The Ultimate 7 Day Montana Itinerary: BEST of Montana Road Trip

An abundance of wildlife, a rich mining history, and home to some of the most epic views in America, Montana is a bucket-list adventure. This 7 day Montana itinerary takes you to all the beauty Montana has to offer. Nicknamed “The Last Best Place”, Montana hangs onto its untouched nature and wild spirit. You can feel the heartbeat of Montana in its world-famous national parks down to its historic small towns.

As someone who was born in Montana, has lots of family there, and visits almost every year, I’ve had lots of time to explore Montana. I have gone to the big tourist attractions and the small towns. So, I’ve crafted the perfect 7 day Montana itinerary to give you the best of both worlds, from national parks to quaint towns.

glacier national park mountain with river at the bottom- 7 day montana itinerary

While this 7 day Montana itinerary is just scratching the surface of this incredible state, this itinerary will take you to all the best spots.

This 7 day Montana itinerary is meant to inspire your road trip through Montana. It takes you from the biggest national park in America, Yellowstone National Park, up north to the famously beautiful Glacier National Park. I will also give insider tips and answer FAQs along the way!

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

The Ultimate 7 Day Montana Itinerary: BEST of Montana Road Trip

How Many Days in Montana

When planning your 7 day Montana itinerary, it’s best to spend 7-10 days here. Montana is a HUGE state, the fourth biggest! Although most of the tourist sites are on the West side of Montana, it still can take long days of driving to get between the two.

Plus, there is tons to see and do in this beautiful state. From Yellowstone and Glacier National Park to beautiful State Parks to old western towns. 7 days is just enough time to scratch the surface of the National Parks and towns in Montana. But with 10 or most days you’ll have enough time to get off the beaten path see hidden gems and enjoy the wide open spaces in Montana.

seeley lake in whitefish montana - 7 day montana itinerary

How To Get to Montana for a 7 Day Montana Itinerary

When planning your 7 day Montana itinerary, there are a few ways to get here. To start, you can fly into one of the many airports here. Bozeman (BZN) is the largest airport in Montana and is located closest to Yellowstone National Park. Although it’s the largest airport in the state, it’s still pretty small with only 12 gates. Outside of Bozeman, there are many other cities that service small airports. 

Your other option for getting to Montana is to drive yourself. Beware, Montana is a huge state, and much of the eastern part is very flat and not as scenic. 

There is one major highway going East-West in the state, I-90 to I-94. This highway passes through many major cities but is a daunting task of hours of driving. If you are coming from the East, you’ll need to drive through many hours of flat road before you reach the Rocky Mountains.

map of 7 day montana itinerary

Driving from the West to the East, in my opinion, is much more enjoyable because Western Montana is home to the Rocky Mountains and scenic views.

Additionally, there is one major highway traveling North-South in Montana, I-15. I-15 is not really along any tourist routes but connects many cities and towns here.

Best Time of Year to Visit Montana

Without a doubt, the best time of year to visit Montana is May-August. The summer season here is beautiful and you’re met with incredible views and weather. These months are the best time to road trip through Montana, see state and national parks, and enjoy the towns. The summer is also the busy tourist season here, so it does get crowded.

August- October can have many wildfires in the area, and the smoke frequently affects Montana. 

October-April is winter in Montana, which is great if you want to ski or participate in other winter sports here! However, the days are short, the roads are dangerous, and it’s very cold. But, if you’re planning a ski trip, this is the time to do it. During these months, many attractions and the National Parks will be closed, or require a permit to enter. 

grass field with mountains in the background

7 Day Montana Itinerary

Day 1 – Bozeman

Where to Stay: Yellowstone

Start your epic 7 Day Montana Itinerary in Bozeman, MT. You’ll want to fly into the Bozeman airport (BZN). BZN is the biggest airport in Montana, thus making it the most accessible. From here, you’ll want to rent a car, and hit the road.

The Bozeman Airport is about a 15-minute drive outside of the city. On your first day, head into the city of Bozeman to relax and explore. Bozeman is an awesome city in Montana. It’s growing a lot, thanks to the large public university here, Montana State University.

Bozeman is also the gateway city to Yellowstone National Park. Therefore, it’s really common for tourists to visit here. 

Bozeman is a hip and trendy city in Montana. It has lots of cool cafes and unique things to do. Here are a few ways to spend your first day of your 7 day Montana itinerary in Bozeman.

