Our Favorite Stops between Glacier and Yellowstone

You have decided to make the trek from Yellowstone National Park to Glacier National Park. As we suggested in the blog Ode to the Road (Trip), this is one of the most popular summer traditions for both Montana residents and visitors of the Treasure State.

Now the only question is: what stops will you make on your adventure between the Parks?

If you have a few days to drive between the Montana’s National Parks, check out these itineraries. If you are looking for something more along the lines of a quick opportunity to stretch your legs, while still making good time from one Park to the other, we have compiled a list of eight of our favorite stops between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks in Southwest Montana.

1. Sculpture in the Wild | Lincoln, MT

Nestled in the Blackfoot Valley, Sculpture in the Wild – a sculpture park with pieces created by internationally renowned artists – is a hidden gem of Southwest Montana. The artists took inspiration from the rich environmental and industrial legacy of the area to create some of the most innovative land art in the Northwest United States. With 26 acres and a growing number of permanent sculptures, this is a stop you will remember.

Sculpture in the Wild
Sculpture in the Wild | PC: Eric Bunting

2. Virginia & Nevada Cities

Montana was born on the boom and bust, leaving ghost towns scattered across the state as little more than a memory of what once was. Virginia City was the second territorial capital of Montana, while Nevada City sat along one of the most used stage coach routes in the west. Both stand today as historical tourist destinations. Travel back in time with living history events, take a tour of town on the historic fire truck, and get to know the infamous residents who once populated the area.

Virginia City, Montana Boardwalk
Virginia City, Montana Boardwalk | PC: Valerie Manne

3. Philipsburg

Philipsburg is one of those charming small towns that truly embodies the genuine hospitality found across Montana. With adorable shops, tasty restaurants, a micro-brewery, and a classic candy shop, you are sure to find something to suit your fancy. Granite Ghost Town State Park is just up the road, Georgetown Lake is less than a 5-minute drive from town, and rockhounding opportunities surround the area.

Philipsburg | PC: Rick and Susie Graetz

4. Lewis & Clark Caverns

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is Montana’s first and most well-known State Park, featuring one of the largest and most decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest. The park encompasses 3,000 acres and offers visitors a campground, guided tours, 10-miles of hiking trails, and more! Tours leave approximately every half hour starting at 9:30 am during their season from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park | PC: Wanderlust Crew

5. Historic Uptown Butte

Butte was home to the Copper Kings of the 20th Century and was significantly influenced by the immigrants who came to strike it rich in the mines. Today, Historic Uptown Butte is the largest National Historic District in the Country. You will find countless shops, the Mai Wah Society (commemorating the Chinese immigrants, their contributions, and heritage), The World Museum of Mining, the Mansion Districts, Micro-Breweries, Headframe Sprits, and more!

World Museum of Mining in Butte, Montana
World Museum of Mining | PC: Andy Austin

6. Gates of the Mountains

This passage was aptly named by Meriwether Lewis of the Corps of Discovery, when he wrote in his journal In many places, the rocks seem to tumble upon us … I shall call this place the ‘gates of the mountains.’ The majority of visitors enjoy the area aboard one of two tour boats, the “Sacajawea” and the “Hilger Rose.” Check out the upcoming summer tour schedule!

Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area
Gates of the Mountains

7. Big Hole National Battlefield | Wisdom, MT

Big Hole National Battlefield was created to honor all parties involved in the battle that took place on August 9th and 10th during the Nez Perce Flight of 1877. The visitor center, which overlooks the battlefield offers visitors a video program and museum. After enjoying the museum, wander along the self-guided trails that lead you to various points of interest on the battlefield. The site offers extended hours in the summer, but is open year-round.

Visitor Center at the Big Hole National Battlefield
Visitor Center at the Big Hole National Battlefield

8. Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site | Deer Lodge, MT

Wide open spaces, the hardworking cowboy, his spirited cow pony, and vast herds of cattle are among the strongest symbols of the American West. Once the headquarters of a 10 million-acre cattle empire, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site preserves these symbols and commemorates the role of cattlemen in American history.

Grant-Kohrs National Historic Ranch
Haying with Horses at Grant-Kohrs National Historic Ranch

Which of these inspiring locations will you add to your Montana itinerary as you travel between Glacier and Yellowstone National Park?