Are you ready to embark on an adventure that’s all about you? Let’s talk about solo travel in Montana, and a world of outdoor adventures at your fingertips.
We’re going to delve into tips and things to do that are specifically tailored for solo travelers in this stunning state. For a glimpse in this article, you’ll discover the best hiking trails in Montana’s famous National Parks, like Yellowstone and Glacier.
We’ll also discuss the joys of camping in state parks, where you can immerse yourself in nature. And don’t worry; we’ll even cover practical tips, like the importance of booking in advance and why bear spray is essential.
Step into the adventure of traveling alone – a journey where you’re the captain of your ship, with only the breeze and the sound of your footsteps for company.
- Related article: Montana Travel Excursions
It’s a trip that’s not just about discovering new places but also about uncovering parts of yourself, all set against the backdrop of Montana’s unexplored landscapes.
7 Key Takeaways for Solo Travel in Montana
- Montana offers a diverse range of solo activities, from hiking in Glacier National Park to horseback riding in ranches.
- Camping in Montana’s state parks provides a deeper connection with nature and a canvas for outdoor adventures.
- Scenic drives like the Going-to-the-Sun Road and Beartooth Highway offer explorers a chance to soak in Montana’s beauty.
- Trying local huckleberries is a must for a taste of Montana’s unique food culture.
- Adult-only weeks in Montana ranches combine relaxation, Western culture, and the chance to meet like-minded travelers.
- Practical solo travel tips for Montana include prioritizing safety, dressing in layers, and disconnecting to appreciate the natural beauty.
- Logistics of getting to Montana, whether by air, train, or bus, are easy to navigate for solo travelers.
Montana Solo Travel Things to Do
Setting out on your solo expedition through the Big Sky Country is like stepping into a vast playground just for you.
From ranches to local markets, here’s your guide to solo exploration in Montana—a collection of activities that make your journey uniquely yours.
1. Hike in National Parks
When it comes to hiking opportunities, Montana’s National Parks are a solo traveler’s dream.
I’ve trekked through both Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, and the experiences are as diverse as the landscapes.
Here’s what you can expect when hiking in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks:
- Glacier National Park – With over 700 miles of trails (1,127 km), you can opt for a stroll to a pristine alpine lake or challenge yourself with a multi-day backpacking adventure.
- Yellowstone National Park – Boasting more than 900 miles (1,448 km) of hiking trails, Yellowstone is a hiker’s paradise. Many of these trails are situated at over 7,000 feet above sea level.
Whether you’re in Glacier or Yellowstone, safety should be a priority. Here are a few tips for your solo hiking adventures:
- Join a Group or Hike With a Park Ranger – If you’re new to the area, this is a great way to learn more about the park while ensuring your safety.
- Wear Sunscreen and a Hat (Even on Cloudy Days) – The higher altitudes can be deceiving, and you don’t want a sunburn to ruin your trip.
- Pack Snacks and Plenty of Water – I can’t stress this enough; you’ll be grateful for the energy boost during those longer hikes.
The beauty of hiking in these National Parks is not just the stunning scenery but also the sense of solitude you can find. Just remember to leave no trace and respect the wildlife you encounter.
2. Camp in State Parks
Camping in Big Sky Country’s state parks is like pitching your tent in the beating heart of Big Sky Country.
With over 500 campsites spread across 20 of Montana’s 55 parks, you have a wide variety of options to choose from for camping alone.
The state parks offer a wide variety of benefits and attractions, from the chance to fully immerse yourself in nature to enjoying a range of outdoor activities and breathtaking scenic landscapes.
Two popular state parks to consider are Medicine Rocks State Park and Whitefish Lake State Park.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Medicine Rocks State Park boasts soft sandstone rock formations with a unique Swiss cheese look.
The soft sandstone formations, etched by centuries of wind and rain, offer a truly otherworldly experience.
Be sure to keep an eye out for mule deer, antelope, woodhouse toads, and sharp-tailed grouse—locals who call this park home.