Things to do in Bozeman, Montana

7 Day Montana Itinerary

mountains with lake in montana

Museum of the Rockies

Wow! The Museum of the Rockies is an awesome way to start your Montana road trip. This museum is massive, and well deserving of a couple of hours of your day. Here, you’ll find a huge collection of dinosaur fossils, a planetarium, an IMAX theater, and more.

The Museum of the Rockies is famous for its massive collection of dinosaur fossils, including one of the largest and most important fossils found in the United States.

In this museum, you’ll travel through 4 billion years of earth’s history through interactive exhibits and interesting displays.

The Museum of the Rockies is a must-do for tourists, given your flight lands early enough for you to enjoy the day here.

Downtown Bozeman

If you only have the evening in Bozeman on your 7 day Montana itinerary, consider heading downtown. As I previously mentioned, downtown Bozeman is hip and trendy. Here, you can find lots of cute cafe’s, trendy breweries, and fun shopping.

Parking in downtown Bozeman is really easy, as there is lots of street parking. Once you park, its easy to walk almost anywhere.

If you’re looking for an easy quick dinner, I recommend stopping by Pickle Barrel.

Located next to the Montana State University campus, Pickle Barrel is known for its massive and delicious sandwiches. Stop by here for an amazing (and local!) dinner.

rocky mountains from the side of the road with a wooden fencer

Go Hiking

Of course, when on your 7 day Montana itinerary you probably want to spend some time outdoors. There is tons of hiking around the Bozeman area, but you’ll need to drive a little for them. Here are the best trails around Bozeman.

  • Palisade Falls – An easy 1-mile hike with little elevation gain, takes just over 30 minutes to complete. The waterfall is really beautiful and easily accessible.
  • College M Steep Trail – A quick, but steep 1.9-mile hike, takes about 90 minutes to complete. It offers great views of the mountains and of the city!
  • Gallatin River State Park – While not necessarily a hike, this park is awesome to relax and have a picnic just outside the city. Here you’ll be immersed in nature and actually at the river that runs through Yellowstone National Park!

Finish your day in Bozeman by driving to your accommodation for Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park is massive and has two very easy and accessible entrances from Bozeman. There are two sides to stay on, West Yellowstone, MT and Gardiner, MT. Both are great and offer different entrances to Yellowstone. 

I recommend you book the place where you find your favorite accommodation.

But, I recommend staying in West Yellowstone. This is the larger town with more accommodations. 

Day 2 – Yellowstone National Park

Where to stay: West Yellowstone

yellowstone national park - 7 day montana itinerary

Today’s the first full day on your 7 day Montana Itinerary. Today you’ll explore the Yellowstone National Park!

Yellowstone National Park was the first national park established in our modern-day national park system. It’s a massive park, covering almost 3,500 square miles! 

While this 7 day Montana itinerary allows you two days in Yellowstone, if you have extra time, consider staying for 3-4 days total.

Yellowstone is famous for its abundance of wildlife, unique springs, and exciting geysers. 

Yellowstone is one of a kind because it sits on top of a super-volcano. So, when you visit, you’ll find all of these unique springs and interesting formations and less of the soaring picturesque mountain tops.

Now that you know a little bit about Yellowstone, let’s get into the things to do on your first day in the park.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

7 Day Montana Itinerary

Old Faithful 

If you are staying in West Yellowstone, you’ll be lucky enough to be just a 45-minute drive away from Old Faithful (this is a short drive considering the size of the park). Go here first, and get here early. This is without a doubt, the most popular thing to do in Yellowstone and a must-do on your 7 day Montana itinerary.

Old Faithful erupts about 20 times a day, every 90 minutes. Depending on how you time the eruption, you’ll have time to walk the boardwalk around Old Faithful.

Although many tourists visit just to see the eruption and then leave shortly after, I recommend taking your time to explore other geysers and springs in the area. The boardwalks here are well-maintained, and the land is very unique.

If you’re up for a hike, hike Mystic Falls. This beautiful hike is halfway between Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring.

Grand Prismatic Spring

7 day montana itinerary- yellowstone hot spring

Next on your 7 day Montana itinerary, you’ll backtrack towards West Yellowstone with a stop at the Grand Prismatic Spring. The Grand Prismatic Spring is located at Midway Geyser Basin.

The Grand Prismatic Spring is the big orange, blue, yellow, green… rainbow … spring that you see in the front of every brochure and on Google images!

Let me tell you, in person, it’s even cooler! This spring gets really crowded, as most visitors want to see it. So, you may have to park on the side of the road and walk there.

Once you’re here, enjoy the boardwalk and see the springs at eye level. Yes, there is more than just the Grand Prismatic Spring in this area!

