Nowhere Better than Terry, Montana

2024-03-21 20:41:37

Welcome to Terry, Montana, a quaint town serving as the gateway to the breathtaking Terry Badlands. While a visit to Terry wouldn't be complete without exploring the rugged beauty of the Badlands, this charming town has more to offer than meets the eye. Nestled in southeast Montana along I-94, Terry sits midway between Miles City and Glendive and is home to approximately 1,100 residents. Despite its small size, Terry exudes a unique appeal and is surrounded by history and enchanting natural landscapes. Here is why we think there’s nowhere better than Terry.

Nowhere Better for Epic Adventures

Photo by Andy Austin

Terry Badlands

The Terry Badlands, a captivating feature of Terry, lure visitors with their stark beauty, showcasing limestone formations sculpted by natural forces into mesmerizing patterns and shapes. Exploring these geological wonders offers various experiences. Start by driving the Calypso Trail Drive, which leads travelers through the heart of the Terry Badlands Wilderness Study Area (WSA), offering glimpses of impressive spires and rock formations. The rugged terrain is best navigated by all-terrain vehicles. Adjacent to this drive, the Natural Bridges Trail presents a short, moderately easy hike, revealing epic vistas of coulees and vast grasslands. Additionally, Chimney Rock stands out as a must-see attraction, with its distinctive sandstone spire rising from a mound of rock, resembling a chimney, and serving as a prime photography spot. For a more leisurely exploration, Scenic Drive Road, on the eastern side of the WSA, offers a six-mile journey northward, treating travelers to breathtaking rock formations, picturesque river views and possible wildlife sightings.

* as of 3/6/2024

The Milwaukee Bridge over the Yellowstone, which allows access to the Calypso Trail and the Terry Badlands, is currently closed for repairs. Visitors can access the Terry Badlands via Scenic View Road.


Within the vastness of Montana's wilderness, this welcoming community stands out as a destination offering exceptional angling opportunities. Anglers can enjoy the simple pleasure of casting lines from the riverbanks or drifting along its calm currents. The river's waters are home to a variety of fish species, ranging from rainbow trout to paddlefish. You may also find perch, walleye, trout, catfish, sauger, ling, bass, and sturgeon thriving in this unspoiled environment. Whether you're an experienced angler or new to the sport, Terry invites you to discover its charms and embrace the tranquility of its surroundings. More fishing access and license regulation info.

Agate Rock Hunting

Photo by Cassie Solberg

True locals grew up rock hunting and know how to look for the elusive Montana moss agate. Strolling along the banks of the Yellowstone River, particularly starting from fishing access points, offers a promising beginning for this activity. Keep a keen eye out for seemingly ordinary rocks that reveal their true allure when cut open, revealing a dazzling array of vibrant colors hidden within. The agates can be clear, spotty, banded, almost black or dendritic. Slabbed with a diamond saw, the rocks are often used for jewelry, wind chimes, lamp shades and coffee tables.

Nowhere Better to See History Up Close

Prairie County Museum and Evelyn Cameron Gallery

Photo by Cassie Solberg

On the edge of the scenic badlands, the Prairie County Museum began in 1975 in the historic 1916 State Bank of Terry building and has grown into a complex that includes the 1906 State Bank of Terry building, the only steam heated outhouse this side of the Mississippi, a pioneer homestead, the Burlington Northern train depot, an old red wooden caboose and the famous Evelyn Cameron Gallery. This turn-of-the-century photographer was ahead of her time. A British noblewoman, she left her privileged life to homestead with her husband on the prairies of the American West, often flirting with financial ruin. With her camera and pen, she record daily life of homesteading in an unforgiving landscape in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Evelyn Cameron Heritage, just across the street, hosts local events and welcomes visitors to view more of her work, giving that rare glimpse of ranch life on the Montana prairie, how it was endured and how we thrived out here in Eastern Montana.

Historic Kempton Hotel

Photo by Cassie Solberg

Built in 1902, the Kempton Hotel was built by homesteaders in the area. Famous guests including Teddy Roosevelt and Calamity Jane stayed in the hotel. The current owners have kept the hotel in its original decor and are working to restore it back to its original grand condition. Known to be the haunt of friendly spirits, The Kempton is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Montana. Overnight guests will notice locals gather for coffee in the lobby daily – don’t be surprised when you are invited to pull up a chair.

Nowhere Better to Shop Locally

Prairie Unique

Photo by Cassie Solberg

Prairie Unique is a testament to the deep affection its owners hold for Eastern Montana. As proud residents of Prairie County, they are dedicated to curating a diverse selection of gifts and toys that truly embody the uniqueness of their beloved region. From agates to wool sheepskins, Prairie Unique offers a wide array of products that showcase the beauty and craftsmanship of Montana. What sets Prairie Unique apart is not just their exceptional inventory, but also the warm and informative welcome provided by the owners. Visitors can expect to receive personalized recommendations and insights into the rich history and natural wonders of Prairie County. Whether seeking gifts or seeking knowledge about the area's heritage, Prairie Unique is the go-to destination for all things Made in Montana.

Nowhere Better to Get a Taste of Montana

Photo by Cassie Solberg

Roy Rogers Bar Grill & Casino

Sitting just across the street from the historic Kempton Hotel, this classic cowboy hangout brings to life saloon-era nostalgia. Be pleasantly surprised by their impeccable Fried Green Tomato & Bacon Burger, eloquently constructed, and drizzled with balsamic glaze. Check out the Southeast Montana Burger Trail for more stops to try through the region.

With its small-town charm and welcoming atmosphere, Terry invites visitors to explore its treasures, promising an experience that surpasses expectations. Whether drawn by the rugged beauty of the Badlands or the warmth of its community, Terry undoubtedly holds a special place in the hearts of those who venture into the area.