On the other hand, Whitefish Lake State Park offers 25 campsites to choose from, where you can opt for the full RV experience or go old-school with tent-only spots.
Boating, swimming, water skiing, and fishing are just a few of the aquatic activities you can enjoy here.
Camping in Montana’s state parks is an experience that is both humbling and invigorating, offering a front-row seat to the state’s natural wonders.
3. Take Scenic Drives
Montana’s landscapes are so stunning, they’re practically begging you to hit the road. And that’s exactly what I did.
From the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park to the lesser-known Beartooth Highway, these scenic drives are a passport to Montana’s most breathtaking vistas.
Here’s a snapshot of what you can witness when taking scenic drives at Going-to-the-Sun Road and Beartooth Highway in Montana:
- Going-to-the-Sun Road – A 50-mile masterpiece, this road is a front-row seat to nature’s grandeur with glacier-carved peaks, emerald-blue alpine lakes, and forests so lush you’ll want to pitch a tent.
- Beartooth Highway – A 30-mile stretch that’s like a greatest hits album of Montana’s natural wonders with snow-capped mountains, wildlife galore, and views of high alpine lakes.
Here’s the lowdown on why scenic drives are a must-do for solo travel in Montana:
- Maximized Beauty – Unlike a hike or a quick stop, a scenic drive lets you soak in Montana’s beauty without breaking a sweat. It’s the ultimate lazy explorer’s dream.
- Frequent Stops and Photos – The best part? You can stop as often as you like to snap that perfect Instagram shot or simply take in the view.
- Multiple Modes – Whether you want to drive your vehicle, hop on the free Glacier Shuttle System, or book a guided tour, the choice is yours.
My advice? Don’t rush it. These routes are meant to be savored, not just checked off a list.
Pack a picnic, bring a camera, and let Montana’s natural wonders take center stage.
4. Try Huckleberries
If you’re venturing into the wilds of Montana, a taste of its local huckleberries is a must.
Huckleberries are a big deal here, and for good reason. They’re not just a novelty; they’re a local obsession.
I remember my first bite of a huckleberry. The flavor was a delightful blend of sweet and tart, unlike anything I’d ever tasted.
The top spots to find huckleberries in Montana are:
- Glacier National Park – Many hiking trails in Glacier National Park offer prime huckleberry-picking spots.
- State Parks – You can easily discover huckleberries in numerous state parks, along hiking trails or ski slopes, and even in campgrounds across Western Montana.
- Local Markets – If you’re not up for foraging, you can find fresh huckleberries at farmers’ markets.
You can also savor huckleberry-themed treats such as huckleberry ice cream, pies, pancakes, and even coffee in Montana.
It’s a flavor adventure that will add a touch of Montana magic to your solo journey.
5. Enjoy Adult-Only Weeks in Ranches
Have you ever heard of adult-only weeks in Montana ranches? It’s one of the top Montana getaway picks for a solo traveler.
It’s the perfect blend of a relaxing getaway and an opportunity to meet new people, all set against the backdrop of the rugged Old West.
Adult-Only Weeks at Montana ranches are a great idea for solo travelers because of reasons such as:
- You get to enjoy the serene beauty of the Rocky Mountains while engaging in activities tailored for adults.
- It’s a chance to bond with like-minded individuals who share your love for the outdoors and Western culture.
- With activities ranging from horseback riding to campfire storytelling, you’ll never run out of things to do or people to meet.
Some Montana ranches that offer Adult-Only Weeks include:
- The Bar W Guest Ranch – Known for its intimate and personalized experiences, the Bar W Guest Ranch offers adult-only weeks where you can enjoy everything from cattle drives to wine tastings.
- JJJ Wilderness Ranch – A family-owned and operated ranch, Triple J Ranch dedicates specific weeks to adult travelers for you to immerse yourself in cowboy culture.
- Nine Quarter Circle Ranch – This historic ranch in the Gallatin Gateway offers a range of activities for solo travelers, including fly fishing and swimming.
- Elkhorn Ranch – For a more laid-back experience, Elkhorn Ranch’s Adult-only weeks are all about unwinding, whether it’s through a leisurely horseback ride or yoga.
