Missouri River Breaks
On May 31, 1805, Meriwether Lewis described scenes of visionary enchantment as the Corps of Discovery passed through the White Cliffs of the Missouri River Breaks. Today, this area remains relatively untouched by the modern world. The Missouri Breaks National Monument encompasses 495,502 acres with dramatic geological features and abundant wildlife, including the most viable elk herd in Montana and one of six remaining paddlefish populations in the United States.
In 1903, Yellowstone National Park (the world’s first national park) honored President Teddy Roosevelt for his conservation efforts with the creation of the Roosevelt Arch. The partially constructed monument was dedicated by Roosevelt himself, with a cornerstone- laying ceremony that drew thousands of guests.
With an elevation reaching 10,947 feet, the Beartooth Highway is the highest paved road in the Northern Rocky Mountains. The Top of the World Resort is the only stop along the 68- mile stretch to purchase souvenirs, gas, and supplies. Visitors enjoy numerous recreational activities here, including hiking, fishing, and snowball fights—even in the summer months!
Towering 150 feet above the Yellowstone River, Pompey’s Pillar is an impressive sandstone formation. Even more incredible is its significance to human history in the region. Petroglyphs, carved by indigenous peoples, are numerous here, and the pillar features the signature of Captain William Clark, who named the formation after Sacajawea’s son, Jean Baptiste, aka “Pompey.”
The Anaconda Smoke Stack
An impressive piece of masonry, the Anaconda Smoke Stack stands at 585 feet and is one of the tallest free-standing brick structures in the world. It is so large that the Washington Monument could fit inside it, if not for the one-foot overlap at the lowest 100 feet of the monument’s corners.
St. Mary’s Mission
As Montana’s first permanent settlement by non-indigenous peoples, St. Mary’s Mission carries with it a great deal of history. The original mission was built at the request of the Bitterroot Salish in the 1840s and destroyed by Blackfoot raids in 1850. It was rebuilt and served as an Indian mission until 1891, when the Bitterroot Salish were forced onto the Jocko Reservation.
The 50-foot-long Going to the Sun Road is the only road that spans Glacier Park from east to west, crossing the Continental Divide through Logan Pass at an elevation of 6,646 feet (the highest point on the road). The road is named after Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, which dominates the eastbound view.