only the Glacier National Park peak hikers should have it on their list.
4. Mount Grinnell
Mount Grinnell is undoubtedly the most beautiful and scenic mountain in Montana. The views from its summit are no less than natural heaven with snowcapped peaks on sides and lakes underneath. Several trails lead to the summit, of which the most popular one is the Granite Park Chalet Trail (southwest). You can grab astounding views of Livingston, and Lewis ranges Lake McDonald Area from the west of the trail. Though the trail is nearly 10 miles but due to 4,550 feet elevation gain from the trailhead and several ups and downs, the round trip sums up for nearly 13 miles. However, the views and vistas of Chief Mountain are worth all efforts. Whenever you choose to summit Mount Grinnell, stay extra cautious of wildlife, including mountain lions, grizzly bears, and black bears. They may hide above and behind the tree. Taking a bear spray along and joining a hiker’s group is preferable.
5. The Beartooth Mountains
The Beartooth Mountains in Montana are a huge chunk of wilderness with over 41 peaks calling it home. It is a prominent part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and houses the popular Granite Peak. In Montana it encompasses the south-central part of the state, whereas it covers the northwest part of Wyoming. The Beartooth Mountains also form a huge section of 944000 acres of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, nearly 65% of the wildernesses. One can hike at Beartooth, seek glaciers, or enjoy over 300 lakes. Besides that, it’s prominent though the overlooked feature is ten sub-alpine tundra plateaus, something worth efforting for. Another incredible feature is the Beartooth Highway which offers one of the most stunning mountain roads in North America. If you are a good mountain driver, then use this route, gain an elevation of 10,947 feet and enjoy the unparalleled view of Shoshone National Forest.
6. The Crazy Mountains
The Crazy Mountains in Montana are also known as the Crazy Women Mountains. They derive this unusual name from a woman who went insane and lived here. They are a sub-range of Rockies and lies somewhere between Yellowstone and Mussel shell rivers. Crazies are surrounded by private land from the outside, and inside, it is home to 30 accessible peaks. The tallest of them is the Crazy peak, which elevates 11,000 feet. The main characteristics of this area are the jagged peaks resulting from water erosion, ice, and wind. Beyond that, it is also home to the Grasshopper Glacier, a remnant from the ice age. The crazy Mountains are also home to Shields River, Sweet Grass Creek, South Fork Musselshell River, 40 shimmering lakes, plenty of mountain goats, and astounding vistas.
7. Sinopah Mountain
A crown jewel of the Two Medicine area, the Sinopah Mountain is everyone’s favourite in Montana. As it rises from the southwestern pointing tip of Two Medicine Lake, its striking appearance takes ones’ heart away. Its lake facing profile is visible from far, and regardless you are on the base or summit, you can’t resist bringing out your camera and capturing it. Sinopah Mountain is extremely popular amongst hikers (both beginners and seasoned ones). There are several easily accessible trails leading towards the summit. To cut them short, you can also cross the lake via ferry and enjoy the lake ride alongside. If you crave nothing more than views, consider planning your hike to Sinopah on a bright sunny day.
Other Popular Mountains in Montana:
8. Holland Peak (Its west face is known for the vertical rise above the lovely Rumble Creek Lakes).
9. Triple Divide Peak (Hiking here is only meant for experts though one can choose driving through the Continental Divide running through).
10. Flinsch Peak (Hiking here is marked as easy with outstanding views all around).
11. Stanton Mountain (It is another hiker’s paradise with easy trails all around. While most of Montana receives summers, June is still snowy and chilling).