Friday, September 7, 2018

The way to Montana's autumn wonders


Montana Office of Tourism shares how to take a scenic route to exquisite landscapes this fall.

From cooler temperatures to changing colors, autumn is the perfect time to slow down and see Montana from a different perspective by taking a scenic road, bike or canoe trip.

Road Trips
Landscapes along King's Hill Scenic Byway

Imagine winding down a road with little traffic, through brilliant colors of gold, red and orange, and taking in mountain landscapes and prairies. That’s what you get when you take a road trip in Montana. Looking for golden foliage reflected on crystal-clear waters? Take a scenic drive along Montana Highway 35 and U.S. Highway 93 around Flathead Lake. As you follow this route around the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, you’ll feel transported by the beauty of its mystifying depths.


Take part in the Flathead Lake Wakeboard Academy

Head east for an unspoiled oasis of rivers and sweeping landscapes sprinkled with orange and red. Here you can take the road less traveled, and venture along Kings Hill Scenic Byway to experience the rugged beauty of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is part of USDA Forest Service


If you’re looking for a road trip through towering mountain peaks to spectacular vistas, you don’t want to miss the Beartooth Highway. 
Drive Beartooth Highway for outstanding scenes.
Here, drivers climb to striking views from heights of over 10,000 feet above sea level. From Red Lodge, follow the highway west to Yellowstone National Park for abundant opportunities to view bison, elk and other wildlife.

Bike Trips
There's much to see on the Bitterroot Trail, either by bike or car.
Fewer crowds, perfect temperatures and breathtaking landscapes are just a few reasons Montana is the perfect place to explore in autumn. One of the best ways to take in the sights of the season is biking. Soak up Montana’s fresh mountain air and fall colors by setting out on theBitterroot Trail. The paved biking trail is located in the Bitterroot Valley, framed by the Bitterroot Mountains to the west and the Sapphire Mountains to the east. As you follow its mesmerizing path, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of snowcapped peaks, brilliant fall foliage and charming small towns.

Bike in Paradise Valley along the Yellowstone River.
Prefer biking with riverside views? Set out to explore Paradise Valley and peddle up to 24 miles  along the winding path of the mighty Yellowstone River in between the towering Gallatin and Absaroka Mountain Ranges. From sun-kissed stands of golden aspen and cottonwood trees to the majestic peaks in the distance, this valley is true to its name in the fall.

For the perfect variety of autumn scenery, embark on a biking journey along the Backbone of the Rockies from Choteau to Augusta. Between the wild mountains and forests to the west and the ranch and farm country to the east, this route gives you the best of both worlds and will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Canoe Trips
Paddle your way past mountains on the Clearwater Canoe Trail.
Imagine gliding through calm waters as one of the few people around and enjoying only the sounds of nature as you paddle. Add autumn colors splashed against the landscapes to that image, and you have a perfect Montana getaway. Follow the Clearwater River Canoe Trail in the Seeley-Swan Valley for a quiet two-hour paddle on a stretch of river closed to motorized boats. As you float, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the valley, and pass through a dense willow marsh that turns a brilliant shade of yellow in the fall.
 
There's nothing quite as spectacular as watching a moose
cross a river in Glacier National Park.
Adventure north to Glacier National Park and float the pristine waters of Lake McDonald.
This glacial lake is stunning any time of year, but exploring its miles of shoreline in the fall is truly breathtaking. With the striking contrast of vibrant yellow larch trees dotting the cedar and pine forests, paddling the lake in this season offers no shortage of magnificent views and opportunities to sight wildlife.

Information and photos courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism andBusiness Development.

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