History and quick facts – Montana (MT)

Before the West was settled by people of European descent, many Native American tribes called the region that was later to become Montana their home.    In early times, Montana’s Native Americans enjoyed and lived off the fruits of the land, especially buffalo.

Shortly after the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806, mountain men and prospectors arrived to seek riches. Later, homesteaders settled the land. In the 1870s, large cattle ranches developed in many areas of Montana Territory.

Today, Montana (MT) has a population of about 1,042,520 (many are of northern European ancestry, German, Irish, English, and Norwegian), plus a large population of Native Americans.  Montana is sparsely populated, with it’s residents scattered over a huge area of 147,000 square miles.

Population of Major Montana Cities and Towns:

•Billings, pop. 110,323 •Missoula, pop. 72,364 •Bozeman, pop. 45,250 •Helena, pop. 31,169 •Great Falls, pop. 59,178 •Butte, pop. 34,553

•Glendive, pop. 5,332 •Kalispell, pop. 22,761 •Miles City, pop. 8,647 •Lewistown, pop. 5,870  •Havre, pop. 9.846 •Dillon, pop. 4,257

plains, mountains, and rivers in Montana
Physical Map of Montana With Selected Towns and Cities

Click on map for a more detailed view.

State Bird: Western Meadowlark; State Flower: Bitterroot; State Animal: Grizzly Bear; State Fish: Cutthroat Trout; State Tree:Ponderosa Pine

Major Rivers: •Yellowstone River (south-central and southeast Montana) •Missouri River (north-central and northeast Montana) •Clark Fork River (western Montana) •Bitterroot River (southwest Montana); •Madison River (southwest Montana) •Milk River (north-central Montana) •Marias River (north-central Montana).

Major Lakes: •Flathead Lake (near Kalispell) •Canyon Ferry Lake (near Helena) •Lake Koocanusa (near Libby) •Whitefish Lake (near Whitefish •Fort Peck Lake (near Wolf Point) •Lake McDonald (in Glacier National Park) •Hebgen Lake (near West Yellowstone).




Major Mountain Ranges: •Absaroksa Range (Near Livingston); •Beartooth Range (near Red Lodge); •Flint Creek Range (near Deer Lodge); •Crazy Mountains (near Big Timber) •Gallatin Range (near Bozeman)

•Bitterroot Mountains (near Missoula) •Madison Range (near Ennis) •Mission Mountains (near Polson) •Big Snowy Mountains (near Lewistown) Elkhorn Mountains (near Helena) •Pryor Mountains (near Billings) •Flathead Range (near Kalispell) •Cabinet Mountains (near Thompson Falls).

State Gemstones: Agate and Sapphire; State Motto: Oro y Plata (Gold and Silver); Nicknames: The Treasure State; Big Sky Country; The Land of the Shining Mountains.

Photos by various people and organizations indexed on the Web by Google show the beauty and variety of landscapes in Montana:  Photo gallery of mountainous western Montana.   Photo gallery  of the plains of eastern Montana.  Enjoy!

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Copyright © 2017 John Sandy

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Best Guide – Montana