From scorching springs to the courthouse: 10 stops on a ‘Yellowstone’-inspired highway journey via Montana
Trip Inspiration

From scorching springs to the courthouse: 10 stops on a ‘Yellowstone’-inspired highway journey via Montana

Montana is a driving state. When roadtripping via Massive Sky Nation, you may’t assist however discover the vastness of the highways, the great thing about their clouds, and the seemingly countless quantity of open areas. On my 7-hour drive towards Montana from Seattle, I made a decision to take heed to the official Yellowstone podcast. 

Followers of the Paramount Community TV collection ought to know that there’s a metropolis in Montana named Dutton. Initially a Nice Northern Railway station, it was named for Charles E. Dutton, who was the railroad’s common agent in Helena, Montana. 

As we saddle up for season 5 of the favored collection, listed here are 10 spots on a Montana highway journey impressed by Yellowstone. Simply don’t end up getting dropped off on the “practice station.” The world the place Dutton associates depart useless our bodies is filmed on an actual stretch of highway alongside Freeway 93 in Sula, Montana, in line with the Glacier County Montana tourism board.


A scenic road winds its way through stunning view of mountains and towering trees.
Glacier Nationwide Park.

1. Glacier Nationwide Park

The perfect time to highway journey to Glacier Nationwide Park, or Montana on the whole, is July via mid-September. From scenic drives, and views like those from the Dutton Ranch, to greater than 1 million acres of terrain, there’s undoubtedly an epic selfie in there someplace. Be taught in regards to the park’s Indigenous historical past on a tour with a Blackfeet tribal member.

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Planning a visit to Glacier Nationwide Park


A strikingly blue lake stands in contrast to the lush trees and greenery that surround it.
Flathead Lake.

2. Flathead Lake 

Flathead Lake is the biggest pure freshwater lake in Montana. It’s onerous to not gasp while you strategy the gorgeous, emerald-colored physique of water. In the event you’re seeking to keep in a non-fussy place with that million-dollar view, you’ll discover the Polson / Flathead Lake KOA nestled in a hill to the facet of the lake.


Steam rises from a hot spring that's surrounded by soothing mountain vistas.
Scorching Springs, Montana. | Picture: Mandy Zelinka

3. Wildhorse Scorching Springs

Visiting Wildhorse Scorching Springs makes me really feel like one of many Duttons, who’re identified to take pleasure in their scenic out of doors baths. In the course of the day, you’ll discover loads of households, and also you’re free to skinny dip after darkish. The true magnificence is the vastness of the encompassing nature protect. It’s also possible to keep in a single day in a teepee, cabin, or campsite.


4. Quinn’s Scorching Springs Resort

This place books out a yr upfront, and for good cause. As you drive down probably the most scenic highways within the U.S., seeking to the proper, you’ll see of us meandering about this property decked out in white robes strolling with their morning espresso. Quinn’s appears to be like like a spot that might make the huckleberry juice well worth the squeeze, and the place Beth would take a mini-staycation.


Jackie Kecskes gives horse-whispering lessons.
Jackie Kecskes provides horse-whispering classes. | Picture: Stuart Thurlkill, courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up

5. The Resort at Paws Up

In 1997, Nadine Lipson and her late husband, Dave, got here to Montana and acquired a working cattle ranch. Animals right here embody Black Angus cows, mustangs, quarter horses, and a big herd of bison. Along with their enterprising son, Larry, the Lipsons opened The Resort at Paws Up in 2005—it’s like visiting the animals on the Dutton Ranch, with out the drama.

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A Montana resort’s star-studded Cowgirl Roundup teaches girls using, roping, and respect for the land


A covered bridge spans across a rocky river.
South Yuba River.

6. Nevada Metropolis, Montana

Based on the Nevada Metropolis Chamber of Commerce’s web site, “If you realize the place to look, it’s not onerous to search out gold in Nevada County rivers.” Get wealthy fast (to combat off these grasping buyers) at among the most accessible gold panning places: the South Yuba River at Bridgeport, Edwards Crossing, and Washington; and on the Center Yuba River at Oregon Creek. These are public stretches of river so that you don’t have to fret about declare leaping. All you want is your arms and a gold pan.


7. Chief Joseph Ranch 

The closest you may get to the fictional Dutton Ranch is by staying on the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana, which is the place scenes from the present are filmed—simply notice that it closes for durations of time for filming. The ranch kindly permits followers to take photographs on the entrance gate when the present isn’t filming. In the event you go to, be respectful and don’t block the driveway. 

In a single day company can keep in Lee Dutton and Rip’s cabins and are provided excursions of the ranch. Be mindful it’s situated about 4.5 hours from the doorway to Yellowstone Nationwide Park.  


A winding road weaves through a landscape filled with mountains and a deep blue lake.
Earthquake Lake.

8. Earthquake Lake

Generally known as “Quake Lake” (not named after the explosive ending of season three), this physique of water was created after an earthquake struck close to the west entrance of Yellowstone Nationwide Park in August of 1959. The 6-mile lake has a most depth of 125 ft and is situated principally inside the Custer-Gallatin Nationwide Forest. 


Grave markers line a grassy field.
Little Massive Horn Battlefield Nationwide Monument.

9. Little Bighorn Battlefield 

Be taught extra in regards to the state’s Indigenous historical past with a go to to Little Bighorn Battlefield situated in Crow Company. Some scenes from the present are filmed on the Crow Reservation, the place the nationwide monument is situated. To additional your expertise, go on an interpretive tour with Native American guides (seasonally), eat on the Crow Hop Restaurant, and go to the monument’s museum on the customer middle. This nationwide monument participates within the Junior Ranger program.


A large building adorned with columns.
County Courthouse in Missoula, Montana.

10. Missoula, Montana

Season 4 lastly brings the Paramount filming crew to Montana (versus the opposite three seasons, which have been primarily filmed in different places, like Utah). Based on the Glacier County Montana tourism board, scenes from the present have been filmed on the Group Medical Middle, Ruby’s Cafe, streets downtown, the Garlington Constructing, and the Missoula County Courthouse—which is open for self-guided excursions.