The Most Instagrammable Places in Montana

With unparalleled views and some of the greatest vistas in the entire world, Montana is rightly an Instagram enthusiast’s paradise. Some of the terrain and unique geological features aren’t found anywhere else, so posting a few pictures you take in this diverse state is likely to drum up a ton of interest among your followers.

Montana is home to thousands of beautiful places, but there are a few spots that are so picturesque that they beg to be photographed. From the many charms of Glacier National Park to the subtle beauty of the northeast plains, there’s definitely a handful of gorgeous Montana locales you simply must add to your bucket list, and be sure to share with your followers.

If you haven’t yet mapped out your next shooting trip to Montana, here are 10 of the most can’t miss spots in Montana you have to share on Instagram.

1. Along the Going-to-the-Sun Road


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When it was finally finished and opened to leisure travelers in 1932, the 11 year-long project that was building the Going-to-the-Sun Road was hailed as a feat of engineering.

It is the only road that crosses Glacier National Park, connecting the east and west entrances. It crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, the highest point along its entire 50-mile length.

The higher you climb, the better the views get along Going-to-the-Sun Road. Although you’ll have many opportunities for envy-inducing photos throughout the journey, Logan Pass has a parking lot and a rest area, making it an ideal spot to pull over for a photo.

2. In the Heart of Downtown Livingston


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Exactly how you might imagine a former Gold Rush town, Livingston still feels like a time capsule of the wild west. Many of the establishments that popped up during that time are still around; many of the same bars, restaurants, and guest houses that the miners and railroad workers frequented are still open to this day.

Because of its proximity to the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Livingston was able to maintain a second life as a host to visitors to the park, hence it’s still bustling downtown.

Many of the establishments in Livingston retain lots of their original facades and most memorably, the myriad of quirky, neon signs that were added around the mid-century. Many of these spots are concentrated on Livingston’s Main Street, making it one of the most photogenic few blocks in all of Montana.

3. The Reflections on Swiftcurrent Lake


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Famous for its often still, highly reflective surface, Swiftcurrent Lake, in Glacier National Park, is frequently the subject of dramatic photos. You can get that classic shot of Grinnell Point reflected in the lake by hiking the Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail Loop.

Beginning at the Many Glacier Hotel boat dock, the trail heads north around the lake, connecting to the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead right by the Many Glacier Picnic Area. From there, you can either head up the Grinnell Glacier trail or circle back towards the hotel continuing on the rest of the loop.

There’s no shortage of incredible spots for a photo along the hike, so make sure you start the trip with plenty of available storage on your camera.

4. Above Triple Falls


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Just below Reynolds Creek inside Glacier National Park is the curious Triple Falls. As the name suggests, here you’ll find three distinct waterfalls in one small area.

To heighten the impressiveness of the sight, the ruddy rock formations around it stand in stark contrast to the river rushing between.

To get there, simply walk down the service road from the Logan Pass Visitor Center past the bathrooms and through the meadow until you reach Reynolds Creek.

If you follow the creek upstream for about a half of a mile, you’ll reach the top of Triple Falls. Your followers will thank you for making the hike.

5. Around the Missouri Breaks

Way out in Missouri River Country, Montana’s famous Big Skies meet its vast plains, and through this dramatic landscape winds the mighty Missouri River.

Though you’re bound to get a great shot any time of day, the region is famous for having some of the most incredible sunsets in the state.

The region’s unique mix of humidity, temperature, and concentration of particulates in the air all contribute to its spectacular sunsets, though all you have to know is that they’re beautiful.

To get the best shots, go shooting well before the sun is going to set, and stay until dark. The hue and saturation of the colors in the sky can shift wildly while the sun is setting, but this way you’ll be able to capture them all and choose the best shot after dark.

6. The Night Skies in the Far North


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Montana’s border with Canada roughly follows the 49th parallel, which is plenty far enough north to see winter’s most fantastic sight: the aurora borealis.

These occur when electrically charged particles ejected by the sun get caught by the Earth’s magnetic field, which directs them to the poles. When these particles release their energy within the upper echelons of the Earth’s atmosphere, which we see illuminating the night sky. That’s where the aurora gets their nickname: the northern lights.

While there’s not a way to predict them 100%, instances auroras are linked to increased surface activity on the sun. If you hear that a large solar flare has occurred during the winter, there’s a good chance you could catch the aurora in northern Montana in the few days following.

7. On the Highline Trail


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For many folks, their first time on the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park leaves them completely awestruck as the views are notoriously impressive.

In particular, looking down onto the turquoise-blue lake below seems to dominate the Instagram feeds of those who’ve been.

To get there, drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road about 13 miles east of McDonald Lodge. You can park at “the Loop”, and take the free shuttle that goes to Logan Pass.

From there, it’s simply a mission to hike back to your car. Total, it’s about 12 miles, but as one of the most scenic hikes in the nation, it’s well worth the effort.

8. Saint Mary Falls


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A 35-foot long, three-tiered waterfall, Saint Mary Falls is a popular hiking destination in Glacier National Park. Though parking at the trailhead is limited, there’s a shuttle from the East Entrance to Glacier that can drop you off only a quarter-mile away from there.

Once you’ve spanned the short distance from the shuttle stop to the Piegan Pass Trail Junction, simply veer to the left when you reach the next junction to reach the St. Mary River.

At this point, you should already be able to hear the falls, and it’s only a short walk more to see them. While it does take a bit of effort to get there, the shots you’ll capture of the falls are more than worth the short hike.

9. See the Arts Fest Montana Murals in Great Falls


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Most of us have at least a couple of pieces of street art in our feeds, and if you’re looking to curate a carousel of public murals, the perfect city in Montana to do so is in Great Falls.

All across downtown, you’ll find some of Montana’s best rattle-can murals, and a lot of them are there because of a single public art project and festival.

Every year, Arts Fest Montana invites muralists from all over the world to re-decorate Downtown Great Falls. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting in early August when the artists are mid-residency, then you may even stumble upon them in action painting one of the year’s murals.

And if you love what you see, consider donating to the project so it can continue for years to come.

10. The Shores of Lake McDonald

Called the most colorful lake in the world, Glacier National Park’s Lake McDonald is famous for being lined in multi-colored stones. This curious feature is the result of different concentrations of iron and other metals trapped in the stones, which yields a slightly different color in each.

While you’re there gathering content, remember to take only pictures, and leave only footprints. While you may be tempted to take a couple of the rocks from the bottom of the lake, keep in mind that it is illegal to remove anything from a national park.

While Lake McDonald’s colorful stones may seem like they would make an awesome keepsake, it’s best to leave them so they can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.