Meet Montana’s 7 Neighboring States

Are you ready to embark on a journey through the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cities of Montana? Well, get ready to uncover the hidden gems of Big Sky Country as we explore its neighboring states.

You might be wondering why you should even care about Montana’s neighboring states.

By venturing beyond the state’s borders, you’ll unlock a world of adventure and exploration that will leave you breathless.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast looking to explore Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, or a history buff fascinated by iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore or Devils Tower, Montana’s neighboring states have it all.

I’ve spent years studying and researching these states, uncovering their hidden treasures and connecting the dots between them.

So buckle up, fellow explorer, because I’m about to take you on a wild ride through the enchanting landscapes, vibrant cities, and historic towns that make up Montana’s neighboring states.

Montana’s Neighboring States

1. Washington

Stunning View of Rainer National Park in Washington

As I journey westward from the vast expanse of Montana, I find myself in the enchanting state of Washington.

Nestled in the upper left corner of the United States, this neighboring state holds an air of mystery and natural beauty.

As Montana’s westward neighbor, this land is adorned with notable features and landmarks.

To the west of Washington flows the mighty Pacific Ocean, offering serene coastal landscapes and breathtaking sunsets.

To its south lies the charismatic state of Oregon, while to the east, the state is bordered by Idaho.

Washington shares its northern border with the Canadian province of British Columbia, adding a touch of international allure.

Home to 7,785,786 adventurous souls according to the 2022 U.S. Census, the state encompasses a vast land area of 66,455.12 square miles.

Places to visit in Washington:

  1. Mount Rainier National Park – Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning five major rivers.
  2. Olympic National Park – Encompassing nearly 1 million acres, the park protects a vast wilderness. The place boasts glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rainforests, and over 70 miles of wild coastline.
  3. Spokane – The city of Spokane is the 2nd-largest city in Washington state. It serves as the business, transportation, medical, industrial, and cultural hub of the region, the inland Northwest.

Washington, a state that beckons with picturesque views, awaits those seeking to escape with its captivating embrace.

2. Oregon

Night View of Portland Oregon with Mt. Hood

Nestled snugly to the west of Montana, Oregon boasts a charm unlike any other.

To the north of Oregon lies the charismatic state of Washington, while its eastern border is delineated by the majestic Snake River, which meanders through much of the area alongside Idaho.

As I journey further south, I encounter the delightful states of California and Nevada, while on the western side, the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean beckons.

With a population of 4,240,137 according to the 2022 U.S. Census, Oregon sprawls across a land area of 95,995.98 square miles, providing ample opportunity for exploration.

Places to visit in Oregon:

  1. Crater Lake National Park – This place is known for its namesake Crater Lake, formed by the now-collapsed volcano, Mount Mazama. 
  2. Cannon Beach – Where you can find sandy shores and the monumental beauty of Haystack Rock.
  3. Mount Hood – The highest point and mountain peak in the state of Oregon and the 2nd most climbed mountain in the world (2nd only to Japan’s holy Mount Fujiyama).

As I delve deeper into its splendor, the vibrant cities and charming towns of Oregon reveal themselves, each with its own distinctive character and allure.

3. Idaho

View of Sun Valley Idaho

Stretching along the entirety of Montana’s southwest border, Idaho seems to dance gracefully with its neighboring state, as if following the rhythm of the majestic continental divide.

To the north, Idaho shares a small portion of the Canada-United States border with the province of British Columbia, adding a touch of international allure to its already intriguing landscape.

On its eastern flank, Idaho finds itself embraced by the states of Montana and Wyoming, while to the south, it borders the captivating realms of Nevada and Utah. 

On the western side, it is greeted with the warm embrace of Washington and Oregon.

As I explore the boundaries between Montana and Idaho, I discover that they are adorned with meandering rivers that elegantly cross their paths.

The Bitterroot River flows with a gentle serenade, while the Red Rock River adds its own poetic touch to the ever-changing landscape.

With a population of 1,939,033 as of the 2022 U.S. Census, Idaho boasts a vast land span of 82,645.14 square miles, providing ample space for adventure and discovery.

