“The Treasure State,” “The Last Best Place,” or “The Big Sky State.” No matter what you call it, there’s no place like Montana.
With nearly 150,000 square miles of dense forest, staggering mountains, rolling hills, expansive valleys, and hundreds of miles of badlands, you can find that nearly every place in Montana holds its own natural beauty.
Home to numerous indigenous groups of people for over 12,000 years, Montana’s history is intertwined with the history of western European expansion and the forcible resettlement of native people. Some of the largest and oldest Native American tribes hold reservation territory within the borders of Montana, including the Crow, Cheyenne, Blackfeet, and Assiniboine.
Western settlement began shortly thereafter the Lewis and Clark expedition completed its journey following the Louisiana Purchase, bringing trappers and traders eager to capture the coveted furs of beaver and bison. Later, gold brought an influx of newcomers and interest, leading to the creation of the Montana Territory in 1864. Several military installations were created in Montana, with many more to follow in the years to come.
Today, Montana is known for its agriculture, industry, and wide-open grasslands that mirror the endless sky. While older industries such as coal production, timber, farming, ranching, and mining still exist, technology, retail, healthcare, and tourism has shaped Montana’s modern landscape, creating immense interest in the area throughout the country and creating another influx of newcomers hoping to capture a little bit of the Treasure State.