Off the beaten path and away from the popular tourist destinations, you’ll find some really spectacular places to visit and spend some quality time.

Yaak Valley

Often described as “heaven on earth”, the Yaak Valley in the northwest corner of Montana is located in the Kootenai National Forest.  The low elevation and high precipitation create a climate similar to that of a rainforest.  Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, lynx, deer, mountain lions, and much more wildlife abound here in this pristine wilderness.  Enjoy year-round fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, berry picking and biking.  Plenty of campgrounds provide a place to park your camper and you can visit the Yaak River Tavern & Mercantile for any supplies you need, or chat with a local to learn more about the area.

Garden of One Thousand Buddhas

 This spiritual site near Arlee, Montana, within the Flathead Indian Reservation, was started in 2000 as a pilgrimage destination and international center for peace to share Buddhist ideals of joy, wisdom and compassion. When completed, the site will have 1000 buddhas, 125 in each line arranged in the formation of a “wheel of dharma”, which encompasses the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth.  Volunteers maintain the statues and accompanying botanical gardens.

The Ringing Rocks

This unique combination of rocks on a hillside between Butte and Whitehall, Montana, is called the Ringing Rocks, because they chime when tapped lightly with a hammer. Different rocks produce different sounds, but please be very gentle.  They only ring when in their places, not when they are removed from the pile.  It is believed that the ringing is a combination of the composition of the rock and the way the joining patterns have developed as the rocks have eroded away.

The Boiling River

 Located in the northwest corner of Yellowstone Park, the Boiling River is a natural hot tub created from a natural hot spring entering the cold waters of the Gardner River. The cold water mixes with the hot spring water to cool it to soaking temperature.  The best times to visit are late summer, fall and winter because the river rises and becomes dangerous in spring.  Reserve camping spots ahead of time when visiting Yellowstone Park.