Next, you should hike to the lookout point for Grand Prismatic Spring. The Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail is a 1.2-mile hike that takes you to an amazing viewpoint of the spring!

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

yellowstone national park lower falls waterfall in a canyon

After you’ve finished the two most popular attractions in Yellowstone, you’re probably feeling very successful! Well, now it’s time to get out of the crowds, hopefully, see some wildlife, and head to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is an impressive canyon with two waterfalls, upper falls and lower falls.

I recommend just visiting the Lower Falls. While here, you can see the Lower Falls from a quick walk from your car, or head down the boardwalk!

During my visit, I loved walking down to the base of the falls! It was a fun hike with a rewarding view. But, it is a steep hike back up with a lot of stairs!

If you have extra time, here are other places worth stopping on day 1:

  • Lower Geyser Basin to see the Paint Pot
  • West Thumb Geyser Basin
  • Upper Falls 

Today, stay south of West Yellowstone, as tomorrow we will head north on your 7 day Montana itinerary.

At the end of the day, head back to your accommodation for some dinner and relax before another big day ahead. 

Day 3 – Yellowstone National Park

Where to Stay: Bozeman

Rise and shine, it’s your second day of your 7 day Montana itinerary, and final day in Yellowstone National Park. Today, we’ve got lots to do.

Start today similarly to yesterday. You’ll want to get an early start to beat the crowds. Today is all about the journey, and less about the destination.

Things to do on Day 2 in Yellowstone National Park

7 Day Montana Itinerary

Lamar Valley

Begin your morning by heading to Lamar Valley. Lamar Valley is the best spot in Yellowstone for wildlife. After all, this park is known for its incredible wildlife sightings.

Here, you’ll find bison, grizzlies, and wolves if you’re lucky enough! It’s nicknamed “America’s Serengeti” because of its grassy hills providing homes for animals.

Lamar Valley is also massive, and the tourists have more space to spread out here. Pack binoculars for today, as many of the animals may be off in the distance!

Lamar Valley is somewhere you want to take your time. Stop at every lookout point that you find interesting, and enjoy your day.

Mammoth Hot Springs

mammoth hot springs - yellowstone national park

After you’ve finished in Lamar Valley, head to Mammoth Hot Springs. Mammoth Hot Springs is located at the North entrance of Yellowstone, near Gardiner, MT.

This popular spot is a must-do when in Yellowstone. Stroll the boardwalks here to see these unique formations up close. 

Mammoth Hot Springs is made up of two loops. Each loop takes you to new views of the springs. If you decide to do them both, you will end up walking about 1.75 miles.

Additionally, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can swim in the Boiling River! This river is near Mammoth Hot Springs, and only open during the peak summer months. Although, they do close it frequently due to water levels or currents. The Boiling River is a fun and unique way to end your trip to Yellowstone National Park.

In the evening, take the 90-minute drive back to Bozeman. Tonight, you’ll stay in Bozeman.

Day 4 – Drive from Bozeman to Missoula

Today, you’ll begin your road trip from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park on your 7 day Montana itinerary. These two iconic national parks in Montana are connected with stunning scenery and old western Montana towns.

You’ll take about 2 days to complete this road trip. So, you’ll have plenty of time to stop in the towns and roadside attractions to get a glimpse of slow Montana life.

Today, drive on I-90 W for the scenic route connecting Bozeman to Missoula. This drive takes 3 hours without stops, but you’ll want to stop plenty of times to see a non-touristy side of Montana.

Where to Stop Between Bozeman and Missoula

Three Forks 

three forks montana river with mountains - 7 day montana itinerary

The first stop you’ll want to make is in Three Forks. Three Forks is a very small town but is famous for where the headwaters of the Missouri River converge. The Madison, Jefferson, and Gallatin Rivers all meet here to form the Missouri River.

Take time here to explore the park and learn about Lewis and Clark’s expedition in the area in 1805. There is lots of signage to allow you to learn the history of the area. Also, it’s a great stop for a picnic or to relax.

Also, Three Forks is home to Wheat Montana. Wheat Montana is a massive gas station, side of the road, stop. It’s home to delicious baked goods and a deli. This is the perfect stop to load up on snacks for the day or some lunch.

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park

Next to three forks, you’ll find Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. This extensive cave system is the first and best-known state park. Here, you can take an underground cave tour or hike the hills in the area.

