Change is in the air, and fall in the Headwaters region is the perfect time to relax, unwind and relish some activities you can only enjoy in autumn. Southwest Montana is all awash with fall colors and alpenglow sunsets, and a break from summer crowds means you have all this bite of Big Sky to yourself to enjoy. So saddle up, and set out to test some of these unforgettable tastes of fall fun.
Southwest Montana hasn’t lit up most people’s radar for fabulous fall foliage yet, but that day is just around the corner. With riverbanks lined with aspen and cottonwood all around this little corner of the Big Sky, the autumnal displays throughout the Missouri Headwaters region are out of this world. Check out these spots in the heart of Three Forks and beyond for fall colors to get you in the spirit of changing seasons.
Ennis, Montana, makes for a convenient stop on the way to just about any place you could want to check out in southwest Montana. Self-proclaimed as “an hour from anywhere,” Ennis is just a quick jaunt from Norris, Virginia City, Yellowstone and Three Forks. This is the place to slow down for a minute and get immersed.
Autumn in the Headwaters region makes the perfect time to visit. Between the satisfying chill in the air, the crisp leaves underfoot, and the sips and nibbles you just have to sample—plus a few fun surprises—you’ll fall even more in love with fall in Three Forks, Montana.
Get a taste of the Wild West without having to go far when you take a day trip jaunt to Virginia City. This historic town was Montana’s first territorial capital, boasting up to 10,000 residents in its mining-town heyday. Gold was king as miners flocked here to seek out a spot along the riverbanks where they could get their pans in in search of gold nuggets.
After the boom of the gold rush days, Virginia City’s history took a turn, leading up to the controversial and swashbuckling Vigilantes who took justice into their own hands against the infamous Road Agents. History lives on here, with plenty to do without staying stuck in the past.
Getting boots on the trail in Montana is more than just great exercise. This way of seeing the countryside takes you off the beaten path to experience the wilds of the Headwaters region of the state. Right around the town of Three Forks, you’ll find miles of solid trails to keep you entertained, whether you quest after views, wildlife or natural wonders.
When summer comes to the Missouri Headwaters region of Montana, that means floating season is here. You can’t go wrong with a little river time, especially when the lazy waters of the Jefferson, Gallatin and Madison come together at the confluence of the Missouri River in the heart of Three Forks to give you plenty of floating and boating options.
Floating is a part of Montana culture in and of itself, and any culture involving warm water and cold microbrews over the course of a long summer afternoon deserves to be explored! Here’s everything you need to know for a day of floating fun.
Untold mysteries and wonders lie under the mountain at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, and opportunities to explore are just steps away, letting you get underground to help beat the summer heat with natural air conditioning. At the park, you’ll find a cafe and two gift shops, two visitor centers, plus more than ten miles of hiking and mountain biking trails to explore. And of course, the park’s namesake is not to be missed. The good news is that this cave has a tour for everyone.
History meets modern luxury at the Sacajawea Hotel, where a prime photo op waits around each decorated corner. The Sacajawea Hotel Instagram account is an easy go-to for all the tripspiration you could ever need, and the photo inspiration is enough to get you going on Instagram adventures of your own.
In Montana, Instagram is its own language, with scenic vistas and too-cute spaces that are so photogenic, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to capture stunning memories in photo form. At the Sacajawea Hotel, Instagram is just another way to express yourself while you take in these utterly Instagrammable spots.
With so many activities in Three Forks, it can be hard to fit everything in when you have a busy schedule. If you’re feeling bold, take some tips from this Headwaters adventure guide, and get out there for some adrenaline-pumping fun at the Headwaters of the Missouri.
You don’t have far to go for a relaxing family getaway. Around the Missouri Headwaters, you’ll find small-town charm and all the amenities, with luxury accommodation that the whole family will love at the Sacajawea Hotel. And then prepare for adventure, as the area offers activities that you and your little ones can enjoy together.