- Lone Mountain Ranch – During adult-only weeks in Lone Mountain Ranch, you can try your hand at archery, paddle around pristine waters, or join their ranch rodeo.
The idea behind adult-only weeks in Montana ranches is simple: it’s a chance for solo travelers to have the time of their lives in a setting that’s both picturesque and socially engaging.
Montana Solo Travel Tips
Embarking on a solo travel in the Treasure State can feel like dancing on the brink of uncertainty, but fear not!
With these practical tips, it’s like having a friendly guide that turns challenges into adventures and worries into memories.
1. Getting There
Are you ready to venture into Big Sky Country? Let’s talk logistics.
Here are important things to know when getting to Montana:
- Flying in – The most convenient way to reach Montana is by air, with Glacier Kalispell International Airport being a popular choice. You can also consider airports in Bozeman and Missoula, both offering direct flights from major U.S. cities and even international destinations.
- Train rides – If you’re a fan of slow travel and scenic vistas, Amtrak stations are dotted across the state.
- On the road – For a budget-friendly option, Greyhound buses are available from neighboring cities.
Personally, I’ve tried both flying and taking the train, and each has its own charm.
Flying gets you to your destination faster, but the train lets you savor the journey.
Regardless of how you choose to arrive, Montana’s vastness and natural beauty will greet you with open arms.
2. Getting Around
Montana’s vast landscapes and remote destinations make having a set of wheels the most convenient way to navigate.
Whether you’re driving your own car or renting one, the open road beckons, promising freedom and flexibility.
Here are some options for getting around Montana alone:
- Renting a car – At airports and major cities, you’ll find a plethora of car rental agencies. Just make sure to reserve your vehicle in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
- Rideshares – If you’re not keen on driving or don’t have access to a car, Uber and Lyft services are available at most airports. While they’re convenient for shorter trips within cities, keep in mind that they may not be as readily available in more remote areas.
- Shuttle services – Shuttle services offer a hassle-free way to get to and from the main towns and the national parks.
My advice? If you’re up for it, driving through Montana is an experience in itself.
The state’s highways are often scenic, and you have the freedom to stop whenever and wherever you please.
Just make sure to plan ahead, especially if you’re traveling during the winter months when road conditions can be more challenging.
A car is your best bet for getting the most out of your solo Montana adventure.
3. Book in Advance
Montana’s allure is no secret, and its popularity continues to soar.
If you’re considering a solo adventure in Big Sky Country, one of the smartest moves you can make is to book in advance.
Trust me, you don’t want to be that traveler scrambling for last-minute accommodations or tickets.
Here’s why you should book in advance when traveling to Montana:
- Lodging within and around National Parks – Whether you’re eyeing a cozy cabin or a backcountry campsite, spots in Montana’s beloved national parks, like Glacier or Yellowstone, fill up faster than a mountain sunrise.
- Popular activities and tours – From guided hikes to wildlife safaris, many of Montana’s must-do experiences require reservations. By booking in advance, you secure your spot and save yourself from the disappointment of missing out.
- Peace of mind – Everything falls into place seamlessly if you take the time to book ahead. No stress, no worries, just you and the breathtaking Montana landscapes.
Other benefits of booking in advance include:
- More choices – By reserving early, you have a wider array of options to choose from, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your solo escapade.
- Better deals – Some lodges and tour operators offer early bird discounts or package deals that can save you a pretty penny.
- Time optimization – When you book in advance, you have a clear itinerary, allowing you to make the most of your solo journey without any unnecessary detours.
So, before you embark on your solo odyssey through Montana’s untamed wilderness or vibrant cities, take a moment to secure your travel essentials.
Trust me, the peace of mind and seamless experiences that follow will be worth every minute of your proactive planning.
4. Buy Bear Spray
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Montana’s rugged landscapes and national parks are a bear’s natural habitat, which makes bear spray a must-have for any solo hiker or adventurer.
