Montana Fun Facts & Trivia

No state has as many different species of mammals as Montana.

In Deer Lodge, Montana, in the Old West days, a cowboy evangelist angered over a snoring parishioner once fired a bullet over the head of the dozing man.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn also known as Custer’s Last Stand took place on June 25, 1876. Lieutenant Colonel Custer’s forces—including more than 200 of his men were wiped out in less than 20 minutes.

It is a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail.

In Fort Benton, Montana a cowboy once insisted on riding his horse to his room in the Grand Union Hotel. When the manager objected, they exchanged gunfire. The horseman was killed before reaching the top of the stairs; fourteen .44 slugs were later dug out of his body.

Flathead Lake in northwest Montana contains over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline. It is considered the largest natural freshwater lake in the west.

Miles City is known as the Cowboy Capitol.

Buffalo in the wild can still be viewed at the National Bison Range in Moiese, south of Flathead Lake and west of the Mission Mountains.

Montana is the fourth largest state with the forty-fourth largest population.

Montana has 43 state parks and 25 scenic byways.

Three bandits who robbed the Adams Express car in a passenger train near Bannack, Montana were rounded up by vigilantes and promptly hanged, a fate that became all too familiar in the lawless West when citizens, angered over vacillating courts, meted out their own brand of swift and self-satisfying justice.

The most visited place in Montana is Glacier National Park, known as the crown jewel of the continent. It lies along Montana’s northern border and adjoins Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, forming the world’s first International Peace Park.

Yellowstone, courtesy Yellowstone Mountain Guides

Yellowstone, courtesy Yellowstone Mountain Guides

Yellowstone National Park in southern Montana and northern Wyoming was the first national park in the nation.

Montana has the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states.

In Montana, it is illegal for married women to go fishing alone on Sundays, and illegal for unmarried women to fish alone at all.

Montana mountain goats will butt heads so hard their hooves fall off.

Montana is nicknamed the Treasure State.

The highest point in the state is Granite Peak at 12,799 feet.

Virginia City was founded in 1863 and is considered to be the most complete original town of its kind in the United States.

It is a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail.

In Montana, the elk, deer and antelope populations outnumber the humans.

Bannack, Montana

Bannack, Montana

Montana’s first territorial capital, Bannack, has been preserved as a ghost town state park along once gold-laden Grasshopper Creek. This old town is also said to be haunted by several ghostly spirits.

In Salisbury, Montana it is illegal to throw pop bottles on the ground.

Montana’s name comes from the Spanish word mountain.

The first inhabitants of Montana were the Plains Indians.

Montana is home to seven Indian reservations.

The state’s official animal is the grizzly bear.

Grasshopper Creek’s gold at Bannack, Montana was 99-99.5% pure, compared to most gold at 95%. When the strike was found in 1862 it led to the greatest rush to the West since the California Gold Rush in 1848.

Glacier National Park has 250 lakes within its boundaries.

Hill County has the largest county park in the United States. Beaver Creek Park measures 10 miles long and 1 mile wide.

A Helena, Montana law states that a woman cannot dance on a saloon table unless her clothing weighs more than three pounds, two ounces.

Drinking while driving in Montana is legal. However, it IS illegal to drive while intoxicated. (Before you write and tell me this is incorrect, as of January 31, 2005, this fact was still true, though a bill has passed in the Senate that is now under consideration by the House Legislature.) Update:  Drinking while driving in Montana became illegal on October 1, 2005


By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated March 2018.

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