The 10 Best Rodeos in Montana

Mark Barnett
Last Updated: June 7th, 2023

Big Sky Country is known for its love of old-west culture from cowboys and music to hospitality and fashion, Montana loves to celebrate its roots.  It is no surprise that this passion has made Montana one of the best states to catch a rodeo.

To help you on your trip, we have highlighted the best rodeos in Montana for you to check out. Whether you are an avid rodeo fan or a ‘greenhorn’ these events are certain to offer an unforgettable experience.

The 10 Best Rodeos in Montana

1. Dillon Montana’s Annual Rodeo

dillon montana annual rodeo
Image: gay2016

The Dillon Jaycees presents Dillon Montana’s Annual Rodeo happening during Montana’s Biggest Weekend.

Come out to the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds and see some of the best riders from all over and some local riders too.

This will be the 65th annual Dillon Jaycees Rodeo, but the rodeo itself has hosted people from around the state for much longer than a century; hence the nickname “Montana’s Biggest Weekend.”

Tickets are available at the gate. They will be available online beginning August 2nd.  Bring the family and watch some great rodeo action! Don’t forget the concert on Sunday night!

If you are planning on visiting just to experience the rodeo, you can check accommodations in Dillon.

2. Last Chance Stampede Rodeo

last chance stampede rodeo

The “Last Chance Stampede Rodeo” has previously been awarded the ‘Medium Rodeo of the Year as well as the Most Improved Rodeo of the year in Pro Rodeo Circuit circles in Montana.

This is an award-winning rodeo on many levels–even the announcer has won various accolades at this main event in the heart of Helena, Montana.

The 3-night event features many award-winning broncs and bulls along with Montana Circuit Cowboys and Cowgirls and top-level PRCA contestants from across the nation.

The show features seven events sanctioned by the PRCA, and in the evenings there is a concert.

You can find plenty of great accommodations in Helena, Montana if you are traveling to come to see the rodeo.

3. Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo

northwest montana fair & rodeo

Here is an event that personifies the heritage, culture, and excitement of the NW Montana region. With more than 120 years of tradition, this event comes to life every year in August for three nights of PRCA Rodeo action.

Some of the highlights of the fair include the cream of local talent, a Livestock Show and Sale, commercial exhibitors, and over 8,000 hand-crafted, individual exhibits that showcase the talent and passion of local residents for cultural and artistic pursuits.

The fair also features a huge concert, some exciting carnival rides, and plenty of wonderful fair culinary delights.

4. The Livingston Roundup Rodeo

the livingston roundup rodeo

The Livingston Roundup Rodeo is one of those Montana institutions with something of a long and colorful history dating back one hundred years or more to the 1920s when the event was first established.

The idea came to fruition once a bunch of top bucking broncos had been brought into Livingston, Montana and a rodeo was officially recognized in Park County. The Livingston Roundup was originally one of eight Class A rodeos across the country that paid out big purses.

That local tradition continues today in the form of sell-out, cream of western rodeo action alongside some of the best rough stock in the country.

For those traveling to experience this unforgettable rodeo for themselves, there are plenty of accommodation options in the town of Livingston.

5. Missoula Stampede Rodeo

missoula stampede rodeo

This exciting and well-known Missoula rodeo is held at the Western Montana Fair and organized by Sankey Pro Rodeo

This summer rodeo is one of the premier events in Missoula, coming across as a combination of the Western Montana State Fair and one of the best rodeos around.

The event is typically held over 3 days in August covering Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Missoula has plenty of options for accommodations for those looking to check out the Missoula Rodeo.

6. Big Timber PRCA Rodeo

big timber prca rodeo

Big Timber has a weekly PRCA Rodeo that hosts some great competitions and events including enthralling NFR specialty acts.

This is a well-organized event complete with a big screen for instant replays of the action. Also featuring a plethora of different vendors, NFR quality bucking stock, concerts and live music, world champion athletes–and a world-class announcer—the event runs from August to early September.

Spectators and competitors alike crowd in on this local rodeo event in Big Timber, Montana which is organized and operated by a company with half a century’s worth of experience in this game JS Rodeo Company.

Big Timber is limited in accommodations, so it is best to book in advance if you need a place to stay.

7. Whoop-Up Days Rodeo

whoop up days rodeo
Image: Montanabw

Conrad’s rhubarb festival coincides with this annual Whoop-Up Days celebration to make one big event.

