51 Fun Facts about Montana (that most people don’t know!)

Whether you want some Montana fun facts to use for a project or you want to impress people with your knowledge of the Big Sky Country, we’ve put together some facts about Montana that cover everything from weird laws to natural wonder to strange history.

Montana has plenty of history, natural views, and beautiful towns, and these interesting facts about Montana are a real tribute to all of the fun Montana facts to be found (we could have kept going, but kept it to the 51 best ones!).

Keep reading for weird facts about Montana, amazing facts about Montana, cool facts about Montana, and plenty of fun Montana facts to keep you guessing (or help you put together an awesome Montana trivia quiz!)

Montana Fun Facts

1. Montana’s name comes from the Spanish word montaña, roughly meaning “mountainous.”

2. The first people came to the area that’s now Montana at least 12,600 years ago.

3. Gold and silver deposits were mined from the Montana mountains as early as the 1800s, earning the state its nickname, the Treasure State.

4. This land remained largely unexplored by outsiders until Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, accompanied by Native American guide Sacagawea, passed through the region in 1805 on their famous expedition through the American West.

Big Sky Resort Montana

5. The state is known for having two very different geographic regions. The Rocky Mountain region covers the western two-fifths of the state. It’s home to Glacier National Park, which contains 7,000-year-old glaciers.

6. Montana has its own version of oatmeal: Cream of the West, a roasted wheat cereal that local families have been eating since 1914.

7. Montana’s population size is small in comparison to many other states, with the total state population only just exceeding a million people.

8. Montana is bordered by Canada in the north, North Dakota and South Dakota in the east, Wyoming and Idaho in the south, and Idaho in the west.

9. Montana is the only state with river systems that empty into the Hudson Bay, Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Montana flag

10. The Great Plains region spreads across the eastern three-fifths of Montana. This grassy terrain is dotted with hills, river valleys, and grain fields.

Interesting Facts about Montana

11. Famous Montanans include actor Gary Cooper, motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel, and Jeannette Rankin, the first woman ever elected to U.S. Congress.

12. The original entrance to Yellowstone National Park—the world’s first national park—is in Gardiner, Montana, and was erected in 1903.

13. If you wanted to, due to the sheer size of the state, you could literally fit 6 other U.S. states into Montana; District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Billings Montana

14. Montana’s top natural resources were once copper, gold, silver, and sapphires.

15. Montana as a state is vast and expansive, two undeniably positive qualities. This is supported through the 28 million acres of public land.

16. . In 1888, there were more millionaires per capita living in Helena than in any other city in the world. Most of these millionaires made their riches through mineral exploits, specifically gold!

17. Montana was the first-ever state to elect a woman to Congress. In 1916 Jeannette Rankin won this historical election which would change the landscape of politics throughout the state.

18. Montana has 7 Indian reservations.

Montana farmland

19. It may come as no surprise to hear that Montana’s wildlife population is thriving in this abundant and clean environment. This is evident when you look at the Grizzly Bear population, with over 800 bears living in the state, which is more than any of the other lower 48 states.

20. Home to 56 counties, with 46 of them being considered “frontier counties”. Each county holds an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile.

Weird Facts about Montana

21. The largest-ever recorded snowflake was in Montana, which had a huge 15-inch diameter.

22. Montana is home to the largest elk herd in the nation.

Montana mountains

23. There are more cattle in Montana than there are people.

24. The fastest speed you are able to travel in Montana is 80 mph; however, driving at this speed is only allowed when traveling along rural highways.

25. Montana was a site for dinosaur egg discoveries. The remnants found at the Egg Mountain by Choteau revealed that some dinosaurs were more similar to birds and mammals than the reptiles.

26. The Roe River, situated near the Missouri River and Great Falls is the shortest river in the world, only flowing 200 feet. Made official by The Guinness Book of World Records.

Montana highway

27. Montana’s state abbreviation is surrounded by some controversy. Usually, when a state adopts a two-letter postal abbreviation, the abbreviation is simply created through the first and second, or maybe the first and last letters of the word. But not Montana, Montana’s abbreviation is made up from the first and fourth letters of the name, “MT”.

28. The small town named Loma, Montana has the record for the most dramatic temperature change within a 24 hour time period.

29. It is a fact that there are more cows than people in the state of Montana.

30. Out of the 56 counties in Montana, 50 of them are considered to be ‘frontier counties.’

Random Facts about Montana

31. The famous animator and producer Brad Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana. He worked on projects such as “Rugrats”, “The Simpsons”, “The Incredibles”, and “The Incredibles 2”.

Montana sunset

32. When considering infrastructure, Montana has the 6th best energy system out of all 50 states.

33. There is no sales tax in Montana, meaning that the base sales tax rate is 0%!

34. Fishing and hunting are prevalent within the state. Many residents will hunt and cook their own food.

35. The official state flower is the Bitterroot, and the official state tree is the Ponderosa Pine.

36. There is no other state that has as many mammal species as Montana.

Welcome to Montana sign

37. Montana has the most bookstores per capita than any other state.

38. Montana’s GDP is around $48 billion.

39. Annually, each spring almost 10,000 white pelicans migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to Medicine Lake, which is a National Wildlife Refuge located on the heavily glaciated rolling plains of northeastern Montana.

40. Montana is home to 9 glorious national park service areas where you can explore everything from historic battlefields to natural wonders across all corners of Big Sky Country.

Amazing Facts about Montana

41. Montana is very special because of its Triple Divide Peak. Located in Glacier National Park, the summit of the Triple Divide Peak is the world’s only oceanic triple divide point.

Cowboy in Montana

42. The Montana state motto is “Oro y Plata,” which is Spanish for “Gold and Silver.”

43. The famous Glacier National Park is the most visited place in Montana, known as the crown jewel of the continent, the national park lies along the state’s northern border.

44. Montana was the 41st state admitted to the union on November 8, 1889.

45. Montana has a superb education system, which is emphasized by 41% of the population being college-educated.

46. Montana is the only U.S. state sharing a land border with 3 Canadian provinces.

Hiking in Montana

47. Billings is the largest city in Montana.

48. Montana is the 4th largest U.S. state in terms of area.

49. The Bozeman Trail was a route originally meant for people to follow from the Oregon Trail to Virginia City.

50. Montana established its first capital city at Bannack back in 1864.

Bozeman Montana

51. Jordan, Montana is among the most remote counties in the United States. From there, the nearest airport is not until 175 miles while the nearest bus stop is not until 85 miles.

Hey! Want more fun facts about the states? Check these out!

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