If the Northern Lights are on your bucket list, it may time to book a road trip to Montana. From September to April, you’ll find stunning views of this phenomenon in Montana’s very own Glacier National Park.
But don’t stop there — stick around for a few more days to enjoy the twinkling stars that litter the expansive sky. There’s no better place to spend a night under the stars than the “Big Sky Country” state. With minimal light pollution across the entire state, a Montana stargazing trip should make its way onto your bucket list. Read on to learn the best locations around the state to view the breathtaking Montana night sky.
Montana Stargazing Tips
As you plan your Montana stargazing trip, there are a few tips and tricks you’ll want to know to get the most out of your adventure.
- The winter season is the best time view the Montana night sky. You’ll have ample opportunity to take in the Northern Lights and find every constellation in the sky.
- Pack plenty of layers. If you’re heading out for a winter trip, you’ll want to bundle up in the frigid temperatures. Bring extra sleeping bags and blankets to stay warm and make yourself comfortable on your Montana stargazing adventure.
- Find a location outside the cities. Though Montana is generally a less populated area, the city lights can still impact your view of the stars. Consider getting an RV rental or finding a boondocking location off the grid for the best views.
- Consider using a night sky calculator. These calculators will use your location and time of stay to let you know when the best view of the stars will be.
Feeling ready to begin your stargazing trip to Montana? Let’s take a look at the best places to add to your itinerary!
Best Locations for Stargazing Near Glacier National Park
Dubbed one of the Dark Sky Parks, this stunning location has more than a few places to search for constellations and enjoy the Montana night sky.
Dusty Star Dome
You won’t have to travel too far into the park to find this location. Right inside the entrance, you’ll find the Dusty Star Dome at the St. Mary Visitor Center. Kick off your Glacier National Park stargazing adventure by viewing the stars from the 20-inch PlaneWave telescope here.
The 7.1-mile hike is well worth the view at the Apgar Lookout. Located in the southwest corner of Glacier National Park, you’ll find plenty of sites through the path to take in the stars. End your hike at the lookout where you’ll see the Montana night sky stretching out over the top of the mountains.
A fan favorite of many stargazers, Avalanche Lake provides a surreal experience. From the mountain peak views to the reflection of stars in McDonald Lake, this Montana stargazing location is a top choice for your trip.
RV Parks Nearby:
Don’t miss out on this Dark Sky Park location — find a Montana RV rental with Cruise America and hit the road today!
Best Locations for Stargazing Near Missoula
Spend the day in downtown Missoula wandering the Historical Museum before heading to the following locations for the best view of the stars.
Blue Mountain Observatory
The University of Montana takes pride in operating this public observatory. Blue Mountain Observatory sits at an elevation of 6,300 feet and provides families with a secure location to see the stars. Plan a visit in the summer months to enjoy the open houses hosted by this stargazing location.
Mount Sentinel’s zigzagged hike is well worth the effort for the starry views at the top. And don’t forget to stop by the famous wooden “M” on your way through to experience a part of the University of Montana history!
RV Parks Nearby:
A Cruise America Missoula RV rental is a great place to rest after a long day of hiking to your stargazing location!
Best Locations for Stargazing Near Bozeman
Stargazing is just one of the many activities Bozeman, MT has to offer. Before you set up camp under the Montana night sky, spend your day hiking, rock climbing, skiing, hunting, and more. After a long, fun-filled day, kick back under the stars at these locations for optimal views.
This secluded area just outside of Yellowstone National Park is an ideal spot for stargazing. With minimal light pollution, you’ll have a full panoramic view of the night sky at this mountain valley recreation area.
Yellowstone National Park
Since no major cities sit overly close to Yellowstone National Park, visitors have a clear view of the Montana night sky from just about anywhere in the park. Park your RV at one of the many campgrounds offered and check out the sky from right outside.
RV Parks Nearby:
With so much to do, you’ll want to stay a few nights! Book your Bozeman RV rental now with Cruise America and explore everything the area has to offer.
Best Locations for Stargazing Near Great Falls
In addition to the extraordinary night sky views, Great Falls has plenty to do for the whole family. Explore a variety of art, entertainment, and cultural locations around the city before setting up camp under the starry sky for the night.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
Join in the fun at the Central Montana Astronomy Society's Star Parties at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. These viewing parties provide families an educational and enjoyable stargazing experience.
Haystack Butte Trails
This 8.2-mile hike offers unbeatable views of the night sky. Sitting at an elevation of 7,486 feet, you’ll have a clear view of the surrounding area as you take in the stars. Just be cautious with this trail in the winter — it can get a bit icy!
RV Parks Nearby:
Once you’ve selected a Star Party to attend, make your way there in style with a Cruise America Great Falls RV rental!
Best Locations for Stargazing Near Billings
The historic rock paintings of Billings, MT aren’t the only attraction drawing visitors to the area. Check out the night sky views at one of these local parks.
As the sunset approaches, make your way to a clear spot in Riverfront Park using one of the many jogging trails available. Watch the starry reflection shimmering in Lake Josephine as you sit back under the night sky.
Pictograph Cave State Park
This beautiful state park offers visitors a collection of entertainment. From hiking the numerous trails to exploring the three caves to spending some time under the stars, Pictograph Cave State Park is an ideal Montana stargazing location.
RV Parks Nearby:
Rest up for a long night of Montana stargazing in a Billings RV rental from Cruise America!
Cozy Up With Cruise America for a Stargazing Trip
The winter season is a splendid time to experience the Montana night sky — if you do it right! If a winter Montana stargazing trip is on your list, a Cruise America RV rental is a must-have. Keep yourself warm and cozy from the freezing Montana weather in your comfortable RV.
Check out our extensive fleet of RVs that you can choose from and get started on your Montana stargazing road trip today! Contact us for more information.