Places to visit in Idaho:

  1. Sun Valley – Sun Valley is a resort town in Idaho known for its ski areas at Bald Mountain and nearby Dollar Mountain, the latter with gentler slopes. In summer, the resort has miles of mountain trails, equestrian routes, and wildflower-filled meadows.
  2. Coeur d’Alene – Coeur d’Alene is a city in northwest Idaho. It’s known for water sports on Lake Coeur d’Alene, plus trails in the Canfield Mountain Natural Area and Coeur d’Alene National Forest.
  3. Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve – Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserves is a U.S. national monument and national preserve in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. It sits at an average elevation of 5,900 feet above sea level.

With such wonders awaiting discovery, Idaho is undoubtedly a destination that tantalizes the senses and invites adventure.

4. Wyoming

Devils Tower in Northeastern Wyoming

Wyoming, a land of untamed beauty and rugged charm, stretches its welcome to travelers like me, curious souls seeking unforgettable experiences.

The borders between Montana and Wyoming are marked by majestic rivers, each carrying its own allure and captivating charm.

The Tongue River gracefully winds its way through the landscape, while the Bighorn River showcases its raw power and untamed spirit.

There’s also the Powder River, a force of nature that carves its path with determination and grace.

With a population of 581,381 according to the 2022 U.S. Census, Wyoming may be modest in numbers, but it makes up for it with its expansive land area of 97,088.76 square miles.

Places to visit in Wyoming:

  1. Yellowstone National Park – With its sprawling wilderness and geothermal wonders, this natural beauty spans nearly 3,500 square miles, gracing not only Wyoming but also venturing into parts of Montana and Idaho.
  2. Devils Tower National Monument – This national monument is composed of igneous rock in the Bear Lodge Ranger District of the Black Hills, northeastern Wyoming. It rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, standing 867 feet from summit to base.
  3. Grand Teton National Park – Grand Teton National Park is in the northwest of the U.S. state of Wyoming. It encompasses the Teton mountain range, the 4,000-meter Grand Teton peak, and Jackson Hole valley.

Wyoming is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the southwest, and Colorado to the south.

5. North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Dakota

Nestled gracefully to the east of Montana, these 2 states share a dynamic connection between them.

Majestic rivers serve as both dividers and bridges, as the mighty Yellowstone River flows south, intertwining with the enchanting waters of the Missouri River.

North Dakota, with a population of 779,261 according to the 2022 U.S. Census, may not boast the same magnitude of inhabitants as its neighboring states, but it possesses an undeniable allure.

The Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba can be found on North Dakota’s northern border with Minnesota to its east, South Dakota to the south, and Montana to the west.

Montana’s proximity to Canada further enhances the region’s unique geographical appeal.

North Dakota’s vastness also serves as a canvas for exploration, with a land area of 68.995.86 square miles waiting to be discovered.

Places to visit in North Dakota:

  1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Lies in western North Dakota, where the Great Plains meet the rugged Badlands. A habitat for bison, elk, and prairie dogs, this sprawling park has 3 sections linked by the Little Missouri River.
  2. The National Buffalo Museum – The National Buffalo Museum is the top resource for all things related to the restoration of the American bison, including its historic, ecological, economic, and cultural value.
  3. Wind Cave National Park – This place is known for its vast, underground Wind Cave, with chambers like the Post Office and the Elks Room. The park’s prairie and pine forests are home to bison, elk, and pronghorn antelopes.

North Dakota, with its border brushing against Montana, reveals a unique tapestry of diverse landscapes and captivating attractions. 

6. South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota

Having Montana as its neighbor, South Dakota captivates me with its unique geographical location and charming towns dotted along its southern border.

South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota to the north, Minnesota to the east, Iowa to the southeast, Nebraska to the south, Wyoming to the west, and Montana to the northwest.

With a population of 909,824, this state embraces a land area of 75,809.61 square miles, offering a playground for exploration and adventure.

Places to visit in South Dakota:

  1. Badlands National Park – This place’s rugged beauty and otherworldly rock formations transport you to a surreal landscape that is both awe-inspiring and humbling.
  2. Mount Rushmore National Memorial – Where the faces of 4 U.S. presidents are carved into the side of a mountain—a sight that leaves visitors in utter awe.
  3. Big Sioux River – This river gracefully flows along the state’s southern border. Its gentle currents and picturesque surroundings make it an idyllic spot for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

From the ethereal Badlands to the imposing Mount Rushmore, South Dakota has a captivating mix of natural wonders and historical landmarks that will leave you spellbound.

So hop on a road trip across Montana’s southern border and embark on an unforgettable adventure through this enchanting state.