Butte – Underground Mining Tour

butte mining tour - 7 day montana itinerary

Another 30 minutes down the road in Butte, Montana. This old western mining town is small but is home to a great mining tour. The Underground Mine Tour takes you 100 feet down into the mine to learn more about Montana’s mining culture.

It’s a super fun tour that lets you stretch out your legs during the road trip on your 7 day Montana itinerary.


End your day in Missoula. Here, check into your accommodation and then head downtown for some dinner. Here, you can explore the hip downtown or the University of Montana campus. It’s another young and trendy town in Montana, so there are lots of places to eat.

Day 5 – Drive Missoula to West Glacier

Where to stay: Glacier National Park

seeley lake in whitefish montana - 7 day montana itinerary

Day 5 of your 7 day Montana itinerary is the 3 hour drive from Missoula to West Glacier. West Glacier is the entrance of Glacier National Park.

You’ll spend your final 2 days here to explore, so today enjoy the drive and scenic views. Drive on Highway 93 and connect to Highway 35 for the best and most scenic views.

When visiting Glacier National Park, the best accommodation is as close to, or inside the park, as possible. But, if you are in need of a hotel, stay in Kalispell. Kalispell, MT is about a 45-minute drive to the entrance of Glacier National Park but offers a wide selection of hotels and a good downtown to explore.

Where to Stop Between Missoula to West Glacier

7 Day Montana Itinerary

Flathead Lake

The best, and biggest, spot to stop along the drive is Flathead Lake. Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater body of water West of the Mississippi River.

Here, stop at Findlay Point. This is a beautiful lookout with a public park and benches.

You have a lot of driving and exploring today, so do not worry about stopping too much along this massive lake. You can see a lot of it from Highway 35.

If you do have extra time on your hands, or are interested in some water sports, here you can go fishing, boating, kayaking, and more.


A cute small, Montana town on the North side of Flathead Lake. Bigfork is a nice stop to grab some ice cream and stretch your legs. But, there’s not a whole lot to do here.


My recommended place to get a hotel for Glacier National Park, Kalispell is the largest city near the entrance to Glacier National Park. Kalispell is home to a commercial airport and a decent-sized downtown.

If you want to get groceries, this is a good place to do so too.


Just north of Kalispell is Whitefish. Whitefish has a beautiful lake, but is better known for its skiing. This area is a nice scenic drive, but Kalispell will be the bigger stop to get souvineers and food.

West Glacier

West Glacier is at the entrance of Glacier National Park! This place can get very crowded, so I usually don’t stop here for too long during my trips. It’s a good place for last-minute snacks and food and also souvenirs.

It’s also a great place to book excursions for Glacier National Park. If you want to go white water rafting, kayaking, or take a boat tour, this is a good spot to organize all of that.

Lake McDonald

If you still have daylight left, enter Glacier National Park and visit Lake McDonald. This lake is GORGEOUS. The colorful rocks met with still water and picturesque mountains is worth visiting now. It’s at the front of the park, before the going-to-the-sun road, so it makes it an easy stop.

In the evening, head back to your accommodation to prepare for a big day of hiking and sightseeing in Glacier National Park.

Day 6 – Glacier National Park

glacier national park - 7 day montana itinerary

Glacier National Park is, in my opinion, the most beautiful national park in America and the best stop on your 7 day Montana itinerary. I mean, I just love it! While it is much smaller than Yellowstone in size, it still has an abundance of hiking trails and things to do.

This national park is known for its jaw-dropping beauty. Everywhere you go, you are met with soaring mountain peaks, beautiful blue lakes, and icy glaciers.

As far as driving in the park, there is only one major road that goes through the park, this is called the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This road is the main attraction in the park, with stunning views and access to all of the best hiking trails. So, let’s get started on what to do during your first day in Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park has two entrances, the West entrance and the East entrance. The west entrance is on National Park land, while the east entrance is home to the Native American tribe.

These entrances are very spread apart, and it is best to do so if you have more than two days in the park. With only two days, we will stick with the West side of Glacier National Park.

Things To Do in Glacier National Park: Day 1

7 Day Montana Itinerary

Lake McDonald

Once again, stop by Lake McDonald on your way into the park. Just before this lake, you’ll also find the visitor’s center. The Visitors Center is always a good idea to stop in for the most up-to-date trail information in the park. But, don’t spend too much time here, as you’ll want to beat the crowds to Logan’s Pass.

Going-to-the-Sun Road

glacier national park going to the sun road
Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

This engineering marvel of a road runs straight through the park. Along it, you’ll find many hiking trails and lookout points. I recommend driving it as early as possible, as it gets very crowded. 

