Adequate trip planning and preparation helps travelers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably, while simultaneously minimizing negative impacts to the land. Poor planning often results in a miserable experience and unintended damage to a special place.

Western Montana’s Outdoor Spaces, Towns and Tribal Lands

  • If you’re thinking about exploring Western Montana, first check the status of the places in consideration. Make sure a place is open. Know when it closes. If it’s crowded, have a backup plan. Remember, Western Montana sees a lot of visitors—especially around Glacier National Park. Before you book your trip, think about visiting in the spring, fall or winter. Glacier National Park is open year-round and offers adventures no matter the season.
  • Staffing shortages are affecting businesses across the country. Some areas and attractions may be closed or have reduced hours. Call ahead to businesses you plan to patronize. Lodging, stores, restaurants and breweries, museums, art galleries and even outdoor areas may have adjusted operating times and procedures or may have reduced capacity.
  • Secure all reservations in advance—lodging, campsites, rental cars, tours, tickets, etc.

Venturing Out

  • Check travel updates and the weather forecast before you head out. Weather can change very quickly, especially in higher altitudes.
  • Know what to wear and pack. Wear activity-appropriate clothing and footwear. Layers are always a good idea, and bring all the necessary gear and essentials.  
  • Know your driving, hiking and biking routes and let friends and family know where you’ll be.
  • Be prepared for road delays and closures—be patient, and also have a backup plan.
  • Be prepared for spotty cell phone service or even no service in some areas.
  • Keep an eye on your gas tank and know where the nearest gas station is.

June 10, 2021