Wyoming vs Montana – A Battle of The Wild West

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: March 4th, 2023

Montana and Wyoming are both located in the western United States. Wyoming, towards the north, shares a border with Montana. Both states are known for their breathtakingly rugged landscape, mighty rivers, and bountiful wildlife.

Montana and Wyoming are the perfect vacation destinations for outdoor enthusiasts and offer an extensive array of recreational activities to tourists. Hikers, fishermen, and skiers all make their way to either Montana or Wyoming to have an experience of their lifetime!

While Montana and Wyoming make for a great off-the-grid travel destination together, every place has its pros and cons, and Montana and Wyoming aren’t any different. In this classic duel of the vacation states, we try to determine which is the best place once and for all!

Wyoming or Montana?

So, without further ado, let’s get right into this Montana vs. Wyoming showdown and see which great western state comes out on top.

1. Glacier National Park

glacier national park

Northern Montana is the home to Glacier National Park, a popular tourist site for people visiting West America. This national park is the perfect spot for taking adventurous trips as it has everything that a thrill seeker can ask for!

Glacier National Park offers hiking trails, biking trails, fly-fishing opportunities, bird-watching spots, and much more. You can have an exceptional camping experience at one of the 13 campgrounds in the park, with lodgings, guided tours, horseback rides, and even boat trips. Try driving on the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road and enjoy an unparalleled view of the Rocky Mountains.

Unfortunately, people visiting Wyoming would not be able to experience all these great things at the Glacier National Park.

2. Yellowstone National Park

yellowstone national park

Since we are pitting Montana against Wyoming, we had to bring up Yellowstone National Park. A large portion of this park is located in Wyoming; however, a small part also covers the area in northwest Montana. Nonetheless, we can’t deny that around 96 percent of Yellowstone National Park is nestled within the state of Wyoming.

Yellowstone National Park is the dream destination for adrenaline junkies as many recreational activities are offered within its boundaries.

This national park is also a popular choice among people who love wide-open spaces, as the park offers quite some elbow room and views like none other. You can watch the natural geysers or go view the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

The wildlife at the Yellowstone National Park consists of about 300 bird species, 67 mammal species, 16 fish species, 6 reptile species, and 5 amphibian species.

So if you are either in Montana or Wyoming, feel free to visit Yellowstone National Park to admire the wildlife in its natural habitat!

3. Population


Wyoming has only over 500,000, which is almost half the population of Montana. Wyoming is the least populated state in the United States. So, when it comes to Montana vs. Wyoming, people definitely prefer to live in Montana when compared to Wyoming.

The reason why Wyoming is so sparsely populated is its geography. The state covers a total area of 97,914 square miles, but towering mountains and plain deserts take a large portion of that expanse. Hence, the overall population is low and spread across the state.

Wyoming also has a challenging climate; you either get scorching summers or freezing winters. The weather is also very unstable – the days can have you sweating profusely, but it will get extremely cold by nightfall. Wyoming has rough, windy weather, which is harsh and dry and not generally enjoyed by tourists.

Montana, on the other hand, enjoys more stable weather with short and warm summers and cold and snowy winters.

4. Culture


Montana and Wyoming are quite similar when it comes to their cultural scene. Both have Indian Reservations, but Montana has seven while Wyoming has only one. Since Native American tribes govern these areas, it plays a huge role in preserving the Native American culture in both places.

Other than that, while talking about Montana vs. Wyoming, another difference we notice is the prevalence of cowboy culture in Wyoming. Wyoming is quite literally known as the “Cowboy State”, and that’s because you can live all your cowboy fantasies here!

Hunting and shooting are common sports in the state, where the most sought-after game animals mule deer, elk, and pronghorn.

Many rodeo events also grab the attention of tourists visiting Wyoming, so you can put on your cowboy hat and enjoy some horseback riding to further pump the Wild West vibe.

5. World-Class Skiing

world-class skiing

Both Montana and Wyoming offer numerous skiing opportunities, but we will discuss the most popular ones in the area. Montana has the famous Big Sky Ski Resort, which is set out on 5,800 acres of land.

The vertical drop is a staggering 4,350 feet, known to be the fourth-longest vertical drop in North America. It gets an annual snowfall of 300 inches on average, which makes it a great skiing spot.

Wyoming, in contrast, has Jackson Hole, which has 2,500 acres of skiable terrain. It also has a vertical drop of 4,140 feet which is a tad bit shorter than Big Sky.

Hence, the vertical drop at Jackson Hole is ranked fifth on the list of the longest vertical drops in North America. Because of its geographical location, Jackson Hole gets over 450 inches of average annual snowfall.

Montana and Wyoming are both likely to provide you with a memorable skiing experience.

The Winner

When we compare Montana with Wyoming, it’s clear that both places are quite similar yet so different. The similarities are due to the close geographical location of both states. Since they are neighbors, it’s a given that they will share a handful of similar traits.

On the other hand, we can see that Montana is a clear winner here! Montana is filled with grizzlies and cowboys and horses, and there is no shortage of luxurious getaways and countless adventures in the state.

Don’t get us wrong, Wyoming is a wonderful state in its own right but in this old west showdown, Montana comes out on top!

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About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a travel blogger and editor for over 5 years, working with some of the biggest brands in industry. She’s taught English as a foreign language in 5 different countries, and her most fulfilling role was as a tour guide around some of Europe’s finest vineyards. She the one behind the social channels here at Discovering Montana, whilst also finding the time to perform an assistant editor role.

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