February 12 a new Directive Implementing Executive Order 2-2021 took affect. The statewide mask mandate has been lifted. The local and county health guidelines take precedence to the statewide regulations so please visit your county health links for current information. You can find the latest Declaration, Directive and plan for Implementation here.
When you decide to travel, Southwest Montana will be here - nestled between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks when you are ready.
Recreate Responsibly in Southwest Montana
We're committed to keeping Montana's outdoor spaces, communities, residents and visitors safe. As you enjoy all the area has to offer, please join us in following these guidelines for responsible recreation.
Know Before You Go
Before arriving, check the status of the place you'd like to visit. It's good to have a backup plan if your destination is closed or crowded. Consider adjusting the time of day you plan to explore. By arriving early, you may experience shorter lines and reduced crowds for a more enjoyable experience!
Practice Physical Distancing
Indoors or outdoors, be prepared to encounter others with different social distancing comfort levels. If you can, give other people as much space as possible. On trails, move over to let stock (horses and mules) pass, yield to other hikers and be respectful of other users. If you know you'll be in an area with other people, have a mask at the ready. Keep your group small and if you are sick (have a cough, cold, fever, etc.) or have been in contact with individuals who have been sick, stay home and plan to visit when you're well.
Check our local regulations for the latest safety measures. Facilities might be closed, so consider packing a lunch and bring essentials like extra water, food/snacks, bug spray and a first aid kit. In Montana, both weather and terrain can change quickly. We recommend packing clothing layers to add or remove as weather changes.
Build an Inclusive Outdoors
Do your part to help make our outdoor spaces safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.
Play It Safe
Have fun, but know your limits. Take it slow and choose lower-risk activities to reduce the strain on search and rescue operations and health care resources. Remember that Montana is home to bears, mountain goats, mountain lions, elk, deer and more. If you plan to spend time outside, be prepared to have an encounter with our abundant wildlife. Give wildlife their space, do not approach them and do not feed them. If you plan to hike, be sure to go with a friend, make noise on the trail (talking or clapping), carry bear spray and know how to use it.
Our area is full of local parks, trails and public spaces. Enjoy them while being mindful of your impact on the surrounding communities. Check in with local Chambers or Visitor Information Centers to pick up travel guides and maps, as well as get suggestions for things to do, places to go and insider tips.
Leave No Trace
Pack your garbage out with you and clean up properly. When recreating on public lands, be sure to take care of them by staying on trails. If you plan to camp while you're here, be sure to do so in an existing campsite or pick a site where vegetation is absent. It's important to respect public lands and waters, as well as Native and local communities.
MONTANA TRAVEL UPDATES
Going-to-the-Sun Road Ticketed Entry
Glacier National Park is instituting an online reservation system (ticketed entry) for the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor between the park's West and St. Mary Entrances from May 28 to September 6, 2021. For more information please visit: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gtsrticketedentry.htm
Yellowstone National Park Road Closure
For 2021, the road between Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Village will be closed. Additionally, there will be no trail access to Mount Washburn. Additional information on Yellowstone road construction can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/road-construction.htm
Rental Car Shortage
Locations across the United States are experiencing a rental car shortage. Be sure to make your rental car reservation at the same time you make any flight arrangements. We recommend calling the car rental agency's local number to ensure the most up-to-date availability rather than relying on a website.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and find the overlooked beauty in the little things.