This road takes you up to Logan’s Pass at around 6,600 feet in elevation. The windy one-lane road curves through the mountain cliffs, and isn’t for the faint of heart. This road can be a scary drive to make for an inexperienced driver.

However, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Logan’s Pass

glacier national park in the summer

Logan’s Pass is the summit of Glacier National Park.

This is where the trailheads to the Hidden Lake Overlook Trail and Highline Trail are.

The Logan’s Pass parking lot is really small, and frequently hits capacity. If it’s open when you pass it in the morning, go ahead and park here first. If not, head farther into the park and return here in later in the afternoon.

The Hidden Lake Overlook Trail is a short trail that leads to a picturesque view. I mean, this might be one of the most gorgeous spots in the park. The trail is 1.4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 460 ft. The trail is well maintained with a boardwalk leading you up most of the way.

The Highline Trail can also be started here. Technically, it’s called the Granite Park Chalet. If you are up for a big hiking day, this is the trail for you. This 11.8-mile trail has a total elevation gain of just under 2,000 feet. This trail will take a full day’s worth of hiking. So, it’s recommended to go here first if you plan to do it!

Sun Point Nature Trail

One of my favorite hikes in the park, and a bit of a hidden gem, is the Sun Point Nature Trail. This 0.8-mile hike is short and sweet, but it’s really good for soaking in views of the park. Here, there are plenty of awesome photography spots. This is my favorite spot for a picnic in the park! Grab a seat on a rock and enjoy the picturesque views of where the sparkling blue water meets insane mountain views.

St. Mary’s and Virginia Falls

waterfall hike in glacier national park - 7 day montana itinerary

A popular trail, St. Mary’s and Virginia Falls is between 1.5 and 2.5 miles hiking, depending on how many waterfalls you want to see. This trail also gets really crowded, so I recommend stopping here early (especially if Logan’s Pass is too crowded). 

This relaxing trail is one of the easier ones in the park and leads you to three beautiful waterfalls. I really enjoyed this trail during my time in Glacier because of the walks through the forest. 

Day 7 – Glacier National Park

Your final day of the 7 day Montana itinerary will be spent exploring Glacier National Park again.

This park is huge, and with only 2 days, it’s impossible to see it all. But of course, you can see a lot of it at this time. Today, you’ll finish up seeing the West side of the park, and maybe have some extra time to see the Hungry Horse Dam. Y

You’ll also plan to be back in Kalispell early to catch a flight home or get ready to depart to your next destination.

Things To Do in Glacier National Park: Day 2

7 Day Montana Itinerary

Avalanche Trail

avalanche trail - 7 day montana itinerary

Start your day on the Avalanche Trail. This trail is near the front of the park and feels like you’re in the Pacific Northwest. This trail is really different from the rest in the park because it sits at a lower elevation with lots of vegetation.

Take the Avalanche Trail via the Trail of the Cedars for the best hike. This easy hike has just a little elevation gain, and at the end, you’re met with really beautiful views. Along the way, you will wind the forest and cross rivers.

This trail is another must-do for anyone visiting the park.

Lake McDonald Excursion

Today will be a great day for any added excursions you want to take! Cruise along Lake McDonald, White Water Raft, and more! You can book your tour in person at West Yellowstone. However, during the busy summer months, things fill up quickly.

You can check out the tours online here.

Hungry Horse Dam

The Hungry Horse dam is a nice stop just 25 minutes south of West Glacier, towards Kalispell. Here, you can see one of the largest concrete arch dams in the United States. There is plenty of parking and a side walk for visitors to walk over the dam.

butte montana mining tour - yellowstone to glacier national park road trip

Extended 7 Day Montana Itinerary

If you have extra time in Montana, consider visiting Helena, Montana! As the capital of this great state, there is so much to see and do! From day trips from Helena to itineraries.

There are so many fun things to do in this city!


Conclusion of the 7 Day Montana Itinerary

In conclusion, this 7 day Montana Itinerary takes you from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park and everything in between. The west coast of Montana offers insane beauty, wide open spaces, and a rich old western culture.

Although this is my preferred itinerary, as someone who has visited Montana over 20 times, it’s important for you to adapt the itinerary as needed. I hope this itinerary helps make your trip to Montana unforgettable!

glacier national park in the summer - 7 Day Montana Itinerary

I’m Danika! A travel obsessed, Disney adult, with a knack for budgeting.

In 2020 I was furlough from my “dream” job at Disney and have pursued my first love of travel ever since. I have traveled to 33 states and 28 countries spanning 5 continents.

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