Montana (abbreviation: MT or Mont.), state of the United States of America, 381,087 km2, 799,000 inhabitants; capital: Helena.
Montana has an average altitude of 1000 m. The eastern part consists of a steppe-like plateau, part of the Great Plains (about 75% of the state). In the southeast corner begins a barren, desolate rock world, the Badlands. To the west the bottom gradually rises and turns into the Rocky Mountains. To the southwest, near the Wyoming border, is the state’s highest point (Granite Peak, 3,917 m). Between the Rocky Mountains and the Bitterroot Range in the far west is a series of long, fairly wide valleys. Two major rivers drain eastern Montana: the upper reaches of the Missouri and the Yellowstone River, which flows into the Missouri at the border with North Dakota. The Rocky Mountains divide Montana into two climatically distinct regions. The west, protected by the mountains, has a fairly even temperature with a large precipitation. The semi-arid east is exposed to the fierce and cold winds from Canada. The winters are very cold, the summers sometimes very hot.
Montana is one of the most sparsely populated states in the country (2 inhabitants per km2). The largest cities are Billings (population 81,000) and Great Falls (55,000). More than 52% of the total population lives in cities. See top cities in Montana.
Agriculture is an important economic activity in Montana: mainly livestock farming and the production of wheat, barley, sugar beet and especially hay; almost 20% of the agricultural surface is artificially irrigated. Mining and blast furnace industry are second in the economy; the main mining products are coal, petroleum, copper, gold, silver and natural gas.
Montana is one of the most important forestry states in the United States (especially lumber and Christmas trees). The forest area is also of great importance for the increasingly important tourism. Large areas have been designated as national wildlife parks by the federal government. The industry is mainly focused on the processing of raw materials from mining, forestry and agriculture.
The main tourist attractions are Glacier National Park, ‘the Switzerland of America’, and Yellowstone National Park. Of historical interest are Little Bighorn National Monument and Big Hole National Battlefield.
In 1742, the French explorers, the brothers François and Louis Joseph de la Vérendrye, were the first to penetrate the Montana area, but it became more widely known through the voyages of Lewis and Clark (1804–1806) and the fur traders who followed in their footsteps. followed. Initially there was much rivalry between the American merchants moving up the Missouri from St. Louis and the English coming from Canada on behalf of the Hudson Bay Company, but in 1846 the Oregon Treaty established the definitive boundary. By then the days of the fur trade were almost over. In 1841 the famous Belgian missionary De Smet founded the first Jesuit mission among the Indians, but just then more and more white settlers started to settle as the great migration to Oregon went through Montana. Gold was discovered in 1862–1864, which led to a gold rush and conflicts with the Indians. The Sioux in particular were formidable enemies, defeating General Custer at Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. In 1877 the Nez Perces made their famous tour of Montana led by their chief Joseph. In 1875, a new boom began with the discovery of silver and copper. Already in 1864 Montana was organized as a territory, in 1889 it was admitted to the Union as the 41st state. Politically, Montana has remained very divided, partly because there has traditionally been a strong division between the various immigrant groups.
National Parks Montana
Glacier National Park
Located in northwestern Montana, the park was established in 1910. In Canada is the Waterton Lakes National Park and these two parks together form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The park is administered by Canada and the United States, but the state boundaries of the countries remain the same. This park was created by the efforts of Kootenai Brown (Canadian) and Bird Grinnell (American), because they presented this idea to the government. The park contains more than 50 glaciers and more than 200 lakes and lakes. Glacier National Park is also home to the grizzly bear and brown bear. Also in the park are bighorn sheep, black bears, mountain goats, American red deer, moose, beavers and otters. There is a possibility to spend the night in the wilderness, Have Backcountry Use Permit passes that can be picked up at the larger Ranger Stations.
Yellowstone National Park
In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established, making it the first national park in the entire United States and the world. At the same time, it is also one of the largest and most visited parks in the United States. It covers an area of 8,987 km² and straddles the territory of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. The center of the park consists of a wide volcanic plateau formed from solidified lava. Other well-known features of the park include geysers, hot springs, Yellowstone Lake, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and a number of huge waterfalls. In 1988, the park was hit by a massive wildfire that reduced 321 acres of forest to ashes. The park is also home to the famous Old Faithful geyser which every so often produces tall fountains of scalding hot water. Hotels and campsites where you can stay overnight can be found at all the major attractions in Yellowstone National Park. Many attractions in the park are accessible by car, but not all.