Often called the 'Big Sky Country', Montana is the 4th largest state in the nation in total land area, and is composed of mostly large rolling prairie land in the east and jagged Rocky Mountain peaks in the western part of the state. The Missouri River is Montana's most important river, which creates the region in central Montana known as the Missouri Breaks. Montana consists of other major rivers including the Flathead river and the Yellowstone river; which is the longest undammed river in the United States.
Glacier National Park in the north section of the state is one of the most striking National Parks in the world. In the southern part of the state, you will find Yellowstone Park, the nations first national park. Although the majority of Yellowstone lies in Wyoming, Montana is host to two entrances to the park. Through the discovery of gold and copper and fur trapping, the U.S. Government established the Territory of Montana on May 26th, 1864.
Eastern Montana was inconically the scene of the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, where General George Armstrong Custer made his "last stand" against an angry, large force of Native American tribes led by Crazy Horse. 13 years later, Montana became the 41st state to be admitted to the Union.
"Growing up in Montana, I never took for granted the spectacular wide open spaces that make our state one of the last truly unspoiled places on Earth. Montana is still a place where you can walk for miles and see more elk, bear, and trout than people. Our worldclass rivers, majestic mountains, and rolling plains are where I hunt, fish and hike with my family. We hope your travels will give you the same special memories we have from growing up here. On behalf of the people Montana, we invite you to join us in exploring the "Last Best Place." ― Steve Bullock; Govenor of Montana
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MONTANA?
Despite its large geographic size, Montana just over one million people in the state, making it 44th in population out of all the states. The largest city in Montana is Billings, a major transport, business and tourist hub. The capital is Helena, which is home to the iconic domed capital building. Other major cities include Butte, an agricultural and mining core, Missoula, Missoula, the home of the University of Montana & cultural hot spot, and Bozeman a destination resort town on the edge of the Rocky Mountains.
Agriculture is the most important economic sector, with cattle, wheat and barley leading the way. Mining and lumber products are also important within the state. A growing and traditionally important economic sector is tourism, with largely unspoiled mountain ranges, excellent fishing and hunting, and large National Parks.
Montana has always been considered a conservative state, though most city centers tend to be more liberal and state politics has recently seen some major Democratic victories. Montana's voice on the national scene is still firmly Republican.
GDP Per Capita
Montana is a leading state in gold, copper, lead, zinc, platinum, and palladium mining, and has the largest coal reserves in the country. Because of the state's great abundance of minerals, especially gold and silver, it is known as the "Treasure State" and the "Bonanza State." When gold was discovered in Montana in 1862, many prospectors rushed to the region. Mining camps were established very quickly.
Prospectors weren't the only people who came to the area; outlaws also went there. Groups of citizens called vigilantes acted as the law in these lawless communities and hanged many of the outlaws, who had been terrorizing the miners. Last Chance Gulch, now Helena, was one of the mining towns established. Last Chance Gulch is now the name of the main street in Helena, Montana's capital.
When moving to Montana, you’ll find the east and the west sides of the state have totally different climates, due to the Continental Divide. It effectively locks more temperate weather in the west, while the east experiences a semi-arid continental climate with less precipitation. The northeast has the harshest winters in Montana, with severe cold, snow and ice. In the west, you’ll find milder winters, less wind and cooler summers. Be prepared to encounter fog in the west during the wintertime.
The annual average precipitation is 15 inches and the entire state gets snow, particularly at higher elevations, throughout the entire year except July and August. Average temperatures range from 28 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 84.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, but be prepared for extreme temperature swings at higher elevations.
Allergy sufferers moving to MT need to take precautions during the spring and summer, especially in the western part of the state where western water hemlock and western wheatgrass bloom. Check the pollen count before moving to Montana.