24 Things to do in Southeast Montana in 2024

2023-12-27 20:02:29

As we bid adieu to the passing year and embrace the dawn of a new one, it's only fitting to gear up for the adventures that lie ahead. Make room in your schedule to explore the serene expanses of Southeast Montana and relish in the unhurried rhythm of life. Embark on a journey filled with historical landmarks, delicious burgers, bird-watching excursions, starry nights and an array of captivating activities from our curated list of 24 things to experience out here in 2024.

1. Pompeys Pillar National Monument

Visit this landmark and see William Clark's signature from the Lewis and Clark Expedition more than 200 years ago. Be sure to use your National Parks Pass for entrance, or buy one there.

2. Makoshika State Park

Hike and explore the unique badlands landscape and dinosaur fossils in Montana’s largest state park.

3. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Rent a pontoon boat at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: Enjoy water activities, hiking, and wildlife viewing in this stunning, colorful canyon with walls up to 1,000 feet high.

Photo by Donnie Sexton

4. Terry Badlands Wilderness Study Area

Hike through the rugged and scenic badlands that are relatively untouched and include two natural bridges.

5. Big Horn County Historical Museum

History Buffs unite at Big Horn County Historical Museum and delve into the history of the Battle of Little Bighorn through exhibits and artifacts.

NOTE: The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument will undergo a major renovation, starting in 2024. For the most up-to-date information on construction restrictions, see the website at https://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm

6. Yellowstone River

Grab your binoculars and head to the Yellowstone River: Engage in outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking and birdwatching. This iconic river is known for diverse wildlife in the riparian area, including majestic bald eagles and osprey.

7. Medicine Rocks State Park

Pack a picnic and head to Medicine Rocks State Park: Marvel at the “Swiss-cheese-like” sandstone formations and enjoy the natural beauty. Plains tribes considered this a place of “good medicine.”

8. Carter County Museum

Dive into archeological wonders at Carter County Museum: Explore paleontological and archaeological exhibits, including dinosaur fossils, at Montana’s oldest county museum.

Photo by Nathan Satran Photography

9. Range Riders Museum

Put on your cowboy hat and explore Miles City: Experience the cowboy culture, visit the Range Riders Museum, and attend events like the Bucking Horse Sale in May each year.

10. Tongue River Reservoir

Fishing at Tongue River Reservoir: Cast a line and enjoy fishing in this reservoir. For early morning access, grab your camper or tent and stay overnight.  

Photo by Andy Austin

11. Huntley Project Museum of Irrigated Agriculture

Huntley Project Museum of Irrigated Agriculture: Learn about the history of irrigated agriculture in the region.

12. Explore Baker

Visit the town and its attractions, stop for lunch at Heiser’s Bar for a true Montana dining experience of small town USA.

13. StarGazing

Our big skies come alive at night. Check out Montana’s Trail to the Stars for multiple locations; keep watching the website for upcoming events to be added. 

14. Saddle a horse

Explore ranches that showcase Montana's agricultural history. Check out Dryhead Ranch or Malhstedt Ranch for a true hands on butt-in-the-saddle experience.

Photo by Jennifer Nielson

15. Crow Fair

Attend Crow Fair in August: Open to the public and non-tribal members are welcome to come and learn about Apsáalooke, or Crow, tribal culture.

16. Dinosaur digging

Glendive offers multiple dinosaur and fossil digs. Check out https://mtdinotrail.org to learn more about the prehistoric passport.

17. Go to the zoo

ZooMontana in Billings is a captivating blend of wildlife conservation, educational programs and family-friendly exhibits, offering a memorable and enriching day for visitors of all ages. We especially like that exterior exhibits feature animals from the 45th parallel around the globe.

18. Find a treasure antiquing

Almost every small town in Southeast Montana has a hidden gem, usually in the form of thrift or antique stores. Typically filled to the brim, these wild wonders are stumbled upon nearly every corner of main streets.

19. Eat a burger

Embark on a burger lover's paradise across Southeast Montana, where a whopping 23 restaurants beckon with irresistible options that'll leave you struggling to choose a favorite! Visit Southeast Montana Burger Trail for more information.

Photo by Ian Hanson

20. Grab a beer

Put on your most comfortable hiking shoes and explore along the Billings Brew Trail. Sample local creations from nine breweries, three distilleries, a cider mill and a winery.

21. Pictograph Cave State Park

Pictograph Cave State Park: Pictograph, Middle and Ghost caves were home to generations of prehistoric hunters. A loop trail allows visitors to view the rock paintings, known as pictographs, that are still visible in Pictograph Cave. Start your visit at the new visitor center.

22. Grab your clubs

Hit the course – with over 10 courses sprinkled throughout the region you are sure to see the views and relax among the greens. For courses and locations click here.

23. Take a walk in Roundup

The Heritage Trail and RiverWalk offers beautiful scenery right on the Musselshell River. We especially recommend this for spring and fall strolls.

Photo by Cassie Solberg

24. Stay in a yurt

A new camping alternative at Makoshika State Park, it come complete with stunning views – day and night. Or, try the teepee or sheepherder’s wagon sites. 

There’s so much to do out here – all you need to do is get off the highway and start exploring. For more ideas, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.