The rodeo is typically held over the first weekend of June and the Conrad Rodeo Grounds come to life. Now celebrating more than 70 years of events, the Annual Whoop-Up Days and Rhubarb Festival is a great place to bring the whole family if you enjoy a good rodeo and some other, ranch-style competitions and antics.

The activities usually kick off on Friday evening with a children’s carnival, and the following morning the Conrad Lions Club offers a free pancake breakfast.

Anyone wishing to work those off can join the Center Fun Run, while Conrad’s youth have another parade up Main Street before the Whoop-Up Rodeo begins at 1:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Of course, there’ll be plenty of rhubarb pies for sale too, along with more contests—this time of the pie variety.

If you are looking for a place to stay when checking out this rodeo, we recommend you check out the Super 8 by Wyndham Conrad and book in advance due to limited lodging options near the event.

8. Belt PRCA Rodeo

belt prca rodeo
Image: Montanabw

Locals in the small Montana community of Belt have been organizing, participating in, and enjoying this rodeo since 1961, and rodeo fans from all head over to this event typically held on Father’s Day weekend every year.

Mid-late June is the time for the rodeo to gather steam at the Belt Rodeo Arena and the event, hosted by Brookman Rodeo Company, is considered one of the best rodeos in Montana.

9. Heritage Days Open Rodeo

heritage days open rodeo
Image: Mike Cline

Columbia Falls is host to western Montana’s longest-running series open rodeo at the end of July when it hosts this mega 5-day event.

The annual celebration includes all kinds of community-style cowboy fun with competitions, activities, and concerts.  This standing tradition series open rodeo features all the classic rodeo activities like saddle broncs, bareback, bull riding, team roping, chute dogging, and steer riding, to name but a few.

10. Rockin RC Fair & Rodeo

Late August is when Ravalli County plays host to this Bitterroot Valley event of the year by way of the fair.

The event features various rodeo events each day, and spectators can catch team events involving cowboys and cowgirls competing in events like trailer loading, and various other activities that might usually occur on a ranch.

You can indulge in a spot of spectating from the grandstands as local cowboys pit themselves against big bulls. This is a well-attended event with competitors and spectators alike traveling from all over to enjoy the annually-held fun which typically occurs over Labor Day weekend.

This is one of the best family-friendly fairs you are likely to encounter in Western Montana, and the event like many in Montana is considered the best way to celebrate local agricultural heritage and tradition by the coming together of like-minded people for a few fun-filled summer days at the end of summer.

The event kicks off with the Fair Parade on the Wednesday before Labor Day, in downtown Hamilton at around 10.00 am. You can check out accommodations in Hamilton to make sure you stay close to the action.

Bonus: The 100th Wolf Point Stampede

The renowned “Wild Horse” Stampede of Wolf Point, often referred to as the esteemed “pioneer” of Montana rodeos, has been a cherished event held annually on the second weekend of July since 1915, establishing itself as the oldest rodeo in Montana.  As it hasn’t consistently held over it’s history, 2023 (July 5, 6, 7, 8, 2023) represents the 100th running of the Wolf Point Stampede.

Esteemed by professional rodeo cowboys as the pinnacle of excellence, it consistently claims the top spot in cowboy earnings, rodeo stock quality, hospitality, and overall organization, as recognized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Indeed, it serves as the standard that other Montana rodeos aspire to emulate.

The Wild Horse Stampede offers an authentic glimpse into the unspoiled essence of life in eastern Montana. Here, there is no superficial glamour. Instead, it revolves around pure, unadulterated enjoyment rooted in time-honored traditions: Rodeos, Noon Parades, Street Dances, Carnival, and gatherings for School and Family Reunions.

Within Wolf Point’s Marvin Brookman Stadium (dedicated to the late Marvin Brookman, a local legend and esteemed rodeo stockman), spectators are treated to world-class steer roping and bronc riding, complemented by the exhilarating wild horse race that harks back to the Stampede’s origins. Fearless locals mount and ride untamed broncos, evoking the same sense of excitement that permeated the air on that scorching July afternoon in 1915 when restless cowhands galloped down Main Street, seeking solace amidst the heat of midsummer. As the night rodeos reach their grand finale, a massive, fiery orange prairie moon emerges, casting its glow upon the dusty purple sky above the cottonwood trees lining the Missouri River.

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About The Author

Mark Barnett

Mark Philip is a writer and lifestyle enthusiast from the Midlands in the U.K. With a background in martial arts and fitness, Mark headed out to Bangkok, Thailand where he now lives and works. Mark has authored e-books, articles, and blogs across a wide range of topics for commercial, educational, factual, lifestyle and leisure-based purposes.

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