A Tale Between Two Parks

By Hillori Rosling

Exploring Montana’s Outdoor Secret

Discover Montana’s Hometown in “A Tale of Two Parks” where travelers between Glacier and Yellowstone find Montana’s outdoor secrets. Helena, the capital city, and the surrounding Montana area offer some of the world’s most loved destinations and attractions. Here’s a compilation of some of our favorites inspired by some of your preferred activities from vibrant local life to mysterious historical gems. Make every moment special in Montana and an unspoiled experience in Helena.

Image of large cliffs along a mountain side with trees.

“It seems to me Montana is a great splash of grandeur. The scale is huge but not overpowering. The land is rich with grass and color, and the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were ever put on my agenda.”
– John Steinbeck

Let’s begin with our most significant attractions, our national parks. Glacier National Park is located about 4 hours and 25 minutes away from Helena. It boasts over 1 million acres of land, 131 named lakes, and an additional 631 unnamed lakes. There are 175 picnic sites and a 2-mile-long paved bike path. The park also has a vast number of trails with 110 miles being a part of the Continental Divide trailway. Remember to get your vehicle registration and park passes, check here. Yellowstone is a 2-hour and 50-minute drive from Helena. It covers 2,221,766 acres of land and includes over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles. And it is also home to one of the world’s largest super-volcanoes, watch out.

Montana is famous for its beauty and mystery, but we’re also driven and competitive. Here in Helena, our passion for the outdoors and trails isn’t a secret to visitors. Whether you’re a cyclist or a runner, we have something for everyone. The most well-known race is the Governor’s Cup, a USATF-certified Boston Marathon qualifier. It includes a marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 10K, 5K, and a fun run. Helena also hosts many other foot races from April to November. If biking is more your thing, Helena has got you covered with events like York 38 or a ride with Shred MT Shuttles.

Suppose parks or races aren’t your first choices, don’t worry. Helena has a variety of activities to offer. You can visit Lewis and Clark Caverns and see the incredible stalagmites that hang from the caves above you. Take a tour through the Gates of the Mountains or have a shopping spree down our historic walking mall. Montana truly has endless possibilities.

Seeking more things to do? Find more traveler itineraries here.