Visiting Montana's Treasures

Summers are short in Montana, so it’s important to get out there and take advantage of what makes this the Treasure State. Montana FWP is happy to help.

Where the Wild Things Roam

When was the last time you visited a Wildlife Management Area (WMA)? They’re some of best places in Montana to observe and learn about wildlife. They provide vital habitat for an array of big game and nongame wildlife alike, and many WMAs also offer diverse opportunities for recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing. Dome Mountain WMA, Madison-Wall Creek WMA, and Gallatin WMA are all a short drive from Bozeman. As with any outdoor activity this time of year, bring your bear spray and know how to use it. For more information and a map of WMAs, go to and click on “Fish & Wildlife.”

Fresh Air and Doors with Zippers

What better way to experience Montana this summer than to make your home outdoors for a weekend? For those new to camping or those taking youngsters along, a state park is a great place to set up camp. And maybe this year instead of a tent, you might reserve a cabin or a yurt. Online reservations make planning a breeze (check out for all the details). For a more solitary experience, seasoned pros might head to the backcountry. In that case, remember to leave no trace and brush up on your survival and bear awareness training. No matter which avenue (or trail) you choose, there are lots of great tips on what to bring and how to safely set up camp at

Celebrating 150 Years of History

Gold! That’s what drew thousands of hopeful prospectors and a vast array of colorful characters to a dusty canyon along Grasshopper Creek back in the days of gunslingers and vigilantes. Bannack, 25 miles southwest of what is now Dillon, was the site of the first major gold discovery in Montana in the summer of 1862. With its subsequent population boom, Bannack became Montana’s first—albeit short-lived—territorial capital. Once prospectors found gold elsewhere, Bannack quickly became a ghost town. Montana State Parks is commemorating Bannack’s 150-year anniversary at its annual Bannack Days (July 21-22) and with a host of special events all year long. For more information, call 834-3413.

Andrea Jones is the FWP Region 3 Information and Education Program Manager.