7. Nebraska

Chimney Rock Nebraska

Located to the east of Montana, Nebraska shares its borders with several states, each adding its own flavor to the tapestry of this remarkable region.

In Nebraska’s north, South Dakota beckons with its bustling cities and natural wonders. To its east lies Iowa with its rich history and vibrant culture. To the west, Wyoming.

Missouri, a land with a strong agriculture industry, and iconic landmarks like the Gateway Arch greet Nebraska in the southeast corner while Kansas and Colorado border its southern and southwest space respectively.

But it is Nebraska itself that truly steals the show. With a population of 1,967,923 as of the 2022 U.S. Census, this state is a bustling hub of energy and excitement.

Spanning over 76,817.87 square miles, Nebraska is home to a myriad of cities and landmarks that never fail to captivate the imagination.

Places to visit in Nebraska:

  1. Chimney Rock Museum – Designated as a National Historic Site on August 9, 1956, Chimney Rock and the Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center are maintained and operated by History Nebraska.
  2. Scotts Bluff National Monument – This national monument protects over 3,000 acres of historic overland trail remnants, mixed-grass prairie, rugged badlands, towering bluffs, and riparian areas along the North Platte River.
  3. Cowboy Trail – This is a rail trail in northern Nebraska. It is a multi-use recreational trail suitable for bicycling, walking, and horseback riding. 

Nebraska, with its stunning cities, historic landmarks, and breathtaking geographical features, is a place that captures the spirit of the Midwest and invites you to immerse yourself in its boundless charm. 

Montana Neighboring States Final Thoughts

Glacier Mountains Montana

As I close this topic on Montana’s neighboring states, I am amazed by the diverse landscapes and geographical locations that surround this beautiful state.

From the rolling plains of North Dakota to the majestic peaks of British Columbia, the neighboring states and provinces of Montana offer a wealth of natural wonders to explore.

To the north, the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta beckon with their stunning wilderness and iconic national parks.

Heading east, you’ll find the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, a mesmerizing landscape of rugged beauty that transports you to another world. And let’s not forget about North Dakota’s iconic Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Further south, the state of Wyoming boasts the world-famous Yellowstone National Park and the awe-inspiring Grand Teton National Park. 

To the west, the neighboring state of Idaho boasts of several ski areas on Sun Valley and water sports activities at  Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Montana’s neighboring states offer a thrilling array of landscapes, national parks, and major cities to explore.

Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors or soaking in the vibrant culture of a bustling city, the neighboring states of Montana have something for everyone.

Montana Neighboring States FAQs

1. How Many States Does Montana Touch?

Montana is a state that knows no boundaries when it comes to its neighboring states. In fact, it shares its borders with not just one, not 2, but 4 states!

It is bordered by North and South Dakota to the east, Wyoming to the south, and Idaho to the southwest. To its north, you will find 3 Canadian provinces, namely: Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.

2. Do Montana and Wyoming Share a Border?

Yes, Montana and Wyoming do indeed share a border. Located on the southern edge of Montana, this boundary is where the 2 states meet and intertwine their natural wonders. 

Spanning this border are several major rivers that add to the enchantment of the region. The Tongue River, Bighorn River, and Powder River, all tributaries of the Yellowstone River, flow through this area.

3. What State Is Close to Montana?

In this article, we have shared a total of 7 states that are close to Montana, namely: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

4. Is Yellowstone More in Montana or Wyoming?

If you were to dissect this majestic park and spread it across the map, you’d find that the majority, a staggering 96%, falls within the borders of Wyoming.

While 3%, to be exact, belongs to the great state of Montana. The other 1%, is nestled within the embrace of the charming state of Idaho. 

5. What State Touches the Most States?

Tennessee and Missouri are locked in a fierce battle for this coveted title, with both states bordering a whopping 8 other states. That’s right, folks, it’s a tie!

Tennessee stretches its borders to touch Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. 

While Missouri borders with Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

Gain further insights on Montana by checking out these other thrilling articles:

Photo of author

Written by:

Elizabeth Hawley
Hey, fellow travelers! I'm Elizabeth Hawley, stepping into the world in the hues of fall. For me, Montana is more than just a state; it's a muse. The golden aspen trees and russet landscapes in the fall have always fueled my creativity. Co-founding was a no-brainer, blending my love for art, photography, and Montana's ever-changing palette.

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