Montana - Abbey Travel, Ireland



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Welcome to Montana


The wide open US state of Montana, bordering three Canadian provinces, boasts no major big cities, but is the fourth largest state in the Union, stretching across the prairie of the Great Plains, known as 'Big Sky Country'.

Plains? 'Montana' is Spanish for mountains, and indeed the State is usually regarded as mountainous because the Rocky Mountain chain traverses its western zone. Sixty percent of the state, though, is prairie. Agricultural lands provide Montana's bread and butter, and some of the USA's most attractive and renowned national parks, wildlife refuges and forests provide a tasty topping.

In Montana are the renowned Yellowstone National Park, the Glacier National Park and the Bighorn Canyon, to name just a few natural attractions under the big sky. Yellowstone, with more than two million acres of geysers, is the largest and most famous national park in the world, spilling over into Idaho and Wyoming, while the magnificent Glacier park covers one million acres of rugged mountain terrain, forests, waterfalls and glaciers.

Montana is thus an outdoor enthusiast's paradise, with a multitude of opportunities for hiking, riding, hunting, and fishing in summer, and skiing in winter. Native American culture also features high on its list of attractions, the prairies having been home to legendary tribes like the Cheyenne, Crow and Blackfeet. The various reservations are strongholds of their heritage where traditional dress is worn, rituals are performed and arts and crafts produced. Also fascinating for visitors is to explore the 'ghost towns' that were left behind after the 1862 gold rush, the many museums and art galleries, and the historic buildings and battlefields of this multi-faceted state.

Information & Facts


Montana's east and west regions, separated by the Continental Divide, experience different climates, although generally the state tends to be hot and dry in summer and cold in winter, with snow. The west tends to have a milder climate than the east, with warmer winters, cooler summers and lighter winds, and rainfall is more evenly distributed throughout the year. The east, however, tends to have less humidity than the west, as well as more sunny days on average. Montana's cold winters are frequently broken by warm, windy spells in the east, known as 'Chinook' weather, which can last for several days at a time. The heaviest snowfall throughout the state is from November to March, and most cities receive an annual average of 30 to 50 inches (76 to 127cm). Rainfall is generally light, with most falling between May and July.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

GMT -7 (GMT -6 from March to November).
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