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Montana Atlas


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Montana facts and history plus travel and tourism information.

Click for Helena, Montana Forecast
Capital: Helena
Abbreviations: MT (postal), Mont.
Area: 147,046 square miles
State Bird: Western Meadowlark
State Tree: Ponderosa Pine
State Flower: Bitterroot
State Motto: Oro y plata - Gold and silver
Nickname: The Treasure State

Montana's expansive frontier features wide open skies, huge prairies, glacier lakes, and the Rocky Mountains in the west. The area's first European explorers were Lewis and Clark in 1805, who traveled along the Missouri River and the Yellowstone River. Other major rivers, the Gallatin River and the Madison River, are prized by fly fishermen. The land in Montana is inhabited by mountain lions, grizzly bears, and wolves, as well as moose, elk, bison, and wild horses.

Gold was discovered in Montana in 1862, and large deposits of silver and copper also attracted miners. Oil, phosphate, and zinc are among Montana's abundance of resources, and cattle ranching plays an important role in Montana's economy today.

Before Europeans came to Montana, the Cheyenne and Sioux tribes roamed Montana, living off the state's many natural resources and wildlife. However, as the United States expanded westward and settlers began fencing the open ranges, conflicts inevitably arose. Battles at The Rosebud and the Little Bighorn in 1876 limited these Native Americans to living on Indian Reservations.

Montana Map

Map of Montana

More Montana Information

  1. Official Montana State Website
  2. Montana Vacation, Adventure, Recreation and Travel Planning Guide
  3. National Parks in Montana
  4. Montana QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  5. - Montana

Montana Resources

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Montana History and Geography