Touring Montana's Eastern Interstate
I-94 Beckons Big Sky Travelers
In a state as big as Montana, variety is a bit of an understatement: between our borders, the state is filled with many different landscapes, historical attractions, cultural events and more. From the North Dakota border, along I-94 to its ending point near Billings, view sweeping prairies and Bad Lands, explore charming towns and dinosaur finds and hike among famous landmarks. Travel this route for a glimpse into Montana's past and be inspired by the landscape that surrounds it all.
DESTINATIONS (CITIES) VISITED: Wibaux, Glendive, Miles City, Billings
Day 1: I-94 - North Dakota border - Wibaux - Glendive - Miles City
Montana's eastern plains greet you as you begin your trek on I-94 from Wibaux where you'll be traveling west through a land of huge ranches and extensive vistas. In Glendive, 45 minutes inside the state line, a stop at either the Makoshika Dinosaur Museum or Makoshika State Park is a great way to see a unique side of Montana. Makoshika is a Sioux Indian word meaning "bad earth," and the state park's auto tour and hiking trails take you among the fascinating badlands formations and active digs for fossils including Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. Both Glendive attractions are part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail.
Continuing on I-94 for another hour, follow the Yellowstone River to Miles City -"cow capital of the west." History comes to life at the Range Riders Museum, where displays include western gear, (chaps, hats and rifles) to instruments and displays of pioneer life. To experience some regional and national artists, wander the galleries at the Custer County Art and Heritage Center.
Overnight in Miles City.
Day 2: I-94 to I-90 Miles City - Billings
With the sun on your back as you follow the Yellowstone River toward the Rocky Mountains, travel 2 hours to the sandstone outcropping called Pompeys Pillar, while following the route taken by Lewis and Clark on their return trip from the Pacific in 1806. At Pompeys Pillar National Historical Site, you'll find the only graffiti left by the expedition, and the only physical evidence on the trail. Here, Co-Captain William Clark carved his signature on the sandstone pillar, which he named after Sacajawea's baby, Pomp. Take the trail to the top for a bird's eye view of the river and valley below, then tour the Pompeys Pillar Interpretive Center for exhibits relating to the journey down the Yellowstone River Valley, as well as the native culture, the flora and fauna, the Expedition and the historical legacy of Pompeys Pillar through the 1800s.
Shortly after I-94 ends and merges with I-90, stop in Billings for lunch and a tour of Montana's largest city. The newly renovated historic downtown offers a plethora of dining from the Rex for fine dining to Stella's Bakers for home-style meals. Continue on traveling west to Bozeman, Missoula and the Idaho border following the I-90 itinerary.
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