To give a clearer idea of why having bear spray is important when traveling to Montana, here are some reasons:
- Montana is home to both grizzly and black bears, and encounters are not uncommon.
- Bear spray is a non-lethal deterrent, designed to give you a safe distance from bears.
- It’s more effective than guns in deterring bear attacks, and it’s also legal and environmentally friendly.
Here’s the good news: you don’t need to lug bear spray on your flight to Montana. You can easily purchase or rent it once you arrive.
Glacier National Park’s visitors’ centers are a reliable spot to buy bear spray.
But don’t just buy it; learn how to use it effectively.
Remember, bear spray is a last resort. Making noise while hiking is your first line of defense.
Bears, like most wildlife, prefer to avoid humans. So, talk, sing, or clap your hands to announce your presence.
So, when you’re out there, exploring Montana’s untamed beauty, let bear spray be your trusted companion, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable solo adventure.
5. Dress in Layers
Montana’s weather is as diverse as its landscapes, and dressing in layers is your secret weapon to tackle its ever-changing moods.
From chilly mornings to warm afternoons and even the occasional rain shower, layering allows you to effortlessly adapt to the elements while keeping your comfort in check.
Layering isn’t just about staying warm; it’s also about staying dry.
By incorporating waterproof or water-resistant outer layers, you’ll be prepared for those surprise rain showers or snow flurries that Montana is known for.
Here are essential layering pieces for your Montana adventure:
- Base Layers – Look for materials like merino wool or synthetic fabrics that wick away moisture.
- Mid-Layers – Fleece or down jackets are excellent insulators that can be easily added or removed.
- Outer Layers – Invest in a waterproof or water-resistant jacket to shield you from rain or snow.
Choose pieces that are easy to pack and can be combined in various ways to accommodate the state’s ever-changing weather patterns.
By dressing in layers, you’ll be prepared for anything Montana throws your way, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable solo adventure.
Montana Solo Travel Guide Final Thoughts
Montana, with its vast landscapes and diverse activities, is a solo traveler’s paradise.
For a solo trip, don’t be afraid to embrace the stunning scenery and outdoor activities.
Whether you’re hiking in Glacier National Park, savoring huckleberries, or enjoying adult-only weeks in ranches such as Elkhorn Ranch, there’s something here for every adventurous spirit.
Practical safety tips, engaging with locals, and disconnecting to appreciate nature ensure a smooth and enriching solo journey.
As a female traveler, it’s important to prioritize safety and be mindful of your surroundings, but don’t let fear hold you back from experiencing all that Montana has to offer.
With these tips and activities in mind, solo travel in Montana can be an enriching and unforgettable adventure.
Embrace the open road and let the beauty of Montana’s landscapes and its warm-hearted people leave a lasting mark on your solo travel story.
Solo Montana Travel FAQs
1. Is It Safe to Travel to Montana Alone?
Montana, renowned for its warm and open atmosphere, is generally considered safe for solo travelers, including women.
The state provides a welcoming environment for those exploring its beauty independently.
2. Can You Go to Glacier National Park Alone?
Individuals can visit Glacier National Park alone, but it’s crucial to be well-prepared and follow safety guidelines.
This includes staying aware of surroundings, taking precautions in remote areas, carrying a map and compass (or GPS device), and being cautious of wildlife.
3. Can You Hike Alone in Montana?
You can hike alone in Montana, but it’s important to prioritize safety by informing someone of your plans, being well-prepared, and adhering to established hiking guidelines.
Additionally, there are opportunities to join groups if you prefer a more social hiking experience.
4. Is It a Good Idea to Travel Alone in Montana?
Solo travel in Montana lets you discover yourself and connect with its beautiful landscapes independently.
It’s a chance to completely enjoy the beautiful scenery, creating a personal and reflective journey.
5. How to Travel as a Single Woman in Montana?
When traveling as a single woman in Montana, prioritize safety by informing someone of your plans, sticking to well-populated and well-lit areas, and considering group activities for added security.
Additionally, connect with local resources or travel groups that cater to solo adventurers to enhance your experience and make meaningful connections.
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