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The "Big Sky Country" of Montana welcomes travelers with open arms, splendid landscapes, and the mountain vistas that the Blackfeet Indians called "the backbone of the world".
The Montana Scenic Loop winds through nearly 400 miles of wilderness, rustic mountain communities, and some of America's richest national parkland. Heading just east from Missoula, not far from the border with Idaho, the Loop turns north on Hwy 83 and on to the quaint villages of Seeley Lake and Condon. As you wind northward, be sure to check out Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the West. Visitors come in droves to try out the trout fishing and ogle the magnificent stands of mature ponderosa pine trees. Wild Horse Island State Park sits in Flathead's southwestern arm and is home to bighorn sheep, bald eagles, and rarely seen wild horses.
Further north lies one of America's greatest natural treasures, Glacier National Park. With 50 glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, and meadows, this is the best places to experience one of America’s most beautiful landscapes just as it’s existed for thousands of years. One of the few roads in the park, Going-To-The-Sun Road, bisects the park in half and the views it affords are among the best in the world. Shutterbugs, be warned: This is a photographer's paradise.
The Blackfeet Indian Reservation lies just to the east of Glacier National Park on the Montana Scenic Loop, offering visitors a chance to explore the heritage of what once were the most dominant native people in the western plains region. Both the Museum of the Plains Indian, near I-89 in Browning, and the half- or full-day Blackfeet Historic Site Tours are wonderful resources in which to introduce the curious to the rich culture of the Plains Indian.
Head south on the I-89 and I-287 sections of The Loop, and then west on Hwy 200. As you do, you'll pass through small villages and towns like Bynum, Augusta, and Lincoln. Each offers shopping, dining, and access to the region's wilderness areas. Whatever these little towns lack in size, they more than make up for in charm and hospitality.